I was planning to make apple pie, when I realized that all my guests were born in the most southern province of The Netherlands. The province of Limburg (and yes Belgium also has a province of Limburg). I felt I had to make an apple crumble pie, more according to the Southern style. The crust is made of a dough with less butter, but the crumble on top is made of a rich buttery and sugary dough. The apple rich section is briefly simmered before building it into the pie. The baking time is shorter, but at higher temperature.

I may opt to go for the Southern version more often and my guests were complimentary: the best apple crumble pie in Hong Kong, they mentioned.

the art of making apple crumble pie

To make this pie, no one needs special skills. The most important is to keep an eye on the simmering of the apples and stirring them once a while. What makes the filling taste so well, is due to the combination of various taste enhancers. The splash of lemon juice, the rum-soaked raisins, the grated orange peel, the broken cinnamon stick and the meat of a half vanilla pod. To bind the juices, we use a little custard powder.

Special equipment

28 cm diameter pie form

dough pin

Apple Crumble Pie

Prep Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dessert, pastry
Cuisine Dutch
Servings 10


the dough

  • 7 oz (200 g) cake flour
  • 3 oz (85 g) full cream milk
  • 0.8 oz (20 g) butter
  • 0.5 oz (15 g) castor sugar
  • 0.15 oz (4 g) dry yeast
  • 0.07 oz (2 g) salt
  • 1.5 oz (one) egg
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar optional (for covering the finished pie)

the filling

  • 2.8 lb (1.2 kg) Elstar apples or similar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 the zest of a half orange
  • 2 oz (60 g) raisins
  • 2 tbsp coconut rum
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1.9 oz (50 g) castor sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod

the crumble

  • 6.4 oz (180 g) cake flour
  • 4.2 oz (120 g) castor sugar
  • 4.2 oz (120 g) butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt


a day ahead......

  • If you think of it, add the rum to the raisins and cover
  • now and then stir them

the dough

  • whisk the egg
  • mix all ingredients together and knead thoroughly for 10-15 min
  • Let the dough rise in a covered bowl until it doubles (around 1 h)

the apple filling

  • peel the apples, remove the cores and cut in 1/2-to-1-inch sized parts
  • place the apples in a large enough sauce pan and add the lemon juice, water, sugar and cinnamon stick (broken up in a few parts)
  • grate the orange skin and add the grated peel to the pan
  • cut the half vanilla pod in halves over the length and remove the meat and place in the saucepan
  • bring the contents of the saucepan to a simmer, place the lid on and stir regularly, thereby checking that it is a slow simmer and the apple pieces do not become apple sauce
  • after 9 or 10 min take the pan from the fire and let cool down a bit
  • after some 20 min add the raisins and stir
  • after some other 10 minutes stir in the custard powder while stirring, to prevent lumps. The juices will become thicker. Let the mixture cool down further

the crumble

  • meanwhile heat the oven to 390 F (200 C) and start working on the crumble
  • knead the crumble by hand until crumbles form and let it stand

bringing it all together

  • with a dough pin, roll the main pie dough to about 14 inch (35 cm) diameter
  • oil the pie form, including the sides
  • place the dough inside the form and push the dough against the sides and let rest for 10 min
  • add the warm apple filling into the dough covered pie form and use the back side of a spoon to press it and make it level
  • cover the apple filling with the crumbles of dough
  • place in the middle of the pre-warmed oven and check for color after 25 min
  • remove the pie after 30-35 min from the oven and let cool in the form for 25 min
  • thereafter remove the form carefully and place the warm pie on a rack to further cool down. Optionally you can cover it with icing sugar. Thereafter place in the refrigerator or cool cellar with a loose cover
  • you can keep the pie for 4-5 days without a problem this way
  • Serve with some whipped cream.


Method: oven baking
Food allergy & intolerance information: egg, gluten, milk products
Keyword apple crumble pie, apple pie


In the transfer of the warm pie from the form to the rack, use a spatula or pie scoop or the like. This way you can support the middle, where the pie usually will have the greatest tendency to break. it usually goes well though!

The cooling down on the rack is important to let the crust develop and not become soggy.

If you want, the pie -after cooling down- can be frozen

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