Desserts | November 12, 2016

Salted Caramel Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

Is there anything better than the combination of creamy caramel and tart apples? This Salted Caramel Apple Pie combines sweet creamy caramel, tart apples, flaky pie crust and a toffee-like streusel topping.

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Grant’s Grandmother Martin was the queen of caramel making!  She always packed a bag of caramels for us to take home after she had stuffed us with her Thanksgiving feast. They were creamy and sweet and had the perfect texture. Grandma wrapped those caramels up in individual little pieces of wax paper and folded them over to create their own little caramel package. O, how I loved those caramels!

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It’s been 34 years since she first shared her caramels with me, and I have still never mastered the art of  caramel making. When I started testing this pie, I wanted to make a no-fail, fairly simple Salted Caramel Apple pie. I wanted it to be delicious and creamy and have substantial chunks of apple and a sweet and salty caramel flavor with a slightly crispy streusel topping, drizzled with more caramel.  Doesn’t that sound dreamy?? It all worked out…except the caramel layer. I’m still striving to make the most delicious caramel. Let’s be honest, I would settle for ANY successful caramel making experience. But it just hasn’t happened for me. After a few attempts, I turned to my old fall back, Peter’s Caramel. It’s my go-to caramel for cooking. Slice, heat and use.

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Someday, I’ll master the art of caramel making, but for now, this recipe WOWED everyone who ate a slice, or two.  My cheater version of Salted Caramel Apple Pie with Streusel Topping is fit for any holiday table, I’ve already received requests for Thanksgiving day!  We loved it and I know you will too.

** This recipe has been updated 11/2018 to eliminate the problem of the filling being too juicy. I added a step that includes drain gin off any juices after the apples have been tossed with sugar and flour and then adding back a small amount of flour and sugar just before filing the pie shell.**

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3 from 1 vote
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Salted Caramel Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

Apples and caramel with a bit of sea salt in a pie shell and streusel topping. Nothing is more delicious than this combination! 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple pie, caramel, holiday
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
cool time 2 hours
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Si Foster, A Bountiful Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6-8 large Granny Smith apples
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup Peters Caramel divided (1/4 cup saved for topping the streusel)
  • sea salt
  • *additional 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons flour for filling

for topping:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Pie dough:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening I use half butter flavor and half regular flavor shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + a tablespoon or more of additional water

Instructions

  1. Make filling: Peel, core and slice apples. Set in large bowl. Mix in 3/4 cup sugar, dash of salt, and 3 tablespoons flour. Set mixture aside.

  2. Prepare the streusel topping: Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor, or simply mix all of the dry streusel ingredients together in a bowl and cut in the butter and set aside.
  3. Make pie dough: Place 1 cup of flour into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut shortening into flour and salt until the texture is similar to small peas. This should take a few seconds. Add the cold water all at once and gently fold with a fork until the flour and shortening absorbs the liquid. This should be a folding, and not a stirring motion. Gather the dough together and roll out on a generously floured surface. The dough will be a bit sticky. Sprinkle it with flour and roll out to fit a 9 inch deep dish pie plate.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the rack on the second lowest shelf in the oven.

Assemble the pie:

  1. Fit the dough inside the plate and trim the edges.
  2. Melt 1 cup of Peter's Caramel for a few seconds in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup until caramel is soft enough to pour, about 20-30 seconds** see recipe notes.
  3. Drain any juice off of the apple mixture and discard. Add another 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour to the apple mixture and toss. Do this immediately before filling the pie. 

  4. Place 1/2 of the apple mixture in the pie plate. Drizzle the prepared apples with about 1/2 cup of caramel, sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Repeat, ending with the caramel layer on top. Sprinkle top layer of caramel with additional 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.

  5. Place the pie pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. I usually set a pan under the pie plate, I use a thin cookie sheet or sheet of foil under the pie plate*.
  6. Remove from oven and top with streusel topping and bake uncovered for an additional 40 minutes. Do not pat down streusel topping, it will settle as it bakes. If the pie gets too browned on top, loosely tent with foil.
  7. Remove from oven when done.
  8. Let cool for about 15 minutes and melt remaining 1/3 cup of caramel.
  9. Drizzle over top of pie and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Let cool for at least 3 hours, then cut and enjoy.
  10. Store pie loosely covered on counter top.

Recipe Notes

  • Some apples give off more juice than others, therefore producing more juice in the finished product. The flour helps thicken the filling, but sometimes, letting the fruit macerate (combine with the sugar, which helps the fruit to release juice) and draining before baking helps, the recipe instructions include a step to incorporate draining off juices and adding back  a bit of flour and sugar to compensate for ingredients lost when draining off. 
  • Make sure to use sea salt and not regular table salt in this recipe. Sea salt is found in almost any grocery or big box store. It is very inexpensive. If you aren't using it already in your baking, you will taste a big difference!
  • For the dough, I use 1/2 Butter Flavor Crisco and 1/2 Regular Flavor Crisco. You may use all of one type if you don't want to buy both flavors! I always buy the sticks for simple measuring and cutting. They can be stored on a pantry shelf.
  • If you have a newer model oven with a blue coating inside of the oven, do NOT place any foil on the bottom of the oven to catch drips. The foil will melt onto your oven and will not be removable. Instead, place a layer of foil under your pie plate, or place the pie plate on a thin cookie sheet to bake.-
  • ** the caramel does not need to be melted beforehand. If you cut off about a 2 inch chunk, that should equal close to a cup melted. Cut the chunk in half. Cut each piece into about 5 pieces of caramel and stretch with your hands. The caramel is pliable and can be stretched easily. Place the pieces of stretched caramel over the apples. This eliminates the need to melt and pour the caramel! I still melt the 1/3 cup of caramel to drizzle over the top of the pie (for a pretty thin drizzle effect) after it has been removed from the oven and cooled a bit.

17 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

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  1. I don’t have access to Peters Caramel and if I order it, I won’t get it in time so what would you recommend in place of it, please? This pie looks fabulous and I can’t wait to make it!
    Thank you!

    1. I just posted a comment about Mrs.. Richardsons, but you can also use Kraft caramels. Unwrap, melt the caramels in microwave with about 1/4-1/3 cup of milk. Use as directed. Let me know if you try this!

  2. Any other kind of caramel I can use? I did it with the Kraft ones, but it’s a pain to unwrap them all! Anything I can find in a Kroger/Smith’s?

    1. Hi Beth, I have not had great luck with caramels that need to be unwrapped, they are too hard for this recipe unless melted with milk and then used. You could try something like Mrs. Richardson’s caramel, but it may be too thin…My only other recommendation is to bake the pie as directed, but omit the caramel layer. bake it without the streusel topping for about 45 minutes. remove from oven, pour caramel topping over the top. Top with streusel. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Then drizzle a bit of the caramel over the top of the streusel after cooled.

    1. Hi Annie,
      Im sorry I must have erased my response! yes, it works to make this the day before and leave on counter top!

  3. 3 stars
    We tried this pie on Thanksgiving, per my daughter’s request. Baking is not my forte, so this was probably 100% user error…but the pie was very soupy. I baked it as directed (granny smith – check, peters – check!), but the apples were almost al dente, and there was probably and inch of liquid in the pie dish when we cut into it. I had to spoon it out instead of slice it. No one seemed to care – it still tasted amazing, but I’d love to figure out what I did wrong and make it again (because I have a LOT of Peters in my pantry! ha!).

    1. Hi Christina, If the apples are really juicy, I would add more flour to the fruit. another two tablespoons should do it. To avoid too much juice in the filling, you can also add the sugar to the fruit and let sit while you are making the crust. After the apples have been sitting on counter in sugar, drain off any juice. Then add the flour and other ingredients. Some apples give off more juice than others, therefore producing more juice in the finished product. The flour helps thicken the filling, but sometimes, letting the fruit macerate (combine with the sugar, which helps the fruit to release juice) and draining before baking helps. If the fruit was still not soft after baking the directed time, I’m guessing your oven is cooking a little on the low side, so either up the temp 25 degrees or let it bake another 15 minutes. Cover if needed to avoid over browning. Last, and most important, make sure to let the pie sit on the counter for a minimum of 3 hours, 4 is better to allow the flour to thicken the juice in the pie. Im making this again this weekend for Christmas, hope you’ll give it another try. Also, search “Peter’s Caramel” on the right side of ABK for other recipes you’ll love!

  4. Thanks for all the tips! We’ll definitely try it again! And, we made your Salted Caramel Choc Chip cookies for Santa…he’s most definitely a fan…along with our whole house! Happy New Year!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! I was super worried about the apples making the pie soggy, so I soaked them in sugar for 12 hours or so. Then, I drained all of the liquid. They were SO perfect! I didn’t have access to Peter’s, so I just used the other caramel that you recommended and melted it with 1/4 cup of milk and microwaved it in 20 second intervals. It turned out perfect. Thank you for the amazing recipe! It will be in the annual Thanksgiving rotation now. You are amazing!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this pie with my 9 year old daughter on the 4th of July. I probably should have read all the comments prior to making it as I ran into two problems 1)apples were super syrupy and I didn’t drain or add flour, so crust was soggy 2) didn’t have Peters caramel so tried to substitute with Torani caramel sauce and it was too thin. All that said, my family still ate it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. And it was delicious the next day too. I look forward to making it again and correcting my mistakes.

    1. Hi Karen, this recipe definitely requires the extra details to prevent the crust from becoming soggy. The sweet and tart flavors are what make this pie so delicious. All that matters is that you and your family enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

      xo,
      Si

      1. 5 stars
        Oh man could you put those user tips about straining the apples in the directions? I didn’t read the comments until after I’d made it today. Would have for sure helped to not include the apples juices. 🙈

        However my cousin makes this every thanksgiving and it is absolutely divine when she makes it.

        1. Hi Rachel,
          thanks for your comment, I just now updated the recipe with instructions that should insure the pie sets up properly. The problem with fresh apple pie is, depending on the juiciness of the apple, sometimes the filling is not completely set unless additional flour is added. I believe this pie also becomes a little more runny because of the caramel as well. I didn’t think that effected the filing much but have had a few readers comment, so I made an adjustment. Hope you’ll give this another try! Thanks for reading ABK,
          xo
          Si

          1. 5 stars
            Thank you for that. Since I know I’ll forget next time I make it. And I will say; that even though I added all the lemony syrup, it was still plenty delicious! For sure not as cohesive as the one my cousin made, but still half gone already! 🙂

          2. I’m so glad to hear that it turned out well, Rach! This pie is really hard to beat. Thanks for sharing,
            xo
            Si