Best Apple Streusel Pie

4.86 from 21 votes

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Sliced apples are blanketed with a custardy filling, with a thick layer of sweet, crumbly streusel topping in our favorite apple pie recipe.

The Best Streusel Apple Pie Ever

I know the title is braggy, and I’m sorry, but this Streusel Apple Pie deserves as much hyperbolic praise as it can get. The apples are blanketed and bound up with a custardy coating, and a thick layer of sweet, crumbly streusel topping makes this like an amazing apple crisp in a pie crust. It’s the best apple pie topping ever (says me). Also, streusel is a highly enjoyable word to say.

This is the ultimate Thanksgiving apple, and I make 2 or 3 every year, along with a perfect Pumpkin Pie. But it’s so delicious you won’t be able to make it just once a year. It’s a treat on a random autumn day, maybe made with apples you picked yourself or got from a farm stand. A big dollop of homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream (homemade or storebought) would be perfect.

Woman holding a Streusel Apple Pie that is missing a slice.

In this Streusel Apple Pie, the apples are blanketed and bound up with a custardy coating, with a thick layer of sweet, crumbly streusel topping.

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Apple Streusel Pie Ingredients

For this apple streusel pie recipe, you’ll need mostly pantry ingredients for the streusel topping, then grab a few things from the store for the filling:

For the Streusel Topping:

  • Granulated and brown sugar – A mix of two types of sugar gives this streusel a tender yet crunchy topping. The molasses in the brown sugar provides softness and a caramel-y flavor.
  • All-purpose flour – Gives structure to this topping.
  • Ground cinnamon and ginger – Adds a little bit of warmth that brings out the sweetness.
  • Salt – Just like in a savory recipe, salt is important here to bring out the flavor of everything else.
  • Unsalted butter – The butter gets blended into the dry ingredients to make a crumbly, short streusel.
Slices of Streusel Apple Pie on small plates.

For the Filling:

  • Apples – I recommend using a mix of Granny Smith and another kind of sweeter, firmer baking apple.
  • Pie shell – Buy an unbaked, 9-inch deep-dish pie shell at the store, either fresh or frozen. You can also use rolled refrigerated pie dough — just unroll it and place it gently in a pie pan.
  • Granulated sugar – Amplifies the natural sweetness in the apples.
  • All-purpose flour – Helps to thicken the custard filling that envelopes the apples.
  • Ground cinnamon and cloves – Add a deep warmth to this filling.
  • Egg – The egg is mixed into a creamy filling, which cooks and thickens into a custard texture in the oven.
  • Heavy whipping cream – Makes the filling super creamy and rich.
  • Vanilla extract – Use pure vanilla if possible.
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream – What is apple pie without ice cream or whipped cream to serve it with?

How to Make Apple Streusel Pie

  1. Make the streusel topping: Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt to your food processor and pulse to mix. Add in the butter and pulse until crumbly, then set aside.
Making streusel topping in food processor.
  1. Prepare the pie: Place the sliced apples in the pie crust. There’s no need to arrange them in any fancy way; just throw them in!
  2. Make the custard: Mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cloves. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add the cream and vanilla. Then, add the sugar mixture to the egg and cream.
  3. Fill the pie: Pour the custard into the pie shell over the apples.
  4. Bake: Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Crumble the streusel topping evenly over the partially baked filling and bake for about 50 minutes longer. The top should be browned, and the apples should be cooked through.
  5. Cool and serve: Cool on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before serving. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and enjoy!
Slices of Streusel Apple Pie on plates next to the rest of the pie.

Streusel Topping for Apple Pie

You can make the streusel topping in a number of ways: you can use your fingers to cut in the cold butter or two knives, but the easiest way I know, especially if you are making a sizable amount, is to use the food processor. See How to Make Great Streusel Topping in the Food Processor — a perfect crumb topping recipe for apple pie or just about any other fruit pie you can think of.

How Long to Bake Apple Pie

Apple pie needs to bake long enough so the apples become fork-tender but do not turn to mush. It also needs to bake long enough for the crust to cook through and not remain doughy, even on the bottom.

This apple pie recipe bakes for a total of about 70 minutes. For the first 20 minutes, the pie bakes with just the apple filling in the crust, then it bakes for another 50 minutes or so after the streusel topping has been added.

Streusel Apple Pie in a glass pie pan.

FAQs

What’s the difference between Dutch apple pie and regular apple pie?

This type of apple pie, with its streusel topping, is also known as Dutch apple pie. The streusel, a combination of sugar, flour, and butter, and in this case, cinnamon and ginger, is what makes it “Dutch” versus regular apple pie, which involves a pastry top.

Dutch apple pies sometimes involve a binder or custard filling along with the apples, as does this pie.

What are the best apples for apple pie?

Unless you have an apple that really loses its texture quickly when it is cooked, most apples are pretty great for apple pies. I like to use a combination. I always have some slightly tart Granny Smiths as part of the mix. Some other apples that make great apple pies are:

– Honeycrisp
– Golden Delicious
– Rome
– Jonathan or Jonagold Apples
– Braeburn
– Northern Spy
– McIntosh

What is streusel topping made of?

I can’t think of a pie, or many desserts for that matter, that streusel topping will not improve. That lovely, crumbly, sweet topping is really just pure joy. Streusel is a combination of butter, flour, and sugar, sometimes with other ingredients added in, such as oats, nuts, and spices, particularly cinnamon. Sometimes, it’s called a crumble topping.

Pro Cooking Tips

  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the streusel topping by using your fingers to rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the topping is fairly uniform and crumbly.
  • It is a good idea to put a baking sheet under the pie pan as it bakes (you can put it right under the pie pan or on a rack below if you have the oven space), as the streusel topping can tend to bubble over the side a bit. Trust me when I tell you that your kitchen will get more than a little bit smoky if that happens.
  • Make sure the pie cools on a wire rack until it is either just barely warm or comes to room temperature. The custard will then have a chance to firm up. If you cut the pie while it is still too warm, the filling will be loose and not hold together into slices.
  • Slice the pie with a sharp knife to get the neatest pieces.

What to Serve With Apple Streusel Pie

Slice of Streusel Apple Pie topped with whipped cream.

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4.86 from 21 votes

Best Apple Streusel Pie

Sliced apples are blanketed with a custardy filling, with a thick layer of sweet, crumbly streusel topping in our favorite apple pie recipe.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 People
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Ingredients 

For the Streusel Topping:

  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)

For the Pie Filling:

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples (or a mixture of Granny Smith and any other firm baking apple; peeled, cored, and sliced about 1⁄2-inch thick)
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional, but well worth it, for serving)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Make the streusel topping: Combine the 1⁄3 cup of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, the ginger, and salt in a food processor and give it a good whirl. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Do not overprocess; you don’t want a paste. Set the streusel topping aside.
  • Make the pie: Put the apples in the pie shell.
  • Combine the 1 cup of granulated sugar, the 3 tablespoons of flour, the 1⁄2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the cloves in a small bowl.
  • Beat the egg in a large bowl, then add the cream and vanilla and blend well. Add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture and stir to blend. Pour the custard mixture over the apples; if the mixture comes more than three-quarters of the way up the side of the crust, stop pouring so it won’t bubble up and overflow.
  • Place the pie on a baking sheet in the oven and bake it for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pie from the oven, making sure the custard mixture doesn’t pour over the side. Evenly and carefully (take your time), distribute the streusel topping over the top of the pie. Carefully (again) return it to the oven and bake until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the pie ensures that the apples are cooked through, about 50 minutes longer.
  • Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes until room temp or barely warm, then serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired (and who wouldn’t desire that?).

Notes

  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the streusel topping by using your fingers to rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the topping is fairly uniform and crumbly.
  • It is a good idea to put a baking sheet under the pie pan as it bakes (you can put it right under the pie pan or on a rack below if you have the oven space), as the streusel topping can tend to bubble over the side a bit. Trust me when I tell you that your kitchen will get more than a little bit smoky if that happens.
  • Make sure the pie cools on a wire rack until it is either just barely warm or comes to room temperature. The custard will then have a chance to firm up. If you cut the pie while it is still too warm the filling will be loose and not hold together into slices.
  • Slice the pie with a sharp knife to get the neatest pieces.

Nutrition

Calories: 610.83kcal, Carbohydrates: 81.62g, Protein: 4.47g, Fat: 31.36g, Saturated Fat: 16.57g, Cholesterol: 91.32mg, Sodium: 269.85mg, Potassium: 219.17mg, Fiber: 4.16g, Sugar: 54.28g, Vitamin A: 890.6IU, Vitamin C: 6.46mg, Calcium: 47.83mg, Iron: 1.46mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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41 Comments

  1. Kathlyn johnson says:

    Don’t want to be cooking on Christmas Day. Can I make a day ahead?

    1. Katie Workman says:

      yes! keep it in the fridge after cooling, and bring to room temper or warm before serving!

  2. Leah says:

    I’ve made this pie soooo many times over the last 5 or so years and it’s always a huge hit!! I’ll never use another apple pie recipe. :)

    1. Katie Workman says:

      Love to hear this, Leah!

  3. Kay Houser says:

    So delicious! I sliced 4 more apples, a handful of blueberries and made 2 pies! Thank you!

  4. Carolyn Blake says:

    I just made this beautiful pie. Someone gifted me with a dozen small apples and I found your recipe and it went together perfectly. I used my deep glass pie plate. My son came over for dinner and ended up eating almost 1/3 himself, and he is not fond of apple pie. The occasional pop of a salt crystal in the topping is delightful contrast. This is a keeper!