Dutch Apple Pie

By  Harold Snyder, Société des Amis Canada-France, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

For 6 servings



pie shell
 5 ou 6

cooking apples, depending on size

Topping Mixture

55 g ¼ cup white sugar
170 g
¾ cup
brown sugar
  30 ml
2 tablespoons flour
2 ml ½ teaspoon cinnamon
37 ml 2 ½ tablespoons butter
30 ml 2 cuillerées à soupe sour cream


  1. Prepare or purchase one pie shell.
  2. Peel and core 5 or 6 cooking apples and cut in sixths or eighths depending on the size of the apples.
  3. Arrange the apples in the pie crust, starting at outside and working in circles to centre. Apple sections should slightly touch each other.
  4. Proceed until crust is loosely covered with apples in a single layer. (Ideally, rounded side of apple sections are up.)
  5. Topping: Combine 5 above ingredients.
  6. Spoon mixture over top of apples.
  7. Dab 2 tablespoons of sour cream over the apples.
  8. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 400o F (2050 C); then bake at 350o F (1750 C) for 30 minutes, or until apples are tender and the mixture is golden brown. 

Variation :

Some people prefer the following method: Mix the first three ingredients of the topping mixture and spread over the apples. Then, dab with butter and sour cream; and, sprinkle with cinnamon. (This is the author’s preferred way.)

Greedy or historical comments

Dutch Apple Pie - Its History

This is a recipe for which the Waterloo County, Ontario Mennonite country is famous.

All Dutch Apple Pies served in restaurants today are ersatz imitations.

A little bit of history is therefore needed with this recipe.

The Pennsylvania Dutch are not really Dutch, but rather German. They originated mainly in Bavaria and a few are from German Switzerland. They migrated to America and settled in Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania, on lands which the original Mennonites purchased from William Penn.

The author recalls three different explanations as to why these immigrants were called Pennsylvania Dutch by the U.S.A. residents (at the time British). 
  1. English speaking residents saw the word Deutsch, for German, and couldn’t read the word or pronounce it, so it was corrupted into the word Dutch.
  2. The original settlers in New York (New Amsterdam) were Dutch. The language of the Germans in Pennsylvania sounded the same to the English speaking settlers in America as the language of the Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam, so they took for granted that both must be the same, i.e., Dutch.
  3. The Mennonites from Bavaria lived in Holland for 2-3 years while awaiting passage to America. As they embarked from the Netherlands, the English speaking people in the U.S.A. therefore took them to be Dutch immigrants.
D’où provient de la sorte cette appellation de Hollandais de la Pennsylvanie.

Hence, the identification of these immigrants as Pennsylvania Dutch.

These immigrants came to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. The first Mennonite from Pennsylvania to come to Waterloo County, in Ontario, in the early 1800s, were called, for the most part, Pennsylvania Dutch, whereas they were and are Pennsylvania Germans. So even the title for the pie is a misnomer. The author points out that he is nevertheless not attempting to “set this world aright” through this recipe.

With regard to the second name frequently given to the pie, Schnitz Pie, the German word, or at least the German dialect word used by the Mennonites for a section, i.e., a section of a pie or piece of pie, is Schnitz and the plural for this word is Schnutz. So why, with a multitude of sections of apple, the pie is called Schnitz Pie instead of Schnutz Pie is also not clear to the author. He suggests, with a bit of irony, that the matter sounds like a great idea for a PhD thesis.