This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.
Caramel Apple Pie is a scrumptious twist on a classic dessert with a buttery, flaky crust, sweet caramel sauce (salted if you want!), and cinnamon spiced apples. Perfect for Fall and using up all the amazing apples from u-pick apple orchards!
This recipe was originally posted in September 2016, but has been updated for content.
Since I haven't been able to eat caramel apples for years thanks to my braces (adult orthodontia is the worst, I tell ya - hopefully I'll have them off by next year!), I figured I can get my caramel apple fix in pie form. And salted caramel apple pie is delicious indeed. (Updated 2021: Braces are off! I can now eat regular caramel apples but still love this pie as much as ever!)
Apple pie is a classic, but there are loads of scrumptious ways you can make it. Some people like it with a cheddar cheese crust (I've never tried it, have you?), some like it deep dish. Paul prefers a Dutch apple pie with streusel topping, or you can mix the apples with a variety of berries for an apple-berry pie. But what goes better with apples than caramel?
Why this Recipe Works
- The caramel part of this pie is both in the filling as you will drizzle some of it over the apples before topping them with the top crust, but you will also drizzle it over the top just before serving. You can go with regular caramel or salted caramel - both are delicious!
- I opted for a lattice crust for this caramel apple pie, using my perfect pie crust recipe, sprinkled with coarse sugar for an extra bit of crunch on top and to set it apart from how I make a traditional apple pie.
- Lattice crusts aren't as hard as they might look. I have an entire post dedicated to showing how to make a lattice pie crust!
- Apples: The key to a truly delicious apple pie filling is using a variety of apples. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Envy, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Pippin, Jonathans, Opals, and Jonagolds are all some of our favorites for apple pie. I like to mix and match 2 to 3 varieties for the best flavor.
- Caramel: You can pick up a jar of caramel sauce from the store or use my homemade salted caramel sauce that only has 4 ingredients and only takes 10 minutes to make! You can always leave out the salt if you just want regular instead of salted caramel.
- Pie crust: If you have ever been intimidated by making a pie crust from scratch, check out my video tutorial on how to do it!
How to Make This Recipe
Start by rolling out your bottom pie crust and lining a 9-inch pie plate with it. Transfer it to the fridge to stay cold while working on the filling.
Peel and core the apples, then slice them into thin slices between ¼- and ½-inch thick. Add them to a large bowl along with the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and lemon zest, then toss everything to evenly coat the apples.
Add the apple pie filling to the prepared bottom pie crust and pour ½ cup of the caramel sauce on top, drizzling it all around the pie. Set aside while you work on the top crust.
If you decide to do a solid, flat top crust, just roll out the second disc of pie dough and transfer it on top of the pie. Be sure to cut slits so the steam can vent as the pie bakes. Or if you decide to make a Dutch caramel apple pie, prepare your crumble topping and sprinkle it over the top of the pie going all the way to the edges.
If you want to try your hand at a lattice pie crust, it's so much easier than you might think! You just roll out your dough into a large circle about 12-inches in diameter, then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut long strips. They can be as thick or thin as you like, but 1-inch strips are pretty standard.
Lay 4-7 strips going across the pie in one direction, using your longer strips for the middle and shorter strips for the edges. Then fold back every other strip of dough and lay a new strip of dough going across the ones that you didn't fold back. Unfold the folded strips, then fold back the alternate strips, add another perpendicular strip of dough, and so on until your lattice is complete!
Again, I have an entire post with detailed step-by-step photos to show you how if you get lost.
Then it's just a matter of trimming edges, tucking edges under to seal the edge of the pie, and brushing it with an egg wash. I like to sprinkle the top of the pie with a little coarse sugar for sparkle and crunch.
Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, then decrease the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for another 40-50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling up around the edges. You might want to place a baking sheet lined with foil under your pie to catch any juices that might bubble over while your pie bakes.
Cool for at least 4 hours before slicing into the pie so it has time to set up all the way. We like to drizzle the whole pie with more salted caramel sauce before serving, or you can wait and serve the pie with a jar of caramel sauce so everyone can put on as much as they like.
Using more than one variety of apple gives a more interesting and complex flavor to your pies. Since apples vary in degrees of sweetness or tartness and in how well they hold their shape or break down during baking, it's a good idea to combine two or more types when making pie. It's even better if it's apple picking season and you get to pick them from the tree yourself - it makes baking with those apples even much more rewarding!
Nothing compares to homemade caramel sauce for this apple pie recipe, but if you are going the store bought route, we really like the Ghiradelli caramel sauce.
You can freeze the unbaked pie for up to 3 months and bake straight from frozen. To do this, freeze the pie for 60 minutes to set the crust, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to protect it. Bake as directed except you will need to add an additional 20-30 minutes to your bake time for the pie to be done. You can also freeze the baked pie by letting it cool completely before freezing. Thaw on the counter and warm in the oven for 15 minutes before serving.
- No such thing as too much caramel. You can either drizzle the caramel over the entire pie or wait and drizzle it over individual slices as the pie is served.
- Protect your pie! Be sure to check on your pie partway through baking to see if you need to add a pie shield around the crust to protect it. We have silicon pie shields that work great, but you can make a simple one just by wrapping aluminum foil around the edges of your pie for the last 20-30 minutes of baking.
- Let the pie cool completely before slicing. It's SO hard to wait, but if you slice right into the pie before it has a chance to cool all the way it will be runny. The caramel apple pie filling needs time to thicken up so you can get nice clean slices.
- Dutch Caramel Apple Pie: My husband prefers pies topped with a crumb streusel topping made from flour, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter rather than a traditional top crust. Everything else about this caramel apple pie recipe is the same from the filling to drizzling caramel over the top though. Be sure to check the recipe notes for my streusel recipe and maybe make two pies so you can try one each way and see which you like best!
More Pie Recipes
- Best Homemade Cherry Pie Recipe
- Old-Fashioned Banana Cream Pie
- Classic Southern Pecan Pie
- Arkansas Possum Pie
Caramel Apple Pie
- 1 double pie crust
- 6-7 large apples peeled and sliced (about 8-10 cups)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (31g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup caramel sauce divided
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Coarse sugar for topping
- Make the pie crust recipe and set it in the fridge to chill. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce and set aside to cool a bit.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll out the bottom crust on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate and set in the fridge to stay cold while working on the filling.
- To make the filling, peel and slice the apples into ¼-inch slices. Toss them in a large bowl with the flour, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until evenly coated.
- Transfer the apple pie filling to the bottom crust, mounding the apples slightly in the center. They will bake down as they cook. Drizzle ½ cup of the caramel sauce over the top of the apples.
- Roll out the top crust too cover the pie. You can use a solid crust with slits cut into it to vent, or cut the top crust into strips and weave into a lattice crust. There is also a streusel recipe in the notes below if you prefer a Dutch caramel apple pie.
- Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water, then brush the egg wash over the top crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake for another 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling inside. If the top crust starts getting too dark around the edges, cover them with aluminum foil or a silicon pie protector if you have one.
- Let the pie cool for at least 4 hours before serving so that the filling has time to set up. To serve, drizzle the whole pie or each slice of pie with additional caramel sauce.
- Streusel topping for a Dutch caramel apple pie: In a large bowl combine ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Add ¼ cup melted salted butter and stir together until evenly moistened and crumbly. Sprinkle over the pie before baking according to the regular recipe.
- Storage: This pie will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, although it is fine to leave it out on the counter at room temperature overnight.
- Freezing: You can freeze the unbaked pie for up to 3 months and bake straight from frozen. To do this, freeze the pie for 60 minutes to set the crust, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to protect it. Bake as directed except you will need to add an additional 20-30 minutes to your bake time for the pie to be done. You can also freeze the baked pie by letting it cool completely before freezing. Thaw on the counter and warm in the oven for 15 minutes before serving.
- Recipe adapted slightly from Sally's Baking Addiction.