Scrumptious Apple Crumble Pie – The BEST apple pie I’ve ever eaten is so easy to make at home! You’ll love the crumble topping. (Gluten Free & Dairy Free Friendly). Scroll down for the FULL RECIPE!
Photos + post updated October 2018. Originally posted June 2008.
For several years at the start of our marriage, I was on a homemade apple pie recipe quest. I’d tried all sorts of apple pies over the years, but just hadn’t landed on that perfect apple pie. I wanted something memorable, special, with a full-to-bursting apple filling, and just the right blend of flavors.
After LOTS of trial and error, we landed on this one. It’s the perfect homemade apple pie recipe. THE apple pie recipe. Michael turned to me mid-bite the first time I made it and said “when our kids talk about Mom’s apple pie, THIS is the pie they’re going to mean.” I think he’s absolutely right.
Two words, friends: crumble topping.
Apple crumble pie is THE BEST kind of apple pie. Here’s why:
Why This Apple Crumble Pie Recipe is the BEST:
The Amazing Crumble Topping – It’s like the best parts of apple crumble and apple pie mixed together. Buttery, brown sugary goodness with flecks of oatmeal. I feel like I don’t need to say more than that. It’s SO GOOD.
A Piled-High Apple Filling – I’ve had a lot of bland apple pies in my life, and lots of them didn’t have quite enough apples in them. This pie…doesn’t have that problem. It’s definitely the largest apple pie I’ve ever made, and that’s because it starts with a mile-high apple pie filling. Thin slices of apples laced with cinnamon and vanilla, piled high on your favorite crust means you’re getting plenty of apples in this apple crumble pie recipe.
It’s Friends With Add-Ons – What do I mean by add-ons? Vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce. Whether you’re spooning over dairy free ice cream or the dairy stuff, this apple crumble pie plays well with vanilla ice cream. And a little caramel sauce on top? Fuhgettabouit.
The Recipe is Gluten Free & Dairy Free Friendly. You can make this straight up with regular white flour and butter. Or, you can make it with gluten free flour and vegan butter. The choice is yours! Just pick your favorite crust. This is my favorite gluten free crust recipe, and this is my favorite white flour pie crust recipe.
Which Apples Are Best for Apple Pie?
Great question! This changes all the time as new varieties of apples are constantly being cultivated, but some of the best apples for apple pie are:
- Granny Smith – A little tart, these hold their shape well.
- Honeycrisp – My all-around favorite apple. It’s good for everything!
- Jazz – A friend of the honeycrisp, these are easier and easier to find.
- Golden Delicious – Mild, sweet and a little softer, these are good with higher spiced pies.
- Pink Lady – One of my favorites for munching, this tart-sweet apple is great for baking.
- Jonagold – Jonagold are a cross between Jonathan + Golden Delicious.
- Braeburn – Lots of folks think these have a slightly citrus-y taste to them. Really good!
- Northern Spy – Harder to find outside of the New England area, but a big win when you can!
Other apple varieties will work too, but not all. Some of the worst apples for apple pie are:
- Red Delicious – These go mealy when cooked and disintegrate
- MacIntosh – These are EXCELLENT for applesauce, but disintegrate for pie.
- Cortland – Same. Great for applesauce or eating, not as good for holding their shape in pie.
For this pie, I most often use Granny Smith apples since they’re easy to find and the tartness is so nice with the super sweet crumble topping. It’s also really nice to combine a few different pie-friendly apples to get a more interesting flavor. Use what you like and what you can find!
Notes on this Apple Crumble Pie Recipe:
Let’s Talk Crust: You can make this the “regular” way (using traditional crust and white flour) or gluten free (see below for substitutions). This is my favorite traditional homemade pie crust recipe and this is my favorite gluten free pie crust recipe (there’s even a video tutorial!). You can also totally use store-bought crust if you prefer. You do you!
Gluten & Dairy Free Notes: As I said, this pie can be made gluten & dairy free. You start with a gluten free crust (store-bought or homemade), and use gluten free 1:1 all-purpose flour for the pie/crumble topping. I like Bob’s Red Mill blend. For dairy free, swap in vegan buttery sticks (like Earth Balance) in place of the butter.
Make it Ahead! You can totally make and assemble this pie ahead of time, which is a great way to free up time on Thanksgiving or for parties. Make and assemble the pie all the way (crust + filling + crumble topping), then place on a baking sheet and freeze till solid (this is called flash freezing). Cover with plastic wrap and foil or a freezer safe bag, and you can store it in the freezer for about a month.
To Bake From Frozen, remove the plastic wrap and foil. Then, place on a baking sheet, and place the frozen pie in a cold oven. (Don’t pre-heat it. Putting a frozen pie in a hot oven can cause a glass or ceramic pie pan to freak out and burst). Set the oven to 350 degrees, then bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbly.