Caramel Apple Pie is loaded with a delicious apple pie filling topped with caramel sauce baked inside a buttery, flaky crust. This apple caramel pie recipe is the perfect Thanksgiving or holiday dessert.
For this apple pie recipe, we use Granny Smith apples for apple pie filling because they pair perfectly with sweet buttery caramel sauce. You’ll love this version of the traditional classic apple pie.
Homemade apple pie has always been such a big part of our holiday dinners and reminds me of my mom.
Pie crust is made with a few basic pantry ingredients. Flour, salt, cold water and fat. You can make pie crust with shortening, lard or with butter. Shortening and lard both contribute in creating flakiness. Flaky, tender, melt-in-your mouth crust that is perfect for any type of pie recipe. Butter provides incredible flavor.
My pie crust recipe uses both butter and lard. Which helps achieve a pie crust that is full of butter flavor and also wonderfully flaky. Make the apple filling as the dough is chilling.
I love that I have handwritten recipes from both my mom and grandmother. Recipes that have been passed down for generations! And how good does this apple pie look?!
Want a few more of our family-favorite recipes? Be sure and try apple hand pies, apple cider donuts, cherry crumb pie, cherry cobbler and my grandmother’s holiday punch.
Each holiday season I make hundreds Christmas Sugar Cookies and Spritz Cookies for DIY holiday gifts. And everyone loves my grandmother’s Cream Puffs Recipe. Holiday baking is even better when it’s from scratch and made with love.
Condensed Milk makes everyday and holiday desserts special! It’s my go-to brand for making Caramel Apples, Caramel Apple Slices, and homemade caramel for my Apple Hand Pie Recipe. What are some of your favorite holiday treats?
Why this recipe works
- Made with simple ingredients – readily available at your local grocery store.
- Make ahead of time – Bake your pie the night before to save time!
- Cook the apple filling – Cook ahead of time and refrigerate overnight before placing in your unbaked pie shell!
- Perfect homemade dessert – This pie recipe is the perfect holiday dessert or any occasion.
Buying from a local apple orchard? Ask them to suggest a seasonal baking apple.
What you’ll need for this recipe
- Apples – Use Granny Smith and another variety such as McIntosh. Granny Smith is tart and holds up well. Use another variety, such as McIntosh that will break down and create an apple sauce texture.
- Sugar – Adjust the sugar based on how tart or sweet your apples are. Sugar naturally draws out the juice of fruit.
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch is used to thicken the pie filling.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg – Warm spice of cinnamon adds plenty of fall spice to your apple pie.
- Pie Crust – Use homemade or store-bought pie crust. Be sure and try my Pie Crust Recipe.
Best apples for pie
- Granny Smith – Granny Smith apples have a tart and tangy flavor, along with firmness. They are also readily available in most grocery stores.
- Macoun – A variety native to New England and perfect for pie. It’s a cross between the ‘McIntosh’ and ‘Jersey Black’ cultivars. Sweet, slightly tart and perfect for pie.
- McIntosh – This apple is sweet and tart. It also tends to break down when it cooks.
- Honeycrisp – This apple is sweet, firm, and great apple flavor. This combination of flavor and texture makes it a great choice for pie.
How to make Caramel Apple Pie
- Make caramel sauce – Make the caramel sauce. Let cool while you prepare the pie.
- Make the pie filling – Cook the apples over medium heat for about 15-20. Thicken with a cornstarch slurry.
- Roll out pie crust – On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the bottom crust and place into a 9 or 9 ½-inch pie plate.
- Add cooled pie filling – Add the apple pie filling to the unbaked pie shell.
- Add caramel sauce – Drizzle as much or as little caramel sauce over the top of the apples as you prefer. Be sure to save some caramel sauce for serving if desired.
- Add top crust – Roll out the top crust. Place the top pie crust over the seasoned apples. Or weave a lattice crust.
- Brush with egg wash – Gently use a pastry brush the pie crust layer with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake – Bake for about 60 minutes in a preheated 400 degree F oven. Let cool completely before slicing.
Lattice Pie Crust
Lattice pie crust is weaved pie dough across the pie filling. It’s not only a beautiful way to decorate a pie or fruit cobbler, it also lets steam escape between the holes.
- Use a quality pie – Whether that’s making your own pie crust or using a store-bought one. Make sure it’s a quality pie dough that is sturdy and will hold up to weaving a lattice crust.
- Cut dough into strips – Use a pastry wheel or small pizza cutter. You can also use a ruler as a guide to make straight lines.
- Refrigerate pie strips – Place strips onto a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Making them super chilled)
- Place pie strips vertically over pie – Lay strips vertically, starting in the center of the pie so it is even.
- Place pie strips opposite direction – Pull back every other strip and lay a strip of pie dough the opposite direction.
- Repeat these steps – Weaving the strips over and under until your pie is completely covered.
I weaved a lattice pie crust and cut out leaves to adorn my caramel apple pie.
Tips on working with pie crust
- Keep the pie dough chilled– always. If it gets to warm, place it back into the fridge or even the freezer for a bit.
- Doesn’t have to be perfect! Working with pie dough and weaving a lattice crust takes practice. Don’t stress and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. It will still taste amazing! And guests appreciate a pie made from scratch!
Prep ahead of time- cut strips of pastry crust ahead of time and place on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you assemble your pie.
Love this cast iron pie pan? Order it here!
Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until the pie is fully baked and apples are tender.
There’s no need to refrigerate apple pies if it contains sugar. You can store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Granny Smith apples are best for caramel apples and caramel apple pie because they are tart and pairs perfectly with sweet buttery caramel.
More Apple Recipes
More Pie Recipes
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Caramel Apple Pie
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Caramel Apple Pie
- 8 large apples (Granny Smith, McIntosh, or Honey Crisp)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar (adjust based on how tart your apples are)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup cold water
- Homemade or store-bought pie crust
- Heat the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a small sauce pan, over medium heat. Stirring constantly, as to not burn the brown sugar.
- Once the brown sugar and butter is melted, slowly add the sweetened condensed milk. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon or heat resistant rubber spatula.
- Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is bubbling and turns slightly darker in color (cook for about 4-5 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Caramel sauce will thicken as it cools. Set aside.
Apple Pie Filling
- Peel, core and slice the apples. Melt the butter in a 10-12 inch skillet. Cook the apples over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. Sprinkle with brown sugar, sugar, and lemon juice while they cook. Stir with a wooden spoon occasionally, making sure they do not burn.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in about ¼ cup of cold water. Stir to combine.
- Cook the apples over medium heat until they are slightly softened. You do not want to fully cook them, as they will continue to cook as the pie bakes.
- Pour in the cornstarch mixture once they are almost done and let cook to thicken the apples and juice.
- Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon, nutmeg and stir to combine. Let the pie filling cool completely.
- Add the pie filling to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight if needed.
Caramel Apple Pie
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the bottom crust slightly larger in diameter than your baking dish. Gently place the pie crust into a 9 or 9 ½-inch pie dish lightly, using your fingers. Use kitchen shears to trim the edges of the crust, to about ½-inch past the pan rim.
- Add the apple pie filling to the unbaked pie shell.
- Drizzle as much or as little caramel sauce over the top of the apples as you prefer. Save some caramel sauce for serving if desired.
- Roll out the top crust. Place the top pie crust over the seasoned apples. Or weave a lattice crust.
- Trim the edges of pie crust with kitchen shears and roll under the crust. Crimp with your fingers or press with a fork.
- Use a sharp knife to cut vent holes in the center of the pie.
- Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 1 hour.
- The crust will be golden brown and the filling bubbling up near the vent holes and edges of the crust. Let cool for at least an hour before slicing. This will allow the pie filling to set.
Lisa Hall says
Hi, I haven’t made this but it sounds like the best one I’ve seen. Can I prepare this then freeze before baking? I have apples to use and want to make this for thanksgiving
Jessica Robinson says
Yes, you can absolutely prepare this pie ahead of time and freeze before baking. Just don’t preheat the oven if you are using a glass pie dish! Put the frozen pie on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and place it in a COLD oven. Then preheat with the pie in the oven. So it gradually brings the pie dish to temperature and less chance of it cracking.
Lisa Hatfield says
Jessica, your pie recipes are always so helpful, and I love how you baked this in a cast iron pie plate. This Caramel Apple pie recipe sounds scrumptious for Christmas dinner!