I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love apple pie. Apple pie in any form – slab pie, galette, Dutch-style, traditional double-crust… if it has the words apple and pie in the name, I will devour it. Last year, I made a Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie, which totally blew my mind. I’ll eat cheesecake without abandon, but the combination of the apples with the salted caramel was absolutely superb. I knew that at some point I wanted to try a more traditional apple pie with the infusion of a salted caramel sauce. It finally happened, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results. A melt-in-your-mouth butter crust and paper-thin apple sliced layered with a homemade salted caramel sauce is dessert nirvana.
While I was assembling the pie, I posted this photo on Instagram:
I was asked by multiple people how I did the cut-outs on the crust. I used a double-sided pie topper that I purchased from King Arthur Flour, which basically acts as a stencil press. While they currently have a heart and lattice and model, it doesn’t appear that they are still selling the one that I used for this pie – the “autumn” version. Perhaps it is just temporarily out of stock, and they’ll begin carrying it again. In the event that they don’t, the lattice version is beautiful as well!
I don’t make a ton of pies throughout the year, but each time I make one, I tell myself that I need to make more pies. There’s just something about making homemade dough, rolling it out, meticulously pinching and crimping the edges, and oh, that smell. The wonderful smell that emanates from a kitchen that has a fresh pie baking in it… there’s little that can compete with that fabulous aroma. Now imagine a fresh-baked pie with salted caramel. You’ll be standing in front of the oven salivating, I promise you.
I love how thinly sliced these apples are (I used a mandoline); it’s perfect for piling high and infusing with the salted caramel sauce. When the pie comes out of the oven, that sauce is bubbling and beautiful and smells amazing. Once it cools, it sets up beautifully, with a little bit of caramel sauce seeping out of each piece when it’s plated.
Make the Dough: Put the flour, sugar and salt in the processor bowl of a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add ¼ cup of water as you continue to pulse, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if necessary; stop pulsing when the dough just starts to come together. Remove the dough from the food processor and form into 2 disks. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days. The dough can also be frozen for up to 2 months and thawed in the refrigerator.
Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 13-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, and gently press the dough into the bottom of the pan and against the sides. Leave the overhanging dough in place and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until completely chilled and firm.
Remove the second disk of dough and roll out into a 13-inch circle. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the dough, or make a lattice-top (see instructions here). If using cut-outs, trim the circle to 12 inches, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the Filling: In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice, then drain in a colander. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Return the apple slices to the large bowl, add the sugar mixture and toss to combine.
Assemble the Pie: Remove the dough-lined pie plate from the refrigerator. Use a slotted spoon to remove one-third of the apple mixture from the bowl and layer in the bottom of the crust so there are hardly any gaps. Top with one-third of the salted caramel sauce, then repeat twice more with layers of apples and salted caramel sauce.
Top the pie with either the cut-out dough round (or lattice-top) and trim the edges of the dough a ½-inch over the edges of the pie plate. Crimp the edges of the pie and then place in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.
Bake the Pie: While the pie is chilling, place a rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
When ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar. Place the pie on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges of the crust start to brown. Remove the pie from the oven and cover the edges of the crust with a pie ring.
Continue to bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove the pie ring and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes if the edges of the crust are a little pale compared to the rest of the crust. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving. The pie can be kept, covered, at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.