This mouthwatering Caramel Pecan Apple Pie is a secret weapon. This is the pie that your relatives will eat in disbelief. This is the pie that leaves everyone wanting more…
Mouthwatering Caramel Pecan Apple Pie
As soon as they see it, everyone will realize that THIS pie cannot be found in a store. And when they taste it — well, they’ll KNOW it’s homemade. Look no further, this is the apple pie recipe you’ve been looking for. Obviously, this pie takes a bit of effort (less than an hour really), but once you taste it, you’ll be like me – you’ll make it every year!
This post includes detailed step by step instructions on how to make this pie at home with lots of pictures and it includes some gift-giving ideas. The WOW factor of this apple pie comes from the sheer volume of loads of peeled and sliced apples piled high enough to create a pie mountain. PIN IT and share this yummy recipe!
The whole thing is covered in a crumble topping of fresh pecans, oats, butter, and brown sugar. You bake the pie until the entire thing is juicy and warm with a crunchy topping, and then you drizzle on caramel sauce. Serve this with vanilla ice cream and I can almost guarantee — your guests will ask for more.
This was previously compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Apple Pie Gift Giving
In addition to my full-sized apple pie, I decided to bake some mini apple pies to give away as gifts. Our family enjoys baking every holiday season. We make loads of gorgeous Christmas cookies, I always bake my mouthwatering Caramel Pecan Apple Pie, and we enjoy cutting down our own Christmas tree and decorating it for the holidays.
The Perfect Gear for Baking
Special gear for easier baking and holiday entertaining from my list of personal favorites! These are great tools for making and serving this Caramel Pecan Apple Pie. You can use all of these items over and over again to do everything from peel potatoes to make apple pie. Affiliate links to Amazon included for your convenience.
Cast Iron Apple Peeler Corer Slicer – This device makes quick work of pie making. You can also use it to peel potatoes or another other fruit or vegetable. The powerful rubber vacuum base holds onto tabletop for tremendous stability. You can also remove the coring blade if you want to just peel a fruit or vegetable.
Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Perfect Pie Plate – I loved the scalloped edges of this pie plate. It’s beautiful while also being functional. This pie plate is very similar to the one I use in our home.
Steel Pie Server – Just like ingredients, materials for baking and cook wear really do matter! This stainless steel pie server is virtually indestructible and makes for a clean cut and easy serve for pies.
Amazon has loads of tools and display trays for holiday baking and entertaining. I hope you’ll explore their selection online and find the perfect kitchen gear for your next event. Happy Holidays!
Now on to the pie that will impress every guest at your table.
Mouthwatering Caramel Pecan Apple Pie
There are three main components to the Mouthwatering Caramel Pecan Apple Pie –
1.) The Crust,
2.) The Filling, and 3.) The Topping.
3.) The Topping.
The Crust – I decided to use ready-made crusts. For this pie recipe, I recommend a deep dish pie crust because the apples are so juicy and moist, as the pie bakes your pie dish will fill with the sweet syrup from the apples, and you’ll need every centimeter of a deep dish to hold all that gooey goodness.
Please do not use a cheaper shallow pie crust. You’ll lose the juices out of your pie during the baking process and it will probably make a mess. It’s totally worth it to get the deepest pie crust you can find. I used two types of pie crust – a Marie Calendar’s frozen pie crust and some Keebler’s graham cracker mini pie crusts because I plan to give away the mini pies as part of my scented Christmas gifts.
- 12 Peeled, cored, and thinly slices Apples (approx. 6 cups)
- 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
The Topping – Most of the topping is added before baking with the caramel added on top after baking.
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Quick Rolled Oats
- 1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
- 1/2 Cup Caramel Topping
Directions for Mouthwatering Caramel Pecan Apple Pie
1. Step 1 – Make the Filling Mix. Mix your filling of brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Step 2 – Peel, Core, Slice. Set up your apple coring station. I like to use an apple-peeler-corer-slicer. It saves loads of time and gives me the perfect, even thin cut for my apple slices. You can do this by hand – just peel, core and cut each apple individually. It takes a little longer but you can achieve the same result. You can use any type of apple for this Caramel Pecan Apple Pie. If you opt for a regular and not a cooking apple, just know that your pie will be juicier. For this tutorial, I am using Gala apples, but you can use Granny Smith, Fuji, or any combination.
If you are using an apple-peeler-corer-slicer, make sure to center the apples to core the apple properly. You want the corer to capture the core and seeds so they do not end up in your pie.
You may notice my little helper in the background. He had so much fun peeling and coring apples. If you decide to include children in this baking endeavor just keep them under close adult supervision – the tools have sharp edges. My son loved being able to tell me how strong he was as he peeled and cored apples!
I also recommend placing the coring stand near the edge of the kitchen sink. I place two bowls in the sink, one to catch the apples and the other to put the excess peel and cores into. I also like to place a clean kitchen cloth on the edge of the sink where the apples may drop off.
I don’t like any food touching the sink and by using this setup, I have a better chance of catching apple pieces that may come off during the peeling process. As you peel you will need to continually remove the apple peel and discard it into the bowl. I also like to pull pieces of peeled, cored and sliced apples off and place them in the “keep” bowl. This cuts down on pieces falling off the core stem as the gadget spins.
3. Step 3 – Pull Apart and Coat. Pull the apple slices apart into smaller pieces. You’ll likely want the apple pieces in thirds for the larger pie or into even smaller pieces for the mini pies. Place the pieces in your mixing bowl and used a stirring paddle or spoon to coat.
Try to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible on the apple slices. This mixture is what captures the sweet apple syrup during the baking process. I decided to make two batches of both the filling powder and topping for this recipe since I was making four mini pies in addition to my full-sized apple pie.
4. Step 4 – Stack Apples into Pie Crust. To add your apple slices into your pie crust you’ll want to stack them as evenly as possible. For the larger pie you can use larger apple slices and for the mini pie you’ll want to use smaller pieces. You can stack as high as you wish, just keep in mind that the higher you go, the more apple juice you’re creating inside your pie. The juices will seep out of the apples into the pie crust and fill it. Our pie was over six inches high. I love stacking my pie high because it creates a real “wow” factor when I serve it to guests. It becomes obvious at first glance that this Caramel Pecan Apple Pie is homemade.
Stack your Apple Pie
Stack your apple pie high and enjoy the delicious apple flavor! Do not pour these apples out of the bowl. You need to stack by hand to ensure an even distribution. I like to create what I call a “mini-mountain” out of my apple slices. Since the mini pies are nested in a shallow pie crust I kept the apple stacks a bit lower to limit juice overflow during the baking process.
5. Step 5 – Mix and add the Topping. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, softened butter (I melted mine), flour and oats. If you use butter that has been completely melted you may want to add one to two teaspoons of additional flour. Why? You are trying to achieve a topping that crumbles. You want to create a topping landscape that has bumps and grooves. If your melted butter causes the topping to become too soft you’ll wind up with a topping that is more like a helmet than a crumble coat.
The topping below is crumbly and the right consistency for the pie topping.
To place the topping on top of the pie, I used my right hand to sprinkle on the crumbles and my left hand to gently secure the crumbles in place. Don’t press too hard – again you are trying to avoid creating a helmut. You want a nice bumpy texture to your topping.
6. Step 6 – Insert Pecans into Pie Crust. I pile my apple pie so high that I have to manually insert each individual pecan into the pie crust. If you are making a flat apple pie, you may be able to get away with just sprinkling the pecans on top. However, if you create a pie that looks like the one I am sharing here, I recommend inserting the pecans one at a time to make sure they bake into your pie crust.
7. Step 7 – Wrap the Pie in Aluminum Foil with an Opening. The entire pie bake time for a full-sized pie is almost an hour – about 55 minutes. I’ve baked these pies before and was disappointed when the pecans were overcooked. So when I wrap foil around the edges of my pie, I actually create a “tent” with a hole in the top for the first 30-40 minutes of baking. This protects not only the crust but the nuts as well. I removed the wrap after 35 minutes or so to allow the crust and nuts to brown on the outside. It makes for a better tasting and better-looking pie crust.
The mini-pies were baked in 30 minutes. I removed the foil after the first 20 minutes.
8. Step 8 – Bake the Caramel Pecan Apple Pie. Place your apple pies on the top rack of your oven at 375 degrees for 55 minutes. Cook with foil on for the first 30 or so minutes and foil off for the last 25. I highly recommend a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch the overflow of baking juices that will ooze out of your pie. Try to use something with a rim if you have it. It makes cleanup much easier.
Here you can see the browning process underway. Notice all the juice droppings on the cookie sheet. Some of the pie crust may drip off as well. These crust pieces make great “taste bites” for the pie-tasting experts in your home.
9. Step 9 – Allow pie to cool and add the Caramel Topping. For the photo taken here, I whipped up another batch of pie crust and put my pie tin inside a fancy pie dish. I then added the extra crust on the edges and poured on the caramel topping. If you’re making this pie at home, remove the pie crust from the pie tin first (in the beginning) and assemble and bake the pie inside the pie dish. I only kept the two separate to make for cleaner photographs.
I promise that this apple pie recipe will not disappoint. My husband asks for it at every opportunity and once you try it, I think you’ll find it’s the most mouthwatering apple pie recipe you have ever eaten.
Spread Holiday Cheer with the Gift of Apple Pie
This year I’m gift packaging my mini apple pies with some wonderful scents from the Glade® Winter Collection from Kroger. By packaging the two together I can gift not only the taste of my delicious Caramel Pecan Apple Pie, I’m giving the gift of the sweet scent of cinnamon and apples all season long.
I found some adorable gift packaging at the dollar store, and I created these fun and easy to assemble Glade® Winter Collection gifts for Christmas. Who doesn’t love the smell of Sparkling Spruce™, Apple Cinnamon Cheer™ or Frosted Cookie Party™? Help your friend, neighbor, or family member get ready for the holidays – share the joy and good cheer of the tastes, smells and sights of the holidays.
You can easily pair this apple pie recipe with Glade’ Apple Cinnamon Cheer™ candles, scented plugIns, and aerosol room spray for a wonderful scented Christmas Gift. You can bake frosted cookies to pair with Glade’s Frosted Cookie Party™ wax melts, wax warmer, air freshener, and a scented candle to gift not only the tastes but the scents of Christmas. #GladeHolidayMood #CollectiveBias
Save on Gift-Giving this Year
You can also save on Glade® products with coupons. Find coupons for Glade® on 12/7/14 in most Sunday newspapers in the coupon section. Digital Coupons can be found online for Glade® Winter Collection products on coupons.com.
You can purchase these delicious smelling fragrances from Glade® at your local Kroger store. We have a King Soopers nearby where I was able to purchase our baking ingredients and scented gifts.
What’s Your Favorite Holiday Recipe?
Does your family have a favorite holiday recipe? Have any pie-making tips to share? Please leave a comment below. I love hearing from my readers.
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Originally published 11/24/2015.