Are you looking for a festive and creative twist on a familiar favorite that’s sure to please? Apple Upside Down Pie is a delicious and easy-to-make dessert that will have your guests coming back for more. This classic combination of baked apples, candied walnuts, and a buttery crust come together for a delicious treat that’s perfect for any special occasion.
The star of today’s show, in my opinion, is the topping – a simple mix of walnuts caramelized with brown sugar and butter. It’s a delicious and simple way to add a nutty crunch with a hint of ‘molasses sweetness’ to the pie. It also plays beautifully with the filling, which we’ve made with tart Granny Smith apples, which are perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the topping. All of this is brought together in a homemade crust that’s deliciously buttery and flaky.
While this pie puts a few creative twists on the traditional apple pie recipe, it remains simple and intuitive to make, so you don’t have to be a professional baker to prep this delicious treat. And yes, it pairs well with all of the ‘standard’ apple pie sides such as freshly whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. It’s also great served warm with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
So, if you’re looking for a show-stopping dessert that’s sure to please, Apple Upside Down Pie is a great choice. It’s the perfect addition to any special occasion, and your guests won’t be able to resist a second helping of this delicious dessert. Read on for directions, tips and tricks, pairing ideas, and an ingredient checklist.
The Apples – Which to Use and Why
Apple pie starts with apples, so let’s get this one out of the way first.
The best apples to use for apple pie are Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady. These apples are quite firm, and generally hold their shape during baking quite well. They also have a great balance of sweetness and tartness, which helps enhance the flavor of the pie.
Other varieties such as Golden Delicious, Gala, or Braeburn can be used, but they tend to be sweeter, leading to a less balanced flavor, but because of their softer texture, they need to be baked ‘just right’ in terms of temperature and time or will become very mushy, ruining the pie.
Ingredient Checklist – The Crust
- All-Purpose Flour. I do suggest sticking to all purpose flour for the crust. Bread flour will result in a dense, hard crust. Baking flour will result in a fragile crust that won’t hold its shape.
- Salt. Plain table salt is all you’re looking for here.
- Shortening. I prefer shortening for ‘most’ crusts for a couple reasons. Shortening is made from vegetable oils (or animal fats), which give it a higher melting point than butter. This means that it will stay solid at higher temperatures, which helps create a flaky crust that won’t become soggy when adding the filling. Shortening also has a neutral flavor which won’t compete with the flavors of the filling. Exceptions to this rule, generally, are savory pies – but that’s a topic for another day.
- Eggs. To help to bind the ingredients together and add moisture to the dough. This works to create a flaky, tender crust that won’t become dry or tough. Eggs also add richness and flavor to the crust by adding fat.
- Lemon Juice. This is one case where bottled will work just as well as fresh.
Ingredient Checklist – The Walnut Topping
- Walnuts. I’m choosing walnuts for the balanced texture and ‘nutty-yet-buttery’ flavor. Pecans would also work deliciously.
- Dark Brown Sugar. For sweetness, caramelization, and a delicious ‘molasses’ flavor.
- Butter. You’ll want to use unsalted butter for the topping.
Ingredient Checklist – The Filling
- Applies. I’m using Granny Smith, but any of the apples I mentioned above will work.
- Sugar. Plain granulated sugar is all you’re looking for.
- Flour. To help thicken the filling. Here again, use all-purpose flour.
- Nutmeg. For a bit of ‘warming spice’ to contrast with the sweetness. This also plays well with the topping.
- Cinnamon. This helps bring together the ‘apple’ flavor in the pie, and plays deliciously with the brown sugar.
- Salt. Once again, plain table salt is all you’re looking.
- Orange. For a bit of citrus flavor. Completely optional.
Tips for Making the Perfect Crust
- Use cold butter: Cold butter helps create a flaky crust. Cut the butter into small cubes and place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you begin making the crust.
- Vent the Crust. If you are getting fancy and placing a crust over the top of the pie, you must vent it. This means cutting slits into the top of the crust, usually with a decorative cutter, or sometimes simply with cut-outs. This allows steam from the filling to escape into the oven. If the steam can’t escape, it remains trapped in the pie, resulting in excess moisture.
- Chilling the dough: Chilling the dough for at least an hour before rolling it out will help keep the dough from sticking and make it easier to work with.
- Pre-baking the crust: Pre-baking the crust will help keep it from becoming soggy when adding the filling.
- Don’t Overwork. Handle the dough as little as possible. Excess handling means excess air. Excess air means a firmer, dryer crust.
Pairings – What to serve with apple upside pie
- Ice Cream. You probably don’t need me to tell you that plain vanilla bean ice cream pairs deliciously with apple pie, and the same is true of today’s pie.
- Fresh Whipped Cream. Dollop of freshly whipped cream, particularly with a drizzle of caramel sauce, is a great way to complete today’s pie.
- Cinnamon Sugar. Love this stuff. Sprinkle it on with the ice cream or the whipped cream, or simply dust it over the pie on its own.
- Specialty Coffee. If you like getting fancy with coffee, such as with Turkish or Moka Pot, today’s pie pairs great with all of your favorite fancy coffees.
Upside Down Apple Pie
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 1 pie 1x
- Egg wash – 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water whisked together
- Sugar, for sprinkling
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the Caramelized Walnut Topping:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
For the Filling:
- 3 apples, cored and peeled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1/2 orange
For the Filling:
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into a large bowl. Toss the apples with sugar, flour, spices and orange zest. Set aside.
For the Crust:
- In the bowl of food processor, pulse together flour, salt, egg, shortening, and lemon juice until the dough holds together. Form into a disk and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
For the Caramelized Walnut Topping:
- Line a 9-inch pie plate with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small glass bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and walnut halves. Transfer the mixture to the lined pie plate and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Divide the prepared pie dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll out one half of the dough and fit into the pie plate, over the walnut mixture. Fill with the apple mixture.
- Roll out the remaining pie dough to place over the filling. Press the edges of the crust and primp.
- Prick the top of the crust with a fork, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake 30-35 minutes or until nicely golden.
- Let the pie rest for about 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Best when served warm with a little ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
- Serving Size: 6-8
And that’s our Apple Upside Down Pie. I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this or other content, let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you.
And of course, if you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to like, share and subscribe. It helps more than you can know. Happy Baking!5
I would love the Deiss Pro Kitchen Shears.
The combo of upside down cake and pie is just unbeatable. This must have tasted amazingly delicious.
Karenann S. says
I love your Apple Upside Down Cake recipe! It looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it. I really like the ART apple slicer and corer set. It would really help in making the recipe!
Lisa Williams says
I love the Upside Down Apple Pie recipe because it sounds delicious,warm,and like something my mom would have made when I was young,I love apples and cinnamon together. I would love the Art apple slicer and corer set,I’ve needed one of these for the longest time.
DAVID J MYERS says
Catherine, Nice switch on a classic with added pizzazz! I’ve never heard of an upside down apple pie…or any upside down pie for that matter but it looks delicious! Ice cream pairing is the only way to go… Take Care, Big Daddy Dave
Amber Kolb says
I love the vintage upside down style! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. I would love the Deiss PRO Citrus Lemon Zester & Cheese Grater. I’m always making recipes that require a grater and I don’t have one so I have to improvise.
Debbie Welchert says
I’m loving the sweet nutty filling on the bottom. The whole pie looks so delicious. I also really like the Deiss Art 5-Piece Nylon Utensil Set.
Carrie Robinson says
Such a genius idea for a dessert! 🙂 Loving the apples.
Erin Vasicek says
I’ve never had an upside down apple pie before and I need to try it! I would love the Diess julienne peeler and collapsible funnels.
This was such a fun change of pace — and totally delicious!
I have a Deiss cheese grater and it is literally the best tool out there! Love seeing some of their other products to help make this pie! So delicious!
Irina Karulina says
I have never made upside down apple pie, but this one is worth trying! And I love some “rustic” look of the ready pie. Your video is amazingly calming 🙂 LOVE it.
This is really amazing!! Would love to make it again!
I like the recipe because it has lots of nuts and I love nuts!
I would probably choose the Deiss PRO Dual Julienne Peeler & Vegetable Peeler
Tara L says
The cake looks divine and delish… I really would like to get my hands on the Deiss ART Silicone Collapsible Funnel Set – Rounded & Squared Foldable Funnels for my work LOL.
I have never seen an upside down apple pie before! This unique recipe will surely be loved by everyone in this house.
Jay A says
Ooh this looks so delicious. I would love to try and make this! Looks so good and not all too complicated to make thankfully!
Whoa. I have seen my fair share of upside down cakes but an upside down pie? Amazing! Those caramelized walnuts look sooo tasty, can’t wait to try this beauty!
Kristine Nicole Alessandra says
My mom always made pineapple upside down cake for Christmas. It was already a staple item on our Christmas dinner table. Your upside down apple pie looks so good! I will try my best to make one. Hopefully it doesn’t fall apart when I flip the pie.
AShley R says
OMG apple pie is one of my favs, We chose to offer pie at our wedding instead of cake.
At first glance I thought this was a pecan pie. The contrast in textures, between the flaky crust, the crunchy walnuts, and the soft apples is what makes this so unique.
My favorite Deiss product is the collapsible funnel set.
OMG that looks SO incredibly delicious. I need to make this asap!
Dan "Jay" Reyes says
I love apple pie! BTW, looking at your pie makes me hungry already 🙂 Thanks for sharing this post.
I would love the digital thermometer. I like new apple based desserts.
Eileen M Loya says
We love apple pie, but this recipe is the best I have seen so far! Those candied walnuts look so good. I will try this recipe. Hopefully I will be successful and make it as beautiful as yours!
Wow! That is an AMAZING looking pie! I never had upside down Apple pie, but what a fabulous idea!
Latonya Ramsey says
The recipe looks awesome – something different and i would like the cheese grater
Kelly Anthony says
The caramelized walnut topping takes this upside-down apple pie to the next level. I’ve never had an upside-down pie but it sounds delicious and sure to be a crowd favorite.
Lesly Figueroa says
The recipe looks delicious I love all the ingredients, and I also likd the thermometer
Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer says
What a great twist on a traditional pie! That caramelized topping looks AMAZING! And I’m with you on Deiss products! I have several of them and they are truly the best!
carol clark says
i love it looks and sounds so delicious and i want this Deiss PRO Dual Julienne Peeler & Vegetable Peeler – Non-slip Comfortable Handle – Amazing Tool for Making Delicious Salads and Veggie Noodles
Looks delicious and that tool would make apple pies so much easier!
What a lovely apple pie recipe! This apple pie would be such a wonderful addition to Sunday dinner as dessert.
Brenda Haines says
I love anything and everything with apples in it! And the garlic press and kitchen shears are needed in my kitchen at the moment. Thanks for the chance!
Susan Christy says
I love everything about this pie – but the gooey walnut topping would probably be my favorite part! My utensils are old and I’d like to replace them. Love the Deiss gray and orange 5 piece utensil set.
I can never get tired from this pie – it is an absolute must when it comes to making something delicious, and I am really excited to try a new recipe every time I find one!
Marisa F. Stewart says
First of all, I love your vintage Pyrex bowl. I’m pea green with envy. The color is fabulous. And now for the dessert, it sounds so yummy and the photos just make me drool. You have a little bit of all the favorite desserts with the fruit and the nuts. And then the crust makes me want to make an upside down apple pie right now.
Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life says
Your upside down apple pie looks AMAZING! I mean, I love me a classic apple pie as much as the next person but I love trying new twists as well. Can’t wait to give this delicious looking recipe a try.
I love the caramelized topping. Growing up, we had pecan trees all around the house. I wish I could have made this recipe back then with fresh pecans. It looks delicious and I’m crazy about the bowl. I have a few fridge pieces in this pattern,but in the reverse color (white with aqua).
I’d like to try the Deiss PRO Dual Julienne Peeler & Vegetable Peeler.
Such an amazing looking apple pie! Can anyone resist a big slice of apple pie? This is so tempting, I can’t wait to make apple pie at home.
Jennifer Banz says
What a cute idea! I think making this upside down means the top crust is a little more forgiving.
I would love the digital meat thermometer and the kitchen shears. This upside down apple pie is completely mouth watering. It looks delicious. My family would really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing.
Tina W says
I like the Deiss PRO Citrus Zester & Cheese Grater. We use a LOT of parmesan cheese here, and that looks like a good model (the orange handle is also perfect, my favorite color!)
I definitely like the upside down aspect of this Apple pie I don’t think I’ve seen that before and another item I like from Deiss ART is the Silicone Collapsible Funnel Set – Rounded & Squared Foldable Funnels .
AnnMarie Irace says
I always love your recipes and this one is so unique that I have to try it. I have never had an apple corer. I would love to try the Deiss products!
Karen D says
I like the riff on a traditional apple pie: makes it fun!
I like the Deiss PRO Digital Meat Thermometer
Celebrate Woman Today says
I’ve never tried this recipe before. But your pictures with the pie are simply irresistibly delicious. I am saving this recipe.
I love this idea, and the walnut topping sounds amazing. Great way to use up all the apples we pick at the orchard!
The bottom crust of this apple pie is crisp and perfectly baked. It’s a truly delicious recipe for everyone.
Yeah Lifestyle says
Apple pie is a firm favourite in our house. I love the sound of this recipe and I am planning to test it out this week.
Luna S says
This looks awesome! My kids love baking so I will have to make this with them. Thanks for sharing this.
Melanie E says
I’ve had a pineapple upside-down cake before but not this. It sounds delicious. The filling with the spices sounds amazing and I love the caramelised walnut topping!!! What a lovely dessert.
Paula Richie says
Enjoy your show-stopping dessert! Walnuts caramelized with brown sugar and butter does sound delicious…if I ate sugar 😉
I love apple pie but never tried it this way. I’m saving the recipe for Friday night.
Jupiter Hadley says
What an interesting twist on a classic apple pie! This feels like a show stopper dessert.
Yes, to the whipped cream. I used to like pie without or without, but now it’s a deal breaker if I don’t have it. A dollop of whipped cream is the best.