The Best Apple Pie You’ll Ever Have (with Caramel)

Happy Fourth of July! Let’s take a quick break from our work/life balance series to ask: Any plans to see fireworks or eat hot dogs? Since nothing is more all-American that apple pie, Hannah from Honey and Jam is sharing her favorite recipe today, and bonus: it has caramel

The Best Apple Pie You’ll Ever Have
By Hannah from Honey and Jam

Apple pie is the best sort of pie. It’s homey, familiar and always delicious. This recipe is my absolute favorite. It takes a little more time than your average recipe, but it’s worth it, I assure you!

The best part of this pie is the apple cider caramel. Caramel-making sounds a little fussy, but it’s actually as easy as standing over a pot for a few minutes. It adds such a depth of flavor and intensifies the apple taste. You’ll want to save the left over caramel for pancakes or ice cream!

Tip: Let this cool completely before cutting. I always want to dive right in, but you have to let it set, otherwise you’ll have a watery mess. Enjoy!

Recipe: Cider Caramel Apple Pie

For the cider caramel:
4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter

For the pie:
5-6 cups sliced apple (gala or granny smith are best)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cider caramel, warmed
1 large egg, beaten

For the crust:
(recipe from Martha Stewart)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

To make the crust:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)

With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

To make the caramel:

Pour cider into heavy bottomed pot. Boil cider until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Add butter & sugar, cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Can be made 2 days ahead, transfer to bowl and keep refrigerated.

To make the pie:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Let pie dough rest on counter for 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into two 1/8 inch thick rounds. Press one round into lightly greased pie plate.

In a large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla, and caramel. Mix well. Spoon apples into pie plate. Cover with remaining crust. Cut 4 steam vents into top. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar & cinnamon.

Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool before serving.

Thank you so much, Hannah–and happy Fourth of July, everyone!

P.S. More best recipes, including cookies and chocolate ice-cream.

(Photos by Hannah from Honey and Jam. Thanks to Shoko for help with this series.)

  1. Maggi says...

    I’ve made this pie four times and as much as I want it to be perfect I cannot get it to turn out without a flood of moisture. I’ve taken the extra time to get the caramel reduced, but it’s more like apple pie soup every time. Any insight anyone has is appreciated.

    • I’ve had the same problem. Great flavor but a pool of liquid. Blanch the sliced apples in boiling water to pull some of the moisture out for a minute or two and let cool completely before tossing with the dry ingredients. If you don’t let the apples cool the sugar will melt and you’ll have the same problem with the liquid. You also don’t want to cook the apples or they will get mushy as well, just blanch.

      I’ve been making this recipe for the past 2 years, making adjustments each time. I’m hoping that 3rd time is a charm.

      Good luck!


  2. Heather says...

    Agreed that it took quite an age for the caramel to reduce. And now it is rock solid upon refrigerating. Best idea on how to rectify? I’m thinking some microwaving or hot water dip but don’t want to make it too runny.

  3. Delicious, I loved how gooey this pie filling is

  4. Have you ever used the cider in the crust instead of the ice water? Just wondering if thats a good idea.

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  6. This recipe looks amazing! Did you use fresh or powdered ginger? Thanks for the share!

  7. sounds delicious and tastes absolutely heavenly!

  8. I made this last night before I went down on my women-believe me, the caramel sauce has more than one use.

  9. What a great recipe. Made this today and it turned out fantastic! Thank you!

  10. Made this last night. It was AMAZING! I did find that it took a long time for the caramel to reduce down to 1 1/4 cup. Worth the wait!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  11. Oh my! That looks scrumptious! If there’s something I can never say no to, it’s a good apple pie. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wow it looks fantastic on the photos! This recipe will be wrote down and will try it, thats for sure!

  13. I tried this, all the way back in Amsterdam ;-)
    It’s really good!

  14. I may be a few day late to the party but better late than never.

    It’s been 8 months since my last slice of apple pie. I’m going to change all that this weekend when I make this, sounds gorge!


  15. We ended up making a cherry pie at the last minute – thank goodness Whole Foods was open on the 4th since none of the other produce stores were. And we had it with Haagen Dazs Dulce De Leche. Whoever came up with that recipe needs to be both kissed and slapped because it is just too dang good! It kills me to have it in the freezer because I know I’m going to be sneaking bites of it all day today.

  16. Que buena pinta!!!!!!Besos desde España

  17. Perhaps I missed something, but I see no oven temp guideline here. I just went by another recipe I had.

    This looked so good that I tried it tonight. My sauce took longer than expected to reduce, but it looks and smells delicious as it bakes.

    Thank you for sharing!

  18. Anonymous says...

    That pie looks awfully runny! Should have been baked longer.

  19. Can we talk about that pie dish?! So hearty and lovely. Do you know where it’s from?

  20. kdangeruss says...

    I made two of these today following the recipe. Turned out fantastic! Took them to a shrimp boil and both pies were gone in a matter of minutes.

    I did lattice the tips of my pies instead of making a full top, and it came out beautifully.

    Great recipe!

  21. It looks like the apples should be peeled–is that correct? I’m in the process of making this right now because I just couldn’t resist. Plenty experienced in the kitchen, but this will be my first proper apple pie!

    PJBKLYN: It took about 15 additional minutes for my sauce to reduce from 2 cups to 1 1/4 after I added the sugar and butter. I had it over medium-low heat at a steady simmer.

  22. oh. my goodness. i could eat that whole entire thing!

  23. oh yes — added the oven temp to the post, thank you!!

  24. Apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese (or better yet, a chedddar crust) is amazing. There is a saying where I grew up: “A hug without a squeeze is like pie without cheese.”

    Great recipe Hannah!

  25. Anonymous says...

    Would love to try this! I am not at home this week or I would bake it today.

  26. PJBKLYN says...

    Looks great. I’ll try it in the Fall when I can bear to have my oven back on. Question: how long will it take the caramel sauce to reduce from 2 cups to 1.25 cups? Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. Maria says...

    Thank you!

  28. Maria: I can’t believe I forgot to add the oven temp! Eeek! Your oven should be set to 350F.

    As for the apple cider – you could definitely use apple juice.

    Also, the average American pie dish is 9 inches across.

    I hope this helps!

  29. Maria says...

    That sounds delicious! I’ve been to the States but somehow never had an apple pie – just never happened, so I want to try making it myself. But, as I’m a beginner cook, I immediately have questions: what size is your pie, i.e. how big is the baking form? And what’s the baking temperature? And (I’m blushing here) is apple cider closer to apple juice or apple vinegar? I can never guess right, and here in Russia products are different…

  30. In the caramel instructions, you write, “Pour cider into bottomed pot.” Is there a word missing here? It looks incredible, I can’t wait to try it out. Apple pie is my absolute favorite!

  31. Sounds fantabulously delicious. Can’t wait to try it out!!

  32. oh boy. apple pie with caramel? and I thought I loved my apple pie recipe. think its time to heighten it with sweet caramel.

  33. oh wow…this looks amazing… not sure if my baking skills are mad enough…

  34. I just read a book (My Sweet Life from Scratch by Gesine Bullock-Prado) which had a recipe for apple pie. The author gave a really interesting tip – and one I think would really make a difference: you partially cook your apples before filling the pie. This way, the apples won’t settle and your sky-high pie retains its height! Genius!

    • Not ondt that but u can use the juices that form as part of your cider for the caramel! And, when your pie is ready to cut in to, it won’t be as watery! I always cook my apple slices just a little before assembling my pies! :)

  35. I have actually NEVER made a pie-love eating them though-looks fab!

  36. Um this looks like heaven! Happy 4th of July! Hope you have a fun day :)

  37. it looks absolutely delicious and I will give this one a go!

  38. TheFifthIngredient says...

    I’m an American in Ireland and I’ve never come across American-style Apple Cider for sale anywhere here :(.

    Found a nice looking recipe for making your own. Not many ingredients, just time consuming:>

    Think I may just get creatively lazy though and substitute some combination of cloudy apple juice and spices…could be a flop but we’ll see!

  39. Oh it looks so scrumptious! Happy 4th of July to you too:) xoxo

  40. Hey guys! In the US, apple cider is a sort of apple juice. Non-alcoholic. I thought about that after I sent over the recipe. :)

    Thanks for having me, Joanna!

  41. was pondering the same as Anna, as I’m in the UK too.

    Love this recipe, am going to print it out and add it to my ‘To Try’ stash.

    I’m a new visitor, and usually a little lurker, but I just had to comment today. Firstly, to wish you a very happy 4th July, but also to say thank you. I saw your recommendation for the Nars in Barbarella, and ordered one as soon as I could (was not that easy to find in the UK, but I tracked it down). It arrived today, and I LOVE it. So thank you so very much. I’ve been hunting for the perfect peachy/orangey lippie for summer and this is it.

  42. This looks amazing! One question – in the UK, apple cider is an alocoholic slighlty fizzy drink – is that the same with you? Or is it more like freshly pressed apple juice?
    Can’t wait to try this out with apples from my garden!

  43. Oh, my favorite! Can’t wait to make this. :) Happy Fourth of July from Italia!