When you’re looking for a special dessert, here’s one that brings together the best of the season:  apples, caramel and nuts. 

Sweet & nutty, just like the holidays!

Caramel Apple Pie

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  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes plus baking
  • Baking Time: 1 hour
  • Serves: 8
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Caramel Apple Pie


Pastry for 9” deep dish pie plate

30 caramels, divided


7 c. peeled, cored, sliced apples (Golden Delicious)

½ c. firmly packed light brown sugar

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 t. granulated sugar

1 T. cornstarch

½ t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

10 of the caramels

Crumb Topping:

¾ c. flour

¾ c. pecan halves

¼ c. sugar

¼ t. salt

4 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼ “ pieces

Caramel and Pecan Garnish:

3 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 T. water

20 caramels

large handful roasted pecan halves (15-18)

½ c. chopped roasted pecans


  1. Roll pastry and transfer to 9” deep dish pie plate.  Sculpt a high flute. 
  2. Cut 10 caramels into quarters.  Place caramel pieces around the bottom of the pie shell and refrigerate.  Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. Combine apples with brown sugar and lemon juice in large bowl.  Mix well and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Mix the 1 t. sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and vanilla in a small cup or bowl.  Stir the mixture into the fruit.  Scrape filling into chilled      pie shell, spreading the fruit to fill the dish.
  5. Bake on center rack for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the crumb topping.  Combine the flour, 3/4 c.pecan halves, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor.  Pulse several times to chop the nuts coarsely.  Scatter the butter over the dry mixture and pulse again until the mix resembles fine crumbs.  Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and rub the mixture between your fingers to make damp crumbs.  Chill.
  7. Roast the ½ c. chopped pecans and whole pecans for the caramel layer by stirring them in a heavy pan over low heat until they just barely begin to brown.  Set aside to cool until the last step.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°.  Place the crumbs in the center of the pie and carefully spread them evenly over the surface with your hands.  Tamp them down lightly.  Return pie to the oven. 
  9. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes until juices bubble thickly around the edges.  After the first 10 or 15 minutes, be ready to cover the edge of the crust with a crust protector or aluminum foil to keep it from getting too dark.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack and let it start to cool.
  11. While the pie is still warm, prepare the caramel sauce.  In a double boiler (over, but not in, warm water), melt the caramels with the butter and water.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Stir gently.  When the caramels are melted, whisk the mixture til smooth, then drizzle the caramel sauce over the entire surface of the pie.
  12. Immediately press the pecan halves into the caramel, then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top.  Let cool for another hour before serving.

Baker’s Notes and Tips and Tricks

Allow plenty of time!  All that roasting of pecans and cutting up of caramels takes me longer than I think it will.  It's labor-intensive...and worth it.

This pie won a blue ribbon in the non-traditional apple pie category at the State Fair in 2006.

Caramel Apple Pie

Recipe Originated from

Adapted from the book, Pie, by Ken Haedrich

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