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Delicious French Apple Pie

This French apple pie is perfect for those cozy fall days when you want a delicious comforting desert without a lot of fuss. Making this dessert from scratch is simple and a great way to use up those apples that seem to be bountiful in the fall months.

slices of apple pie on a cutting board with ice cream

Making seasonal desserts is one of my favorite things to spend time on in the kitchen. Besides this flavorful apple pie, my rustic pear galette is an autumn must have for our family.

Whether it’s a strawberry crumble in the early summer peach crisp with oatmeal topping in the late summer, I am all about filling our kitchen with seasonal dishes.

This apple crumble pie is perfect because you get all of the flavors of a classic apple pie, but without the fuss of adding a top crust.

If you want an even easier apple dessert, check out my cinnamon apple pie croffles!

With pantry staple ingredients and a little time, this french apple pie recipe will be one that you will be making over and over again. 

Sometimes, the best pies are those that let the delicious apple pie filling be the star… oh, and the homemade vanilla ice cream that you are sure to put on top of the pie.

slices of apple pie on a cutting board

What is French apple pie?

While traditional apple pie has a top and bottom crust, French apple pie has a bottom crust with a sweet brown sugar crumble topping.

This desert still has the buttery and flaky bottom crust, sweet cinnamon apple filling that is the capstone for any apple pie. 

Many people refer to this style of pie as a dutch apple pie, which always has that crumb topping and a flaky pie crust on the bottom.

whole french apple pie

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • With a sweet crumb topping, this dessert comes together a lot easier than a traditional crust topping.
  • The majority of the ingredients for this recipe you will probably already have on hand. The other ingredients are simple and easy to find at your local grocery store or farmers market. 
  • You can serve this dessert on its own and is one of those recipes that looks like it took a lot of time but comes together easily, and will wow your family or guests. 
  • This great recipe can easily be made ahead of time or you can use a premade pie crust for an easy shortcut when you are short on time. 
  • Many of you may already have a pie crust recipe you use or that has been passed down or you can use the recipe included below. Any pie crust will work for this recipe. 
dutch apple pie with a red table cloth

Tell me about French apple pie 

  • Taste– Every bite of this apple streusel pie is pure comfort. The cinnamon and sugar add a warm spicy flavor that is perfect with the crisp brightness from the apples, and the buttery flakiness of the crust. It is a perfect option to have on your holiday tables.
  • Texture– The streusel topping for this pie is a real showstopper. The crunchy, sweet , buttery topping is a beautiful contrast to the soft apple filling that almost melts in your mouth. 
  • Ease– Since this recipe has a streusel topping, there is no need to fuss over the perfect pie crust. You can even make this recipe ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Cutting the apple slices takes the most effort, and that’s not much!
  • Time– If you are making this recipe from scratch you will need to set aside a few hours from start to finish. If you have made the dough ahead of time or are using a premade crust you can make this dessert in an hour and 30 minutes. 
green apples sliced on a cutting board

Ingredients for apple pie

  • Pie Crust – You will need a 9” pie crust for this recipe to fit your 9-inch pie pan. If you are making from scratch you will need 1 ¼ cup flour, ¼ tsp salt, ½ cup butter and ¼ cup ice water. In a food processor, combine flour, salt and butter. Pulse until they are coarse crumbs. While the food processor is running, add the water slowly until a dough ball forms. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out. 
  • Unsalted Butter – Using unsalted butter ensures that your recipe is not overly salty. If you only have salted butter, no one will be the wiser.
  • Flour – This recipe asks for all purpose flour. If you would like to use a different flour, I would recommend following the substitution recommendations on the package. 
  • White Sugar – Using white sugar for this recipe will add the perfect amount of sweetness to your dessert. If you are substituting sugar you may change the flavor of the pie slightly based on the type of sugar you use. 
  • Brown Sugar – This adds a warm molasses or caramel flavor to the filling and can be substituted with coconut sugar if you prefer the flavor better. 
  • Apples– Granny Smith apples are perfect for this dish because of their sweet flavor. You can use any other apples you have on hand as long as they are a sweet variety. Removing the peels will make for a softer, more palatable texture. If you need to slice them ahead of time, place apples in an airtight container and toss them with some lemon juice to preserve their color.
sliced apples and caramel sauce

Make French apple pie in 3 easy steps

  1. Make Filling– Combine the filling ingredients in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil. After cooling, mix in the apples and set aside. 
  2. Make Crumbly Streusel- Add streusel ingredients into a small bowl and use a fork or pastry cutter to create course crumbles.
  3. Bake Pie- Pour filling into the prepared pie crust then top with streusel topping. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 50 min and let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!
unbaked apple pie on a table

Tips for making the best apple pie 

  • Add aluminum foil to the edge of the crust for the first 20 minutes of baking to prevent burning. 
  • Brush a beaten egg over the edge of the pie crust to get that deep, golden brown color.
  • While baking apple pie, you might have some spill over, so place your pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet for easy cleaning. Or, you may use a deep dish pie plate to prevent the apply filling from bubbling over.
  • Use the freshest apples for a sweeter filling. Granny smith, Braeburn, golden delicious or honeycrisp apples are best because they are sweet rather than sour.  
  • Make sure that the butter and water are ice cold. This will give the crust a flaky texture. 

How do you store apple pie?

Apple pie can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Make sure that it is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.

When you are ready to heat, leave the pie at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 and warm the pie in the oven for 15-20 min or until warmed all the way through. 

slices of apple pie on a cutting board

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the apples with any other fruit?

You can make this apple with any type of apples or stone fruit. If the apples you are using are on the sour side, be sure to adjust the amount of sugar you are using to make sure that the filling is sweet enough. 

What if I don’t have unsalted butter?

If you are using salted butter, just make sure you do not use any additional salt or the pie may turn out too salty. You can also add a bit more sugar to the topping or filling if you find that the amount of salt is too much. 

French Apple Pie Recipe

slices of apple pie on a cutting board

French Apple Pie

Liz Quick
This is a recipe that is perfect for those cozy fall days when you want a delicious comforting desert without a lot of fuss. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
0 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 1 9-inch pie
Calories 297 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 pastry cutter
  • 1 9-inch pie plate
  • 1 small saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 9-inch pie crust
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 8 medium Granny Smith apples, sliced

Crumb Topping

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions
 

Filling

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F. Place your pie crust in a pie plate.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until you have a paste. 
  • Add the water and sugars to the pan and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Let the sauce cool to warm.
  • Put your apples in a large bowl and toss them with the warm sauce.
  • Fill the pie shell with the coated apples.

Crumble topping

  • Put your topping ingredients in a small bowl and create course crumbs with a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers.
  • Top the apples with the pie topping.

Bake Pie

  • Cover the outer edge of your crust with aluminum foil by cutting out a circle that only covers the outer crust.
  • Bake the pie for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the aluminum foil, reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the pie is cooked through.
  • Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Notes

  • Brush a beaten egg over the edge of the pie crust to get that deep, golden brown color.
  • While baking apple pie, you might have some spill over, so place your pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet for easy cleaning. Or, you may use a deep dish pie plate to prevent the apply filling from bubbling over.
Keyword dutch apple pie, french apple pie

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