How do you like your apple pie? For me warm & a la mode is the way to go. I think ice cream is especially delicious atop a slice of Dutch Apple Pie, which features a crunchy streusel topping instead of pastry crust.

My mom always bakes this pie inside a brown paper grocery bag – an old fashioned technique that helps steam the filling and keep the top from browning too dark. I’m a little gun shy, however; as the bag could catch fire if it comes into contact with the sides of the oven or one of the elements.

In all the times my mom made this pie growing up, it only happened once. My dad happened to be home at the time and responded to the fire call from the kitchen when the paper bag began to smolder because it was too close to the top element. Mom grabbed the fire extinguisher, but dad said, ‘No, that will ruin the pie!”

Instead he pulled the pie out of the oven with leather gloves, ripped the burning bag off the pie and stomped out the fire with his boots. Yes, he managed to save the pie from becoming a burnt sacrifice…a story he’s still proud to tell many years later.

And it should give you an idea of how delicious this Dutch Apple Pie is, that it would cause my dad (who is also a volunteer fireman) to attempt such heroics.

To avoid such excitement, I just cover the pie with an aluminum pie pan to achieve a similar effect.

Dutch Apple Pie

Ingredients

Single Pie crust – purchased or homemade

Filling:

  • 3-4 large baking apples (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional)

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions:

To make filling:

  1. Peel and core apples. Cut into bite size chunks.
  2. Stir in sugar, spices, flour and lemon juice until apples are coated. Let sit.

To make topping:

  1. Cut butter into sugar and flour with a pastry blender.
  2. Mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.

To assemble the pie:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place crust in a 9 inch pie pan.
  3. Pour apple filling into the center.
  4. Sprinkle topping over the topping and press lightly to cover the apples.
  5. Fold edge of crust over and pinch to form fluted edge.
  6. Cover pie with an aluminum pie pan (upside down) and place in the oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover for the last 5 minutes.