Brown Butter Dutch Apple Pie

Featuring an all-butter pastry crust, perfectly cooked apple filling, and brown butter crumble topping, Dutch apple pie is the best homemade apple pie! As a timesaver, prepare the crust and crumble topping up to 2 days in advance or assemble the entire pie and freeze it for up to 2 months before baking. These make-ahead options make this apple pie perfect for Thanksgiving or your next fall gathering.

Brown Butter Dutch Apple Pie

Apple pie is my go-to dessert for Thanksgiving and this is my family’s most requested pie recipe. Each sweet and buttery bite is comforting and nostalgic, filled with the cozy flavors of autumn.

The combination of spiced apples and golden crumble topping make this an apple pie lover’s dream. Serve each slice topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle of salted caramel sauce, then enjoy every last bite!

What is Dutch Apple Pie?

Traditional apple pie features a double pie crust. The top crust is placed over the filling and vented to let steam escape or cut into strips and arranged in a lattice pattern (like my lattice-topped caramel apple pie).

Dutch apple pie features a sweet pastry crust with a layer of spiced apple filling. The crumbly streusel topping is made with butter, oats, flour, brown sugar, and spices. In my twist on the classic Dutch apple pie, browning the butter adds extra flavor to the crumb topping.

Learn how to make brown butter in this easy recipe tutorial with step-by-step photos and video!

Brown Butter Dutch Apple Pie

How to Make Dutch Apple Pie

All Butter Pie Crust – My go-to crust is an all-butter pastry that comes together in less than 5 minutes in the food processor. As a timesaver, you can make the crust up to 2 days in advance. I recommend making the crust ahead and chilling it for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Brown Butter – Rich brown butter adds the most incredible flavor to the crumb topping. To brown butter, cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a medium brown, about 5 minutes. Pour the brown butter into a shallow bowl and freeze until solidified, about 45 minutes.

Brown Butter Crumble Topping – The crumble topping is a delicious blend of rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and brown butter.

To make it, mix the crumble dry ingredients in a medium bowl until completely combined. Add solidified brown butter and cut in with a pastry blender until completely incorporated and large crumbs form. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.

Apple Filling – Firm, sweet-tart apples are perfect for this pie (I used a mix of Fuji and Granny Smith apples). Briefly pre-cooking the apples in butter and a splash of maple syrup helps release some of the juices for a better apple filling.

Once the apples are slightly tender and golden, remove from the heat and let cool slightly before tossing with sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot starch (or cornstarch), spices, and salt.

Assemble Pie – Spoon apple pie filling into the chilled bottom crust and sprinkle evenly with crumble topping.

Bake – Bake the pie on a pre-heated rimmed baking sheet until the topping is golden and fruit juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let pie cool for at least 3 hours before serving (the pie filling continues to thicken as it cools).

Serve – Once the pie has completely cooled, slice into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream. Don’t skip a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce or easy butterscotch topping!

Brown Butter Dutch Apple Pie

Make Ahead Tips

The crust and crumble topping can be made 1-2 days in advance. You can also assemble the entire pie in advance. Freeze the assembled pie for 1 hour (uncovered), then wrap with plastic wrap and a layer of foil, and freeze up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Transfer the pie directly from the freezer to the oven, no thawing required. Place frozen pie on a preheated baking sheet and bake as directed.

Brown Butter Dutch Apple Pie

Favorite homemade pie recipes:

Did you try this Dutch Apple Pie Recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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Brown Butter Dutch Apple Pie

Brown Butter Dutch Apple Pie

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes (plus cooling time)
  • Yield: One 9-inch pie, 8 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

Featuring an all-butter pastry crust, tender apple filling, and brown butter crumble topping, Dutch apple pie is the BEST homemade apple pie! Make the crust and topping in advance, or assemble the entire pie and freeze until ready to bake. Recipe yields one 9-inch pie.


Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp ice water

Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Filling

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 9 cups apples, peeled and diced (1/4″ thick)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Prepare pie dough: For the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add cubed butter and process for 10 seconds, just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the food processor running, add 2 tablespoons ice water in a steady stream through feed tube. If needed, add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and process just until dough holds together in large clumps (no more than 30 seconds). Wrap dough in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month).
  2. Prepare crumble topping: Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a medium brown, about 5 minutes. Pour brown butter into a shallow bowl and freeze until solidified, about 45 minutes.
  3. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in solidified brown butter butter with a pastry blender until completely incorporated and large crumbs form. Cover the crumble with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use (topping can be made 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated).
  4. Roll out dough: Place dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out dough (roll dough in one direction, then lift up dough and rotate a quarter turn and roll, then repeat) until dough is a 12 to 13-inch circle. If dough starts to stick, use a bench scraper to lift dough from board. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie pan; trim overhang to one inch and crimp edges. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Place a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  6. Prepare filling: Whisk together sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot starch, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet; add apples and cook over medium-high heat until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add maple syrup and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer apples to a large bowl, leaving any juices behind. Allow the apples to cool for 15 minutes before sprinkling with sugar mixture. Gently toss together until combined.
  7. Spoon filling into chilled bottom crust and sprinkle evenly with crumble topping.
  8. Bake: Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until golden brown and filling is bubbling. If pie is fully frozen, baking time may be up to 90-100 minutes. Check pie partway through – if crust is browning too quickly, shield edges or top with foil for remaining baking time.
  9. Cool pie on a wire rack for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving (filling thickens as it cools).
  10. Store leftover pie covered in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature or warm before serving.

Notes

Brown butter: Check out my full step-by-step recipe tutorial.

Arrowroot starch is a natural thickener and creates a smooth, shiny sauce. Available online or in the natural foods section. You can also substitute 1/4 cup cornstarch.

Apples: I used a mix of Fuji and Granny Smith apples. You can also use Honeycrisp apples, Pink Lady apples, or your favorite baking apples.

Make ahead: The dough and crumble topping can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. You can also assemble the entire pie in advance, and freeze up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake, transfer the pie directly from the freezer to the oven and bake as directed.

Keywords: Dutch Apple Pie, Homemade Apple Pie, Crumble Pie

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4 Comments

  1. The perfect pie to make after apple picking. The apple filling is perfectly spiced, and everyone loved the brown butter topping.

  2. We all loved this pie! The crust was perfectly flaky and the brown butter topping complemented the apples nicely.