The Best Caramel Apple Pie

What is Caramel Apple Pie? | What Makes This the Best Caramel Apple Pie? | 3 Tips for Making a Pretty Crust | How to Make Apple Pie with Precooked Apples

Have you ever had the best caramel apple pie made with homemade salted caramel sauce and the flakiest buttery pie crust? No? Well I’ve got an amazing recipe that isn’t too difficult, and the flavor is amazing. Add this to your Thanksgiving pie making list because it’s that good.

caramel apple pie with lattice top

What is Caramel Apple Pie?

Caramel apple pie consists of apple pie filling, salted caramel sauce, and a flaky, buttery pie crust that is super easy and delicious.

I’m not usually a fan of pie crust, but this recipe is my favorite pie crust by far! I love that it’s an easy pie dough recipe, making it less intimidating for anyone to try.

caramel apple pie with crust egg washed and sprinkled with coarse sugar

What Makes this the Best Caramel Apple Pie?

I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of apple pies, some good and some just kind of meh. So when I started working on this recipe, I wanted to make sure it was so good that you don’t even need ice cream.

Of course, I still eat the ice cream with it because I love it, but you do not need it.

This is the best caramel apple pie for a few reasons:

The Salted Caramel Sauce

The salted caramel sauce is rich and deep in flavor, and it comes together in less than 10 minutes. It’s a thicker caramel sauce, so it doesn’t tend to ooze everywhere. It will still bubble while it cooks, but it’s easier to work with for this pie filling.

The Apple Pie Filling

Second, the apple filling has brown butter, two kinds of sugar, and wonderful cinnamon flavor. The brown butter adds more depth to the flavor, so don’t skip the browning step. It just takes 3-5 minutes.

The Best Pie Crust

Lastly, the crust is tender, flavorful, and easy to eat. I can’t tell you how many pies I’ve eaten that have bland pie crusts or tough pie crusts.

One of the things that makes this dough so wonderful is that it’s difficult to overwork. Unless you knead it endlessly, it should be soft and tender.

One of the keys is using vinegar. Vinegar inhibits gluten development, keeping the crust softer and tender. You won’t taste it in the pie crust either, so don’t be afraid to use it.

It’s also really easy to roll out and work with when making a lattice or a normal pie crust. I didn’t have to be super ginger with it since the crust was easy to move without it tearing or ripping.

cooked caramel apple pie with slices taken out

3 Tips for Making a Pretty Pie Crust

1. Roll the Dough Thin

One of the keys to a good pie crust is rolling it thin enough. When lining the pie dish, make sure the crust is 1/16 – 1/8 inch thick and no thicker.

This is also important for the top crust. If you are making the lattice, it will be easiest to work with dough that is thinner -closer to 1/16 inch thick. I made my lattice closer to 1/8 inch thick for this pie, and I wished I had gone just slightly thinner.

Even at 1/8 inch thick though, the pie dough was still easy to work with.

2. Chill the Dough

Chilling the dough keeps the butter in the crust from softening and melting when you begin to work with it. I recommend cutting pie lattice strips and chilling them for 10 minutes before working with them.

This is optional of course, but it helps to keep the dough nice and cold. When the dough bakes, it will bake beautifully and turn a nice golden brown. If the dough gets too warm while you are working with it,

3. Plan out the Design

If you are making a solid crust on top, ignore this last step. If you want to make a lattice, however, it takes some planning and prepping.

Draw out your design first after getting some ideas. I’m no artist, but this helps me when I’m planning.

Next, decide on the width of the various strips and figure out how many you’ll need. Cut the strips, and then practice by putting the lattice together on a pastry mat. I usually do this and then cover and chill the lattice until I’m ready to work with it.

slice of caramel apple pie

How to Make Apple Pie with Precooked Apples

Using prebaked apples for an apple pie is the best way to ensure that the apples are cooked through and that you don’t have a soggy crust.

When you precook the apples, you will see a ton of juice come out of the apples as the sugar and salt draw the juices out. We don’t want to put those runny juices into an apple pie because they will make the crust soggy and dense.

Cook the apples for around 20 minutes to allow some of the moisture to evaporate. You can then add some cornstarch to thicken the juices. When they go into the pie dish, the apples won’t continue to produce more juices, giving you a perfectly cooked filling that is soft and tender, and a crust that is also soft and tender.

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The Best Caramel Apple Pie

caramel apple pie
  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Chill Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Pie

Ingredients

Scale

For the Pie Crust***

  • 480 g all purpose flour (4 c)
  • 50 g granulated sugar (1/4 c)
  • 85 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 141 g unsalted butter, cubed and frozen
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 810 Tbs ice cold water
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 Tbs water (for egg wash)

For the Caramel Apple Pie Filling

  • 1 recipe salted caramel sauce
  • 71 g unsalted butter (5 Tbs)
  • 4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4″
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4″
  • 150 g granulated sugar (3/4 c)
  • 50 g brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 tsp cornstarch

Instructions

To Make the Flakey Pie Dough

  1. Add flour, salt, sugar, and cold butter to a food processor and pulse until butter pieces are no bitter than green peas.
  2. Next, add the frozen butter pieces and pulse until butter is no bigger than green peas.
  3. Sprinkle in the vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water and pulse a few times. If you are able to squeeze a handful of the crumbly pie dough and it comes together into a dough, then it is ready. If it still seems dry, add another tablespoon of water and pulse. You should not need more than 10 tablespoons unless you added more flour than was called for.
  4. Pour crumbly dough out onto a work surface and gently knead until all of the dough comes together. divide into two pieces and wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. If the dough chills for more than an hour, let the dough sit out for 10-15 minutes so that it’s easier to work with. The dough gets really firm when it chills for a long time.

For the Apple Pie Filling

  1. Make the caramel sauce and cool while apples cook.
  2. In a large 12 inch skillet, add the butter and cook until it begins to brown and smell nutty. Add the apples, sugars, cinnamon, and salt to the brown butter and continue to cook on medium low for 15-20 minutes. The apples should be soft but not mushy and falling apart.
  3. Mix in 1-2 tsp of cornstarch to thicken the juices. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.
  4. Transfer apples to a sheet pan and spread them out to cool. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

To Assemble the Caramel Apple Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Divide dough into two parts(for lattice pie)- one part being 1/3 of the dough, and the other part being 2/3 of the dough. For normal two layer crust, divide the dough in half.
  3. Roll the 1/3 out into a 12 inch circle. Fold it gently in half and place in your deep pie dish. Unfold and line the pie plate, allowing the excess to overhang the edges.
  4. If making a lattice, roll out the 2/3 dough until 1/8-1/16 inch thick. Cut strips and shapes as desired. 
  5. If making a solid top, roll out to 1/16 inch thick.
  6. Remove cooled apples from the fridge and pour into lined pie plate. Top with caramel sauce and spread evenly.
  7. Top with lattice or top crust and trim off the excess dough along the edges. Be sure to press the edges of the crust together so that the top is sealed to the bottom crust.  For solid top crust, make five small slits in the top for air vents.
  8. Mix egg and water for egg wash, and brush on top of the pie crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar(optional).
  9. Place caramel apple pie in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so that it gets really cold before baking. This helps to reduce crust shrinkage.
  10. Bake pie for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 35-45 minutes, or until top is deeply golden brown. If the top is browning too fast, cover edges or entire top lightly with foil.
  11. Let cool for at least 2 hours, and serve as is or with ice cream.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

***If you are not making a pie lattice, then you can cut the pie crust recipe down by a quarter. Instead of dividing into 1/3 and 2/3, divide dough in half for a standard two layer crust.

Keywords: caramel apple pie, salted caramel sauce, buttery flaky pie dough

slice of caramel apple pie on a plate
 

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