Sweet Pies & Tarts

Crumble Top Apple Pie

Lightly spiced and perfectly sweet, this crumble top apple pie is as American as, well...

Autumn is such a cozy season. As cliché as it may be, there is nothing quite like putting on your favorite scarf to take a walk through the brisk fall air, with brightly-colored leaves crunching underfoot. This crumble top apple pie brings that scrumptious fall atmosphere to the table. The apple slices are crunchy, the pie crust is fluffy, and both the filling and the sweet crumble are spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg – just like a pumpkin spice latte.

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Also known as a Dutch apple pie, this recipe is a favorite within my husband’s family. Every year when apple season comes around, this pie is at the top of their request lists. While you can serve it warm and on its own, I highly recommend heating up each slice of pie in the microwave and serving it alongside a big scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

A slice of crumble top apple pie sits on a white plate. The pie features a pale crimped crust; several layers of stacked apples are visible in the cross-section.

Another perk of this crumble top apple pie? It is so simple to make it gluten free. This is one of my favorite desserts to bring to friend gatherings with mixed dietary needs. I keep a bag of gluten-free all purpose flour on hand and make my press-in pie crust; I also use that same gluten-free flour for the topping. There is almost no discernable difference in the taste of the pie, and there’s no risk of our Celiac friends “getting glutened”.

You can use whatever crust you want with this crumble top apple pie. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll make my own sweet shortcrust pastry dough recipe, but most of the time I’ll use the aforementioned press-in pie crust (as is seen in the pictures on this post) or use a store-bought crust.

What type of apples are best for apple pie?

Honeycrisp apples are my favorite type of apple, both for eating and baking. Their flavor perfectly balances sweet and tart, and they have a strong enough texture to remain intact during baking. The only problem with Honeycrisp apples? They’re expensive. So, while they make excellent baking apples, I tend to save them for snacking.

Besides Honeycrisp, the best apples for baking pies include Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Fuji. All of these varieties bring their own sweet flavor, though most also have a small bit of tartness…which will be offset by the sweet crumble topping in our apple pie. Perhaps more importantly for pies, all of these apple varieties will retain their texture and shape even after being peeled, sliced, and baked. I used about 4 Granny Smith apples in the crumble top apple pie you see pictured; as you can see, the apple slices still look like apple slices at the end of the process.

Ingredients

As we discussed above, you’ll need a pie crust for this recipe. My favorite recipes for pie crust are the tremendously easy press-in pie crust (as was used in the pictured pie) and my recipe for sweet shortcrust pastry dough. You could also use a store bought crust – I promise I won’t tell.

For the filling you will need:

  • 3-4 baking apples, peeled and sliced
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

For the crumble topping, you will need:

  • All-purpose or gluten free flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Unsalted butter

How to make crumble top apple pie

First, you’ll need to peel and slice your apples. Because we’re peeling several apples in one setting, I like to set up a large bowl full of (approximately) 4 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. As I finish slicing each apple, I let the slices rest in this water bath. The acid in the lemon juice will prevent the apple slices from browning.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place your unbaked pie crust in a pie pan. Cut off any excess dough and crimp the edges as desired.

Now, it’s time for the filling. Drain your sliced apples and pat them dry using a clean towel. In a large mixing bowl, combine your sliced apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir the apples until the spices and sugar are evenly distributed among all of the slices. 

Using clean hands, arrange the apple slices in concentric, layered circles within your prepared pie crust.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the unsalted butter using a fork or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Spread the sugar topping evenly atop your crumble apple pie. Cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil or a pie shield. Place your pie on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the sugar is beginning to caramelize.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you made it at home, please tag @WhiskAverseBaking in your social media posts, or leave a message in the comments below. You can also click the “Pin Recipe” button on the recipe card to save this recipe for later.

Crumble Top Apple Pie

Lightly spiced and perfectly sweet, this crumble top apple pie is a great recipe to let all of those autumn apples shine.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices

Equipment

  • 9” pie pan

Ingredients
  

Pie crust (see notes below)

    Filling

    • 3-4 Granny Smith apples peeled and sliced
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

    Topping

    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • ¾ cup flour can substitute gluten free flour
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • cup unsalted butter cold and cubed

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    • Place your unbaked pie crust in a pie pan. Cut off any excess dough and crimp the edges.
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine your sliced apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir the apples until the spices and sugar are evenly distributed among all of the apples.
    • Using clean hands, arrange the apple slices in concentric, layered circles within your prepared pie crust.
    • In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the unsalted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
    • Spread the sugar topping evenly atop your apple pie. Cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminium foil or a pie shield.
    • Place your pie on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the sugar is beginning to caramelize.
    • Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

    Notes

    • I like to use this easy press-in pie crust (which can be made gluten-free) or this sweet shortcrust pastry dough. You are welcome to use whatever form of pie crust works best for you; even store-bought will work fine.
    • When preparing the apples, let the slices soak in a mixture of 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. This will prevent the apple slices from turning brown.
    Keyword apple, apple pie, fruit, pie

    3 comments on “Crumble Top Apple Pie

    1. Annette Fulton

      I just picked a bag of Wealthy apples from our tree! This is definitely on my ‘to bake’ list!

    2. Made this pie this morning and eating a piece now. It is delicious!! The only changes I made is instead of using a tsp of lemon juice, I used some KAF boiled cider and used 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp apple pie spice and mace instead of nutmeg. I could eat the whole thing myself. Thanks for the recipe.

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