The real difference between Dutch apple pies and French apple pies

Apple pie drums up images of American flags, fall leaves, summer picnics, and holiday gatherings. Anytime is a good time for the all-American apple pie. Ironically, our iconic apple pie that we've all grown to love originated in England, according to Southern Living. But let's not split hairs. American pie may not have started here, but we love it just the same. American pie worked its way into our hearts throughout the 20th century, becoming a national symbol, with the help of news, war, and advertising (via Food52).

Over the years, new strands of apple pie emerged, including Dutch and French apple pie (tarte tatin). If you see them offered on a menu, they are very different. According to Leaf, Dutch apple pie sports a crumble top, while French apple pie is baked upside down and served without a top crust. Let's take a closer look at each pie individually.

What makes Dutch apple pie and French apple pie different

Dutch apple pie is an Americanized version of a Dutch appeltaart, which is deeper, and sans crumble, according to The Kitchn. America's version of Dutch apple pie adds a sweet, crumbly, streusel topping. According to at least one recipe, Granny Smith apples are topped with a mixture of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, kosher salt, and cold unsalted butter (via The Kitchn).

French apple pie, also called tarte tatin, takes sliced apples and cooks them first in an ovenproof skillet with butter and sugar, according to Leaf. When the apples begin to bubble, they get cooked in the oven for 20 minutes or so, and then topped with a pastry round and baked again. After cooling, the pie is flipped over, and boom! You have an open-faced French apple pie. Both apple pies are delicious, and are a welcome addition to any picnic, holiday gathering, or scoop of vanilla ice cream.