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Posted on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Caramelized apple and pecan pie - the best of both pie worlds

By Jessica Webster


Caramelized apple and pecan pie: testing my theory that the only thing better than a good pie is two good pies combined into one, especially when there's caramelization involved.

Jessica Webster |

The cooler weather and the changing leaves have got me nesting. I’ve been baking and cooking up a storm, perhaps as though some primal instinct is pressing me to prepare to hibernate.

This pie was my latest baking adventure. I’m a big fan of hybrid pies. Or maybe I am a big fan of adding pecans to just about everything. Whatever the motivation, I set out to find the perfect blend of apple and pecan pies, and I think this one is it.

I want to be clear from the outset. This is not health food. Just take a look at the butter and sugar amounts. This pie is meant to be enjoyed in small doses. Like Julia Child said: “Everything in moderation... including moderation.”

Now that that is out of the way, let me tell you how good this is. I wish you could smell it. When the pie was in the oven, the house was filled with the scent of apples, toasted pecans and caramelizing sugars.

And then you taste it. It’s intensely — but not sickly — sweet. Because the apples have been cooking in the sugar, the fruit flavor permeates everything. The pecans cut the sweetness and offer a texture contrast. It’s a homerun.

I’m including the crust recipe with the understanding that many of you may already have a favorite pie crust. If you’ve got a winner, go with that. (And if you buy a premade crust from the store, I promise I won’t tell.)

Caramelized Apple & Pecan Pie from Bon Appetit


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons (about) chilled orange juice, divided
  • 1 large egg white, beaten lightly


  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 Albemarle Pippin apples or Fuji apples (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted


For crust:

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until butter is reduced to small pea-size pieces. Add 4 tablespoons orange juice. Blend, using on/off turns, until moist clumps form, adding more juice by teaspoonsful if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Roll out dough on floured surface to 14-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of dough overhang. Fold dough edge under and crimp decoratively, forming high-standing rim. Freeze 10 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate crust.

Brush inside of crust with enough beaten egg white to coat.

For apples: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk brown sugar and butter in large ovenproof skillet over medium heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves, and mixture comes to boil. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Arrange apples, rounded side down, in syrup. Bake 15 minutes; turn over. Bake until just tender, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer apples to paper towels to cool slightly. Whisk syrup in skillet until smooth.

Cool slightly and reserve. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:

Mix sugar, flour, and salt in small bowl. Place eggs in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in reserved syrup from apples. Add corn syrup, vanilla, and sugar mixture; whisk until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into crust. Arrange apples, rounded side up, atop filling.

Bake pie until filling is set in center, covering edges with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 20 minutes. You want to make sure the filling has set and isn’t runny. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil and let stand at room temperature.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Mert Hershberger

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Like the North & South Combo.

Jojo B

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

HOLY FANTASTIC. That is all!


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

This certainly sounds delicious. And the aromatherapy (as Mary Bilyeu characterized it in her article on chocolate chip scones earlier this week) might be worth making this in and of itself. Despite the pie's admitted non-health food status, for what it's worth pecans have the highest antioxidant rating (ORAC) of all the tree nuts.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

Well yay - I'll take comfort in the high antioxidant qualities of the pie. Thanks DBH!


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

Sounds Wonderful