Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

This pie comes with a story. Family stories are my favorite. I love reliving ours and hearing other families' stories. Aren't they always THE BEST? (I wonder what stories Jack will tell his kids about us someday? Hmmm...)

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

This one involves my mom and dad when they were newly married. My mom set out to bake a pie. It didn't go well. While she was in the backyard pouting, my dad whipped up a pie. This one. Funnily enough, my mom was none too pleased that SHE failed, yet her new husband had made a fabulous pie. (I'm sure she got over it once she had a bite or two.)

I'm not even sure that my mom EVER made this particular pie, although she was known in our neighborhood as an excellent baker and cook. My only memories of this pie are of my dad making it. As you might guess, I have a really cool dad. ♥

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Me. E mentioned last week that apple pie is tied with cherry as his favorite. (And I think there was a small comment about not remembering the last time he'd had a "regular" apple pie.) I usually make this cranberry apple pie at Thanksgiving, but I decided to bake up my dad's apple pie for him this week. Just like the title suggests, The top of the pie is baked on the bottom and flipped once baked.

The brown sugar-pecan top makes this pie so special. Maybe every pie should have a brown-sugar pecan crust. I love this filling on this one as well because it's not overly cinnamon-y. It has just the right amount.

For the crust, you can use your favorite double-crust recipe or even store-bought. I tried a new food processor crust for this one. It tastes great but was a bit difficult to work with, so I'm not going to share it here just yet. If you're looking for a stellar crust, I love this one.

Start by combining softened butter and brown sugar. Cover the bottom of a glass pie pan with the mixture and top with pecan halves.

Place one pie crust over the pecans. Brush with a thin layer of egg white. (This helps prevent the juice from leaking through.)

granny smith apples in bowl

Next up are the apples. I recommend Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or a combination.

apple peeler, corer, slicer

Peel, core, and slices the apples. Do you have one of these apple peelers? It's one of my favorite kitchen tools!

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Toss the apples with lemon juice, then with some brown sugar, flour, and spices. Pile into the pie pan.

Top with the second crust and bake.

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Once the pie is baked, remove from the oven and let the brown sugar on the bottom stop bubbling. (Here's where that glass pie pan comes in handy.) Place your pie plate upside down onto the pie. Invert the pie, carefully lifting the pan to remove. Voila! Upside-down pie!

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Let the pie cool a bit before serving. It is best served warm with a (non-negotiable) scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top.

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup pecan halves
unbaked double pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
1 egg white, whisked
6 cups cored, peeled, and thinly sliced Granny Smith or Pink Lady Apples
juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450. Place oven rack on lower 1/3 of the oven.

Use fingers to combine the softened butter and brown sugar. Place on the bottom of a 9 or 10" glass pie pan. Top with pecan halves, pressing face down into the sugar. Cover with one of the pie crusts. Brush the crust lightly with the whisked egg white.

Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour the apples in and toss. Pour the apples into the pie pan.

Top with the remaining crust. Press the edges together and crimp edges; prick the top with a paring knife a few times. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 450, the lower the heat to 350 and bake for 40 minutes more, until the apples are easily pierced with a paring knife.

Remove from the oven and let cool until the brown sugar on the bottom has stopped bubbling, about 5 minutes. Place a pie plate upside-down over the pie. Invert the pie and carefully lift off the pie pan. Let the pie cool for a bit and serve warm with ice cream.

Store at room temperature, covered with foil. Reheat slices in the microwave before serving, about 12 seconds is all it takes.

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Let's hear your family pie stories!


  1. WHAAAAT? This looks divine, girl! I once made an upside down caramel apple pie. This looks even better! I am DEFINITELY trying this!

  2. Cute story and Jack will always have soooo many fabulous memories..!!I even have them of you and your family LOL..
    When I married I knew nothing and it showed.
    I could name so many things I tried that were a fiasco.
    This looks great.

  3. Thanks for the new addition for Thanksgiving dessert! This looks amazing!

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  13. Do you have an idea of what I can use to seal the bottom crust in place of egg white?

    1. Hey Lauren! You can skip that if you need to avoid egg. :) Happy baking!

  14. That's such a cool idea. Mouthwatering and crunchy.


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