Caramel and apples can actually get even sweeter and more crave-worthy when you add ribbons of buttery brown sugar and make it all into one to-die-for pie. There is so much to love about this pie.
It is perfect for holidays and special occasions. Plus it combines the flavors of an apple streusel with that of caramel apples into one amazing pie. And if you have a favorite apple or grow your own apples, whichever kind that is, they will likely work in this pie.
This is also what I call a "half scratch" recipe. That means there are a few store-bought items that help make this recipe a bit less labor-intensive. This recipe includes premade pie crusts and Kraft caramels.
Of course, you can make your own pie crusts and make homemade caramels or caramel sauce but this is the method I have used for years. I do not want to mess with perfection as this is my most requested pie, especially during the holidays.
Best Apples for Caramel Apple Pie
I would like to say you can use just about any apple for this pie. But I will admit some varieties really make for a better pie. Some apples come out too mushy. Also, some may make this too sweet.
So for my favorite combination, I use a combination of granny smith and Honeycrisp. Both bake up beautifully and hold their shape. The tart and sweet combination also balances out the brown sugar and caramel for a foolproof flavor punch.
Here is how different apples may make your pie. I suggest using one from each category. I use a combination in my Apple Hand Pies recipe too. All of those I list below are firm apples that are ideal for baking:
- For tartness - Granny Smith, Braeburn, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Empire, Jonathan, Cortland
- For sweetness - Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Gravenstein, Jonagold, Winesap
How to Make Brown Sugar Caramel Apple Pie
Here are the step-by-step instructions to make this caramel apple pie recipe. There are layers to this pie so make sure you follow along. It will be worth the little extra effort.
First, make the brown sugar mixture. In a small microwave-safe bowl melt the butter. Next mix in the brown sugar and ⅓ C of the flour. Set the bowl to the side to use later when assembling the pie.
Peel and core apples. Then thinly slice the apples into evenly sized pieces as shown below.
Add cinnamon, sugar, and flour to the thinly sliced apples. Mix to combine the apple pie filling.
For this caramel apple pie, unwrap 20 Kraft caramel squares and cut each in half. If using the caramel bits or a combination, measure those out. Gather all pie ingredients to assemble. In a 9" deep-dish pie pan, line the bottom with one of the pastry crusts.
ready to assemble the pie[/caption]
Top the bottom crust with half the apple mixture, half the brown sugar mixture, and half the caramel.
the first layer of apples, brown sugar, and caramels
Repeat with the remaining ingredients to have two layers. The pie will be slightly mounded higher than the pie crust. I push down slightly to have the apple slices and other ingredients in the crust evenly and to make sure the pie doesn't have any voids.
The filling will shrink as it cooks so if there are voids plus a reduction in size, the pie will have a low filling and empty space between the filling and the top crust. This will result in the top crust caving in or difficulty keeping the slices together as you cut them.
pie ready for the top crust[/caption]
Place the top pastry crust on the filling and crimp the edges. Be sure to seal the bottom crust with the top crust to ensure there is no filling that leaks out. Cut 3 or 4 small slits in the middle of the top crust for venting.
How Long to Bake the Pie
Bake in the preheated oven covered with foil for 35 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook another 45 minutes. See the recipe card below for checking for doneness.
Let the pie rest before serving. Serve warm!
This apple pie lasts for days. You can bake it ahead of time which is great for busy holidays. The pie can rest on the counter covered for 24 hours. If you bake it more than a day ahead of time, place it in the refrigerator and store for up to 3 days covered.
To reheat, slice and warm in the microwave. Or serve it at room temperature by removing it from the refrigerator 4 hours before you want to slice and enjoy.
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
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Brown Sugar Caramel Apple Pie
- 2 9-inch premade store-bought pie crusts like Pillsbury brand or your favorite homemade recipe
- ½ C brown sugar
- ¼ C butter melted
- ⅓ C all-purpose flour
- 7 C apples (recommend Granny Smith or Honeycrisp) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ⅔ C sugar
- 3 TB all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 20 Kraft Caramels unwrapped & cut in half OR ½ C Kraft Caramel Bits
- Preheat oven to 375°
- For Brown Sugar mix: In a small bowl combine brown sugar and flour into the melted butter. Mix well, set aside.
- For Pie Filling: In a large mixing bowl combine apple slices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Toss together to combine. Your hands are the best for this.
- To Assemble the Pie: In a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, line the pan with one of the pastry crusts. Spoon half of the apple pie filling into the pastry crust. Top with half the caramels and half of the brown sugar mix. Repeat process with remaining ingredients. Place top pastry crust on top of the mound of filling. Seal the edges to ensure the filling does not bubble out and spill. You want all the caramel and pie juices to remain in the crusts. Cut 3 or 4 vent slices into the top of the crust.
- Place pie on a baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Next place into the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake an additional 45 minutes. The pie will be slightly brown and the filling hot and bubbling. You can slide a butter knife down through one of the vent slits and then gently touch the knife to test for doneness. The pie filling should make the knife hot to the touch. (be careful)
- Let rest at least 20 minutes so the juices and caramel can set so ensure easy slicing. Serve warm. Keeps up to 4 days in the refrigerator after slicing. The pie can be kept on your countertop overnight if unsliced. (easy to make ahead before a holiday)
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Apple pie is one of my favorites anyway, but adding brown sugar and caramel is bound to make it even better. Yum!
I'm kind of an apple pie snob. But I think even I would like this one!
This cracks me up. Ian and I often call ourselves "pizza snobs" so I can relate. I am pretty confident you will like this is you love apple pie and anything caramel. Go for it!
That looks and sounds so good! I pinned it in the hopes of one day making it. I used to make apple pie every year but the addition of caramel sounds fabulous.
Oh my goodness this sounds and looks amazing! We love caramel and never thought to put it in a pie.
Love the half-scratch aspect of this recipe! Keep 'em coming!
Half-scratch really can be a time saver and a great way to get kids started with cooking / building confidence.
Lisa Manderino says
I may try this on our next pie contest! It looks amazing!
Great and good luck!
Holly Bird says
Angela, you have the most amazing and unique recipes! I can't wait to try this one! Thank you!
Thank you Holly, it means a lot to hear that.
Chrissy Gates says
I think I gained five pounds just reading that recipe. It sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!
There really isn't a better combination than caramel and apples. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us at the Creative Muster. Looking forward to seeing what you’ll be sharing next week. Pinned!
Thank you and always happy to visit your site and share.
I never thought to add caramel... such a great idea!!
I've never heard of Kraft caramel bits. Yum!
Maria Gustafsson says
Angela, I absolutely love apple pie! And this week alone I've gained at least 5lbs looking at this recipe!
I love how easy this is to make!!! Looks delicious!
This looks DELICIOUS! And I love that it's not a requirement to spend all day in the kitchen making it.
Haley Kelley says
This would have been great to make for Thanksgiving
Caitlin Westwood says
Oh my goodness my mouth is watering! This looks so good!
This pie looks delicious! And it’s beautiful too.
Apple Pie is my other half's favourite dessert, I love the addition of caramel!! Need to give this a go! x
I love caramel apple everything (especially cider!) and this sounds right up my alley (:
You must make it - guaranteed caramel apple love!
Adding caramel to an apple pie is genius. Yum!
Isn't apple pie such a delicious classic? This recipe looks so good and perfect for Christmas!
Lisa Ho says
I love Love love apple pie.
Definitely book marking this recipe for my dessert to try 🙂
Great, thanks for saving to make later.
The other day I was thinking about what pie to make at some potluck.....n this surely looks like a treat!
I hope you make this for the potluck and be prepared to get rave reviews, everyone loves this pie.
Aimee DiPasquale says
I love that you use granny smith. Apple pie needs some tartness in my opinion. It can be too sweet.
Thanks, Aimee, the tart-sweet balance sure does make the best pie.
I love that you used Granny Smith apples and the addition of caramel sounds outstanding! I'm not a big desserts person, but this sounds like a "must try".
I am not a big dessert person either but I love this one. The tart and sweet ratios are perfect.
Jacqueline Debono says
Love that you used caramels in this apple pie. Such a scrumptious combination!
Bookmarking this for the next time I buy apples at the farmer's market - if I can wait that long. I love caramel and look forward to this treat.
Great I hope you love it - I highly recommend using some tart apples to pair with the caramel and brown sugar.
Apple pie is my favorite dessert but I have never tried it with caramel! No you have me craving one! Do you ship : )
I wish Michele and you would be first to get one. You have GOT TO TRY caramel in an apple pie - I warn you, dangerous!
SOTERIA Loadedpenvibes says
nice website and awesome recipes
I appreciate that, thanks for saying so!
What a lovely recipe , the caramel in it must give a nice flavor to the apples .
Caramels with apples in this homemade pie recipe is a great flavor boost.
This pie was so amazing and had the best caramel apple flavor. It is a sweet pie and just how I like it.
I am so glad you liked this caramel apple pie recipe and I hope you share this recipe with others.
Ashley Zimmerman says
Can I make this with one crust? Would it affect how the caramel melts and the doneness of the apples? I really want to make this pie with a dutch ''crumble" topping. Please let me know what you think!
Wow, Ashley, we think alike! I have not personally made it yet that way but literally just bought all the ingredients to try and make it as a dutch caramel apple pie version. I absolutely think it will work. I won't be making it until probably Christmas so give it a try and I would love to hear how it turns out for you. Even share on Facebook and tag me so I can see a photo of your beautiful pie! Tag @theshortordercookblog (Instagram & Facebook) Good luck and enjoy!
So many apples this year off our tree. This is the 3rd pie I have made this month and it is the winner. It is so rich and amazing. The caramels and whatever the brown sugar is doing is seriously amazing. I will make this probably 100 more times for sure and saved it to pinterest.
I could make this 100x a year myself, it is that good. Thanks for the message.
Ok, saving this recipe and going to make for Christmas with my own homemade Carmel's. Don't know if I'm reading wrong or what.. but I'm not getting the brown sugar mix... Combine brown sugar a flour and meix into the melted sugar? Is it possible you melt the granulated sugar in the butter first? Because I don't see where butter is in the recipe? Otherwise, I can't wait to try this! 😋
Thanks for the comment. I see there was a typo, in step 2 it is melted butter not sugar! I have made the change in the recipe card and I hope that helps. My daughter and I just made this recipe again for Thanksgiving and still didn't catch that. We have made it so many times we almost know it by heart and didn't realize. Happy Holidays!