Whenever I mention my family’s apple pie recipe, many people are quick to assume it’s the iconic Dutch apple pie with that deliciously crumbly and crunchy streusel topping. While I absolutely love that type of apple pie, what I’m actually describing is an upside-down apple pie — or in Dutch, “omgekeerde appeltaart.” It’s ridiculously low maintenance compared to the complicated lattice work of other pie recipes and it’s so mouthwateringly delicious that you’ll find yourself making it for every winter holiday.
This pie holds a very special place in my heart. We eat it every year during holidays, whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving or even one of our birthdays or anniversaries. It’s one of those small things that keeps us tied to our heritage and our extended family in the Netherlands even though we’re now living thousands of miles away in America. My mom passed the recipe and the reins onto me in my teens, allowing me the honor of making this pie every time the occasion calls for it. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I feel it is the perfect time to share this recipe with you all so you can have the absolute best pie at your family feast this year!
- 210 grams flour
- 1 egg
- 140 grams unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 50 grams unsalted butter
- 125 grams sugar
- 4-5 apples (I recommend Granny Smith apples!)
- To make the pie dough: Add the flour, egg, butter, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and knead until it forms a soft dough. This can also be done by hand, which I’m unfortunately forced to do when I don’t have access to the luxuries of my parents’ kitchen. This may take about 5 minutes, but it’s definitely easier if you have a pastry cutter!
- Form the pie dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
- While the pie dough is chilling, it’s time to peel the apples and make the caramel!
- Peel the apples, core them and cut into eighths. The apple wedges should be on the thinner side. Squeeze a little lemon or orange juice over them so they don’t brown while we get the rest of the ingredients ready. I also like to sprinkle in some cinnamon for flavor!
- To make the caramel: Place a steel pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Melt the butter and add in the sugar. Mix until it is well combined and then DO NOT stir it anymore. Let the mixture simmer on medium-low heat until it reaches a light brown color.
- Pour the caramel into an oven-safe glass pie form and place the apple wedges on top of the caramel.
- Take your pie dough out of the fridge and place on a well floured surface. Take a rolling pin (or a tall glass if your apartment isn’t stocked with baking supplies like mine) and roll into a flat circle. The diameter should be slightly larger than the pie form.
- Place the dough on top of the apples and tuck the edges of the dough into the inside edge of the pie form. That way there is a slight crust on the sides so the caramel won’t spill everywhere when we flip the pie later.
- Place into an oven preheated to 200-degrees Celsius (or 395-degrees Fahrenheit) and cook for 35 minutes or until the dough has turned a light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 1 minute.
- Using a cutting board or appropriately sized serving plate, flip the pie upside down and lift off the pie form.
- Ta-da! You have a beautifully delicious Dutch upside-down apple pie!
- Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
I usually make this pie ahead of time in the morning, since the turkey and other side dishes tend to take up the oven space for the majority of the afternoon and evening. However, if you have the oven space, we love to reheat the pie for a few minutes at 350-degrees Fahrenheit just before serving so the caramel gets a little melty and warm. Please don’t forget to make some fresh whipped cream! Personally, I like to add a little bit of powdered sugar, a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon into the heavy cream before I whip it. It makes the perfect pairing with this pie. If you happen to have the room after stuffing yourself with dinner, then definitely add a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream as well!
I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely drooling after typing out this recipe, so I’m headed to the kitchen right now to bake this pie. I hope you all give it a try this year and enjoy one of the many yummy desserts my home country has to offer. Happy Thanksgiving!