Classic Desserts/ Fruit Desserts/ Pies, Tarts & Crumbles

Perfect Caramel Apple Pie

August 13, 2014

With its buttery, flaky crust and creamy caramel filling, this is a perfect apple pie that’s sure to please year after year.

Perfect Caramel Apple Pie |

There’s something magical about apple pies. They provide an inherently cozy, homey, relaxing feeling. It’s like I can take a bite and instantly forget about all my problems – which is exactly what I’m doing right now, by the way.

I didn’t like apple pie in my childhood. In fact, I didn’t really like any fruit-based desserts. Instead, I was (and always will be) a chocolate loving girl. Still, my mom never gave up and kept letting us try her caramel apple pies while the younger, more stubborn version of me kept telling her that apple pie was simply for old people. I guess that I was right on some level, because now that I’m older (older, not old – but depends who you ask), I love apple pie like a sister.

The day I really fell in love with apple pie was when I was on a tour to the Amish country with my family. My mom ordered one, and when she took a bite, her eyes were filled with such joy that it made me curious. So curious, in fact, that I had to try it myself. And I mean.. It was unbelievable!

Making an apple pie requires a few steps, so make sure to read the recipe and the entire post before you start in order to keep yourself organized.

Perfect Caramel Apple Pie |

Here are the steps:

  1. First, you’ll need to make this pie crust. All the information you need is in that post. Allow the crust to chill for about an hour, as directed in the recipe.
  2. Roll out both crusts to circles. Place one in the pan, and the other on a baking sheet. Cover and place in the fridge. This step can also be done after you make the apple filling.
  3. Cut the apples. Here’s a post on how you should cut them (See? I’ve got you fully covered!).
  4. Make the filling, then let it cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  5. Spread the apple filling into the pan, on top of the crust, then place and arrange the other crust on top of the filling. You can make a lattice top if you prefer (I’ve got a post for that one, too).

You can use either sweet or tart apples for the filling, or a combination of both. I like to use Granny Smith, but I sometimes combine them with another sweet red kind such as Pink Lady for more dimension and flavor.

Why pre-bake the apples? This will help them to release their juices now rather than while baking, which will result in a firmer, less soggy crust. The cooking will also create a thick caramel sauce that coats the apples (and makes the pie irresistible!). Need one more reason? Apples shrink when cooked, so without precooking, there will be a large gap between the filling and the top crust. It only takes a few minutes and, as you can see, the rewards are tremendous.

As for the crust, to get a good browning, brush the top with egg. Then bake the pie in the lower third of the oven, placing the pan on a baking sheet layered with parchment paper to catch any liquid that may leak from the filling. Starting at a high temperature also helps the pie to achieve a perfectly browned crust. After a while, the temperature should be reduced to let the apples cook thoroughly without risking burning the crust. If you find that the top crust is browning too much while baking, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

The pie is done once the apples are tender (but not mushy) and the juice bubbles. Let the pie sit for at least four hours to let the filling thicken. Honestly, the waiting time was the hardest part of the recipe for me!

Now, I’ll stop talking so you can make some delicious pie, okay?

Before you start, make sure to check out my step-by-step photo tutorials:
How to make a pie crust
How to make a lattice pie crust
How to slice an apple for pie

4.86 from 7 votes
Perfect Caramel Apple Pie
With its buttery, flaky crust and creamy caramel filling, this is a perfect apple pie that's sure to please year after year.

  • double-crust pie dough
  • 6 large apples (about 2.5 pounds/1.1 kg), peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (100g/3.5oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g/3.5oz) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 56g) butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg or egg white , beaten, for brushing the top crust
  • Coarse or granulated sugar , for sprinkling (optional)
  1. Roll out the dough: Take one disc of dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough gently into a 9x2-inch pie pan; you can do this by flouring a rolling pan and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Roll out the other disc in the same fashion, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.
  2. Make the apple filling: In a large bowl, toss together apples and lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix together sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then add to the apples and toss to combine. Add heavy cream and vanilla, and mix again.
  3. In a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add apple mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just slightly tender and coated with a caramel-like sauce, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the lower third of the oven.
  5. Spread apples and sauce in an even layer onto pie crust. If you choose to make a lattice pie, this is how you do it. Otherwise, place the other crust (the one you put on the baking sheet) over the apples. Tuck any excess overhang pastry under the bottom crust, then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Make 4 slits in the center to let steam escape while baking. Brush the crust with egg (a very thin coating), then sprinkle with sugar if you like.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375F/190C and continue baking until the crust is golden brown, the apples are tender (not mushy) when you insert a knife, and juices are bubbling through the slits – about 40-50 minutes longer. If the top is browning too much while baking, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  7. Allow pie to cool for at least 4 hours before serving so that the filling can set. Store pie in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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  • Reply
    Rayna Ramirez
    February 12, 2016 at 12:15 am

    would it be possible to make mini heart shaped pies with this recipe ?

    • Reply
      February 13, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Hi Rayna! Yes, it’s definitely possible. I used this recipe many times to make mini pies and they turned out perfect. The only thing is that the quantities (dough to filling ratio) and baking time are gonna be different, but if you’re used to making pies I’m sure you’d be able to figure those out.

  • Reply
    Rayna Ramirez
    February 13, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Thank You !

  • Reply
    September 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    The filling is great. My dad, the neophobe, loved it. And usually, he only accepts Apple Pie The Way My Mum Used To Make. So thanks!

    • Reply
      September 29, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Thank you so much, Loethlin! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Your blog is such an awesome resource! I’ve been looking for apple pie recipes all week and had 4 or 5 different websites bookmarked on my phone for the various tutorials I need. I found your site this morning and will be using it instead 🙂 Can’t wait to make this!

    • Reply
      November 24, 2016 at 6:19 am

      Thank you so much Natalie! I hope you like it! It’s a favorite in our family 🙂

  • Reply
    December 6, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I am excited to make this pie! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 8:21 am

    I was looking for an apple pie recipe and found your site. I am so glad that I did! Made the apple pie this weekend and my husband loved it. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2018 at 3:41 am

      Thank you Patricia! I’m glad you like it!!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Hello! Absolutely love the pie!
    Just one question though, how do you reheat it before serving so that the crust doesn’t become soggy? Please let me know ASAP.

    • Reply
      March 15, 2018 at 4:08 am

      Preheat the pie just until it’s warm, not hot, and it won’t become soggy. The best option is to use a toaster oven, if you have one, or the oven. Preheat it to 350F or lower, and heat for several minutes until warm. If it’s just a piece of leftover pie, then I’m usually lazy and heat it in the microwave for several seconds.

      • Reply
        March 15, 2018 at 9:38 am

        Thank you! That really helps =)

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn Boese
    March 27, 2018 at 3:27 am

    Thank you for this amazing recipe. It was delicious! I’m looking forward to making your cherry pie recipe next ^_^

  • Reply
    October 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Shiran,
    I tried this recipe for our Thanksgiving dinner last sunday.
    Instead of pie dough on top, I used your crumble recipe (from your apple crumble recipe ) ? and they loved it! just right amount of sweetness. And today (as of this moment) I’m baking it again just waiting for the apple filling to cool down.
    thanks for sharing your recipe! looking forward for more! ?

  • Reply
    Hope Davis
    November 21, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Can I leave the pie to cool overnight? Do I need to refrigerate it or can I serve it in the evening for our thanksgiving dinner without refrigeration. I prefer room temp pie.

    • Reply
      November 22, 2018 at 3:37 am

      If you make it at the same day, you can leave it at room temperature, but if you want to make it the day before, keep it in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge 2-3 hours before serving.

  • Reply
    laurence allard
    December 28, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    I was wondering, can this pie be frozen?

    • Reply
      March 5, 2019 at 4:44 am

      For the best flavor I recommend using it fresh, but you can freeze it, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Found your Apple Pie recipe sounded wonderful. Made it al most immediately. The aroma floating through the house Is awesome. Cannot wait to try it. Will definitely be making this again. By the way ai also made Your Cherry Pie and I was blown away. Thank you Your recipes are easy to follow and taste beautiful

  • Reply
    July 27, 2019 at 10:46 am

    I am a little confused with directions for step 4. and 5. It says line the sheet and then later it says place the pie crust that you put on the lined sheet on top-that is what I’m confused about because we’re not just putting the top crust in the oven alone, right?

    “(the one you put on the baking sheet)”

    Thank you for this recipe!

    • Reply
      July 30, 2019 at 2:54 am

      Hi Rebecca, at step 4 you only line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place it in the oven. When you later place the pie in the oven you put it on that baking sheet and bake. At step 5 you fill the pie crust with the apple filling, and then arrange the other crust on top of the apples, then bake the pie.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it. I usually use a crumb topping (aka Dutch apple pie) instead of a top crust. Do you think a crumb topping would be too sweet since the apples are caramelized?

    • Reply
      November 17, 2019 at 2:18 am

      Crumb topping will be delicious. If you don’t want it to be very sweet, you can use a bit less sugar in the crumb recipe.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful recipe! I’m making it a second time. I’ve noticed that for some reason, my pie dough seems insufficient? I try to roll them out to a 12-inch circle but in order to do that, the pie dough becomes too thin and fragile. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Reply
    Zahra shahidi
    September 17, 2020 at 5:32 am

    Mine on first attempt turned out great, thank you

  • Reply
    September 3, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Great recipe, thank you.
    I do have a question and that is how do I get my pastry to roll out nicely without splitting? Every time I make pastry take it out the fridge let it warm up for a couple of minutes then on a floured work surface start rolling, the dough always splits from the out edges. Should I be alllowing it to warm up a bit more or ??
    Thank you so much I do treasure your recipes

    • Reply
      Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
      September 4, 2021 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Annie, it can be very frustrating when your dough just won’t cooperate! You want to work with the dough when it’s cold, so I wouldn’t let it sit out too much longer than you already are. A little trick I like to use it keeping a bowl of ice water next to me while working and it allows me to patch up any cracks that might occur as I go. Just take a bit with your finger and use it to pinch the dough over any cracks. Also, be sure to apply even pressure to all parts of the dough as you roll it out and keep spare flour nearby to add a bit when you feel the dough getting sticky. This will help the rolling pin move smoothly and make it less likely for the dough to tear. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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