Dutch Apple Pie

apple pie 2

Technically it’s still summer, for a few more days anyway, but my heart and my head are already in the fall which also happens to be my most favorite time of year. There is nothing better than cozy sweaters, a crisp breeze on your face, and of course, apples! What better way to herald in the start of apple season than with a homemade, perfectly spiced, warm Dutch Apple Pie. It’s the quintessential fall dessert and it’s perfect to serve at any holiday gathering or just as a weekend treat. Feeling naughty? Top your warm pie with a nice, big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Absolute perfection!

I’ve always been a huge apple lover and although I wouldn’t kick a slice of double crust apple pie to the curb, there is really nothing better than a slice topped with sugary, buttery crumbs. This recipe has become my “go-to” for Dutch Apple Pie and the best part is that it’s really quite easy to pull together. If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and make your own pie dough but if you want to keep this super simple, a store-bought crust works just as well. I prefer to use the Pillsbury Pie Crusts that you roll out, they can be found right in the refrigerator section of the supermarket. Also, I like to use a 10″ deep dish pie plate so that I can pile my apples high without risking overflow in the oven.

You can use any type of firm baking apple in this pie such as a Northern Spy, Cortland, or Gala. I prefer to use either all Granny Smith or a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. Choose whatever apple appeals to your palate, just stay away from soft snack apples such as a Red Delicious, they will become applesauce in the oven. Be sure to let this pie cool down before cutting into it, if you slice into it while it’s still steaming hot your pie will be very runny and it won’t hold it’s shape on the plate. Allow it to come down to almost room temperature before slicing in order to maintain its structural integrity.

Ingredients

For the pie filling

  • 1 pie shell or roll of store-bought  pie dough
  • 5 cups of peeled, cored, and sliced apples (any firm baking variety will do)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter

For the crumb toppping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly spray a pie plate with cooking spray then lay the pie dough into the plate. Gently press the dough into place.

To make the pie filling – Place the sliced apples in a large bowl and toss with a little lemon juice to prevent browning. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples and toss gently to combine.

In a large saucepan over low to medium heat, melt the butter. Cook the apples in the butter for about 8-10 minutes or until very slightly softened. Set aside.

To make the crumb topping – In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, oats, and lemon zest. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or fork, the mixture should become nice and crumbly.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple filling to the prepared pie plate. Cover the top of the pie with the crumb topping, gently pressing the crumbs into place.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crumb topping is browned and the apples are tender. If the pie is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil until it’s done baking. Cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm and store in the refrigerator.

Dutch Apple Pie

“How-To” Baking – Blind Baking

Blind baking means to partially or completely bake a pie or tart shell/crust before filling it. This technique is particularly useful when making pies that have very juicy fillings like a fruit pie, as they will cause the bottom of the pie to become soggy. Blind baking the crust prevents the crust from absorbing too much liquid. Other pie and tart fillings, such as a custard, require no baking so the crust will need to be fully baked prior to adding any filling.

To blind bake a crust, carefully roll out the pie dough then place it into a pie pan. Once the dough is fitted into the pan lay a sheet of tin foil or parchment paper on top and weigh it down with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake according to the recipe instructions. If partially blind baking the crust, remove from the oven when the sides are just set but the crust is still pale. If completely blind baking the crust, remove from the oven when the crust is a deep golden brown. If the filling is not being baked in the crust, cool completely to prevent any sogginess.

“How-To” Baking – Fluting/Crimping

Fluting or crimping refers to the decorative shaping of the edge of a single crust pie. Double crust pies are generally crimped to seal the bottom and top crusts together as well as create a decorative pattern. This is done using a fork and pressing around the edge of the pie to seal the crusts.

To crimp a single crust pie, gently press a finger along the inside edge of the pastry and use the index finger and thumb of the other hand to to press the pastry around the finger. Do this around the entire pie.

Fluting a Pie

(Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens)