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Caramel Apple Pie

S’mores are great, right? Evoking memories of summer, campfires and near misses with open flames. Those little treats have been popping up in Blog Land all summer. I even had my little fling with a s’mores makeover. Caramel apples are the new s’mores. Really. I swear. As fall gets closer, and apples pop up more and more in stores, farmers markets and bloggers imaginations, the memories of school carnivals and Halloween parties will throw this sugary fruit treat into the baker makeover spot light. Here is my jump start on caramel apple makeover, falls new, hot, must have.

Caramel Apple Pie

Pie Dough:

3 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbs sugar

10 tbs butter (1 stick, plus 2 tbs), cut into cubes

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup vodka

1/4 cup cold water

Apple Filling:

5 cups of granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbs flour

1 tbs cinnamon

1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

2 tbs apple sauce

Caramel Filling:

1 cups brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup of cream

1 tbs butter

1 tbs corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

Crust assembly:

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tbs granulated sugar

I’ve done this before and I’m about to do it again. Pie dough lecture. After my years of pie dough research, I feel confident that this recipe is near perfect. I love it. If you are thinking about skipping this step and going with store bought, Stop. Right. There. The food processor method makes your active time about 8 minutes. That’s it. For an investment of only 8 minutes you can make the Worlds Most Amazing Pie Crust and when people ask, "Did you make the crust yourself??" You can sigh, wipe your brow and say, "It was a lot of work, but, yes. I just believe that it is worth all the hard work." They’ll never know.

First, food processors are great at getting the job done as quickly as possible, and as previously mentioned on this blog, the more you mess with dough the tougher it becomes. So break out that food processor and add 2 cups of the flour, salt and sugar and give it a quick pulse until it’s combined.

Add the cubes of butter and the shortening and pulse until combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. A mixture of butter and shortening gives great texture and great flavor.

Add the remaining flour and process until it’s all combined. Move dough to a large bowl, then add the water and the vodka and knead gently until its all combined. Vodka makes your crust flaky. It cooks off completely, unlike water, so you have a great flakiness that will hold up to whatever you put inside of it. Your dough will be very moist, but you can add a bit of flour if it is too moist to hold together. Then split into two evenly sized disks and wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours. If you need to, this can be made up to three days in advance, just store the plastic wrapped disks in a large zip lock bag.

Preheat your oven to 375.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice and salt, toss to coat.  Let stand at room temp for about 30 minutes, drain. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, apple sauce and nutmeg and toss to coat.

In a pot over medium heat, add the brown sugar, corn syrup and cream. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and allow to boil, untouched, until it reaches 225. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla, stir to combine and allow to cool.

Roll out one of  your pie dough disks in a circle large enough to fit into your greased pie pan with a bit of over hang. Add the circle to the pie pan and press into shape.  Pour the caramel on the bottom, then the apples on top of that. Roll out the remaining pie dough circle. I like to cut out cute shapes with a cookie cutter and layer them on top, adhering with melted butter. You can do this, or you can make a top crust a round circle with slits cut in the top.  brush the top with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow the pie to rest before serving, the caramel needs time to thicken or your will be serving apple pie soup.

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Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family August 5, 2011 um 11:14 am

I love the star design on top. I agree with apples coming in season it just seems right to have apple pie (and plenty of it I might add).


Jaxie August 5, 2011 um 11:28 am

Thanks! That big huge box of cookie cutters I have go to good use! The star is my favorite =)


Christine August 5, 2011 um 11:58 am

Yum! I’d like a piece. 🙂


Rita D K Simmons August 5, 2011 um 12:55 pm

This looks delicious, great job!


Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns to Cook August 5, 2011 um 2:02 pm

I love that you have vodka in your pie crust. That is awesome. I have never heard of it but I am so going to try it. It totally makes sense and like you, I love a homemade crust.


Jaxie August 5, 2011 um 4:12 pm

Thanks! Once I started using vodka, I swear my pie crust tasted 10x better. I also ate about 10x more pie after that…so take that as a warning!


Curt August 5, 2011 um 2:35 pm

Wow, that looks awesome. Hot out of the oven, and a sciip of vanilla ice cream. What more can a guy ask for!


Jaxie August 5, 2011 um 4:13 pm

…and a cold beer!


Tina@flourtrader August 5, 2011 um 7:18 pm

Nothing brings back thoughts of visits to grandma like a piece of apple pie and I am sure my grandma would approve of this one-simply delicious!


chinmayie @ love food eat August 5, 2011 um 7:34 pm

Jackie! Please tell me how you manage to bake all these AMAZING sugary bakes, eat them and still look so gorgeous!


Jaxie August 6, 2011 um 7:32 am

You’re so sweet! I’m pretty sure I force my baking on ALL my friends. When ever I go anywhere I have a tray of bakes goods in my hands! And, spin class helps out =)


Lindsey@Lindselicious August 5, 2011 um 8:28 pm

Oh I love caramel apples- and to have it in a pie sounds like a slice of heavenly goodness! Love the stars on top- too cute!


Sasha @ The Procrastobaker August 6, 2011 um 11:55 am

Beautiful! And im sure tastes just as wonderful as it looks 🙂 Really lovely post


Penny Wolf August 6, 2011 um 3:39 pm

I do not have a food processor. Have you ever made this recipe without it?


Jaxie August 6, 2011 um 4:27 pm

I always make mine with a food processor because it’s so much quicker and easier. You can also do it by just rubbing the butter and shortening into the flour with your fingers. It takes much longer. If you cook a lot, I would recommend investing in a food processor. I’ve only had mine for 2 years and I can’t believe how much I use it. You can get them for as low as about $30 at target.


Heidi @ Food Doodles August 6, 2011 um 9:11 pm

Beautiful! I love the caramel, that sounds amazing! Plus, caramel and apple is one of my favorite combos 😀


briarrose August 8, 2011 um 10:45 am

Fantastic pie. Beautiful design on the top. I drooled over the caramel.


Jaxie August 9, 2011 um 6:40 pm

Ahhh, thanks =)


Cookin' Cowgirl August 15, 2011 um 10:54 am

YUM! I saw this on TK. This looks amazing, Jackie!!


Jaxie August 15, 2011 um 9:52 pm



Laurie August 15, 2011 um 9:44 pm

About how long did this whole process take you? I am in dire need of a show stopping dessert Thursday lunch, but only have a short time frame Wed night to make it. Does it hold up overnight?


Jaxie August 15, 2011 um 9:51 pm

If you make the pie crust the night before, you can just jump right in the next day. It shouldn’t take that long after the pie crust chills to assemble, maybe 20 minutes to make the caramel and put the apple filling together and about 35 minutes to bake. I like it better hot, but you can always heat it up. I served it with home made Chantilly cream (2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup powder sugar in a mixer for about 5 minutes, really yum).


Laurie August 15, 2011 um 9:44 pm

also, is it best served cold or hot?


Dalene Legra November 26, 2011 um 4:49 pm

Ooooo! My two favorites in one dish! Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been looking for a good one to try.


Jolie Elise November 28, 2011 um 9:47 am

We made this pie over the weekend & it’s AMAZING! Thank you SO much for sharing! I’ve added it to my pin board & shared with friends & coworkers! ~Jolie Elise


Jackie November 28, 2011 um 10:31 am

Thank you!! That made my day 🙂 So glad you liked it!


Christina August 1, 2012 um 9:15 pm

I just had to come back and tell you that I made this pie this last fall using fresh-picked apples that we picked ourselves – holy heck, this is the best pie I have EVER had. My husband ate pretty much the entire pie. Thank you!


Jackie August 1, 2012 um 9:19 pm

That’s awesome! Thank you do much for telling me, that makes my day 🙂


Terri September 10, 2012 um 1:02 pm

I just got some fresh picked apples and can’t wait to give your pie and crust a try. I’ve had your page bookmarked for awhile just waiting for some apples!! My question is…..have you ever prepared this pie and froze it to bake at a later date? If not, do you think it would be O.K. to do so?


Jackie September 10, 2012 um 2:13 pm

I haven’t done that. I haven’t ever done that so I’m not sure how it would work. I do worry a bit about it becoming soggy once it’s baked, and obviously the cooking time would be much longer. If you do it, let me know how it goes!


m December 3, 2012 um 4:27 pm

I made this and loved the crust. It got rave reviews, but the filing was a little runny. Was I supposed to pour in all the liquid from the apples?


Jackie December 3, 2012 um 6:29 pm

It depends on how much there was. Apple vary so much when it comes to water content, even within types. Some produce very little, some produce lots. If there is a lot of liquid it’s a good idea to pour it all off, but if there isn’t very much than it isn’t a big deal.


heather December 21, 2012 um 12:58 pm

How do I make this crust if I don’t have a food processor?


Jackie December 21, 2012 um 2:14 pm

Just cut the butter in with a pastry cutter, or rub it in with your fingers. It works fine, it just takes longer.


renee March 18, 2013 um 2:59 pm

What size dish should be used for this recipe?


Jackie March 18, 2013 um 3:02 pm

9 inch pie pan should work well 🙂


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