This Dutch Caramel Apple Pie tastes just like your grandma’s apple pie, except it got kicked up a notch with the addition of rich and gooey homemade caramel sauce! The streusel crumb topping is a quick and easy alternative to my Granny Smith Apple Pie with pastry topping, adding sweetness and crumbly texture to every bite of this Dutch apple pie!
This caramel apple pie recipe never fails as a favorite holiday dessert, or a sweet treat during fall. You can use store-bought pie crust or make your own pie dough from scratch – Butter Pie Crust or Oil Pie Crust work well for this recipe. And if you have any leftover caramel sauce, keep it aside for this mouth-watering Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce!
Dutch Caramel Apple Pie can be enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. And if you don’t want to make an entire dessert pie but still have those apple pie cravings, why not try out these Handmade Apple Turnovers or easy Apple Pie Bars?!
Why You’ll Love Dutch Caramel Apple Pie
- This caramel apple pie freezes well which makes it a great dessert to make ahead of holidays or special occasions.
- Topping your homemade apple pie with a crumble topping is a delicious and easier alternative to pastry topping, adding great texture to the dessert pie.
- Dutch oven caramel apple pie is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving and other special holiday meals. It looks stunning, tastes decadent, and is filled with the warm spices of the fall season!
What Ingredients do I Need for Dutch Caramel Apple Pie?
- Pie crust – I’ve used a 9” unbaked pie crust for this caramel apple pie. You can certainly make your own pie crust from scratch or use a store-bought pie crust for added convenience.
- Apples – You’ll need 6 cups worth of apples (about 6-7 whole apples) that are peeled, cored, and thinly sliced. Granny Smith apples or Pippin apples are my favorite choice but you can use another brand such as Pink Lady or Braeburn.
- Lemon juice – Try to use the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon for the best taste. Bottle lemon juice can be used too.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar adds sweetness and a delicious caramelization to the apple pie filling.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is added to the apple pie filling mixture to thicken it for a delicious consistency. You can use something like Bob’s Red Mill flour for gluten-free apple pie.
- Spices – Ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg are classic apple pie spices that add warmth and depth of flavor.
- Salt – A dash of salt is all that’s needed to accentuate the flavors in the apple pie filling.
- Caramel candies – Choose soft caramel candies (about 30) for ease of melting and mixing into the heavy whipping cream. Only ⅓ cup of the caramel mixture is added to the apple pie filling while the rest must be reserved for drizzling over the top of the baked pie.
- Heavy whipping cream – Keep this ingredient refrigerated until you make the caramel mixture.
- Butter – I’ve used salted butter to top the apple pie filling in small pieces. You could use unsalted butter if you’d prefer.
- Crumble topping – The crumble topping is very similar to a streusel topping, made with all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and salted butter.
Pro Tip: The way to achieve a flaky and crispy crust that won’t fall apart is to keep the unbaked pie crust in the freezer while preparing the apple pie filling. You only need to remove the pie crust from the freezer when assembling the pie for baking.
How to Make Dutch Caramel Apple Pie
APPLE PIE MIXTURE: While the prepared pie shell freezes, mix the sliced apples with lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
CARAMEL SAUCE: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine unwrapped caramel candies with heavy whipping cream. Heat the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, continue to heat for another 30 seconds, stir, and then heat for another 15 minutes if needed. Mix ⅓ cup of the smooth caramel sauce into the apple mixture, reserving the rest for later. Place the apple mixture into the prepared pie plate.
STREUSEL TOPPING: In a mixing bowl, combine the streusel ingredients until clumps form. Sprinkle the streusel crumbs over the apple pie mixture.
BAKE AND GARNISH: Summarize whatever the next steps are here. Add more sections and galleries as needed. We don’t need every last process photo.
- When selecting apples for this pie, choose Granny Smith, Pippin apples, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, or a combination. These kinds of apples are all really good in an apple pie.
- You will be able to tell when your pie is done by the filling bubbling up and the apples being tender. If your pie doesn’t cook completely then the filling won’t set to a firm consistency.
- Allow your pie to cool completely (or for at least a few hours) so that it’s easier to slice and the filling doesn’t run out everywhere.
- If you notice that the warm caramel sauce clumps when added to the cold apple filling, don’t worry! It’s normal for this to happen and the caramel sauce will melt into the apples when the pie is baking.
If you love apple pie like I do then you’ll be happy to know that an entire day is dedicated to celebrating this dessert pie in the United States. The 13th of May is National Apple Pie day – the perfect opportunity to serve this mouth-watering caramel apple pie to your friends and family!
- Use my butter pie crust or oil pie crust recipe for this pie otherwise you can opt for a store bought crust – I always prefer how a homemade crust turns out and tastes though.
- If you don’t enjoy a crumble topping, top your pie with refrigerated pie pastry, crimp the edges to seal and poke a few holes with a fork to allow the steam to escape during baking. A lattice crust would also look beautiful.
- For a gluten-free Dutch oven caramel apple pie, make a pie crust with gluten-free flour or purchase gluten-free pie crust. You’ll also need to use gluten-free flour in the apple pie filling mixture and in the crumble topping.
- Instead of caramel apple pie, make butterscotch apple pie by mixing melted butterscotch candies into the heavy whipping cream instead of melted caramel.
- For extra crunch, add chopped pecans to the streusel top crust.
Yes, you can! Once baked, allow your pie to cool completely and then place in the freezer, uncovered, till it’s frozen (give or take a few hours). Once frozen, wrap your pie tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
You can store your Caramel Apple Pie in the freezer for 3-4 months.
To reheat, thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight and then heat it in the oven at 350℉ with a foil covering to prevent the crust from oven browning.
Leftover apple pie can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in an airtight container or wrapped loosely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Storing it for longer may result in a somewhat stale and soggy pie crust from the moist filling.
You can also store this Caramel Apple Pie at room temperature for up to 2 days if it has not yet been sliced for serving. In this instance, it’s important to keep it wrapped loosely in plastic or aluminum foil once it has completely cooled from baking.
Like most sweet fruit pies, you can serve this Caramel Apple Pie with a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or even some homemade custard.
More Treats For the Caramel Lover
Dutch Caramel Apple Pie
Pie Filling Ingredients
- 1 9” unbaked pie crust
- 6 cups peeled cored, and thinly sliced Granny Smith or Pippin apples (about 6-7 apples)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- dash salt
- 30 soft caramel candies
- 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup salted butter cut into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the unbaked pie crust in the freezer while you prepare the pie filling.
- As you peel, core, and slice the apples, toss them into a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over them.
- Add ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup flour, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and a dash of salt to the apple mixture. Stir well to combine.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine unwrapped caramels and heavy whipping cream. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, and heat for 30 seconds longer. Stir the mixture until it is combined and smooth. Heat for additional 15 second increments if needed to melt the caramel completely.
- Stir ⅓ cup of the caramel mixture into the apple mixture. Reserve the remaining caramel to drizzle over the top of the baked pie.
- Mound apple mixture into the chilled pie crust. Dot small pieces of the 2 tablespoons of butter over the top of the apples. Set aside.
- Mix flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the crumble topping in a small bowl. Add pieces of butter (½ cup) into the crumble mixture. Use two forks or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until small clumps form.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apples.
- Bake pie for 40-45 minutes. After 15-20 minutes, check the pie for browning. When the top and crust of the pie is browned, cover the full pie with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue baking another 20-25 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven when the apple filling is bubbling and the topping and crust is browned.
- Allow pie to cool completely.
- Drizzle pie with reserved caramel sauce (reheat as needed). Cut and serve with vanilla ice cream.