This healthier Dutch apple pie combines a sweet cinnamon apple filling with a delicious oat crumble topping. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream for the ultimate fall dessert.
When it comes to Thanksgiving (and the holidays in general) I’m all about the desserts! My vegan pumpkin pie and apple crisp are usually my top choices for Thanksgiving, but I thought it was time to expand upon the dessert category, especially when it comes to pies (I realized I only had two pie recipes on the blog!). Earlier this week I shared a vegan chocolate pie recipe and now I’m sharing this healthy dutch apple pie.
If apple pie and apple crisp were to have a baby the end result would definitely be a dutch apple pie. It has the crispy crust of a traditional apple pie with the delicious oat crumble topping of a crisp. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
In true EBF fashion I took this classic recipe and amped up the nutrition count a bit. I went for coconut sugar instead of white sugar and used less of it in the filling and topping. I also used a touch less butter and swapped half of the flour with rolled oats in the topping for some added nutrients.
Why You’ll Love This Pie
The crumbly oat streusel topping paired with the sweet cinnamon apples = chef’s kiss!
It’s the perfect healthier dessert for the holidays.
Can easily be made vegan + gluten-free.
Comes together quickly especially when using a store-bought crust!
Dutch Apple Pie vs. Traditional Apple Pie
Now, you may be thinking, “what is the difference between dutch apple pie and regular apple pie”? The main difference is that dutch apple pie is made with a streusel topping (typically made of sugar, flour, butter, spices and sometimes nuts or oats), while regular apple pie is made with a lattice crust or regular pie crust on top. Dutch apple pie is basically a hybrid between apple crisp and traditional apple pie. It’s the best of both worlds… you get the pie crust from apple pie and the streusel topping from apple crisp!
pie crust – to keep things simple I used a store-bought pie crust. I went for the Pillsbury ready-to-bake pie crusts for this pie, but feel free to use your favorite store-bought brand or make your own pie crust at home! If you’re looking for a frozen option, I really like the Wholly Wholesome traditional frozen pie crust as they’re made with minimal, organic ingredients and have a gluten-free option as well!
apples – Granny Smith apples are one of the best options for baking as they are crisp, firm and tart and will hold their shape nicely when baked, but see below for additional apple varieties I recommend.
lemon juice – this helps to prevent the apples from turning brown. I recommend using fresh lemon juice!
cornstarch or arrowroot flour – this helps to thicken the apple filling. If you don’t have either cornstarch or arrowroot flour on hand all-purpose flour will work as a substitute.
coconut sugar – this is for the apple filling and oat crumble topping! I love using coconut sugar because of the unique caramel taste it has and because it’s naturally low on the glycemic index. Brown sugar is a great substitute if you don’t have coconut sugar on hand.
ground cinnamon – you can’t have apple pie without cinnamon! It’s the perfect pairing with apples and adds a nice warming spice to the filling and topping.
salt – just a pinch to bring all the filling flavors together!
flour – for the streusel topping! All-purpose, whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour will all work for this recipe.
butter – this helps to bind all the topping ingredients together. We’re softening the butter, but keeping it in solid form to help make the topping more crumb-like. You can also use vegan butter or coconut oil if you need this recipe to be vegan!
How to Make
Prep: First, preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease a 9-inch pie pan with butter or cooking spray. Carefully fit your pie crust into the pie pan, crimp the edges and set aside.
Make filling: In a large bowl toss the apple slices with lemon juice, coconut sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch (or arrowroot flour) and salt until evenly coated.
Make topping: In a separate medium bowl stir together the flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar and cinnamon. Add softened butter and use your hands or a fork to mix together until crumble consistency forms.
Bake: Pour the apples into the pie crust, mounding them towards the center. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples and place pie pan on baking sheet to help catch any spillage while baking. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until crust is browned and apples are bubbling. Check the pie a few times while baking to make sure that the crust and topping aren’t browning too much. If that happens you may want to cover it with tin foil.
Serve: Remove the pie from the oven and let cool to room temperature before cutting so the filling has time to set. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!
What Type of Apples Are Best to Use?
When picking apples for this dutch apple pie I prefer to use Granny Smith apples as they are firm and crisp, so they hold their shape when baking and aren’t too juicy. They’re also on the tarter side, which pairs perfectly with the sweet crumble topping. If you aren’t a fan of Granny Smith apples or don’t have any on hand some other good varieties are Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn and Empire. All of these are nice and crisp and won’t get mushy while baking.
How to Serve Dutch Apple Pie
This pie is delicious on its own served warm, at room temperature or even cold straight from the fridge, but if you feel like making this pie more decadent here are some serving ideas:
Ice Cream – Apple pie + ice cream = the best combo ever! Serve this pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or your favorite ice cream for dessert! For a dairy-free option try this oatmeal raisin ice cream or banana ice cream. If you’re looking for some added protein this protein ice cream would be delicious.
Whipped Cream – Top this pie with some whipped cream for dessert. Regular or coconut whip cream would both be delicious!
Caramel Sauce – Adding a drizzle of caramel sauce to this pie would be absolutely delicious. Try my date caramel sauce for a healthier alternative.
Tips For Success
Peel your apples. I know it’s time-consuming, but make sure to peel your apples when making this pie. Leaving the skin on will result in the apples not melding together as nicely while baking and the skin might turn out tough, making it annoying to eat.
Check your pie so it doesn’t burn. I recommend checking this pie at the 30-minute mark to make sure the crumble topping and crust aren’t browning too much. If you notice the top or sides getting too brown, just place tin foil on top to prevent burning.
Use crisp, tart apples. You want to use apples that are crisp and firm so they hold their shape while baking otherwise your pie could turn out mushy and watery.
Let pie cool before eating. This is definitely the hardest part, but I definitely recommend letting your pie cool before serving. This will help the filling to set and makes it easier to cut and serve.
Bake pie on a sheet pan. As your pie bakes it’ll bubble up and could potentially spill over the sides of your pie pan. To prevent spillage in your oven I suggest placing your pie pan onto a baking sheet before putting it into the oven.
How to Make Ahead of Time
If you’re prepping for the holidays this is a great recipe to make in advance as this dutch apple pie can be made a few days in advance. To make in advance, simply bake the pie as directed, let it cool completely, cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How to Store & Freeze
To store: You can store this dutch apple pie covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days.
To freeze: To freeze this pie after baking, let it cool completely, cover tightly in aluminum foil and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let the pie defrost in the fridge overnight and heat in the oven at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes or until warmed throughout. You can also cut and store individual pieces in the freezer in an airtight container for easier reheating. I don’t recommend reheating this pie in the microwave as that’ll result in a soggy crumb topping.
Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease a 9-inch pie pan.
Fit pie crust in pie plate, crimping the edges. Set aside.
In a large bowl toss apple slices with lemon juice, coconut sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch (or arrowroot flour) and salt until evenly coated.
In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar and cinnamon. Add softened butter and use your hands or a fork to mix together until a crumble consistency forms.
Pour apples into the pie crust, mounding them towards the center.
Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over apples.
Place pie pan on a baking sheet to help prevent any spillage that may happen. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until crust is browned and apples are bubbling. Check the pie a few times while baking to make sure that the crust and topping aren’t browning too much. If that happens cover with tin foil.
Remove from oven and let pie cool to room temperature before cutting so the filling has time to set.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!
Vegan: Use vegan butter or coconut oil if you need this pie to be vegan.
Gluten-free: Use a gluten-free pie crust and gluten-free all-purpose flour if you need this recipe to be gluten-free.