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Easy Dutch Caramel Apple Pie

Easy and scrumptious Dutch apple pie with sea salt caramel sauce. Homemade apple filling with streusel topping baked in a pre-made pie shell and drizzled with caramel, perfect for fall and holiday pie baking!

Finished baked whole pie drizzled with sea salt caramel sauce.

When you can’t decide between a pie and a crisp, this is the answer. Classic apple pie filling in a deep dish crust, topped with a crispy streusel crumble. And then a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. So dang good!

WHAT IS DUTCH APPLE PIE?

Dutch apple pie is like a regular apple pie but with a sweet crumble topping instead of the top pastry crust. This version adds oats and pecans to the classic flour, butter and sugar streusel.

Piece of Dutch caramel apple pie on white plate with fork.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  1. It’s easy because of two shortcuts that do not sacrifice flavor but save time; a pre-made frozen pie shell and a good quality store-bought caramel sauce.
  2. Fresh seasonal tart apples go well with the sweet crumb topping and caramel sauce. 
  3. The streusel crumb topping has both oats and pecans for extra flavor and texture.
  4. Baking the pie with half the topping first and then adding the rest ensures a crispy layer through and through with no soggy center.

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients photo.

Here’s what you’ll need for this pie:

  • One frozen deep dish pie shell  that you do not need to thaw or pre-bake, yay! I like Aldi’s frozen pie shells.
  • Granny Smith apples  because they are a classic tart baking apple that holds their shape and are always available and easily found.
  • Sugar, flour, spices and lemon  to toss with the apples for the filling.
  • Flour, sugar, dark brown sugar, spices and butter  for the streusel crumb topping, along with old-fashioned oats and chopped pecans.
  • Prepared sea salt caramel  a good quality store-bought jar of caramel. I’ve used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel caramel sauce as well as Mrs. Richardson’s sea salt caramel. Both are very good.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Bowl of prepared apple filling.Step 1: Make your apple filling and set aside.

Four photo collage showing how to prepare streusel topping.

Step 2: Make the streusel topping. Cut the butter into the flour, sugar and spices with your fingertips or pastry blender, add the oats and pecans.

Apple pie filling, streusel topping and frozen pie shell ready to assemble.

Step 3: Assemble the pie. Mound in apple mixture, top with half the streusel topping. Bake for 20 minutes.

Two photo collage showing filling pie shell and topping with streusel before baking.

Step 4: Top with remaining streusel mixture and finish baking until brown and crispy, and apples are tender.

Drizzling caramel sauce with a spoon over baked pie.

Step 5: Let cool and drizzle with sea salt caramel sauce, serve warm or room temp with ice cream.

Piece of Dutch apple pie with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream on white plate.

RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS

  • I like tart apples in this pie like Granny Smith. They are a perfect contrast and compliment to the sweet crumble topping and caramel sauce, and are easy to find. But you can definitely use other pie apples or a mixture of sweet and tart. And definitely use those apples you picked at the orchard!
  • Other recipes add caramel to the apple filling but I find that to be too sweet. Sea salt caramel on the top is what I prefer and why I think this recipe works so well.
  • You can drizzle the caramel all over the whole pie or just on individual slices. It’s a little easier to store without the caramel sauce sticking to the plastic wrap. It’s not a big deal either way.
  • Definitely let the pie cool  so it firms up a bit before attempting to slice. That said, it doesn’t slice neatly but is super good anyway, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • You can store the pie on the counter for a day or two but it keeps better refrigerated. Just microwave a piece a tad to take the chill off and you’re good to go.

This Dutch caramel apple pie is just the ticket for fall apple season and baking. It’s also perfect for the holidays, you need a classic apple pie choice alongside that pumpkin one! xxo- Kelly🍴🐦

Close up side view of piece of Dutch apple pie.

Looking for more ways to use those apples this season? Definitely check these out:

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Piece of pie on white plate.

Dutch Caramel Apple Pie

Homemade apple filling with streusel topping baked in a pre-made pie shell and drizzled with sea salt caramel, perfect for fall and holiday pie baking!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients

Apple Filling

  • 7-8 (about 2 pounds) Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored, sliced crosswise about ¼-inch thin shorter slices will fit better in the pie shell.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour

Streusel Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 jar sea salt caramel sauce, good quality or regular caramel sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375º
  • Make filling:
    In large bowl, toss apples with 6 other ingredients (spices, lemon juice, sugar and flour) until well combined. Set aside.
  • Make streusel topping:
    In another bowl, mix together first 6 ingredients (flour, sugars and spices).
    Add chilled butter pieces and cut in with finger tips or a pastry blender until the consistency of coarse crumbs.
    Add oats and pecans, toss to combine. Chill until ready to assemble pie.
  • Assemble pie:
    Add apple filling to frozen pie shell, press down gently to compact and fill any pockets.
    Sprinkle ½ of the streusel topping evenly over the top (about 2 cups) and press down gently again. Refrigerate remaining crumb topping.
  • Bake pie:
    Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and carefully sprinkle on the remaining streusel topping, press down lightly if needed.
    Continue baking another 25 to 40 minutes until golden brown and apples are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour total.
    * Cover crust edges with foil if getting too brown.
  • Cool on wire rack at least 20 to 30 minutes. Drizzle whole pie or individual slices with sea salt caramel sauce. Serve warm or room temperature with more caramel sauce and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Notes

  • The apples fit a little easier in the pie shell if cut into smaller crosswise pieces.
  • Let the chilled butter soften just a little bit, it'll be easier to cut/mix in that way. Still chilled, but not concrete hard!
  • You do not need to thaw or pre-bake the pie shell before filling with the apples.
  • Store the pie in the refrigerator. It'll cut easier and individual pieces warm easily in the microwave. I store it uncovered in the fridge so the plastic wrap doesn't stick to the caramel. It only lasted 2 days in my house!
  • Use sea salt or regular caramel sauce, just purchase a good quality caramel sauce. The amount you use is to taste, but count on at least a half cup or more.
Keyword: Dutch apple pie, with caramel sauce, caramel apple streusel pie, Dutch caramel apple pie
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!

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