My mom’s amazing apple crumb pie is a must for Thanksgiving. An easy make ahead dessert that everyone loves. Delicious fall apples baked in a flaky crust topped with a walnut filled crumble.
If you’ve been following my blog for long you know I love apples whether baked in a hand pie, cobbler or cake. But when it comes down to a holiday meal, I’m always going to choose my Mom’s apple crumb pie.
It’s not the most beautiful pie in the world, but the flavors are just perfect and remind me of home. Slightly tart apples that are topped with a brown sugar and butter crumble. It can’t be beat.
You might not think of adding walnuts to a fruit pie, but mixing them with the crumble gives the sweet topping a nice crunch along with adding that rich nutty flavor. You’ll get a great combination of flavors and textures in this pie.
Apple pie is one of the easiest pies to make. You have to peel the apples but that’s about the extent of the work. Even if your apples are super juicy, it doesn’t matter, your slices might not be beautiful but no one will care. Top with vanilla ice cream and you have the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving feast.
While not gorgeous like a Black Forest pie, some of the best pies are not beautiful.
Why you’ll love apple crumb pie
- Brown sugar and butter crumble with walnuts sprinkled in makes this pie stick out as one you’ll enjoy making year after year.
- Having a perfect dessert that can be made ahead and heated to serve is ideal.
- This pie holds up as a dessert you can enjoy the next day without it being soggy
What you’ll need
- Apples – You’ll need about 4 very large apples for a total of 8 cups of sliced apples, you want enough to fill a deep dish pie pan. The apples will sink while they cook.
- Sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a little butter.
- For the crumb you need brown sugar, white sugar, flour, butter and walnuts.
- Pie Crust – you can buy a pre-made one or try my all butter pie crust.
How do you make an apple pie with crumb topping
Partially bake a pie crust with pie weights or dried beans for 20 minutes. My mom never partially bakes the pie crust but I generally have left overs and the crust stays flaky longer if it’s been partially baked. This can be done a day or two in advance. Just cover with plastic wrap.
Peel and slice the apples. After I’ve peeled the apples, I use a corer to make this step easier. You want the slices fairly thin so if your corer makes 10 slices, you’ll need to slice them in half.
Toss the apples with sugar and seasonings and add to the partially baked pie crust.
Make the crumb topping by combining the dry ingredients and then work cold butter into it. Add the walnuts and place on top of the apples.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425º then reduce the temperature to 350º and continue to bake for about 40 minutes depending on how firm the apples are. You’ll know they are done when you can easily stick a knife into the apples. If the top starts to brown, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Make sure you place the pie on a baking sheet before you place it in the oven. You never know how juicy your apples are and you don’t want drips in the oven. Nothing like the smoke detector going off with a house full of people!
Pro Tip: This easy apple pie recipe is so simple that my daughter made it one year for Thanksgiving when she was 5. I peeled and sliced the apples and she did the rest. Enjoy baking with kids or grandkids!
Maybe this year you won’t be able to gather together with friends and extended family but you can share your love in other ways. Try making two pies and take one to a friend. You can make them in advance and freeze or refrigerate them.
How to serve your apple dessert
- An apple pie with streusel topping is great all by itself, no extras required!
- A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it even better.
- Whipped cream is always a good option.
Handy equipment for this dish
- A deep dish glass pie pan – apples are juicy and this pie makes enough to fill up a deep dish pie pan. If you only have a regular size pie pan, decrease the amount of apples.
- Pie weights – you could use dried beans instead but if you make many pies, these are handy.
- An apple corer – they’re not very expensive and I use mine all the time.
Apple combinations for baking
Sweet apple brands –
- Golden delicious
- Red Delicious
Tart apple brands –
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady
FAQ’s and tips
You can make the pie crust a day or two in advance. If you are making the pie more than a day ahead, freeze it so that it doesn’t get soggy. The crust will stay flaky for a day or two after baking.
About 4 large apples, or 8 cups of sliced apples. When added to the pie crust they should be higher than the top of the dish.
Granny Smith or Honeycrisp are both tart and will keep their shape. A braeburn is also a good choice. Any type will make a delicious pie, the texture will vary depending on how firm the variety is.
It will take at least an hour and possibly longer depending on the apples. You’ll know it’s done when a knife goes easily into the apples.
If you have any leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. It can be eaten cold or reheated 15 minutes in the oven. You can freeze individual slices or the whole pie.
More pies you’ll love
Awesome apple recipes
- Apple dumplings are juicy apples wrapped in a crescent rolls are perfectly topped with a buttery brown sugar topping.
- This Apple crisp is the perfect fall dessert!
- Easier than apple pie, enjoy a slice of Apple galette topped with apple cider caramel.
- Tart pomegranate juice pairs perfectly with apples in this Apple pomegranate cobbler
- Apple blackberry crumble combine two amazing fruits with just the right amount of sweetness
- Gooey layers of sweet apples are cooked in a muffin pan to make slightly sweet yeasty Apple cinnamon rolls delicious for breakfast.
- Apple pancakes otherwise known as Dutch apple baby bakes perfectly caramelized apples into a pancake with a cast iron pan that serves a happy crowd
Apple Crumb Pie Recipe with Walnuts
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter cubed
- 4-6 apples sliced (about 8 cups)
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup butter cold cut into pieces
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- Partially pre-bake one pie crust. To partially bake the pie crust place it in the pie pan, crimp the edges and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove and prick the sides and bottom with a fork. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Line with 2 pieces of aluminum foil covering the edges and add pie weights. Preheat the oven to 425º and place a baking sheet in the oven. Once preheated, add the crust to the hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until the edges are set but not browned. Remove the pie weights and bake for an additional 3 minutes. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 425º. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack.
- PIE: Peel and slice apples and place in a large bowl. Blend sugar, salt, spices and butter in a small bowl. Toss with apples and arrange in partially baked pie shell.
- Topping: Combine sugars, flour, salt and cubed butter. Mix together using your fingers to break up butter pieces. Spoon topping over apples.
- Bake 425º for 15 minutes. Reset oven to 350º and bake 35-40 minutes until browned and a knife goes into the apples without resistance. Cover with aluminum foil if it starts to get too brown.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Try using a tart apple like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp.
- If eating the pie the same day, you do not need to partially bake the pie crust.
- You can use a pre-made pie crust or use my recipe for an all butter crust.
- If the pie starts to get too brown, cover it loosely with foil.
- Let the pie sit for about 15-30 minutes before cutting.