A friend of mine shared a video with me that he had seen on YouTube for a cinnamon swirl apple pie where they showed you how to make this swirly pie crust. The pie looked like it was topped with flat little cinnamon rolls. So unusual!
Anyway, I had some apples I needed to use up so I decided to make a Caramel Apple Pie for dessert tonight, but I thought why not try using that fun technique for the top crust of my pie? I didn’t bother doing it for the bottom crust since no one would see that anyway. It turned out really cute! It made you feel like you couldn’t wait to take a bite out of the pie! I’m going to post the instructions here for making the cinnamon swirl top crust, but if you don’t want to go through the trouble, feel free to make this recipe with a plain crust on top.
I like to use 2 or 3 varieties of apples whenever I make an apple pie. I always start with 3 Granny Smiths for their tart flavor and firm flesh – perfect for baking. Then I add in some sweet varieties. I always add 3 Honeycrisp apples when Honeycrisps are in season because they’re sweet and juicy and have a firm flesh that doesn’t break down too much when baked. Then I include 2 Braeburns, or Galas, or Fujis, or Jonathans, any of which are great for baking because they’re sweet and hold their shape well throughout cooking. I find that the combination of tart and sweet adds a complexity of flavor that’s delicious in this American comfort food classic.
CARAMEL APPLE PIE
- double pie crust, store bought or homemade
- 8 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (use a combination of apple varieties)
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp. salt
- melted butter or margarine for spreading on top crust
- cinnamon for sprinkling on top crust
- ½ cup thick caramel ice cream topping or caramel apple dip
- 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
- Fit one pie crust into bottom and up sides of a deep dish pie pan.
- Place crust in refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Add the apple slices and toss to coat well.
- Set apple filling aside while you prepare the top crust.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of your work surface.
- Place second pie crust onto the parchment.
- Brush top of crust with melted butter.
- Sprinkle buttered surface with cinnamon.
- Roll crust up to form a log.
- Slice the log into disks a little smaller than ½-inch thick.
- Lay the disks on their sides not touching each other.
- Cover the disks with another sheet of parchment paper.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the disks to form a circle large enough to cover the top of your pie.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Take pie pan with bottom crust out of refrigerator.
- Give the apple filling ingredients another good toss.
- Pour apple filling into prepared pie crust, lightly pressing apples down. It’ll seem like a lot of apples, but just mound them high in the center.
- Pour the caramel evenly over the apples. If you need to, warm the caramel in the microwave a few seconds to make it easier to pour.
- Peel the top sheet of parchment off the top crust.
- Flip the top crust over onto the apples and carefully peel the parchment away.
- Tuck the edges of the crust under.
- Brush top crust with the egg wash.
- Place pie on a cookie sheet to catch any drips and transfer to oven.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden brown.
NOTE: If you want to see the cinnamon swirl crust actually being made, click on the link above to watch the video my friend sent me.