Dutch apple pie, a thick apple pie, delicately spiced to perfection, and topped with a crumble that will make your mouth water.
When I was thinking about what recipes I wanted to share this year around Thanksgiving to help with Thanksgiving celebrations, apple pie was at the top of my list. I shared this caramel apple slab pie recipe a few years back, it comes from my mother, and her mother before. And it is my favorite apple pie.
However, my husband has different preferences when it comes to apple pie. While I like the thin layer of apples, and lots of buttery, delicious crust, he likes a thick layer of apples and a crumble on top. We have agreed to disagree, and now we just make both for the holidays.
To be honest, I love it because I love both pies so much and for different reasons. This Dutch Apple Pie is my mother-in-laws recipe, she got it from her mom. I love recipes that have a family history. You know it is good if it has been made and served for generations.
She has been making this pie for years, and serves it at every Thanksgiving Dessert table, as well as several other times during the year, especially when she can get freshly picked apples.
The recipe, as handed down, simply called for “apples” and did not specify a type. She loves to bake, and did some research on the best apples to bake and cook with, and why. I thought it would be fun to share some of that information here so you can know how to choose apples for your next baking project.
For this pie you want to use a Golden Delicious or Braeburn or Granny Smith. So here is what you should know about apples for baking. First, it is always best to bake apple pie in season. And buy your apples direct from the orchard if you can. If you can’t, try and find refrigerated apples, and use them right away. This will give you the best results.
Now let’s look at the apple types and what they are best for:
- Red Delicious: These are sweet apples, with a mealy flesh that is not good when cooked. These are best for eating, and only fresh.
- Macintosh: These apples are sweet and mildly tart and have a white flesh. They are tender and slightly grainy, and should be used for apple sauce or eating. Not pies.
- Rome: Mild, not sweet if eaten as is, but can develop flavor when cooked. Best for sauces. Not pies.
- Braeburn: Sweet and mildly tart, with a citrusy aroma, they are crisp and not too grainy, and has a strong structure, so good for baking. It softens when baked while keeping texture, so it is great for pies and tarts.
- Fuji: Sweet and fresh. Crisp flesh, keeps well, but turn dark brown and mushy if baked, so best for eating!
- Golden Delicious: Sweet and tart and buttery. Ut us a fresh crisp apple that softens when baked but retains texture. Great for pie.
- Cortland: Sweet and tart, tender and slightly grainy. This works for pies texturally, but lacks flavor. Great for apple sauce or eating.
- Empire: Very sweet, very tart, and juicy. Great when baked in that they keep a good texture, but can be very sweet. Best for eating.
- Gala: Mild and sweet with some tartness, thin skinned and slightly grainy. Great for eating, but when cooked they tend to be too grainy.
- Granny Smith: bright and tart, and crunchy. They hold up well when baked, and have great brightness, but are not as strong of a flavor. Great for pies, but also great for eating.
Whatever you get, get it seasonally, and enjoy!
Who knew there were so many different types and uses for apples? Anyway, for this pie, she used….(Apple TYPE). And she makes sure to cut them, not too thin, so they can hold some texture, and plenty of flavor. In addition, she layers it really tall so that you get a nice, thick pie with plenty of apple flavor.
One of the things you can do with this recipe is use a pre-made, store bought, pie crust to simplify things. Or you can make your own. My favorite pie crust recipe is this one, but do what works best for you.
Additionally, the seasonings on this pie are very simple, just sugar and cinnamon, and some butter in the crumble. The real flavor comes from the apples, which means the better quality apples you use, the better the pie will taste. I sometimes like to add in a pinch of nutmeg or allspice to deepen the flavors some, but it is unnecessary.
This pie is best if made within a couple days of when you want to eat it. If left unbaked the apples will brown, so if making ahead, bake completely, and refrigerate until serving. This pie is great a-la-mode.
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