Salted Caramel Apple Pie

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Or try my deep dish apple pie!

Here is a classic lattice-topped all American apple pie bubbling with salted caramel and gooey, cinnamon apples! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

In light of Independence Day, I figured I’d make an American classic. With a modern twist, of course.

Kevin’s mom came over on Tuesday and we spent the afternoon making pie. As we waited for the pie crust to chill, I taught her how to use Pinterest. Pies & pinterest. Such is my life!

America’s birthday called for homemade apple pie this year. Who says this classic dessert staple can only be enjoyed in the Autumn months? Apple pie has been and will always be in my top 3 favorite desserts. It’s actually Kevin’s #1 dessert, so we’ll be happily eating this pie for the next few days. Content and watching fireworks.

Warning: This post is lengthy. Lots of photos and lots of text!

Here is a classic lattice-topped all American apple pie bubbling with salted caramel and gooey, cinnamon apples! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

There are three parts to this pie. The buttery, flaky crust. The salted caramel sauce. The cinnamon-spiced apples. Let’s begin with the crust.
How to make tender, flaky pie crust. An easy recipe!

Pie crust can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s made with a few simple ingredients. Flour, salt, cold water, and fat. You can make pie crust with shortening or with butter. Why shortening? Shortening aids in creating flakiness. Flaky, tender, melt-in-your mouth crust. Butter imparts unparalleled, impeccable flavor.  Nothing beats butter.

However, my pie crust uses both. The best of both worlds. Flaky, tender, buttery pie crust made from shortening AND butter. It’s nothing new – tons of folks do it this way. And it’s the way I like it.

Important notes: you need cold fat. Chilled butter and chilled shortening. And you need ice cold water. COLD. Cold, cold, cold.  Why the emphasis on temperature here? Keeping your pie crust as cold as possible helps to keep the fat from melting. If the butter melts before baking, you lose the flakiness of the pie crust. When the lumps of fat melt in the oven as the pie bakes, their steam helps to separate the crust into multiple flaky layers. Warm fats and water will lend a hard, crunchy crust instead of a nice tender flaky crust.

Today’s recipe is for a double crust pie. Do you want visuals for how to make the dough? See my step-by-step tutorial page.

Make the apple filling as the dough is chilling. Fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, apples, flour, spices, and sugar. I suggest using a variety of apples.  I used Pink Ladies (sweet) and Granny Smiths (tart). You get more complex flavor in each bite using a combo.

Salted caramel sauce on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Next, add the pie filling to the dough. You may think – “there is way too much filling, it won’t fit!” But it will. The cake is very tall – deep dish style!

Make the salted caramel sauce using my step-by-step photos. I don’t know about you, but I adore salted caramel. With cupcakes, cookies, pretzels, and many more.

Pour 1/2 cup of salted caramel over the apples.

Salted caramel apple pie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Take the remaining chilled dough ball out of the refrigerator. Roll it out into a 11-12 inch diameter. I made a lattice top for the pie. You may chose the kind of crust style that you want. Any other style requires you to cut several ventilation slits on the crust top. Just go with lattice. It’s prettier. 🙂

Making a lattice top pie crust is easy. Use a pastry wheel, pizza cutter (what I used!), or a sharp knife. Cut 16 strips 1/2 inch wide. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Brush the top with an egg wash, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. I realize the topping looks like salt in these photos, but it’s coarse sugar I swear.

Salted caramel apple pie with lattice crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Position your oven rack to the lower third position. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet to prevent any oven spills. Bake the pie at 400F degrees for 20 minutes. The initial high temperature will help the crust brown. After 20 minutes, reduce to 375F and bake for another 40-50 minutes. Reducing the temperature will allow the apple filling to cook thoroughly before the crust burns. If the crust is getting too brown, place a sheet of aluminum oil over top of it. When the pie is ready, the caramel will be bubbling up.  You can also test the apples with a small knife to make sure they are tender (but not mushy).

At this point, your house will smell like a bakery. Sweet, sweet apple pie! Allow the pie to cool for 4 hours so the caramel and apple juices thicken.  Waiting is torture, I know!  Serve the pie with the remaining salted caramel. One slice is sure to satisfy all of your salty-sweet cravings!

Salted caramel apple pie with lattice crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here is a classic lattice-topped all American apple pie bubbling with salted caramel and gooey, cinnamon apples! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The extra caramel sauce you pour on top will bring added sweetness and moisture to the filling. You’ll need the extra sauce since, comparatively, the filling isn’t made with too much sugar as is.

I love my updated version of the traditional classic! It’s the holy grail of caramel apple desserts. Comparable to eating a giant caramel apple, but with a buttery flaky crust thrown on top. We served ours with melty vanilla ice cream because there’s always room for ice cream, right? There is no reason to wait until fall’s harvest to make your new favorite apple pie.

Here is a classic lattice-topped all American apple pie bubbling with salted caramel and gooey, cinnamon apples! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Love apple pie? Try these recipes next:

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

My absolute favorite dessert!

Ingredients:

  • homemade pie crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom and 1 for lattice top)
  • homemade salted caramel sauce
  • 6 large apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced (approx 10-12 cups total - use a variety for better flavor, such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or Honey Crisp)1
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on crust

Directions:

  1. Read all of the directions that I wrote in this post before beginning the following recipe. It will help you!
  2. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  3. Make the caramel using my step-by-step photos as a visual guide. You can do this as you wait for the pie dough to chill.
  4. Next, make the apple filling as the dough is still chilling: Place apple slices into a very large bowl. Add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Gently toss to combine. Set aside.
  5. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard.
  6. Fill the pie crust with the apples. There are a lot of apples, but pile them tightly and very high. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the salted caramel, reserving the rest for topping.
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  8. Make the lattice crust: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out, 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut 16 strips 1/2 inch wide. I always use a clean measuring tape or ruler as a guide to assure the lines are straight. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Using a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang. Crimp the edges of the dough with a fork or your fingers.
  9. Lightly brush the lattice top with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  10. Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes. If the top of your pie is getting too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil. The pie will be done when the caramel begins to bubble up. A small knife inserted inside should come out relatively clean.
  11. Allow the pie to cool for 4 hours before serving. Drizzle the pie with the extra caramel sauce to serve. This apple pie is best served on the same day, but it can be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make ahead tip: The pie crust dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Slice your apples a uniform thickness. You don't want some solid apples and some thin, mushy apples.

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Try my Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars next!

Salted caramel apple pie bars on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This Salted Caramel Apple Pie recipe will be your new FAVORITE!
This Salted Caramel Apple Pie recipe will be your new FAVORITE!

427 Comments

All Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful and detailed recipe! I just made this pie yesterday, the first time ever I’ve made a pie, and it turned out delicious and all my friends loved it. So happy!  😀 

  2. Hi Sally, I’m making this pie for the first time this weekend. Just wondering about the long amount of time that you recommend for cooling after cooking. I love to serve and eat fruit pies warm with icecream, would it be okay to serve it from cooking?

    1. The 4 hours allows the pie filling to thicken up and set so that the piece stays intact when you slice and serve it. If you are ok with not having pretty pie slices then you can serve it sooner 🙂

  3. My brother wanted an apple pie for his birthday, but I wanted a break from the plain old apple so I made this pie! The salted caramel is delicious! He loved it!

    P.S. I’m trying to bake every one of your fall recipes!

    1. I’m glad you both loved it and I hope he had a great birthday! Oh my gosh – that is SO fun! Be sure to keep me updated on your progress 🙂

  4. I can’t decide between your brown butter pound cake and this! It’s for my mother’s birthday and my mom loves both! And my pie dish is 20-4cm. Weird number right? I think halving this recipe would be too less. Please help!

  5. Hi Sally
    is it possible to make the crust and the salted caramel befor hand and keep it in the fridge for a few days before making the pie?
    thank you

  6. Sally, I made this pie, with your all butter pie crust, and it turned out beautifully! My son and I both loved it! I’m trying out your regular tried and true shortening and butter pie crust this weekend to compare and see which I’ll use for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! Thank you for another stellar recipe!

  7. Hi Sally,
    Let me just tell you, every recipe I’ve used from your website has came out amazing!!! I’ve been trying to master apple pie for a long time. Either the recipe turns out bad with hard apples or not enough apple filling, but I tried this one last week and it was A TOTAL HIT!!!! you’re an awesome Baker and I will continue to follow you on Instagram and share with family members. I’m making this for Thanksgiving and have been asked to make it into a slab pie. Should I double the recipe or keep the same?? Thanks Sally again and I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

    1. Hi Christina! I’m SO glad you conquered pie with this recipe! For a slab pie, I recommend using my apple slab pie recipe and adding the salted caramel to the filling like you do here. (Maybe about 2/3 cup; pour all over the top.) Then you can use the remaining salted caramel, warmed, to pour on top instead of the maple icing. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  8. Have you tried the chai spice apple pie with this caramel sauce? Is there anything special I would need to do to combine the two? I have only ever used all butter pie crust, does the shortening help make braiding/lattice work easier on the pie crust? Thank you for all of the amazing recipes you provide!

  9. Hi, I want to put ice cream on it as it will be warm I understand that it needs to cool for the 4 hours however would it be okay to reheat it again (maybe with foil)?! If so how long and what temperature

    1. I only recommend cooling for that long so it’s easier to slice. 🙂 Reheating slices in the microwave or for a few minutes in a 300F oven works!

  10. Hi- I’d like to make this pie for a Christmas party at work tomorrow. Can this pie be made the night before, and sit at room temperature overnight? Or should I put in the fridge after it initially cools for 4 hours? Thanks!

  11. Hi Randi! That’s exactly what I do when I want to get started on a pie ahead of time. Assemble the pie the day before, refrigerate (or even freeze!) overnight, then place right into the oven to bake. Pie will take little longer since it will be so cold.

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Reviews

  1. Love your detailed and clear directions on baking this pie. The crust, lattice, and salted caramel turned out amazing. The apple pie filling was sour. I don’t know if it was the granny Smith apples or all the lemon juice & zest. The taste was good just not what I was looking for. Everyone happily ate and enjoyed it, but they did say it was sour. My sister took one bite of her slice and threw the rest out lol.

  2. Hands down one of the best apple pie recipes I have ever made!! The only change I made was that I put almost all of the caramel sauce into the pie before I baked it. I saved just enough to drizzle over the pie when it came out of the oven. It was so juicy and flavorful. I can’t say enough good things!!

Questions

  1. I left the caramel to cool a bit before using and it became rock solid super quickly. What can I do to make it stay liquid? I even tried to remelt it and put it on the pie after that, but it just hardened on the pie.

    1. Hi Diana! It sounds like the caramel was over-cooked. It will thicken as it cools, but shouldn’t be hard.

  2. Hi Sally, you may have already gotten a question similar to this but I was wondering if you would help me out. I’m trying to make a plain apple pie (no caramel flavor) and I was hoping you could let me know what adjustments I should make to this recipe. I’m fairly young and I love baking, I always turn to you for the best recipes. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Alex! This is a great question. For a regular apple pie, simply leave out the salted caramel from the filling and topping. 🙂 No other adjustments needed.

  3. Hi Sally,

    I love your recipes a lot and this one looks tasty! I just made the sauce but I wanted to know if I could freeze this unbaked? Or should I bake it then freeze it? Not sure what is the best option? We have a ton of apples from a recent trip to a farm and I wanted to use them up before they all went bad…Would love your help! Thanks Rachel

    1. Hi Rachel! You can definitely freeze this apple pie baked or unbaked. If unbaked, simply freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw for only about 1 hour, then bake. Add a few extra minutes of bake time.

      1. Hi Sally, I took your advice and thawed for about an 1 hour and baked as per usual but extended the time as per your advice. Sadly, it was very watery…I wonder if it was the freezing that added additional liquid or not enough flour? Perhaps knowing that I was freezing in advance I should have compensated for the potential liquid. Or it was from all those apples? Everyone said it tasted good but the bottom of the pie dish had tons of liquid that I ended up pouring it out. I let it sit for more than 4 hours as I was cooking up the rest of the meal. Not sure what happened and now I have another thanksgiving dinner on Monday and froze another pie and I am worried about that one having the same problem. 🙁 Any words of advice or wisdom? Oh, and that salted caramel is amazing!! I need to make more. And I made your pumpkin spice toffee which was a hit! So delicious. Thanks for making tasty food and candy!!

  4. Hi Sally,

    This pie looks amazing! I’m going to bake it for an amateur pie competition. I know you mentioned baking the pie in a glass dish is the best, but they requested a disposable pan. Will this pie still good as well in a disposable pan ? Thank you!

  5. Hi Sally! I love this site – it’s never failed me. So, thanks.

    This pie looks amazing. I’ve been tasked with making *hand* pies for an upcoming fall event and would love to do a version of this. Any thoughts on how this filling will work in a hand pie? I’m concerned about sogginess, too much crust for the filling, and that the caramel and apple juices will not firm up in the hand pie. Also, curious on your thoughts about cook time and temp. Thanks in advance!

  6. Hi Sally, thanks for you ander. Ik tried to make the dough today unfortunately it was so soft that I almost couldn’te add any water. I did cool my butter but probably not enough. So I wonder if I can use te dough or if I have to door it al over. Irene

  7. Hey Sally!

    I love this pie! It is always a hit when I make it. We are traveling this year and I prefer to bake at home, what is your recommendation on baking in advance? Can I assemble it, leave it in the fridge over night, bake early and let it cool while we travel? I know apples can turn if left out too long so I wanted to check with you!

  8. Hi Sally!

    Around the internet I have noticed pies with fancy borders such as leaf cutouts, is this something that could be applied to this recipe?

    Thanks! 🙂

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