Salted caramel apple pie is the very best apple pie. With a homemade pie crust, perfectly spiced apple filling, and salted caramel drizzle, this pie is a must bake during apple season.
The Best Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Pie Dough – My go-to pie crust recipe is an all-butter pastry that comes together in less than 5 minutes in the food processor. You can make the pie dough up to 2 days in advance, and I always recommend making the dough ahead to give it time to chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
Caramel sauce – Make one batch of homemade salted caramel sauce. You’ll use 1/4 cup caramel sauce in the pie filling, and use the remainder of the caramel to serve with the pie.
Apples – Whenever I bake with apples, I like to use a mix of varieties for the best flavor. In this pie, I recommend using sweet apples like Fuji and Golden Delicious, paired with tart Granny Smith apples for balance.
Filling – To ensure that the filling sets up nicely and isn’t overly juicy or underbaked, pre-cooking the apples is a must. This added step takes about 5 minutes and is the secret to a perfect apple pie.
Once the apples are caramelized, toss together with sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot starch (or cornstarch), spices, and salt. Spoon the apple filling into the bottom pie crust and drizzle with caramel sauce.
Bake – Bake the pie on a pre-heated rimmed baking sheet until the lattice is golden and fruit juices are bubbling slowly at the center of the pie, approximately 60-70 minutes. Let pie cool for at least 4 hours before serving (the pie filling continues to thicken as it cools).
Leaf Cut-Outs – Decorative leaf cut-outs add a festive topping to the pie. Use small leaf cutters to punch out leaves from the scraps of dough. Place the leaf cut-outs on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 20 minutes. Brush leaves lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool completely before using.
Serve – Once the pie has completely cooled, slice into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of caramel sauce.
Make Ahead – Pie dough and caramel sauce can be made 1-2 days in advance. You can also assemble the entire pie in advance, and freeze up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake, transfer the pie directly from the freezer to the oven and bake as directed.
Lattice Pie Success Tips
Pie Crust – If your food processor is small, I recommend making one crust at a time to distribute the butter evenly. To make a single pie crust, use:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 to 4 Tbsp ice water
Once you’ve made the pie crusts, wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
Chill the dough – The best pies start with well-chilled pastry. Start with cold dough, and plan to chill the dough again briefly after you’ve rolled it out and lined the pie pan. You’ll also want to chill the lattice strips briefly before assembling the pie.
If your kitchen is at all warm/humid, or you feel that the dough is warming up too quickly, simply chill it for 10-15 minutes before proceeding with the next step. Pie dough is easiest to work with when it’s chilled and cool to the touch, but still pliable enough to weave a lattice or crimp.
Bake on a baking sheet – For perfectly baked pies, place your pie pan on a pre-heated rimmed baking sheet. This helps ensure that the bottom crust bakes up nicely, and the baking sheet will keep your oven free of any juices that may bubble over.
Caramel Apple Recipes
The BEST salted caramel apple pie with homemade pie crust, perfectly spiced apples, and salted caramel sauce! Top with ice cream and enjoy!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp arrowroot starch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 cups apples, peeled and diced (1/4″ thick)
- 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp coarse sugar
- Prepare dough: For the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add cubed butter and process for 10 seconds, just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the food processor running, add 2 tablespoons ice water in a steady stream through feed tube. If needed, add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and process just until dough holds together in large clumps (no more than 30 seconds). Wrap dough in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month).
- Prepare filling: Whisk together sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot starch, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet; add apples and cook over medium-high heat until slightly tender (about 4-5 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to transfer apples to a large bowl, leaving the juices behind. Allow apples to cool for 15 minutes before sprinkling with sugar mixture. Gently toss together until combined.
- Roll dough: Place one disc of dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out dough (roll dough in one direction, then lift up dough and rotate a quarter turn and roll, then repeat) until dough is a 12 to 13-inch circle. If dough starts to stick, use a bench scraper to lift dough from board. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim overhang to 1 inch and chill for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the rolling process with the second disc of dough, rolling out to just under a 1/4-inch thickness. Use a pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut dough into 1 1/2-inch strips for the lattice top. Chill the strips for 10 minutes.
- Assemble the pie: Spoon apple filling into chilled bottom crust and drizzle with caramel sauce. Arrange dough strips over the top in a lattice pattern. Fold over dough overhang and crimp edges. Chill assembled pie in the freezer for at least 1 hour before baking, or overnight (if freezing overnight, lightly cover with plastic wrap).
- Place a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil in the oven and preheat to 375°F. Brush lattice lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake pie: Place pie on pre-heated baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking another 40-50 minutes (for a total baking time of 60-70 minutes), until crust is golden and fruit juices are bubbling slowly at the center of the pie. If pie is fully frozen, baking time may be up to 90-100 minutes. Check pie partway through – if crust is browning too quickly, shield edges or top with foil for remaining baking time.
- Cool pie on a wire rack for at least 4 hours before serving (filling thickens as it cools). Once pie is cut, store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Make ahead: The dough and salted caramel sauce can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. You can also assemble the entire pie in advance, place in a freezer bag or wrap tightly in foil, and freeze up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake, transfer the pie directly from the freezer to the oven (do not thaw) and bake as directed.
Starch: Arrowroot starch is a natural thickener and creates a smooth, shiny sauce. Available online or in the natural foods section. You can also substitute 1/4 cup cornstarch.
Keywords: Salted Caramel, Apple, Apple Pie, Lattice Pie