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You’ve got to try this Dutch Apple Pie in a bag! Baked with tart apples and a sweet crumb topping, this is a delightful twist on traditional apple pie.
Featured with this recipe
This Dutch Apple Pie recipe comes from my husband’s family. When they first told me about it, I was intrigued by an apple pie that had a crumble topping (or streusel topping) instead of a traditional lattice top. I was even MORE intrigued by the fact that you bake this pie inside of a brown paper bag. When my mother-in-law made it for us and I took my first bite, I discovered it’s one of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever tried. Now it’s the ONLY apple pie dessert that I make, and is a family staple at Thanksgiving and Fourth of July. Add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to this apple crumble pie and you’ll enjoy every bite!
Ingredients in Dutch Apple Pie
I love how easy Dutch Apple Pie is to make. The crust comes together with just a little mixing. No rolling pin, no store-bought crust, or chilling pie dough for hours. Here’s all you need:
- Flour – just regular, all-purpose flour works great.
- Sugar – sweeten the crust with just about a teaspoon of sugar, or a little more.
- Salt – for flavor.
- Oil – I like to use olive oil, but you could use vegetable oil too.
- Milk – just a little bit to give the dough some moisture.
APPLE PIE FILLING
- 5-6 apples – peeled and sliced. You can use tart green apples, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Pink Lady, or Granny Smith apples.
- Cinnamon – the recipe calls for half a teaspoon cinnamon, but you can add a pinch more if you want.
- One teaspoon nutmeg.
- Almond extract – find this in the baking aisle. It gives the filling a warm, rich flavor that is so delicious!
- All-purpose flour
- Butter – make sure it’s cold!
- Sugar – regular white sugar
Easy As Pie Recipe Tips
- The pie dough comes together by mixing flour, sugar, salt, olive oil, and milk in a large bowl with a fork. Then, you simply press the mix into the pie pan. No rolling!
- Next, you mix the peeled and sliced apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and sugar in a medium bowl. Now for the secret ingredient that takes this pie to the next level, almond extract. Trust me, this is a must!
- Finally, you mix up the flour, sugar, and butter to make the crumb topping. You can use a food processor or just your fingers to get a pea-sized crumble. Sprinkle it over the top and bake in a paper bag!
A Brown Paper Bag?
Don’t skip this step!! A lot of people get freaked out by this recipe because you bake the pie in a brown paper bag. Don’t worry, the bag will not catch on fire; you will not open the oven to find flames. The flash point of paper is extremely high and won’t be reached in your oven. Just be sure to have it centered on the bottom rack and that the bag is at least a good six inches from the burners along the top of the oven. The brown bag is seriously magic. It helps the pie cook evenly and keeps the crumb topping from burning, all while giving the crust a gorgeous golden brown color. I can always find brown bags at Trader Joe’s or Albertsons, but if you absolutely can’t get your hands on a brown paper bag, you can cover the top of your Dutch Apple Pie with tin foil instead.
When it comes to ice cream versus whipped cream, I am not picking a side! Even though this delicious Dutch Apple Pie recipe can totally stand on its own, who can resist a little topping of all kinds? Here are some ideas:
- Serve up a slice a la mode, with our fabulous homemade vanilla ice cream.
- Top with our yummy homemade whipped topping! It’s really easy to make!
- Top with a drizzle of caramel sauce and some chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of your ice cream for a pretty garnish.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dutch Apple Pie
The difference is in the top of the pie. A Dutch apple pie has a crumb topping while a traditional apple pie is topped with a pie crust.
A simple crumb topping made of flour, sugar, and butter.
Some say there was an apple pie in a Dutch cookbook from the 1500’s, other sources say the crumb topping comes from the Pennsylvania colonists and is not Dutch at all, but is an Americanized version of a Dutch “Appeltaart.”
The key is using tart and crisp apples, like Granny Smiths or Pink Ladies. Red Delicious apples won’t taste as good and will get too mushy. Braeburn and Galas work great for this recipe too!
More Delicious Pie Recipes
Who can resist the perfect piece of pie? From cream pies to fruit pies to ice cream pies, we have so many mouthwatering pie recipes to try! One of our other holiday favorites is our Pumpkin Pie Cobbler recipe. Check out some of our other pies here:
- Island Pecan Pie – a tropical treat chock full of coconut, pecans and a flaky crust.
- Pumpkin Pie Recipe – a Thanksgiving classic! This pie comes out perfectly every time, and tastes delicious with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Peach Pie – fresh peaches never tasted so good, tucked inside a light crust and topped with ice cream.
- Lemon Meringue Pie – rich and creamy lemon filling topped with the lightest meringue you’ve ever tasted!
- Pink Lemonade Ice Cream Pie – one of our family’s favorite summertime treats! Tart, tangy, and so refreshing!
- Easy Berry Pie – perfect for the holidays! This pie is bursting with the flavor of big, ripe berries in a gorgeous, easy to make, homemade crust.
How to make Dutch Apple Pie
Dutch Apple Pie
- Conventional Oven
For the Crust:
For the Apple Filling:
For the Crust:
- Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and pat into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Don't roll the dough out.
For the Crumb Topping:
- Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the four and sugar, mix until crumbly. Set aside.
For the Apple Filling:
- Combine all ingredients, except the apples, in a bowl. Mix well, then toss the apples in the mixture. Put the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust.
- Top with crumb topping.
- Place the pie inside a brown paper bag. Once the pie is inside, roll up the top of the bag and close it together with either staples or large paper clips. Place the bag on the lowest shelf in the oven. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. Don't open the bag until the time is up and you have let it cool outside the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Allow pie to cool to room temperature.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Best apples for this pie: Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, Jonagold apples, or Pink Lady apples. You can also do a mix of a couple of varieties of apples.
- Let the brown paper bag do its job. Once you close the pie inside the bag, staple it shut and don’t peek until the timer goes off! Let the pie sit inside the bag for about five minutes, then take it out and cool before slicing.
- To store leftovers, cover slices of pie with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. Any longer than that and the crust can get soggy. Remove the plastic wrap before warming slices of pie in the microwave, or eat it cold for breakfast!
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I’m fired up to go for this! One question…..any way the almond extract can be substituted? My family is really, really not a fan of almond extract.
Yes you can do vanilla extract instead!
Could you freeze the pie ahead then bake?
We have not tried freezing this pie, so unfortunately I can’t say either way!
Love the recipe! Made it for a family get together and they all said it was the best apple pie they had in years! Could I substitute another fruit for the apples such as peach or cherries?
We haven’t tried it with any other fruits, but peach sounds like it would be delicious!!
In the ingredients you just say sugar, but in the picture I see it looks to be brown sugar and if so do I need to pack it? Thx so much! Looks absolutely delicious!
It is white sugar. It just looks brown because it is mixed with the cinnamon. Hope this helps!
Yummy! My family is going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to make this! Looks so delicious and scrumptious!
Love, love, love this dessert! It’s one my family always asks me to make especially during the holidays.
Such a classic pie! It turns out perfectly every time and is great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This is one super delicious pie! My whole family loved it, it was a huge hit!
This is such a delicious recipe! Can’t wait to try it!
If I don’t have a paper bag and bake it anyway— what will happen????
The crust top will cook faster than the rest of the pie and burn before the pie filling is done. You could also cover it with tinfoil for a similar effect.
The crust was so hard we had to chip it out with a bolster! And such a lot of sugar.
I just made this again last night and didn’t have this problem. Did you bake it in the brown bag? The crust should be flaky.
How do you cook this in a Dutch oven?
We haven’t tried it in a dutch oven before, so I’m not sure! Let us know how it goes if you try it!
Delicious! Using the crust recipe for most of my pies. It’s a favorite.
This looks great! I am wondering, would it work to substitute berries for the apples? If so, how many cups of berries would you recommend?
We haven’t tried it with berries. Berries have a lot more liquid in them, so I wouldn’t recommend using them in this recipe.
I made this recipe a few times and I love it. The only thing I would change would be to have the top brown a little. Is there some way to do that?
You could remove it from the bag after cooking and place it back in the oven for a few minutes to brown the top. I haven’t tried it that way before, but that’s what I would do.
Easy to make and so so so good.
This Dutch Apple pie was delicious, but my six Granny Smith apples disappeared into the filling. I followed the recipe closely with the exception of using 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp sugar free almond syrup instead of 2 tsp almond extract (since I was out). It was a large pie pan so the apples weren’t stacked up. Could that have caused the apples to be mush?
We used a pie pan that is 9 inches in diameter and 1-1/4 inches deep. If your pan was larger it definitely could have affected the recipe. The acid in the lemon juice could have also contributed to the apples breaking down. I am sorry it didn’t turn out the way you were expecting, but I am glad to hear you still thought it was delicious!
It really was and I plan to make it for Thanksgiving.
I stumbled upon your recipe recently and it is definitely a winner!! We love it so much, I’ve made it several times. That brown paper bag does amazing things! Thank you for sharing! I did want to ask if you think this recipe can still be used with a normal lattice top as opposed to the crumb topping? I absolutely love the crumb topping but am teaching a youth group how to make pies and thought teaching a lattice top would be fun for them. Thank you!!
We haven’t tried this with a lattice top – we just love the crumb topping too much! But let us know how it goes if you do try it!
Is plain flour or self raising flour used in the crust and topping?
We just use regular unbleached white flour, not self-rising. Thanks for asking!
Fabulous, and I love the crumb topping! I always struggle with a double pie crust.
What a delicious recipe! I can’t wait to make this and smell the aroma of apples throughout my home! Yum!
Easily my favorite dessert of all-time! So delicious, thank you!
Dutch apple pie is my favorite of all the apple pies. That buttery topping was to die for!
This is my favorite way to make apple pie! Great recipe!
It’s not the holidays in my home until there’s the slight smell of singed paper bag! My grandmother passed this recipe down to us. Ours bakes at 425, so you have to be sure your oven temp is right because paper burns at 451*!
We don’t really have brown paper bags in Hungary. Do you think an oven bag would work instead of the brown paper bag?
Yes, an oven bag should work just fine 🙂 Hope this helps!
Is there a way to bake this without the brown paper bag?
You definitely can, but I don’t think it will cook as evenly. I haven’t done it, let me know if it works out. 🙂
I’ve made this pie for about 15 years and it always turns out. I don’t even remember where the recipe came from!
Thanks for sharing this recipe. It definitely is a keeper. The hubby loved it.
The brown bag trick really worked!!!
So glad you guys liked it! 😀
We love this pie. I always place the bag on a cookie sheet before baking because sometimes the juices seep through the bag.
I was surprised to see olive oil in a crust. Have you tried other oils or melted butter before?
Yes, you can definitely use other oils but I would avoid butter for this particular crust.
I used butter for the bottom crust….it I should still I need the oven…will report how it went…I’m a butter lover!
Can I put 2 of the pies in same bag to bake?
I haven’t tried putting two in the same bag, so I can’t speak to how it will affect the cooking!
What kind of paper bag? Just a regular brown one? Also, I had to use regular tub butter..will that make too much of a difference?
Yes, just a regular brown paper bag from the grocery store. The tub butter won’t be quite as good but should work.
My oven is electric, if I put the bag on lowest rack the bag would be about two inches from red hot heating element. Would it work putting it on a cookie sheet?
P.S. my Mom always cooked her turkey in a brown bag. Delicious.
I think the cookie sheet would work fine.
My daughter makes this and puts a little grated parmesan cheese in the topping. Best pie we’ve ever had 🙂
Oh yum! Great idea!!!
Does it matter what pan you use for the pie? I see the glassware was used for the picture?
I have always used a glass pie pan
I have made this pie twice. The first time I put the pie in the bag as directed. It came ou perfect. I served it at a bridal shower and it was a favorite by far! The second time, which was late last night, I had the wrong type of paper bag. I tried it out, and I could smell the bag burning. In fear that my house would burn down, I took the bag out and put the pie in my turkey pan with the lid, thinking it would at least not be in direct heat. Well….I will never again do that. The pie is still tasty, but the topping did not get crispy like it does putting it in a bag. I love this pie, and will search the world to find more of the bags I used the first time. I used a thick paper bag, like what you put freezer stuff in at the store. I couldn’t find any big enough this time and just bought the ones you put grass clippings in. THIS RECIPE IS DEFINITELY A KEEPER THOUGH!!
I made this apple pie for all of my friends this past weekend! It was excellent..very flavorful! I did put the paperbag on a cookie sheet…and it baked perfectly! Thank you for a recipe I will definately make again!
My paper bag isn’t burning but the whole house sure smells like I’ve been sawing wood. But, I can’t wait to see and eat the results :).
No, we have a gas oven too and it hasn't burned down the house yet! Just make sure you put the racks low and the paper bag isn't sticking up too high.
What if I just put parchment paper over it ??
We haven’t tried it that way before so I can’t say for sure if it will taste the same. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!
This looks DELICIOUS! Question, I have a gas oven, will this cause my house to burn down if I use the brown paper bag? 🙂
What size pie plate is used?
A regular 9-inch pie plate is fine!
I'm not sure how the paper bag does it, but it makes a difference in the way it cooks. It creates a perfectly evenly cooked pie.
I've never heard of putting a pie in a bag for baking, but I'd say the proof is in the picture…looks amazing!
I found this recipe a few weeks ago on big oven and was totally paranoid about putting the bag in the oven. I'm not a huge apple pie fan, but this really is amazing! Everyone loved it!
Long time reader! We've loved your chicken satay, bbq ribs, avocado grilled quesadillas and more.
I'm commenting because: WHAT IN THE HECK DOES THE BROWN BAG DO? What culinary purpose does it perform? So crazy.
Not sure on this one, but it does make a huge difference!