Hard Cider Caramel Apple Pie is the best apple pie recipe!
This homemade apple pie filling is topped with a caramel sauce and baked to perfection! You've never had apple pie until you've had this unbelievably delicious Apple Pie - its the perfect Fall dessert. If you're looking for a delicious homemade apple pie to serve at Thanksgiving, this is your recipe!
This Hard Cider Caramel Apple Pie is the best pie I've ever had. Hands down. Mom - if you're reading this, your pie is really REALLY good.
But this one knocked it out of first place. My mom makes the best all butter crust on earth. For years we've been making apple pie by reducing apple cider for the filling. Now imagine replacing that apple cider with hard apple cider and adding rich caramel sauce into the filling. Oh my.
Best apples for apple pie:
My favorite kind of apples are honeycrisps. I use them every year to make homemade no sugar applesauce. Well, honeycrisps, as well as pink lady apples are great for eating, but since you combine the apples with sugar in the apple pie filling, you want to use a different kind of apple.
This caramel apple pie recipe tastes best, in my opinion, when it is made with Gravensteins or Golden Delicious apples. They're just the right kind of tart and perfectly firm for the hard cider caramel sauce they're paired with.
If you prefer a really tart apple, you can't go wrong with a Granny Smith. Again, that sweet caramel sauce compliments any kind of apple, but you want to make sure you choose one that is firm and a little on the tart side.
How to make caramel apple pie filling:
The trick with this apple pie recipe is to prepare the apple pie filling much like you would with any easy homemade apple pie. Simply toss your thinly sliced fresh apple pieces with lemon juice, a bit of flour, and the wonderful flavors of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.
The caramel sauce gets cooked separately and then added to the apple pie filling. The caramel sauce is a mixture of sugar, heavy cream, butter, and hard cider. The alcohol in the hard apple cider cooks out, but you can always use traditional apple cider in it's place. The main goal is to make an apple flavored caramel sauce. This gets added to the apple pie filling and then again on top of the slice of pie when served.
The perfect Thanksgiving recipes to serve alongside this caramel apple pie recipe:
- Roast Turkey
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Savory Herb Turkey Gravy
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Perfect Green Bean Casserole
- Wild Mushroom Stuffing
- Sparkling Red Sangria Recipe
So the next time you make an apple pie, knock your own socks off and follow this apple pie recipe for the best damn caramel apple pie that will ever meet your mouth.
Hard Cider Caramel Apple Pie Recipe
Follow recipe for all butter pie crust:
- 2 9-inch pie dough rounds (see recipe link in notes for pie crust)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup hard apple cider
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened and cut into small pieces)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 cups apples (peel, core & thinly slice about 6 apples)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup granulated sugar
Make pie crusts and set aside.
To make the caramel:
- Combine the sugar and cider in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Over medium high heat allow to boil until the mixture is a light caramel color.
- Off heat add in butter and heavy cream. Stir to combine.
- Put the saucepan back on the burner and continue to cook and stir until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
To make the pie:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix all pie filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Place in pie shell. Pour about ½ cup of the caramel over the apple mixture.
- Top with top crust or pastry cut outs. Optional: Brush with milk or water and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet, cover the edges of the pie crust with foil and place in the middle of the oven.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 375 and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the top crust is lightly browned.
- After the pie is cooled, heat up some of the caramel sauce and drizzle it over the top of the pie.
This post was originally created in November 2014 and has been updated with more fun facts and tidbits for your reading pleasure.