Salted Caramel Apple Pie

by Jillian
Tart, juicy apples baked in rich homemade salted caramel sauce, surrounded by a buttery flakey pie crust, and drizzled with even more heavenly caramel! 

Tart, juicy apples baked in rich homemade salted caramel sauce, surrounded by a buttery flakey pie crust, and drizzled with even more heavenly caramel! 

Well guys, I finally did it. I finally made an APPLE pie.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, my mom is kind of known for her apple pies. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that she’s literally baked thousands of apple pies in my lifetime alone. She’s always been the queen of flakey pie crusts, and she could easily make the perfect pie in her sleep. So yeah, there’s a little bit of pressure when it comes to making pies in this family.

While apple pies have always been my mom’s thing, I decided it was finally time to rip off the bandaid and tackle one of the most American desserts around. This is how it turned out…

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I did a pretty awesome job for my first attempt at an apple pie. Not to mention, a SALTED CARAMEL apple pie…

If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you know this gal doesn’t know how to do basic. That’s why adding salted caramel was the very least I could do to add some “oomph” to this very traditional pie. I mean, just look at how seductive this slice looks as the salted caramel cascades down the juicy apples…

Being that I’m a bit of an amateur when it comes to making double-crusted pies, I can honestly say that it’s more than possible to achieve these same delicious results at home. So I’ve included some helpful tips and tricks for making the perfect apple pie from scratch.

1) Use a variety of apples. For this pie I used a mix of Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Granny Smith. Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and Pink Lady would also be great options! Combining a mixture of tart and sweet apples creates the perfect balance of flavor and sweetness. 

2) Thinly slice your apples. That means no cubing allowed! I don’t care how small you cube apples, they never cook all the way through and you’re left with hard apple chunks–no bueno! Slicing the apples thinly assures that they cook all the way through while baking in the oven. I usually shoot for about 1/8″ thickness. Not only do you achieve that nice tender bite in the apples, but thinly-slicing them makes them easier to layer evenly in the pie crust. They also compact quite nicely as they bake in the oven.

3) Layer the apples and the salted caramel sauce. Instead of simply tossing the apples with the caramel sauce, I decided to go with the layering method. This gives you that nice even distribution of caramel throughout the pie. First, a third of the apples goes into the bottom of the crust. Then 1/4 cup of caramel is drizzled evenly over the apples. Repeat these steps two more times, making sure that there aren’t too many spaces or gaps between the apples.

4) Don’t forget the egg wash. An egg wash is a simple mixture of egg and milk. While it might seem like a waste of time, brushing your pie crust with an egg wash before it goes into the oven creates that shiny golden-brown exterior. And if you have coarse sugar to sprinkle on top, that’s even better! It’ll create the appearance of one of those gourmet pies you buy from the bakery. 

5) Oven temperature matters. There’s nothing worse than baking a pie, taking it out, and discovering that the bottom crust is still completely raw. To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to bake the pie at a high temperature (425ºF) for the first 15 minutes of baking, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF for the remainder of the baking time. The initial high temperature also helps to set the crust. 

6) Allow the pie to cool. Although it’s hard enough to wait for the pie to bake in the oven, you’ll want the pie to sit for several hours after it bakes. The longer you let apple pie cool, the more the filling will set. I recommend cooling the pie for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving. Overnight is best if you can wait that long!

7) À la Mode is a MUST. Ok, so maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream isn’t totally mandatory, but it can’t hurt, can it? 😉

Tart, juicy apples baked in rich homemade salted caramel sauce, surrounded by a buttery flakey pie crust, and drizzled with even more heavenly caramel! 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Tart, juicy apples baked in rich homemade salted caramel sauce, surrounded by a buttery flakey pie crust, and drizzled with even more heavenly caramel! 
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings

Ingredients
  

Salted Caramel:

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Crust:

  • 7 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons shortening cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter cold

Apple Filling:

  • 6-7 Apples peeled and thinly-sliced (about 2 and 1/2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk
  • Coarse sugar (optional)**

Instructions
 

Make the Salted Caramel:

  • Pour the water into a medium saucepan. Pour the sugar into the center of the pan, making sure none of the sugar crystals hit the sides. Add the corn syrup.
  • Place pan over medium heat, leaving it alone for the first 5 minutes or until it the color begins to turn yellowish. Once you see some color, gently swirl the pan around occasionally as it boils. Continue boiling until the caramel reaches a golden amber color, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. Caramel will sizzle and bubble up. Stir in the salt, and continue whisking until caramel is smooth. If needed, return pan over medium-low heat, stirring until caramel is smooth. Transfer to dish or glass measuring cup to cool completely. Caramel will continue to thicken as it cools.

Make the Crust:

  • In a small bowl, combine the water and sour cream; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir the flour, sugar and salt together. Scatter the shortening over the flour, then use a cheese grater to grate the butter on top. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut the mixture together until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the sour cream mixture and use a stiff rubber spatula to stir and press the dough together until it forms one big mound. If dough is still too dry and doesn’t hold together, add water a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds.
  • Divide the dough in half, then wrap each half individually in plastic wrap. Flatten them each into a 5-inch disc, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Once chilled, remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Carefully place the dough into a greased 9-inch pie dish, tucking it in with your fingers and making sure it's smooth. Using a knife, trim the extra overhang of the crust. Refrigerate while you work on the filling.

Make the Filling:

  • In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, and spices together. Add the sugar mixture to the apples and toss to coat.
  • Layer one-third of the apple filling along the bottom of the crust, making sure there are few gaps. Top with 1/4 cup of the salted caramel. Repeat these steps two more times with the apples and caramel.

Make the lattice crust:*

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF and place a rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven.
  • Remove the other dough disc from the refrigerator, and roll it out into a 12-inch circle. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut 9 strips 1-inch wide. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Trim the extra overhang with a knife, then crimp the edges of the dough with a fork or your fingers.
  • Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar. Place the pie on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Keeping the pie in the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes. If the crust begins to brown too quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil on top of the pie. The pie is done when the juices begins to bubble up, and the crust is golden brown.
  • Transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 4 hours before serving.
  • To serve, place a slice of pie on a plate and drizzle with the extra caramel sauce. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Notes

*You don't necessarily have to do a lattice crust. You can also just roll out the dough, place it on top of the apples, trim the excess, then crimp around the edges. Make sure to use a knife to cut several little steam holes into the top crust, if you opt for this method instead.
**If you don't have coarse sugar, you can also use regular granulated sugar.
***Leftover pie can be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, slice a piece, and heat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.
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