Sour Cream Apple Pie

This sour cream apple pie is filled with layers of thinly sliced apples and a sour cream filling and then the whole shebang is smothered with a buttery streusel topping. What’s not to love?!

A sour cream apple pie with one slice cut out in a ceramic teal deep pie dish. The slice is on a green plate in the background.

This sour cream apple pie makes up half of what The One (that’s short for “The One Who Brings Me Love, Joy, and Happiness”) and I have dubbed “Love Food.” When he and I began a’courtin’, way back in ancient history, it was October, so the meals we made each other–and there weren’t many in our repertoires–were autumnal. And they were the same every weekend. He made cider-braised pork loin with sautéed apples. It was his only cooking ace up his sleeve. (Remember: This is the guy who, long before we met, made Thanksgiving turkey and forgot the carcass in his oven only to discover his gaffe when he turned on the stove Christmas morning.)

I was marvelously thin at the time and barely ate, let alone cooked, so the only rabbit I could pull out of a hat was, ironically, this sinfully indulgent sour cream apple pie.

Several times a month, all that fall and winter, that’s what we made each other. Pork and apple pie.

☞ READ THE ARTICLE: LOVE FOOD

Twenty-seven years later, our cooking repertoires have mercifully expanded, along with our waistlines. (Thank ye gods for sweatpants!)

Recently, in a moment of nostalgia, I rooted around for the original recipe for this pie–I think it was from Gourmet magazine–but I couldn’t find it on the shelves of cookbooks and magazines in the kitchen, the office, or the basement. So I recreated it. The verdict?

The One held out his plate for seconds. Still crazy (in love) after all these years.–David Leite

In Case You’re Wondering What A Dutch Apple Pie Is…
A streusel-topped apple pie tends to be dubbed Dutch Apple Pie here in the states for reasons that vary according to whomever tells the story. We’ll spare you the details so you don’t delay getting this lovely rendition in the oven. That said, if you think you’ve got a lead on how this naming convention actually came to be, go on, let us know in a comment below.

Sour Cream Apple Pie

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 15 M
  • Serves 10 to 12
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the  cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Ingredients

  • For the pie crust
  • For the streusel topping
  • For the sour cream apple pie filling

Directions

Mix together the pie crust

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, ginger, and salt.

Dump the butter in the bowl and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Sure, you could instead blitz the ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. But why bother having to clean the blade for so little dough?)

Add 3 tablespoons ice water, toss the mixture with a fork until the water is incorporated, and continue mixing until the dough clumps. If the dough seems dry, continue adding water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it comes together. Flatten the dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lowest part of the oven, slide a baking stone or a heavy baking sheet on top, and crank the temperature to 425°F (218°C). Let the oven heat for at least 30 minutes. You want that stone to be hot.

Make the streusel topping

In a small bowl stir together the flour, nuts, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Cover and stash it in the fridge until you’re done rolling out the crust.

Roll out the crust

When the dough is fully chilled, roll it out to 1/8 inch (3 mm) thickness on a lightly floured surface. Draping the dough on the rolling pin, gently ease it into a deep-dish 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate, and then go wild crimping the edge. Back into the fridge it goes for at least 30 minutes.

Tester tip: Using a heatproof glass pie plate lets you check the bottom of the pie crust for doneness without having to cut into the pie.
Make the sour cream-apple pie filling

While the crust is chilling, in a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, zest, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg until smooth.

Assemble and bake the apple pie

Carefully layer the apples in the pie plate, as you would a gratin, gently flattening them as you go. Slowly pour the sour-cream mixture over the apples. (Yes, it’s a lot of filling. Use it all.)

Bake the pie directly on the baking stone or baking sheet, without the streusel topping, for 20 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and carefully crumble the streusel on top. Slide the pie back onto the baking stone, lower the temperature to 375°F (190°C), and bake until the streusel is deeply golden brown and the middle looks dry, 40 to 60 minutes more. If the topping begins browning too much, loosely cover the pie with foil.

Tester tip: If the bottom of the pie looks a little underdone at the end of baking, set the plate directly on the hot oven floor for a few minutes to finish. (Yes, I do mean the floor of the oven.)

Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool completely. (Completely! This baby will fall apart when warm.) Slice and serve only once it’s reached room temperature. Ideally, let it rest overnight.

Print RecipeBuy the  cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This sour cream apple pie is a truly delectable pie. I attest to this as I shove another forkful in my face and crumbs fall upon my keyboard!

It’s heavenly. The cinnamon, lemon zest, and freshly grated nutmeg in the filling brightened and heightened the flavor and the ginger in the pie crust really came through (I just bought a new container; don't settle for old, gross ginger dust).

I weighed the apples before coring, peeling, and slicing and it was the perfect ratio of apple to filling. I loved how the juices of the apples combined with the sour cream custard as it baked. The interior really reminds me of an open-face German apple kuchen tart that my grandmother used to bake when I was little. This pie made me so nostalgic for her and the smells in her kitchen. I also think layering the apples in neatly, like you would a gratin, made a big difference in the evenness of the baking and the tenderness of the apples. They were all perfectly tender but not at all mushy.

Another revelation was David's trick of using a glass pie plate for optimal viewing of the bottom and sides to check for doneness! Why did I never think of this?! All these years I've been baking pies in my pretty but kind of useless Emile Henry ceramic pie plates! Never again will I have to put up with a soggy-bottom pastry. Glass only from here on out. AND the other trick that David was kind enough to share, is that if you DO find yourself viewing an underdone pastry bottom, just sit that pie right on the oven floor to blast it with heat directly from the source! Brilliant trick and worked like a charm!

This recipe is a real keeper. My husband wolfed his piece down.

This is one of the easiest doughs I've ever worked with! It rolled out beautifully! I did need an extra tablespoon ice water to get the dough to come together. I was lazy and pulsed the ingredients in a food processor and I refrigerated the dough overnight.

My pie was completely and gorgeously done at the final 60 minute mark (that 60 minutes doesn't include the initial 20 minutes without the topping), but just to be absolutely SURE, I followed David's trick and let it sit directly on the floor of the oven for the last 7 or 8 minutes.

I let the pie cool COMPLETELY before cutting it and was rewarded with clean, beautiful slices that came right out of the pan without even a bit of a fight. In fact, this was the easiest pie to cut EVER!

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Great recipe! Easy-to-find ingredients, easy-to-follow instructions, smells amazing baking, and tastes delicious!

The flavors of the tart Granny Smith apples with the sweet topping is perfect. The crust is light and not too sweet. I didn’t taste the ginger in the crust so may add a bit more. The filling is yummy and holds together nicely. The pieces all come out nice and neat.

I always make the same pies for Thanksgiving, sticking to tradition and the pies I know everyone loves. This pie is so good I’m going to switch things up a bit and replace my traditional apple pie with this.

I cut my apples as thinly as possible. My mom taught me the secret to good apple pie is slicing the apples thin!

I am already getting requests for some more pie!!

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Love this common sense attitude toward pie making. Am going to try this recipe as soon as…PIE! I long ago discovered the ‘bottom of the oven’ trick which is THE BOMB, while baking pies in my family’s cafe/bakery. I would take the pies out of the oven – which was the bottom compartment of a massive commercial range/griddle beast of burden – and set them on top of the hot steel slab normally used for burgers and bacon. It only took a few minutes to notice the difference in the color of the bottoms of the crusts…from mostly done to marvelously toasted! Now when I bake sans beast of burden, it’s the bottom of the oven every time! And, if the pie juices have made the pie pan sticky, I place a piece of foil or thin baking sheet down first…who has time to scrub an oven when there is PIE to be eaten?!?

  2. This apple pie was amazing! My husband said it was the best apple pie he’s ever had. My son took one forkful and then just picked it up with his hands and gobbled the whole thing down! Yum!

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish