In The Kitchen With The Editor: Dutch Apple (Turtle) Pie

Alright, I confess…this month I’m killing two birds with one stone. I told my sister-in-law I’d bring dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. Since I would have done my baking and writing for the December edition right before Thanksgiving anyway, I decided to write about my Dutch Apple Pie, which is one of the desserts I’m taking. I’ve also called this a Turtle Pie, since the way I make the topping makes the finished pie kind of look like a turtle’s shell. This gives an all over caramelized crunch.

Of course, this is also perfect for whatever December holiday you are celebrating. This can be dairy free if you replace the butter with margarine. ENJOY!


  • Your favorite pie crust (I make mine with 1/2 butter and 1/2 solid vegetable shortening. This makes for a flaky and flavorable crust)
  • Crumb Topping
  • Apple Filling

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (scoop and level)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Apple Filling:

  • 1 1/4 lbs. (4-5 small) golden delicious apples, peeled cored and sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 1/4 lbs. (4-5 small) granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. First, par-bake your crust.  This will help keep it from getting soggy: Line your crust with a sheet of foil or parchment paper (cover to edges), add dry beans, rice, or pie weights to fill just level to the top. Bake pie in preheated oven15 minutes.
  2. Hold all four corners of foil and remove beans. Prick bottom of pie crust about 10 times. Return to oven and continue to bake until it’s starting to dry, about 5 minutes longer. Remove crust and let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the topping and filling. Place your oven rack one level down from center. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING: Add brown sugar to a medium mixing bowl and break up with fingertips. Add 3/4 cup flour, nutmeg and salt and whisk.
  4. Stir vanilla into 6 tbsp. melted butter. Pour into flour mixture and mix until you get a “clay” type mixture. Transfer to refrigerator while you prepare filling.
  5. MAKE THE APPLE PIE FILLING: In a large mixing bowl toss sliced apples (HINT: use an already dirtied bowl as a “garbage bowl” on the counter while peeling your apples…it will save you a lot of work) with 2 tbsp. melted butter and lemon juice. Add sugar, 3 tbsp. flour, and cinnamon. Toss mixture to evenly coat.
  6. TO ASSEMBLE PIE: Layer a handful (yes, you’re going to get your hands dirty) or two of apple mixture into the pie dish at a time, spreading and pressing into an even layer and turning slices flat (this will help ensure you’ll fit all of them in).
  7. Remove crumb topping from refrigerator, break into small clumps and dab evenly over the top of the pie (more dirty hands), until the top is covered.
  8. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet (this is very important as the pie will bubble and run over while baking) and bake in preheated oven until apples are almost fully tender when poked with the tip of a knife (they should have a just little give as they will continue carryover cooking as the pie cools), about 45 – 55 minutes. Check pie a few times throughout baking to ensure the topping or crust isn’t overly browning, if needed tent with foil. If it’s not browning enough you can move oven rack up one level.
  9. Remove pie from oven and let cool on a wire rack. This pie is at it’s best served just warm (you can heat it up briefly if need be) with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.