As a new bride, I was reluctant to start making pies because my mother made such great pies. When I worked up the courage, I started with the American classic, Apple Pie. After all, at my Grandma’s house, the rule seemed to be that it was okay to have more than one kind of pie for dessert, as long as one of them was apple. When I baked my apple pie, I relied on my American classic cook book, Joy of Cooking.
For a long time, apple pie was about the only pie I made. I finally braved the wilds of other types of pies, and am still experimenting with new twists on old favorites. This caramel apple pie with pecan crumb topping melds the original Joy of Cooking apple pie recipe, with a technique I saw mentioned in a Facebook pie baking group. Then I borrowed the crumb topping recipe from another vintage cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens, and gave it a different twist.
The first challenge with the seemingly simple apple pie is deciding which of hundreds of kinds of apples to use. Most older cookbooks recommend Granny Smith, however, people are gravitating toward sweeter apples, and I found that Honeycrisp makes a very good pie. Just be sure to adjust your sugar depending on how sweet the apple is. Here’s a chart to help you decide.
Here is my cobbled together recipe–for two smaller pies so you have one to eat and one to share. I hope you like it.
Caramel Apple Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping
- 8-10 Apples Peeled, cored and sliced. See Notes
- Pie Dough for two shells
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Corn starch
- 1 1/2 tsp Penzey's Apple Pie Spice See Notes
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 1/2 Cup Flour
- 2/3 Cup Butter
- 1/2 Cup Pecans
- Mix brown sugar, salt, corn starch and spices. Pour over Apples and place them in refrigerator over night.
- The next day, heat oven to 400 degrees.
- When ready to bake, strain off liquid and boil until reduced to thin syrup. Let cool slightly before adding back and mixing with apples.
- Line two 8" pie pans with dough, and heap half of the apples in each.
- To make Topping, mix sugar, flour and butter, and pulse a few times in food processors, just until there are no large clumps. Add pecans and three to four times more to incorporate pecans.
- Scatter topping on apples in pans. Apples should barely show.
- Put pie pans on cookie sheet and insert in 400 degree oven. Bake 45-50 minutes, until topping begins to brown. Check after 30 minutes and cover edge if it is browning too fast.
- Serve pie with ice cream or whipped cream.