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Dutch Apple Pear Pie is a slight variation of the classic Dutch Apple Pie with crumb topping. This pie is made with both sweet apples and delicate pears in the filling for an amazing Autumn dessert.
Apples and pears go together flawlessly in this Apple Pear Pie, the perfect embodiment of Fall itself. Give it a try and it might become one of your favorite Thanksgiving pies this holiday season!
Let’s break down the pie! This pie has 3 main elements that are actually quite simple to make, despite the somewhat long recipe:
- The dutch apple pie topping makes this pie a Dutch Apple Pear Pie.
- The apple and pear pie filling made with both apples and pears and is thickened with Argo Corn Starch.
- And the butter pie crust which encases all that delicious filling and crumbly topping.
When it comes to corn starch, it may not be the glamorous main ingredients but it plays an extremely important role that can make or break your pie. I know all too well the disappointment when you cut open your beautiful pie after hours of waiting and the filling just spills out like a popped water balloon.
A pie disaster like that can easily be mitigated with Argo Corn Starch. It is the ideal thickening agent, not just for sauces and gravies, but also for pudding and pies. Your pie filling will hold its shape for the most perfect slice of pie.
Okay, let’s get on with how to make this pie!
Make the crumb topping
A Dutch Apple Pie crumb topping is just like a coffee cake streusel. It is made with a mixture of:
- Sugar – I use a mixture of brown and granulated sugar. You can use all brown sugar if you want more of that deep molasses flavor.
- Spices – I used homemade apple pie spice in this case.
- A pinch of salt – always a must-have.
- And cold butter.
How to make it:
- Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and give it a whisk to distribute evenly. You may need to break up some lumps of brown sugar.
- Cut the cold butter into the dry mixture with a pastry blender or simply pinch it with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Keep the crumb topping in the freezer until ready to use.
➤ Tip: Freezing the crumb topping prevents it from melting into the pie when baked.
Make the pie crust
As always, I used my favorite all-butter pie crust for this recipe. The pie dough can be made fairly quickly and easily using a food processor or in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment in a pinch. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for an hour before rolling.
Let’s get rolling:
- Roll the pie dough out about 2” larger than your pie pan. I used a regular size metal pie pan for this recipe, not a deep dish one.
- Carefully place the dough over the pan and press it into the bottom.
- Trim off some excess dough but leave enough to fold under and flute the edge.
- Refrigerate or freeze the pie dough.
➤ Caution: If you’re using a glass or ceramic pie dish, extreme temperature change from freezer to oven can cause it to form hairline cracks and eventually ruin it. So only freeze the pie in the pan if you have a metal pan.
➤ Tip: You can use a store-bought pie crust! The one that’s already shaped into a pie pan will save you from having to make and form the pie crust.
Make the apple and pear pie filling
What type of apple should I use?
You can use your favorite eating apple or a mixture of apples for this recipe. Include a Granny Smith or two to add a little tartness for a balance of tart and sweet. I’ve used Gala specifically when testing this recipe.
What type of pear should I use?
My favorite pear for baking is D’Anjou, which is what I used here. They hold their shape well in pie and won’t fall apart when baked. You can also use Bosc pears, or firm Bartlett pears, make sure to pick ripe but firm pears.
Let’s slice and dice:
- Cut your fruits into small pieces. You can dice them into bite-size or slice them into about ¼” thick like I did here. I recommend cutting the pear slices a little bit thicker because they tend to be softer and will cook a bit faster.
- Toss the fruits with lemon juice, sugar, salt, spices, and Argo Corn Starch.
A few tips:
➤ I used granulated sugar in this recipe, but you can substitute brown sugar for a deeper flavor if you wish.
➤ Argo Corn Starch is my thickening agent of choice. It has twice the thickening power of flour, dissolves easily, and is flavorless, so it doesn’t affect the taste of the pie.
Assemble the pie for baking
- Use a fork to poke holes on the frozen or cold pie crust, brush beaten egg white over it. The egg white will form a protective layer to prevent the bottom crust from getting soggy while baking.
- Layer the sliced fruits and pour any remaining juice over it.
- Sprinkle the frozen crumb topping over the fruits.
- Bake until the filling is soft and bubbly.
- Let the pie cool completely, preferably overnight, before slicing into it. This will allow the corn starch to do its magic and let the filling set perfectly.
➤ Tip: Another way to protect the pie crust from getting soggy without using egg white is par-baking the pie crust.
This Dutch Apple Pear Pie can be kept at room temperature overnight and up to 2 days. But it is best to keep the pie refrigerated, it will last up to a week.
You can also freeze the pie in individual slices and save them for days when you just need a little something sweet. Thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving. If you like your pie warm with a scoop of ice cream, simply warm the slice of pie up in the microwave.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Dutch Apple Pear Pie
- 3 medium apples (approximately 1 lb 2 oz, peeled & sliced)
- 3 medium pears (approximately 1 lb 3 oz, peeled & sliced)
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar (94 g)
- ¼ cup corn starch (30 g)
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (3 g)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (1 g)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (93 g)
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar (54 g, packed)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (46 g)
- A pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 3 oz unsalted butter (85 g, cold & cubed)
- 1 egg white
Make the pie crust
- Add flour, sugar and salt in a small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Transfer flour mixture to a food processor fitted with the dough blade. Add cubed cold butter to the flour mixture, pulse several times until butter is about pea and bean size. Variations in size are okay.
- Turn the food processor to “on” position and drizzle cold water over the dough mixture through the water hole, as soon as the dough starts to pull together turn the food processor off. You may need to stop the food processor in between and get a spatula to mix up the flour at the bottom.
- Turn the dough out on the counter or cutting board, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Make the streusel while waiting.
- Take the disk of pie dough out of the fridge and roll into a circle about 2” larger than your pie dish. Use extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter and roller.
- Carefully place the dough over the pie dish, lightly press the dough into the bottom and side of the pie dish, let the excess dough hang over the side. Trim all the excess dough leaving just enough to fold under and create a fluted edge.
- Cover the pie dish with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated or freeze for 15 - 30 minutes.
Make the crumb topping
- While the pie dough is resting in the refrigerator, make the streusel by combining flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, just a pinch of salt, and apple pie spice in a small mixing bowl, mix together thoroughly with a whisk.
- Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the dry mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry mixture or pinch it together with your fingers until the texture is of wet sand. Cover and freeze until ready to use.
Make the pie filling
- Peel, core and cut the apples and pears into about ¼” slices. You can cut the pear slices slightly larger than ¼” if they seem a bit softer than the apples.
- Toss peeled and sliced apples and pears with lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Mix together sugar, corn starch, salt, and apple pie spice in a small bowl, sprinkle over the sliced fruits and mix until evenly distributed
Assemble and bake
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Separate an egg white into a small bowl, beat it lightly with a fork. Take the pie dish out of the freezer, poke steam holes with a fork, use a pastry brush to brush the bottom crust with beaten egg white to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
- Add the pie filling including any juice into the pie crust. For a neater filling, place the sliced fruits in concentric circles in layers by hand, then pour the juice over it.
- Add the frozen streusel on top.
- Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Reduce the oven to 400°F and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes until the filling is cooked through, soft when checked with a toothpick, and bubbly.
- Allow the pie to cool completely so the filling has time to set before slicing and serving.
- You can use your favorite type of apples and pears for this recipe. But for a balance of tart and sweet, use a couple of Granny Smith apples in the mix.
- Make sure to pick ripe but firm pears so they don’t fall apart while baking.
- Brushing egg white on the bottom crust prevents the crust from getting soggy when baked. If you don’t want to do this, you may want to par-bake your pie crust first, allow it to cool a bit before adding the pie filling and bake it again.
- Freezing the crumb topping will prevent it from melting into the pie when baked.
- If you’re using a glass or ceramic pie dish, extreme temperature change can cause it to crack so only freeze the pie in the pan if you have a metal pan.