Packed with juicy cinnamon spiced apples and a buttery crumb topping, this crumb topped apple pie, or Dutch apple pie, is a pie lover's delight. The best part? You can bake right away OR make it ahead, freeze it, and then bake straight from frozen! This delicious apple pie recipe is perfect treat for spontaneous gatherings, busy weeknights, or to get a head start on holiday baking.
Looking for more easy pie recipes perfect for Thanksgiving - or any day? Try this rich and candy-like Quick Chocolate Chip Walnut Pie, Easy Apple Crumble Recipe (with Big Crumb Topping), or this No Bake, Low Sugar Blueberry Pie.
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This easy crumb topped apple pie is one of the best apple pies I have ever eaten! Not only is it lick-the-plate good, there are even three more great reasons why I think you'll love this recipe:
- Make Ahead - This apple crumb pie can be made ahead, and frozen unbaked for up to three months.
- Bake from Frozen - When you want to bake the pie you don't have to remember to thaw it - you can bake straight from frozen!
- Big Crumb Crumble Topping - No wimpy barely-there crumb topping for this pie! The big crumbs are like a wonderful cookie crust over the apple filling.
- What's the difference between apple crumb pie, French apple pie and Dutch apple pie?
- What are the best apples for apple pie?
- How to make crumb topped apple pie: step by step
- How to freeze a crumb topped dutch apple pie
- How to bake a frozen crumb topped dutch apple pie
- Salted Caramel Apple Variation
- Storage Tips
- More Easy Apple Recipes
- Recipe Raves
- Easy Crumb Topped Apple Pie - Bake Now or Freeze for Later
What's the difference between apple crumb pie, French apple pie and Dutch apple pie?
While you will see crumb topped apple pies called apple crumb pie, French apple pie, or Dutch apple pie, they are all the same type of pie.
They have a regular pie crust on the bottom with an apple filling and a streusel topping made from flour, sugar, butter, and sometimes oats.
The buttery, delicious topping is a nice change from a traditional two crust apple pie - and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Heavenly.
Need a great pie crust recipe?
I finally discovered the BEST pie crust after years of trying - check out the full tutorial to see if you'd like it, too: The Best Homemade Pie Crust!
What are the best apples for apple pie?
Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Jonathan are my top picks and a combo is always the best, especially if you can combine sweet apples like Fuji with a tart Gravenstein or Granny Smith.
But in the end, the pie will be wonderful with whatever apples you have.
How to make crumb topped apple pie: step by step
Here are a few helpful visual instructions - the full instructions with exact ingredients can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Peel and thinly slice apples. It's important to slice the apples thinly so they will cook before the crust browns too much. It's also important they they be of uniform size for even cooking.
Step 2: Make pie filling. Stir the sliced apples with the filling ingredients. Use less brown sugar for sweet apples like Fuji and more for tart Granny Smith apples.
Step 3: Fill the Crust. Press a pie crust into a large pie plate and then add the coated apples, spreading the sliced apples evenly.
Step 4: Make the crumb topping. Mix the topping ingredients easily in a food processor until the butter is incorporated. Alternately, use a mixer or pastry cutter to cut in the butter.
Need to use a premade pie crust?
Refrigerated - You can use a refrigerated crust just like a homemade crust in this recipe.
Frozen - If you'd like to use a frozen crust, slice and make your filling and your topping first before removing the crust from the freezer. When you're ready to fill, remove the crust, fill, top and then follow the directions for freezing the pie.
See that thick and substantial crumb topping?
Only big lovely pieces of topping here - this will not get lost in the fruit. Ever.
How to freeze a crumb topped dutch apple pie
Once you make and assemble the pie (when it's convenient for you - days or weeks before you want to serve it!), wrap it in heavy-duty or double thick foil, pie plate and all, and seal it well.
Label and date the outside.
Pro Tip: Write the instructions on the foil, so you don't even have to bother finding the recipe when it's time to bake!
How to bake a frozen crumb topped dutch apple pie
Here are the steps to bake your pie when you'd like a warm, fresh apple pie:
- Carefully unwrap the frozen pie and place it on a cookie sheet and preheat your oven.
- Take the foil that surrounded the pie in the freezer and cover the pie dish AND cookie sheet loosely with the foil.
- Bake according to the recipe, remove the foil and bake longer until it's golden brown, the juices are bubbling, and your apples are tender.
Yep, that's it - it's as easy as...pie!!
As you can guess, this crumb topped apple pie recipe is perfect for the holidays! I love to have one of these in the freezer ready to be baked when I need it.
Of course, you can make and cook it right away with the directions in the recipe card.
TIP: Double the recipe so you can eat one pie right away, and freeze the other pie for later!
Salted Caramel Apple Variation
Want to take this pie over the top? Drizzle it with this easy-to-make caramel sauce!
You can leave the pie on the counter at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, but only for a day or two, at which time it needs to go into the fridge. It will last in the fridge for up to four days.
You can even freeze portions of your baked pie for later in airtight freezer containers. The pie will last up to 6 months. Defrost pie before heating in an oven at 350 for 15-25 minutes.
More Easy Apple Recipes
- Easy Apple Crumble Recipe (with Big Crumb Topping)
- 25 Of The Best Apple Breakfast Recipes
- Applesauce and Spice Bread Recipe (Whole Wheat, Maple Sweetened, Dairy Free)
Check out the recipe index for even more easy desserts!
It is delicious! I will be using this recipe from now on!! Thank you for this yummy recipe!! -Marianne
This pie recipe is so easy and SO delicious! I highly recommend using brown sugar like you said - Makes for a real Carmely flavor. I came across your recipe on Pinterest & will hold on to this forever! -Heidi
I started using this recipe in place of the one I used for years because it's both easy & delicious! -Lisa
I hope you love this crumb topped apple pie as much as I do! If you make it, be sure to leave a recipe rating so I know how you liked it!
Easy Crumb Topped Apple Pie - Bake Now or Freeze for Later
For each pie:
- 1 unbaked single crust pie dough here's my best pie crust recipe
- 1 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar*
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoons cinnamon we like more
- 6-8 cups thinly sliced & peeled tart apples deep-dish pie plates will need 8 cups
- 2/3 to 1 cup brown sugar*** packed
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter
- Roll out pie dough and fit into a 9-inch pie plate (regular pie plate or deep dish), fluting the edges. If baking right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, toss the sugar, flour & cinnamon with the sliced apples together and transfer to prepared pie crust, spreading with a slight mound in the center and pressing down to fill evenly.
- For the topping, add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter (cut into pieces) to a bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture starts to hold together, forming some large clumps (or use a pastry blender to cut in the butter by hand in a small bowl, but make sure to mix until large clumps form to get the big crumb topping).
- Break off pieces of the topping (it should be solid enough that it can't be "sprinkled" - press the crumbly topping in the bottom of the bowl together to form clumps) and evenly place over the top of the apples, covering them completely. Gently pat mixture down.
- To bake now:
- Place pie on a baking sheet and cover entire pie loosely with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes more until top is golden and apples are tender (I also usually remove the baking sheet so the crust browns well). Cool on a wire rack.
- To freeze and bake later:
- After topping apples with crumbs, wrap entire pie - plate and all - with heavy duty foil (or double thickness of foil). Label and freeze up to three months.
- When ready to bake, remove foil and place frozen pie on a cookie sheet. Use the same foil to cover the pie loosely with foil (just attach it loosely to the edges of the cookie sheet).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for 40-50 minutes more until it's bubbling, the top is browned, and the apples are tender.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in 2015.