When your family tastes this pie, they’ll never settle for basic apple pie again. They may even declare this is one of the world’s best apple pies! Our caramel apple pie brings together fresh apples with a fall spice blend and a rich caramel sauce, all tucked inside a buttery crust. The finishing touch is a sweet and crunchy crumb topping.
Ingredients for Caramel Apple Pie
- Apples: This recipe calls for Golden Delicious or Braeburn apples, two types that are mildly sweet and hold their shape well once cooked. Cameo, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith are also favorite varieties for pie.
- Butter: You can’t make this pie without it! Butter creates flaky layers and lots of flavor in the pie crust. It’s also key to creating the caramel filling and the crunchy crumble for the top.
- Brown sugar: When baked with the butter and apples, brown sugar turns to caramel inside the pie.
Step 1: Make the pie dough
Choose a large bowl, and whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Gradually add the water, tossing with a fork until the dough just holds together when pressed.
Shape the dough into a flat disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for at least one hour or up to overnight.
Step 2: Prepare the apple filling
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the apples in a large Dutch oven or stockpot with the cubed butter, brown sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice.
Cook over medium heat, stirring the filling occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the apples are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 3: Blind bake the crust
Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured work surface into an 1/8-inch-thick circle. Fit it into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, and trim the edge to 1/2 inch beyond the plate rim. Flute the edge.
Editor’s Tip: Here are our secrets to taking the stress out of rolling pie dough.
Place a double layer of foil over the unpricked crust, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for eight minutes. Remove the pie weights and the foil. Return the crust to the oven, and bake for five minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Step 4: Assemble the pie with the topping
Reduce the oven temperature to 375°. For the topping, whisk together the flour, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in the walnuts.
Spoon the filling into the crust, and sprinkle with the topping.
Step 5: Bake!
Bake the pie until it’s golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Let the pie cool on a wire rack.
- Pick a different apple: The apple you choose can make the pie more tart or sweet. Northern Spy, Fuji and Honeycrisp are sweet apples to try, and tarter varieties include Cortland, Granny Smith and Pink Lady.
- Go nuts: For a nuttier apple pie, add chopped nuts to the filling as well as the crumb topping. You can use walnuts, as the recipe calls for, or others like pecans, almonds and hazelnuts. (And toast those nuts before they go in!)
- Add dried fruits: Add dried fruits to the caramel apple filling for an even more intriguing taste. We suggest dried cherries, golden raisins or chopped dates.
Can you freeze caramel apple pie?
Yes, you can freeze this pie! You can assemble the pie when you have some free time, then freeze it until you’re ready to bake it off and serve later. We’ve got all the details on how to freeze pies and bake frozen pies.
Caramel Apple Pie Tips
How do I prevent a runny filling?
Cooking the apple filling before adding it to the pie goes a long way to ensuring that the filling won’t be too liquidy. (And blind baking the bottom crust helps prevent a soggy bottom!) Another important tip is to hold off on slicing the pie until it’s cool— as hard as that may be! Giving the pie time to cool completely means that the filling can set so it won’t run all over the plate when sliced.
Why isn’t my crust more flaky?
With an all-butter crust like this one, it’s critical to begin with very cold butter and ice water. Handle the dough as little as possible, then let the dough chill completely before rolling it out. Keep the crust cold right up until baking. The cold butter in the dough is what creates steam to puff up the layers; if the butter is too warm, it will just melt out of the crust, leaving the crust to become tough.
Why did my pie bubble over onto my oven floor?
Your pie can bubble over if the dish is especially full or if butter from the crust drips over the edge of the dish. To save yourself a big mess, get in the habit of putting a baking sheet under your pie while it bakes to catch those drips.