If you haven’t made homemade caramel before, now is the time. It tests your patience, but truly takes this pie to the next level. Truthfully my candy thermometer keeps me sane when I’m certain it’s about to burn.
This apple pie takes all your favorite apple pie flavors (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg) and adds a nutty, salty and sweet element you didn’t know you needed.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve made this beauty because it’s that good. Some people think of apple pie as a fall staple, others insist it’s a summertime dessert…but I can tell you I’ve made this all year round and no one complains. Plus it’s perfect as a whole pie or a handheld mini pie.
Alright, are you ready to make some caramel? I hope it makes your whole house smell delicious.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
1 prepared double all-butter crust
7 baking apples (half Golden Delicious, half Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
3 tbsp plus 1 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup raw sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp angostura bitters
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp flake sea salt, plus more for finishing
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
Demerara sugar, for finishing
- Don’t forget your essential pie making tools (especially the candy thermometer for this one).
- My favorite flaky sea salt is Maldon Salt.
Make the crust: Roll out your prepared double pie crust, arrange in pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Make the caramel: Whisk 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook (stirring occasionally) until the sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes. Add butter and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper. Patience is necessary–this can take up to 25 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, use it and aim for 320 – 350 degrees F. Remove from heat and carefully add cream, stirring until caramel is smooth.
Make the filling: Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples. A note from the pie enthusiast: A mandolin is a life saver for getting the perfect thin slices. Just don’t cut yourself…
Dredge the apple slices in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning, and set aside to soften and release some of the juices for 20 to 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir 1/3 cup Demerara sugar with 2 tbsp flour. Sprinkle with bitters and add nutmeg, all-spice, cinnamon, kosher salt, and pepper. Drain apples, discarding juices, and toss in the spice mixture.
Sprinkle a bit of flour and sugar over prepared crust in pie dish to prevent any soggy-ness. Tightly arrange apples on the crust, mounding them slightly higher in the center. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of caramel sauce (depending on your sweet tooth) evenly over apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of sea salt. Assemble your lattice on top and crimp edges as desired (maybe add a few cutouts if you so desire).
Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush egg wash over crust to coat, then sprinkle with Demerara sugar and sea salt. Place the pie on the baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and move pie to the center oven rack. Continue to bake until your pie is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes longer.
Let pie cool completely for about 2 to 3 hours before serving. I prefer to serve this beauty warm, so feel free to place back in the oven briefly before serving. Scoop some vanilla gelato on top and watch this pie disappear.
Recipe inspired by the lovely Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.