Apple Pie Crunch Topping


I chose the Apple Pie Crunch topping as my featured recipe this month, because I have always loved the idea of a crumble layer on my apple pie. What I didn’t realize was that it was really just a glorified crumble topping. This is what makes it different: The unique combination of sugar and cinnamon sprinkled over the apple layer on top. Note that sugar and cinnamon is sprinkled over the apples in addition to the actual crumb topping.

Dutch Apple Pie

  • Prep60 Min
  • Total2 Hr 45 Min
  • Servings8

The difference between classic apple pie and a Dutch apple pie recipe is all in the delicious crumb topping.



  • 1cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 1/3cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 2to 3 tablespoons cold water


  • 8cups sliced cored peeled apples
  • 1/2cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice


  • 1/2cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 2/3cup packed brown sugar
  • 1tablespoon granulated sugar


  • Mix 1 cup of flour and the salt in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender (or two table knives pushed through the ingredients in opposite directions) to mix in shortening until pea-sized particles are achieved. One tablespoon of cold water should be added at a time, and the pastry should practically come away from the side of the bowl after being thoroughly saturated (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary). Make a ball out of the pastry. On a lightly dusted surface, form into a flattened round. The dough should be cold and hard but yet flexible after about 45 minutes in the refrigerator after being flattened. This enables the shortening to somewhat firm up, which contributes to the baked pastry’s flakier texture. Allow pastry to soften somewhat before rolling if it has been chilled for a longer period of time.
  • 400°F oven temperature. Roll out the pastry dough into a circle 2 inches bigger than a 9-inch pie pan on a flour-dusted surface. Place pastry in pie plate after folding it into fourths. Making sure not to stretch the dough, which will make it shrink when baked, unfold it and gently ease it into the dish, pressing firmly against the bottom and the sides. Trim the pastry’s overhanging edge 1 inch from the pie plate’s rim. Evenly folding and rolling the pastry under, flute as desired.
  • Mix the Filling ingredients in a big basin. Apples should be piled toward the middle of the pie plate.
  • Use a pastry blender or your hands to combine the butter, 1 cup of flour, and brown sugar in a medium bowl until a crumb forms. Sprinkle evenly across the pie’s top. 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar should be added.
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the filling starts to bubble and the pie shell and crumbs are a deep golden brown color. To cool, transfer to a cooling rack.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • With a dollop of ice cream or fresh whipped cream on top, serve pie warm or at room temperature.
  • Up to 4 months’ worth of pie can be stored frozen and covered in foil and plastic wrap.
  • If preparing your own pastry from scratch isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute a chilled rolled pie crust for the bottom crust. The PillsburyTM brand is advised.
  • Choose apples that are tartly delicious and maintain their shape well; try Empire, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Braeburn, and Cortland.
  • How is a “Dutch” pie made? The streusel topping, which is made of sugar, butter, flour, and nuts and is almost impossible to resist, is likely derived from other Germanic baking traditions. It’s an easier finish for bar cookies, coffee cakes, muffins, and not only pies.


Recipe Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour – mixed with oats to make crumble.
  • Old-fashioned oats – the main ingredient in the crumble.
  • Light brown sugar – sweetens the crumb topping.
  • Unsalted butter – helps form the crumble.
  • Granulated sugar – sweetens the apple filling.
  • Corn starch – helps thicken the filling.
  • Cinnamon – can’t have apples without cinnamon.
  • Granny Smith apples – best apples for pies.
  • Lemon – adds just a touch of acidity.
  • Vanilla extract – enhances the flavor.
  • Store-bought pie crust – can also make your own.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 400 °F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, and brown sugar for the crumb topping. When the mixture resembles coarse grain, add the melted butter and stir.
  2. In a big basin, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon.
  3. Toss in the apples, melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla essence.
  4. In a 9-inch pie plate, place the pie dough. Filling should be equally distributed.
  5. Add a crumb topping on top.
  6. After 15 minutes of baking, lower the heat to 375°F. Cook until bubbling and golden brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Pie must be covered halfway through baking with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Before serving, let the pie rest for an hour.
process shots of how to make apple crumb pie

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Use corn starch to thicken filling. It produces the desired syrupy texture with apples more effectively than flour does.
  • Avoid using too much cinnamon. A little bit is often enough. It should taste like apples because it is an apple pie.
  • Pie filling that rises above the dish shouldn’t worry you because it will fall as the pie cooks.
  • So that it won’t be runny and wet when you slice into it, let the pie cool for at least an hour.
  • Lastly, top with vanilla ice cream.
  • Apple pie and vanilla ice cream go well together.


The ideal fall dessert is Apple Crumb Pie, also known as Dutch Apple Pie, which blends a flaky pie crust with an apple filling that is expertly spiced and a sweet streusel topping.

I don’t bake or even much enjoy eating fruit pies. Whenever I choose a pie from our neighborhood bakery, it’s usually either a banana cream or coconut cream pie.

Crumb Apple Pie

Apple Crumb Pie, on the other hand, is a fruit pie that ranks right up there with my favorite cream pies. Dutch Apple Pies are another name for them that some local bakeries use, although I’m not sure if that’s just a local one or not.

Don’t forget to serve this Apple Crumb Pie with vanilla bean ice cream! You may serve it for Thanksgiving, Sunday dinner, or even Tuesday afternoon and serve it all week long.


Dutch apple pie is what you’ve eaten if you’ve ever had an apple pie without the usual pie crust topping.

Yes, Dutch apple pie and Apple Crumb Pie are almost interchangeable. They simply refer to an apple pie that has been finished with a sweet streusel topping instead of the traditional pie crust.

Although there is some debate as to where this particular type of pie originates from, I can assure you that the flavor combination of flaky pie crust, tart apples, spices, and sweet crumb topping is unmatched.

Crumb-topped apple pie is a terrific alternative for folks like me who don’t particularly enjoy dealing with pie dough, even though a small percentage of people prefer preparing handmade pie crust.

Even a crumble with a hint of savory flavor is possible, like Cheddar Crumble Apple Pie.

You can omit the nuts from your Dutch apple pie if you choose, but I personally like to add a couple to the topping.


Knowing what varieties of apples to choose at the shop may seem overwhelming if you don’t bake apple pies frequently.

For this pie, I used honeycrisp apples. For a pie like this, they seem to be the ideal balance of crunchy, tangy, and sweet.

Use a combination of apples, such as Jonathan, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, or Pink Lady, if honeycrisp apples are not available.

To help balance out the tart flavor of granny smith apples, I suggest combining them with another variety, like the ones I just described. The best apple to use for this Apple Crumb Pie recipe is one that is a little sweeter than the others, such as Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings.


I’ll admit it; I’m a slack apple pie maker. I don’t because I dislike having to cook the apple filling first before the pie bakes.

Additionally, it prevents the filling from becoming mushy. While the pie bakes, the apples soften just enough while retaining some of their firmness. For me, it’s the ideal outcome.

Start by crimping the edges of the pie dough and placing it in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. To prevent it from getting too heated before baking, I like to chill the crust while I make the filling and crumble.

To make the filling, you will need:

  • 6 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples 
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons homemade apple pie spice

Toss the sliced apples in a large bowl with the rest of the filling ingredients and set the filling aside while you prepare the crumb topping.

The crumb topping is made up of ingredients you probably already have on hand:

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup pecan chips
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

The flour, brown sugar, pecan chips, and salt should only be combined, followed by the melted butter. As you combine the ingredients, crumbs will form.

After carefully pouring the contents into the prepared crust, assemble the pie by sprinkling the crumb topping on top. Bake the pie for approximately an hour, placing it on a baking pan with a rim just in case any juices bubble over.

When the apples are tender, the juices are bubbling around the edges, and the crust and crumble are golden brown, the pie is finished. To prevent the pie from becoming too dark, loosely tent the top with foil or cover the edges with foil if the crust or crumble begin to brown too much before the apples are tender.


Apple Crumb Pie can be kept, covered, at room temperature for up to two days. Once totally cooled, I like to store mine in a pie keeper.

By keeping the pie in the fridge, you can extend its shelf life by an additional two to three days.

Making Apple Crumb Pie the night before or the morning of when you intend to serve it is advised because the crust and crumble will soften as the pie ages.


Should I Make My Own Pie Crust?

I mentioned earlier but to me store-bought pie crust is just easier to deal with than making your own.

What Kind of Apples Make the Best Apple Pie?

Granny Smiths are best for apple pies as they hold their shape and give the filling a great sweet-tart flavor. However if you like your pie sweeter, you can go apples like Galas, Pink Ladies or Honeycrisps.

How Do I Keep My Crust from Browning?

You bake this pie a long time to cook the apples and brown the topping so you’ll need to eventually cover the pie crust. Use a pie shield or aluminum foil to make sure the crust doesn’t get too dark. I usually cover about halfway through.

How Do You Avoid a Soggy Bottom?

Most times you blind bake but this pie bakes too long for that to work. Two ways to avoid this to brush with some egg wash or place on a baking tray that is in the heated oven.

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