Traditional Dutch apple pie

July 19, 2013 Last updated: July 31, 2023
Traditional Dutch apple pie

Every family has it’s own family recipes. I am especially interested in the sweet recipes. I am a fan of this recipe: Grandma’s Apple Pie. The recipe is from my maternal grandmother. Unfortunately, I never met her, but how I would have loved to bake this pie with my grandmother and enjoy it together with a cup of tea.

Dutch apple pie topping

When I was abroad, I never came across an apple pie like the one we make in Holland. When I searched for English recipes for a Dutch apple pie, I found many. But none the way we make it.

For example, these recipes said that Dutch apple pie always has a crumb topping. This is not true, Dutch apple pie should have a lattice topping. I admit that I have occasionally made the pie with a crumb topping, but only when I was running out of time.

Dutch apple pie filling

Apple pie dough

Apple pie baking pan

For a Dutch apple pie you always use a springform pan. For this recipe, I use a 24 cm/9 inch springform pan. I have been using one for years from Le Creuset, which I am a fan of. No matter how many times it is used, it still looks beautiful.

Don’t have a springform pan at home? You can also use a pie pan; depending on the depth, you can go up a size.

How to make Dutch apple pie

It doesn’t take much to make your own delicious apple pie; I’ll go through the list of ingredients with you and give you a brief explanation.

  • Unsalted butter. If you have salted butter on hand, this is also possible, but leave out the pinch of salt in the dough.
  • White ‘basterd’ sugar or white caster sugar. I always use ‘basterdsuiker’, this is a Dutch product. It’s a soft kind of sugar (it’s a combination of fine granulated sugar and sugar syrup) and often makes baked goods softer and smoother. You can also use caster sugar or (fine) granulated sugar.
  • Self-rising flour. Using this flour in an apple pie eliminates the need for a separate leavening agent.
  • Egg. You’ll be using this for the dough and egg wash, so don’t forget to divide the egg in half!
  • Vanilla Sugar. Vanilla sugar makes everything taste better. Alternatively, you can use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead.
  • Salt. For the dough, this will make your apple pie more flavorful.
  • Apples! These are a must in an apple pie. I prefer the Dutch variety ‘goudreinetten’, but Jonagold is a good one too.
  • Fine granulated sugar. This is for the apple mixture.
  • Cinnamon! You can’t have apple pie without cinnamon.
  • Breadcrumbs. You sprinkle this on the bottom to absorb the moisture from the apples.

how to make a Dutch apple pie

baked Dutch apple pie

Best apples for apple pie

The most important ingredient in an apple pie: apples! Always use firm, sweet and sour apples for an apple pie. I prefer the Dutch Goudreinetten, but they are not available all year round. It’s also a Dutch apple variety and not available in every country. Jonagold and Elstar are good alternatives.

How to prevent a soggy pie crust

In my grandmother’s apple pie recipe, I use breadcrumbs on the bottom. Sometimes I replace them with 2-3 tablespoons of baking powder. Both breadcrumbs and baking powder absorb moisture. The moisture from the apples goes into these ingredients instead of (all of) the crust. As a result, your cake will stay firmer and drier.

If you sprinkle breadcrumbs on the bottom of the apple pie (on top of the dough), it will not do much for the flavor. You can sprinkle custard powder through the apple slices or cubes, this will do a lot for the flavor. It will look like you added a little custard through the filling, which is very tasty.

Traditional Dutch apple pie 7a

Homemade dutch apple pie recipe

Now that you know all about the ingredients, you are ready to get started. To get you started in the best possible way, I’m going to share all of my baking tips with you. We’ll start with preparation tips and then move on to tips for storing and reheating the apple pie.

Preparation tips for Dutch apple pie

Why is my dough sticky?

If your dough is very sticky, you can add a little extra self-rising flour. Add small amounts and knead gently until the dough is no longer sticky. Too wet/sticky dough is not good for an apple pie because you are also adding a lot of moisture with the apple filling.

Why is my apple pie dough dry?

Add a little more egg or butter. Also, knead the dough well with your hands instead of using a mixer.

Where in the oven should I place an apple pie?

While most baked goods should be baked in the center of the oven, an apple pie should be placed just below the center of the oven for best results.

When is my apple pie done?

When your apple pie is a nice golden brown color at or around the specified baking time, it’s time to take it out of the oven.

Why is my apple pie sinking in the middle?

As the apples cook in the oven, they become softer and collapse a bit. So it is normal and certainly not a bad thing if your apple pie gets a bit lower in the middle.

Why does my apple pie fall apart?

It helps to use apple slices instead of cubes in your apple pie, but this is really a pie where you need a plate and fork. Also, make sure your pie is completely cooled, which will make it firmer.

Why does an apple pie need to cool?

For the reason I mentioned above: it makes your pie firmer. It also makes an apple pie tastier. I like to bake my apple pie a day ahead. An apple pie is at its best after one day.

When do I remove the apple pie from the pan?

Do not remove the pie until it has cooled. Then the pie is firm enough.

Traditional Dutch apple pie 2a

how to store an apple pie

Okay, that was a lot of prep tips. Once your apple pie is done and waiting in all its perfection to be served, you may have questions about storage, freezing, and more. You guessed it, I have a nice collection of tips for that, too!

Tips for storing your apple pie

How do you store Dutch apple pie?

I put my apple pie -in the springform pan- covered with aluminum foil on the counter. You can keep it there for 2-3 days. In the refrigerator it will keep for 1-2 days longer, but I personally don’t like cold apple pie.

Can you freeze apple pie?

Sure, just wrap it in plastic and put a plastic bag around it and tie it off. You can keep the apple pie in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to defrost an apple pie?

If you freeze an apple pie, you should defrost it. You can take it out of the freezer the day before and defrost it in the refrigerator. Thinking about it too late? Allow 5-6 hours on the counter. Note that the defrosting time also depends on the temperature in your house. It’s better to give it a little more time to defrost than too little.

How do you reheat Dutch Apple Pie?

Turn the oven back on to 170 °C/340 °F (conventional) and let it preheat. Warm the apple pie (in the springform pan) in about 10-12 minutes. A single slice of apple pie will take less time, start with half the time.

Traditional Dutch apple pie 6a


A good apple pie needs little, but I know few people who would turn down a nice dollop of whipped cream. Apple pie and whipped cream go well together. A scoop of ice cream is also very nice, but I would keep the apple pie slice a little smaller.


Dutch apple pie

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4.71 from 78 votes

Traditional Dutch apple pie recipe

I make the most delicious apple pie using my grandmother's recipe. The recipe is too good not to share, so here it is.
Servings: 10 servings
For a 24 cm/9 inch springform pan


  • 200 grams of unsalted butter
  • 200 grams of White bastersuiker or caster sugar
  • 400 grams of self-rising flour
  • 1 egg (Half is for the dough, the other half is for the egg wash)
  • 8 grams of vanilla sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1500 grams of sweet and sour apples (unpeeled)
  • 75 grams of fine granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 15 grams of breadcrumbs


  • Beat the egg loosely into two parts. Use one half for the dough and the other half for the egg wash.
  • Mix the butter, caster sugar, self-rising flour, half the egg, vanilla sugar, and a pinch of salt into a firm dough. Divide the dough into 3 parts.
  • Peel, core and slice the apples. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in a cup.
  • Grease your springform pan and dust it with flour.
  • Use one piece of dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Use the second piece of dough for the sides. You can roll the dough out, or you can press the pieces of dough against each other in the springform pan.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the bottom of the lined baking pan. The breadcrumbs will absorb the moisture from the apples.
  • Place half of the apples in the pan and sprinkle with ⅓ of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. You can also place the remaining apple slices in the pan and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  • Roll out the last of the dough on a flour-dusted work surface to a 5 mm thick sheet and cut strips about 1 cm wide.
  • Place the strips crosswise on the apple pie. Use a few extra strips of dough to finish the edges. Brush the dough with half the egg.
  • Place the cake slightly below the center of the oven. Bake for 60 minutes at 170 °C/340 ℉ (conventional) until done and golden brown.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan before removing the ring of the springform pan.

Served warm with a dollop of whipped cream, this cake is delicious. But it's even better the next day, when the flavors have settled in.
How to store

You can store the apple pie for 2-3 days outside the refrigerator.

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