Caramel Apple Pie

Caramel Apple Pie

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Chilling: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 slices
Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
751 Calories
39g Fat
98g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 751
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 24g 121%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 293mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 98g 36%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 56g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 7mg 35%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 252mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Apple pie isn't just about that warm slice piled high with freshly whipped cream during the holidays. It's about the intoxicating spices that fill the air as it bakes in the oven. It's about that bite you sneak for breakfast the next morning. It's all the memories shared around it.

This version takes the classic and makes it even more tantalizing with a salty, sweet caramel that oozes out of each bite. We top it all off with a buttery crumble much like the traditional Dutch apple pie. The flaky crust comes together in no time, but if you want to make your life easier, use a store-bought crust. You can also use a store-bought caramel sauce if you’re looking to save time.

Serve this pie warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. You can even make the pie ahead of time and serve it chilled. It’s a great dessert for Thanksgiving or just a nice slow Sunday evening.

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed

  • 1/3 cup ice water

For the Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

For the Filling

  • 3 pounds baking apples, about 6 (any combination of Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Braeburn)

  • 3/4 cup prepared caramel

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or cornstarch)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Crumble

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Crust:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    crust ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add in the cubed butter, then use a pastry blender or your hands to cut the mixture together until the butter is walnut-sized pieces.

    butter and flour mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Slowly add 2 tablespoon water, kneading the dough until it holds together when pinched. Add more water as needed. You've added enough water when the dough feels moistened, but not wet with pressed.

    dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Form the dough into a ball, then flatten into a round disc. Cover and chill if not using right away.

    dough on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle.

    rolled out dough

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Place the pie crust onto a 9-inch pie plate.

    pie crust in a pie plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Use scissors to trim any excess so that only 1/2-inch dough hang over edge of the pie plate. Fold excess dough und itself, so that it's flush with the pie plate. Crimp the edges as desired.

    dough in a pie pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Chill the pie crust for at least 1 hour.

    pie crust in a pie pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Caramel Sauce:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    carmel sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Cook the granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan or pot over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally to dissolve the sugar, until the sugar turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes.

    sugar in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter (careful as the sugar will bubble rapidly) until melted, then add the heavy cream and stir to combine.

    caramel in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. If the caramel appears lumpy, it may have seized up from the addition of cool ingredients. Simply heat over medium, stirring, until all of the ingredients come together in a smooth consistency.

    Stir in the salt and vanilla extract. The caramel will thicken as it cools.

    caramel in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Filling:

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    filling ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Peel, core, and dice the apples. Transfer to a large pot.

    apples and caramel in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add 3/4 cup of the prepared caramel (reserve the remaining for serving), flour, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla to the pot with apples. Fold together until the apples are evenly coated in the mixture.

    caramel and apples in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Cook the apple mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are slightly softened and the juices are thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the butter, then let the mixture cool slightly while you prepare the crumble. (You can spread onto a chilled baking sheet or baking dish to help cool faster.)

    apples and caramel in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Crumb Topping:

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    crumb topping

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter until clumps form.

    flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Once the apple filling is cooled to about room temperature, transfer to the chilled crust. (Pouring in a hot filling will melt the butter in the crust and remove all the flaky layers.) Sprinkle the pie with the crumb topping.

    crumb topping on top of the apple pie

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the apples are softened and the crumb topping is lightly browned. (If the crust is browning too much before the pie is done, cover with foil and continue to bake.)

    Caramel Apple Pie

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, then slice and serve with remaining salted caramel.

    Caramel Apple Pie in a pie pan, pie slice, caramel sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Storage

Refrigerator

  • You can hold the fully made pie in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezer

  • You can wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 4 months.
  • Thaw in the fridge overnight, then let come to room temperature before serving.


Recipe Variations

Based on your time and preference, you can make a number of changes to this recipe to make it your own:

  • If you don't like to make your own crust or you're in a pinch, feel free to use store bought.
  • If homemade caramel isn't your thing, use store bought for this as well.
  • Apple pie is all about warm spices, but you can play around with ones that fit your palette, including pumpkin pie spice, all spice, cloves, or even upping the spices already present.
  • Try adding flavor to your crust like spices or even cheddar for flakier layers.
  • You can swap half of the apples out with another fruit like pears, peaches, or even strawberries.

Double Crust

  • You can omit the crumble and opt for a double crust, if desired. Simply double the crust recipe.
  • Roll out both crusts. Place the bottom crust in the pie pan, add the filling, then lay the top crust over top.
  • Press all around the edges to seal, then use scissors to trim off any excess so that there is only 1/2-inch hanging off edge of pie plate.
  • Tuck overhang under itself, so that crust is flush with pie plate.
  • Crimp edges however desired, then bake for about 55 minutes.

Sliced vs. Diced

  • Dicing the apples not only helps seamlessly cutting the pie, but makes for a smooth bite. If you love the look of sliced apples versus diced feel free to do as you like. No changes to the recipe.