Stop Reading and Bake a Pie


 
I promise, I'm not turning into a food blogger, but once in awhile I like to mix business with pleasure. This weekend I combined a few recipes and made a Caramel Apple Pie, which I made last year for Thanksgiving. Truth be told, I wanted to get a dress rehearsal in before this year, since it's been eleven months since my first, and only, shot. Seriously, who wants to fuck up the Thanksgiving pies? Anyway, I'm not a huge apple pie fan - more of a pumpkin girl - but I actually like this one, so it can't be half bad (I do love making apple pies, though- such a labor of love with all the peeling, chopping, and lattice making). It's the perfect fall dessert. Well, after anything with pumpkin, anyway.

Before the recipe, I have to tout the homemade pie crust. I know everyone thinks it's a pain in the ass to bust one out yourself, but it's not. I promise. Plus you can't say something's truly homemade if one of the main components is store-bought. Bragging rights, bitch! 

Caramel Apple Pie

Carmel and topping inspired by Annie's Eats Caramel Apple Bars
Filling and crust from The Joy of Cooking

As always, I'm not a professional, so excuse the mistakes!

Caramel:
9 ounces of caramel candies, unwrapped (no shit)
2 tbsp. heavy cream

Topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/6 cup of sugar
1/6 cup brown sugar
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp cold unsalted, butter, cut into chunks
1/2 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla

I know some of these measurements are a bit strange, but I halved the original recipe; don't stress, just eyeball most of them if you don't have a 1/6 cup

Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
5 tbsp ice cold water

Filling:
6 cups of peeled, thinly sliced apples (I used 4 1/2 large Granny Smiths)
1 tbsp of lemon juice 
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 

Filling:
1. Peel and slice apples- I like mine as thin as possible
2. Sprinkle lemon juice on top, mix up (this is optional, it's just to prevent browning while prepping everything else)
3. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg- evenly coat, set aside



Topping: 
1. Combine dry ingredients
2. With a pastry cutter (if you don't have one a fork works; cutters seem to the do the job faster, but I know they're not necessarily common tools), cut in butter until combined well (small clusters will start forming; main goal is to break up the butter well)
3. Stir in vanilla and egg yolk until topping is moistened (it will still be quite dry, and there will be some chunks- totally fine). Set aside.
 
Crust:
1. Combine flour and salt 
2. With a pastry cutter (or fork) slowly cut in shortening, in small spoon-fulls. As you cut in, small pea-like balls (or even a little smaller) will start to form. Don't "smush" everything together- just toss lightly, so that it reminds you almost of wet sand. Or something like that. You don't want chunks of butter.
3. Once little balls (ha. ha. ha.) have started to form, add in the ice water a tablespoon at a time, continuing to toss with your cutter or fork. Continue until the dough is completely moistened and you have one big ball (I usually use my hands to combine everything at the end).
4. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle big enough to fit your 9-inch pie pan. Once done, wrap the crust loosely over the rolling pin and eas it into your pan. Adjust as necessary.
5. Trim edges, or make a fancy-schmancy design, if that's your thing. 
6. Set aside.



Caramel Sauce
1. Combine caramels and heaving cream in a small pot over medium heat, stirring very frequently.
2. Remove from heat as soon as all candies are melted.

Assembling
1. Pour caramel onto pie crust, spreading out with a spoon (I stopped when I had maybe 1/2 cup left)

2. Carefully layer the apples on top of the caramel


3. Thoroughly cover the apples with the crumbled topping- use it all!



Baking
1. Here's where it get's tricky- a typical pie would bake for an hour, while the bars with the crumble topping only half as long. I compromised.
2. Bake pie for 25 minutes at 375- check to make sure the top isn't burning
3. Lower temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 20 minute, checking frequently to make sure there's no burning happening. I have a pretty decent oven that bakes evenly, so I didn't have any problem, but you never know.
4. Once the top and any visible pie crust is a golden brown remove and let cool for a few hours. 


 

7 comments:

  1. Mmmmm I love caramel anything and this sounds delicious. Lol I love that they have to put that you need to unwrap the caramels. Makes me sad for humanity.

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    Replies
    1. That was my first though...caramel, yum.

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  2. I am one of those weird people who really doesn't care for pie. One of my many weird preferences in life is that I hate warm fruit (not warmed by the sun, fresh off the tree fruit - I love that), but like pie filling Yuck. Hot apples? Hot cherries? I'll pass. The caramel has me reconsidering though...

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    Replies
    1. Were we separated at birth? Because hot fruit is just wrong. I don't do pie either (but this one does look very, very pretty).

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  3. Under times of extreme-cooking-pressure, my rule of thumb is that if there's an oven-mitt involved, it's homemade ;-)

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  4. Oooh, this looks so yummy *saves link*

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  5. I hope I'm celebrating Thanksgiving with you this year (; this looks delicious!

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