Perfect Dutch Apple Pie
Apple Pie. Have there ever been two words that were more perfect for each other? I think not. This classic Dutch Apple Pie with crisp buttery crust and crunchy almond oat topping, is bursting with tangy apples and autumn spices. This my friends, is what all pies aspire to be.
Every fall, we set a few Saturdays aside for apple picking.
We drive out to the apple orchards with a large blanket and a picnic lunch. We spend a relaxed afternoon laughing, hunting for the perfect apple tree, and smiling more than usual.
We pretend to pay close attention to the types of apple trees from which we’re picking, then nonchalantly place the apple in the basket without any further attempt to keep tabs of the varieties.
We eat hot apple donuts and drink cold fresh cider.
We lay in the grass with full bellies and piles of apples all around.
We go home happy, with dreams of Dutch Apple Pie in the near future.
And when it’s time to make that dream a reality, this is the Dutch Apple Pie we make.
I’m not a bragger. Really, I’m not.
But can I just take a moment to tell you how good this Dutch Apple Pie is?
This is the Ferrari… the Cartier… the Louis Vuitton of apple pies.
Seriously guys, I’m patting my own back over this one.
There’s not really one thing I can point out that makes this Dutch Apple Pie better than most of the other pies I’ve made. It’s a combination of attributes, really.
The golden flaky crust is made with Gold Medal Flour, a combination of butter and shortening, and is laced with the boozy essence of Maple Crown Royal. I love using Gold Medal Flour for pie crust, because it always bakes up so consistently, that the even texture accentuates the prominent boozy buttery flavor.
The rustic crumb topping is mixed with oats, almonds and brown sugar for a hearty nut crumble that breaks apart as you cut each bite.
As for the filling, some people would argue that you must use granny smith apples or other specified varieties. Yet I feel that as long as you choose firm apples, not apples that are prone to getting mushy, you can’t go wrong.
In this case, we picked several types of apples, all firm with a sweet-tart flavor, and the apple pie was ridiculously good.
I combined the sliced apples with lemon zest and juice, a little corn starch to thicken the juices, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. That’s it.
Simple homey flavors and textures that come together to form a Dutch Apple Pie masterpiece.
That is what every apple pie should be, and this one certainly makes the cut!
Dutch Apple Pie
For the Crust:
For the Crumb Topping:
For the Apple Pie Filling:
For the Crust:
- Cut the butter and shortening into cubes and place in the freezer to get them really cold while you pull out the rest of your ingredients. Place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pour 6 tablespoons of apple brandy (or your booze of choice) over ice to chill. Place the butter and shortening in the food processor, and pulse until it breaks up into small pea-sized chunks. Without scooping up the ice, add the liquor one tablespoon at a time to the mixture and pulse to combine. Once the dough starts to pull together into a mass, stop adding liquid and dump out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Divide 1/3 of the dough out for the topping and place in a medium bowl. Then shape the remaining dough into a disk, wrap well in plastic, and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Break the divided dough into little pieces, then add the oats, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix and crumble with your hands, then place in the fridge until ready to use.
For the Filling:
- Place the lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Peel and thinly slice all the apples (1/8- to 1/4-inch thick) tossing in the lemon juice as you add them to the bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cornstarch and spices to the apples and toss to coat.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degree F and place the rack in the lowest position. Place a piece of plastic wrap (or foil) out on the counter. Flour the plastic wrap and place the chilled dough on the floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a large round circle approximately 12 inches across. Carefully lift the plastic wrap and flip the dough circle over into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Gently fit the pie dough down into the pie pan—don't stretch it. Then fold the rough edges under and pinch-crimp the edges with your fingers.
- Scoop the apple filling into the pie crust. Shake a little so the apple slices settle into place. Then sprinkle the crumble topping over the apples, covering completely. Place the pie in the oven, and LOWER THE TEMPERATURE TO 375 DEGREES F. The extra heat from the beginning gives and crust a little head start in baking. Bake the pie for 60-80 minutes, until golden and bubbly. If the crumble topping starts to get too dark, loosely cover with foil while baking.
- This is the hard part... DO NOT cut the pie until it has cooled down to room temperature. I know it smells amazing and is very hard to resist, but the filling needs time to settle and set, so it's not soupy. If you cut your pie too soon, it will fall apart.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Gold Medal Flour. All opinions are my own.