An easy Homemade Salted Caramel Apple Pie from scratch that is the perfect fall dessert. Super flaky homemade pie crust bubbling with homemade caramel sauce and sweet and tart apples. A holiday favorite...or for any special occasion!
- Why you'll love this Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- What Ingredients are in Caramel Apple Pie Recipe?
- How to make the perfect pie crust recipe?
- How to make caramel sauce recipe from scratch?
- How to make how to make caramel apple pie from scratch?
- How to roll out the pie dough and assemble caramel apple pie:
- Expert tips on how to make apple pie with caramel sauce:
- Variations and substitutions:
- What to serve with apple pie salted caramel?
- Recipe FAQ's
- Some other apple pie inspirations:
- Homemade Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Why you'll love this Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- Savory Sweet Balance: The delectable blend of sweet apples and salted caramel gives this pie a perfect savory-sweet balance that tantalizes your taste buds.
- Crispy and Light Crust: The flaky, light crust provides a delightful contrast to the rich, gooey filling, creating an overall satisfying texture.
- Fruit Filled Goodness: With its generous apple filling, this pie is a great way to incorporate more fruit into your dessert, adding a fresh and natural sweetness.
- Luxurious Caramel Sauce: The homemade salted caramel sauce elevates this pie from ordinary to extraordinary, promising a luxury dessert experience.
- Perfect for All Occasions: Whether it's a holiday gathering, a family dinner, or a cozy night in, this apple caramel pie fits seamlessly into any event, making it a versatile dessert option.
I can declare this is the BEST Salted Caramel Apple Pie recipe I've ever made! You will make it this week for Thanksgiving and for any special occasion! I recently made it for my niece's 18th birthday (she's an apple dessert fan like me!)and everyone LOVED it!
Let me tell you how your whole house will smell like a bakery! The spices in the apples and the caramel sauce is the most amazing combination! Instant relaxation waiting for this pie to bake! I find it totally relaxing even making the dough! A baking meditation rolling it out! If you love a caramel apple dessert, keep on reading!
I know I am often talking about my mother-in-law Teresa (from Italy). Well, she had been visiting us from Italy for weeks and we both just love to bake. Teresa is the crostata baking expert.
A favorite crostata is her Crostata agli Amaretti. And also this Apple Orangle Marmalade Crostata...delightful! I have converted her into an American food show addict. When the kids go to sleep we flip through shows and I translate what they are making. I’m a good daughter-in-law.
What Ingredients are in Caramel Apple Pie Recipe?
Here is all you need to make the most delicious homemade recipe for caramel apple pie:
- All-purpose flour: Used as the main ingredient for the pie crust.
- Salt: Adds flavor to the crust.
- Unsalted butter: Provides richness and texture to the crust.
- Margarine or chilled vegetable shortening: Can be used as an alternative to butter.
- Ice water: Helps bind the crust together.
- Granulated sugar: Used to make the caramel sauce.
- Water: Combined with sugar to create the caramel.
- Unsalted butter (or vegan butter sticks): Adds richness and flavor to the caramel.
- Fresh heavy cream (or unsweetened oat milk): Provides creaminess to the caramel sauce.
- Sea salt (recommended: Maldon sea salt flakes): Enhances the sweetness of the caramel with a touch of saltiness.
- Lemons: Used to prevent apple slices from browning.
- Apples: The main fruit ingredient for the pie filling.
- Raw sugar (castor, unrefined, large granule sugar): Adds sweetness to the filling.
- Flour: Helps thicken the filling.
- Ground cinnamon: Enhances the flavor of the apples.
- Freshly grated nutmeg: Adds a warm and aromatic taste to the filling.
How to make the perfect pie crust recipe?
Pie crust could seem intimidating to make. It only takes a few things to make a really great pie dough recipe– flour, salt, some sort of fat (butter, shortening, or a combination of both), very cold water.
- You can make pie crust with shortening or with butter. Shortening assists in achieving a flaky and tender crust. Butter adds incredible flavor.
- For this particular recipe I used dairy free butter sticks (from Earth Balance brand)and vegetable shortening.
- Other times when I don't have my dairy free pie eaters around, I use real butter and the vegetable shortening.
Very important: It all begins with cold ingredients. Cannot stress enough how important to make sure you have COLD ingredients.
- Some bakers even use cold flour. The cold makes sure you get that nice and flaky crust.
- Cold ingredients stop the gluten from forming when the fat melts, which could make it chewy and not flaky.
- When it all stays very cold you are ensured the most flaky and melt in your mouth crust!
I used this Perfect Pie Crust Recipe. I found it in an old book I have of hers from the 90’s. It was perfection. The crust…ohhh…the CRUST! It may have been the best part of the pie with all that caramel and turbinado sugar/sea salt on top! My daughter says it was.
With my Italian mother-in-law helping me bake and the heat of my kitchen, the strips didn't quite make it into perfect lattice criss-cross. But the pie still turned out so pretty! So if you're not a lattice expert, you could do as we did and layer one part and then the other strips right on top.
How to make caramel sauce recipe from scratch?
The caramel part…ohhh…the caramel! I can’t tell you how difficult it was to not eat all of the caramel right from the pan. Big spoonful by big spoonful. It was amazing.
If you don’t like the whole sweet/salty combo idea, you can leave out the sea salt. This is the caramel sauce recipe I use and it is always no-fail! If you never had apple salted caramel, you are in for a treat.
This particular time I used vegan butter sticks and oat milk. It did not turn exactly how it turned out with butter and heavy cream, but it was amazing! A really great diary-free option for when you need a homemade caramel sauce.
How to make how to make caramel apple pie from scratch?
SMALL Warning: Heads up this is a long post with many photos and text!
1.The first step is to place the dough ingredients of the food processor. Cut butter and margarine (I used vegan butter sticks and and vegetable shortening) into flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process takes 20 to 30 seconds. Divide the pastry into two even pieces (I weigh mine on the baking scale to make sure they’re even). Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.
3.While the dough is resting, prep the apples. Slice the apples in even pieces. Add on the freshly squeezed lemon juice (do not use bottled lemon juice...not the same flavor).
4.Drain any extra lemon juice from the apples. Then add on the sugar, spices and flour. You could use your hands or a spoon to gently combine it all together. Set it aside to move on to prep the caramel sauce.
5.Add the sugar and water to a sauce pan. Add in the butter (I used Earth Balance butter stick). Let it come to a low boil. The mixture will turn a copper color.
6.When the sugar mixture is ready, add in the cream (I used oat milk this time, as we had dairy-free pie eaters).
7.Gather all your ingredients together: the pie dough from the fridge. The apple mixture. The caramel sauce. If you haven't rolled out your pie dough, now is the time to do it.
How to roll out the pie dough and assemble caramel apple pie:
- When ready to use, remove pie dough from the fridge. If it was in fridge for a while, be sure to let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
- When ready to roll out, sprinkle a bit of flour under the dough and roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap (or parchment paper).
- Roll the disk out and turn it while rolling.
- Sprinkle on more flour as needed as you keep rolling the crust to the right and the left until you get your dough circle. It should be about 10-inches round.
- Place dough circle in your pie plate.
8.Place the first layer of apple mixture in the pie dough. Spoon a bit of the caramel sauce.
9.Repeat with the rest of the apples and some more of the caramel sauce. Be sure to reserve some of the caramel sauce.
10.Layer on the lattice strips in a criss-cross pattern. If your strips are cold enough you should be able to the lattice pattern. Then brush on the egg wash. If you skip the egg wash, it is a vegan pie! Just brush the strips with your milk or non-dairy milk!
11.Here is the pie...all ready to bake!
And the pie JUST BAKED! Good luck holding back your people from diving in!
Expert tips on how to make apple pie with caramel sauce:
- Work the pastry as little as possible to keep it light and flaky.
- Make sure butter and margarine are cold when making the pastry in a food processor.
- Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round before rolling out.
- Lightly flour both sides of the dough when rolling out.
Variations and substitutions:
- Pecan Pie - Replace the apples with 2 cups of toasted and chopped pecans. For an even sweeter pie, add 1 cup of chopped dates or raisins. Substitute the nutmeg and cinnamon with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
- Coconut Pie - Replace the apples with 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut. Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and top the pie with a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds before baking.
- Chocolate Pie - Replace the apples with 2 cups of chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Sprinkle the pie crust with a layer of chopped walnuts before adding the filling.
- Maple Pie - Replace the sugar with an equal amount of maple syrup and use 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract instead of the nutmeg. Sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on top before baking.
- Vegan Pie - Use 1 cup of vegan butter in lieu of regular butter, substitute oat milk for cream, and use a plant-based egg substitute to brush the crust with. Top with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar for extra crunch.
- Gluten-Free Pie - Make your own gluten-free pastry dough or use a ready made gluten-free pie crust from the store. Make sure all other ingredients are certified gluten-free.
- Fruit Pie - Replace the apples with mixed berries or other soft fruits such as peaches, bananas, and plums. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the fruit mixture for added thickness. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top before baking for an extra crunchy flavor. Use maple syrup or brown sugar in place of white sugar. Add a hint of ginger or cardamom for extra flavor.
What to serve with apple pie salted caramel?
- Vanilla ice cream
- Whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
- Cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top
- Chopped nuts such as almonds or walnuts
If you did not cut lattice strips for the top crust, you will have to cut vents. The baking apples need steam to escape. If the steam doesn't get out of a top crust covering, the filling can get soupy. Cut deep enough vents on the top crust, pricking with a fork will not be enough to get out the steam. Or, cut out the lattice strips like I did.
Yes, you can. It will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator
However, It is not necessary to refrigerate caramel apple pie, but it will help to keep the caramel from sliding off the apples. If you do refrigerate it, be sure to let the pie warm up for a few minutes before serving so that the flavors can meld together.
While there are many types of apples you can use for pie, some of the best include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious. These apples are all tart and firm, which helps to prevent them from turning to mush when cooked.
You can prep the filling a day before as well as the pie crust, and assemble the day of for better results
Yes, you sure can! If you have your favorite brand that you love, use that. If you want to try out the homemade pie crust recipe, it's really simple to put together, and the flavor is outstanding!
The caramel sauce will slightly harden when it is placed in the fridge. Stored in the fridge it will stay fresh for 2-3 weeks. It could be warmed up in a microwave or on low heat stove-top in a sauce pan.
Boiling on high heat and too long will cause the caramel to scorch and it will taste bitter. It can't be used, so you will have to start over again.
Yes, you could use use store-bought caramel. Try to find a very good quality so the flavor will be better.
Place the pie uncovered on a baking sheet in the oven at 300° F for 15 minutes.
Some other apple pie inspirations:
updated from 4/2011
Thank you for stopping by!! What is your favorite American pie (leave yours in the comments!)? Mine is THIS apple pie. Happy Baking! XX
Posted on October 2022 and updated for content September 2023.
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Homemade Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- PIE CRUST
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup ice water
- SALTED CARAMEL
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 stick 1/2 cup fresh unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance vegan butter sticks)
- ½ cup fresh heavy cream I used unsweetened oat milk and I have made with heavy cream, both ways turns out perfect
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt recommended: Maldon sea salt flakes (optional)
- APPLE FILLING
- 4 to 6 lemons
- 5 to 6 medium to large apples
- ⅓ cup raw sugar castor, unrefined, large granule sugar
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 egg beaten
- Raw sugar for sprinkling on top (I used turbinado)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flake optional
- PIE CRUST
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup ice water
- Read all of the directions that I wrote in this post before beginning the following recipe. It will help you
- BY HAND
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Cut the chilled butter and margarine into 1-tablespoon bits and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, work flour and shortening together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water little by little pressing the pastry together into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
- It is very important to work the pastry as little as possible. Don’t over handle. A secret to light, flaky pastry is to keep the mixture cool, add as little water as possible, and mix only as much as necessary.
- FOOD PROCESSOR
- Put flour and salt in bowl of machine and pulse a couple of times. Cut butter and margarine (I used vegan butter sticks and and vegetable shortening) into flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process takes 20 to 30 seconds. Divide the pastry into two even pieces (I weigh mine on the baking scale to make sure they’re even). Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.
- Let the pastry sit out for about 15 minutes if you chilled in the fridge for a long time. But make sure it does not get too soft. You want it to still be cold when you roll it out.
- Lightly flour a pastry board, marble counter, or kitchen counter (make sure the counter is clean). Divide the pastry in half. Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round. Lightly flour the rolling pin (I like to roll my dough in between plastic wrap and I lightly flour both sides of the dough). Roll the first portion of pastry in one direction only, turning pastry continually to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
- Using pie plate as a guide, measure rolled-out pastry — it should be slightly larger than the 9-inch pie plate and 1/8-inch thick. Fold rolled pastry circle in half so you can lift it more easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing pastry to hang evenly over the edge. Trim the dough that is hanging.
- Roll out the second piece of pastry in same way. Cut the top crust as a lattice, approximately 1-inch in width or as desired. Chill the rolled crust in the pie plate and the lattice strips while you prepare the salted caramel and apple filling.
- SALTED CARAMEL
- In a large sauce pan over low heat, add the sugar and water and stir together until it dissolved. Add in the butter pieces (I used Earth Balance butter sticks as I was making it dairy-free). Bring the sugar mixture to a slow boil.
- Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper. It could take 10 minutes or even more because you are cooking it at a very low and slow boil. Take care to not leave the kitchen as you are doing this part of the recipe. It could turn from the desired copper color to a burned sugar mixture, and you would have to toss it and start all over again.
- As soon as the sugar mixture turns a light copper color, take the pan off the heat and immediately add the heavy cream (I used oat milk and I've made with heavy cream). This mixture will rapidly bubble so take care as it’s a very hot and sticky sugar mixture that can burn you as it bubbles and steams.
- Place the pan back on the stove on low heat. Whisk it all together and sprinkle in a bit of the sea salt (omit if you do not want a salted caramel-I used 1/2 teaspoon). Set the caramel sauce aside while you prepare the apple filling.
- APPLE FILLING
- Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples. Mix the apples in the lemon juice to prevent them from browning and to add some lemon flavor. Let the apple mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
- Drain the apples if there seems to be a lot of lemon juice in the bowl. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon on the mixture over the drained apples in the mixing bowl. With a spoon (or your hands) gently combine and coat the apple slices.
- PIE ASSEMBLY
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Gather your rolled pie crust in the pie plate, salted caramel, and apple mixture.
- Begin by layering 1/2 of the apples in the bottom of the crust. Place them as close together as possible trying not to have any gaps.
- Spoon 1/3 of the caramel all over the apples.
- Start the second layer by placing the other half of the apples in the pie plate and spoon on some more caramel. Be sure to reserve some of the caramel sauce.
- Assemble the lattice crust and flute the edges of the crust.
- Pour the last bit of caramel on top.
- Brush the crust with the beaten egg.
- Lightly sprinkle with sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon, omit if you do not want salt).
- Sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Place the pie plate on a large baking tray (the caramel does bubble over so be sure to place the pie plate on a baking sheet).
- Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. If you notice after 10 minutes that the crust is getting too brown, you could lower the heat to 325F and you could also tent the pie with a piece of foil paper. You can test the apples for doneness with a long toothpick or small knife. The apples should be just soft.
- Let the pie cool, then slice and enjoy. Serve with your favorite ice-cream or whipped cream.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Pie crust: Use our recipe or your own favorite recipe. The crust is great even with Earth Balance vegan butter sticks and vegetable shortening or you could use unsalted butter and margarine. Either way it turns out flaky.
- Lattice: If you do not cut out the lattice strips, you could roll the other portion of dough and cover the pie filling with it. Just be sure to cut large enough vents to let the apples and caramel cook. If you don't have vents, the steam will make the apple filling turn runny and soupy.
- Apples: A mixture of Crispin, Granny Smith, and Cortland is nice if you can. Be sure to slice the apples all the same thickness. If some are too thin, you'll have some mushy and some perfect consistency.
- Caramel: This process can take awhile depending on the heat source. Keep an eye on it, if the caramel begins to smoke, you’ve burned it and you’ll have to start over. Save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top once the lattice is assembled.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prep pie crust dough ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Pie dough keeps in freezer for up to 3 months (wrapped in plastic wrap and in a zipped lock freezer bag). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. The baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Heat in the oven on 325F for about 10 minutes or eat at room temperature before serving.