How Dutch Apple Pie Is Different From The American Version

When we think of apple pie, we immediately conjure images of fireworks, baseball, the Fourth of July, and America. According to the Huffington Post, this association originated during World War II, when journalists asked soldiers what they fought for a common response was, "For mom and apple pie." It seems strange that this apple-based dish, which pops up all over the world, has such strong associations with the United States, especially since we've only been pairing the two together for a few decades. While the U.S. didn't necessarily pioneer the recipe for this iconic dessert, the American version of the apple pie does have some unique features that set it apart from its European ancestors.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the first ever apple pie recipe came from England in 1381 and spread across Europe, with the first Dutch version of the treat appearing in 1514. Dutch apple pie has maintained its popularity, and has some noticeable differences that set it apart from the current incarnation of apple pie most commonly found in the U.S. According to Bless This Mess, the key difference between the Dutch and American apple pie lies in the top — instead of the intricate lattice work frequently found on American pies, the Dutch version features a crumbly streusel topping made of butter, flour, and sugar. This simple, rustic top lends a whole new identity to the familiar flavors of the pie and (unlike a lattice-top) even novice bakers can easily make streusel.

How do you make a Dutch apple pie?

If you've never made a before streusel, don't fret — the end product almost always turns out delicious and basically anyone can do it. According to Bless This Mess, the best way to go about making the traditional Dutch pie topping involves mixing together flour, sugar, and cornmeal, then drizzling and combining the dry mixture with melted butter. This topping then gets added to the top of a half-baked apple pie before popping the whole thing back into the oven to give the streusel its signature crunch (via Bless This Mess). If you decide to save some time by using a pre-made pie crust, you won't believe how fast and easy it can be to bake a Dutch apple pie.

When you compare this simple-to-make dessert against the American counterpart, the differences seem like night and day. According to Epicurious, the U.S. apple pie lattice topping requires time spent in a refrigerator, plus meticulous rolling and shaping, before you even begin to weave it together. For those of use who are craving a delicious apple pie, but don't have the time to design and perfect an intricate top, Dutch apple pies are the perfect treat to give us something we can be proud of.