Recipe: Caramel Chocolate Apple Pie, Perfect For Fall Baking

Years ago I had the idea to try and make a pie that mimicked the crazy chocolate caramel covered apples that are popular at this time of year. I mean obviously chocolate and apple is a thing. Why not in a pie?

After doing some research, it seemed that no one really mingled chocolate with apples in a pie. I couldn't find a recipe that even tried it. So I dove in, experimenting and perfecting how a chocolate apple pie could work. What I quickly discovered was you couldn't really mix the chocolate with the apple directly. Early attempts caused the chocolate to curdle and separate from the apple syrup. So I came up with what my husband called a "pie lasagna". I buy some extra refrigerated pie dough to make a "cooked dough disc" separating the chocolate from the apples. It causes the pie fillings to cook separately, but your guest can taste it all at once (with a touch of extra crust to boot)!

When I finally nailed this pie, a colleague said to me she wanted to "rub it all over her body". I am not sure I would recommend that-but what you do behind closed doors is your business. What I do recommend is eating a piece. It's pretty amazing.

This pie is very unique, and if you end up trying this, and sharing or posting it, please credit/link back to my blog. I worked for years on this chocolate apple pie, and I am pretty proud of it!

Caramel Chocolate Apple Pie


Pie Crust:
8 Tbsp. butter
3 oz. cold cream cheese
1 1/3 plus 4 tsp. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. baking powder
2 -3 Tbsp. water with 2 ice cubes (you will not use all of it)
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

5 baking apples of mixed varieties, peeled, cored and sliced (such as Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths)
1 teaspoon of vanilla 
1/8 cups of brown sugar 
1/8 cups sugar 
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 
1/8th teaspoon of nutmeg 
1/8th of a teaspoon of salt 
2 tablespoons of Amaretto 

2 tablespoons of butter 
1 tablespoon of cornstarch 

Chocolate Filling:
6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate 
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream 
1 egg yolk 
1 egg 
1 tablespoon of flour 
1/8th cup of sugar 
1 teaspoon of vanilla 
dash of salt 

1/2 cup plus more of caramel sauce topping


Preheat oven to 350˚, and roll out the sheet of refrigerated pie dough and cut a circle roughly around 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Let it cool completely and set aside.

Make the crust:
Cut up your butter in tablespoon-size chunks, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. In a Ziploc bag, add the flour and baking powder and freeze it as well for 30 minutes. In a food processor, pulse the flour a couple times. Cut up the cream cheese in 3 chunks, and pulse into the flour until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the cider vinegar and pulse a few times. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp. water and pulse until the dough will come together when pressed with your finger (Do not over mix). If it doesn't, add a teaspoon more of kirsch and pulse a couple more times. Keep doing this until the dough comes together when pressed. It won't look like it will in the processor, and that's OK. Pour 2/3rds of the crumbly mixture on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Using your hands, fold the edge of the plastic wrap under your knuckles and press the dough. Keep doing this motion, using the plastic wrap as your barrier and helper to form the dough quickly into a ball. Fold it over itself a couple of times, then flatten into a disc. Cover completely with the wrap, and shape in your hands into a flat, round disc, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Take the remaining 1/3rd of the crumbly mixture and do the same thing. This disc will be smaller and will be the lattice for your pie. Take both discs and chill for at least1 hour. Take them out ten minutes before rolling to make your life a little easier.

Take the larger disc out first and unwrap it. Layer a work surface with a large sheet of plastic wrap (about 12 inches all around. Lightly dust it with flour and place the disc at the center. Cover it with a similar sized sheet of plastic wrap. Roll the disc out to about 13 inches in diameter. Peel off the top layer of wrap, flip upside down and set on top of the pan. Press it gently in the pan, peeling off the wrap on this side as you go. Trim the edge, press it firmly into the pan some more. Use fork tines to break any bubbles in the dough. Recover pie with plastic wrap and let relax in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out your smaller disc the same way. Make an oval shape, about 10 1/2" long by 8" wide. Unpeel your top layer of plastic wrap, and with a ruler, make tick marks across the width every 3/4". You should have ten strips. Cut off the rough edges on the sides, and cut evenly along the tick marks down lengthwise to get your strips. (you may need a ruler that you only use with food to make things straight. I am an art director by trade, and learned long ago by getting yelled at as an intern how to cut straight-so I can do a pretty good job by eye. Do what's comfortable.) Now, I find that chilling the dough again for a few minutes makes the lattice assembly easier. My dough for this pie was getting warm very fast because the kitchen on this June day was so hot. The strips broke up easily as I was pulling them up. So slip the cut dough, still on plastic wrap, on a cookie sheet. Cover loosely with wrap again and place in the fridge for ten minutes before full assembly.

Prep the apples:
Meanwhile in a large bowl toss your sliced apples with the vanilla, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and Amaretto. Macerate the apples for about an hour until they release their juices. Once the apples have released their juices, drain the juice into a small saucepan and boil on high heat until thick and syrupy and the volume is reduced by half. In a large sauté pan melt the butter and add the apples, toss and soften the apples in the pan over medium-high heat, about 8-10 minutes. Once the syrup is ready, thick and bubbly-take off the heat and pour over the softened apples in the other pan. Toss the apples with some cornstarch and let cool slightly.

Make the chocolate custard:
Meanwhile, heat the whipping cream in a small pan until just about boiling. Pour the hot cream over the semi-sweet chocolate in a medium-size bowl and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, letting the heat of the whipping cream melt the chocolate. With a whisk, gently whip the chocolate in with the whipping cream and then add flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth, then whisk the egg yolk and egg until smooth. Set it aside.

Take the pie shell out of the fridge, and pour the chocolate into it. Place the cooked crust "disc" on top of the chocolate. If you have some open areas along the edges, take little scraps of dough and close it up. Next pour 1/2 cup slightly warmed caramel sauce on top of the cooked crust disc. Then finally, pour the slightly cooled apple mixture on top. Take out your lattice strips and create a lattice top or whatever top you wish. Brush the top with an egg yolk and sprinkle with sanding sugar. 

Meanwhile heat the oven to 425˚ and place a baking sheet on the bottom-most rack of your oven or even on the oven floor. Make sure the pan has been heated for about 20 minutes. When your pie is ready to go, first cover the edges with strips of tinfoil or a pie shield to prevent the edges from cooking too quickly. Placed directly on the baking sheet that's nice and hot. Bake the pie for about 50 minutes to an hour, keeping an eye on it after about 30 minutes. Make sure that the apples are cooking at the same pace as the crust is browning. If you feel that the apples are cooking too slow, tent the pie with a loose piece of foil that has a steam hole at the center. Keep the foil tent on for about 10 minutes, until you see some bubbling and the apples are getting cooked. When that happens you can take off the tent.

After 50 to 60 minutes when you the apples are syrupy and everything is nice and golden, carefully pull the pie out. Let it cool down for about three hours and set up before you serve it. Garnish with some drizzling of melted chocolate and more caramel sauce. If you really want to have some fun throw some sea salt in with the caramel.

Photo How To's



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