Apple Pie with Caramel & Goat Cheese

October 31, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Makes 9-inch pie
Author Notes

A resplendent take on traditional apple pie with lush caramel and twangy goat cheese. —Valerie

What You'll Need
  • crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 6-8 tablespoons cold half & half cream
  • filling
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 3 pounds apples - peeled, cored, and into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (for brushing the crust)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (for sprinkling onto the crust)
  1. Prepare the crust: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and granulated sugar. Add cold butter cubes and mix until evenly coated. Place everything into the bowl of a large food processor. Using several short bursts, pulse until mixture resembles cornmeal (it will look very dry). Transfer the mixture back to large mixing bowl and place the bowl into freezer. Freeze for about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the bowl from the freezer and sprinkle about 3 Tablespoons of the cream plus the almond extract on top of the mixture. Use a wooded spoon, a rubber spatula (or your hands) to gently work the cream into the dough. Keep adding cream, one Tablespoonful at a time, and mixing, until the dough starts to form a ball (you might not need all 8 Tablespoons). Don't add too much cream - the dough should be cohesive and slightly wet, but not sticky. Gather the dough into a ball and divide it in half. Flatten each piece of dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. {Note: Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for three days.}
  3. Prepare the caramel: Measure out the heavy cream and place it within reach of your stove. Also have a medium heatproof bowl on hand.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, maple syrup, and water. Allow the water to seep through the sugar for a few minutes until evenly moistened. Without stirring, cook the mixture over med heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up to med-high. Without stirring, cook until the caramel turns amber - give the pan an occasional swirl with the handle. Depending on how comfortable you are with making caramel, and the heat level, this process can take about 8-15 minutes - Do Not wander off as the caramel is cooking. Once the caramel turns amber, remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream. As you add the cream the caramel will sputter, so be very careful! Keep whisking until the caramel is smooth. If you notice any large clumps, return to low heat and whisk until everything smooths out. Stir in the bits of butter until melted. Pour the hot caramel into a medium heatproof bowl and set it aside to cool as you prepare the rest of the pie. {Note: Don't refrigerate the caramel or it will get too hard to "dollop" and spread.} Whilst preparing the filling and rolling the dough, give the caramel a good stir from time to time.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  6. Prepare the filling: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sliced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and goat cheese. Set aside.
  7. Remove one disk of dough from the fridge. On a very well-floured surface, using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the disk into a 12-13 inch circle that's about 1/4-inch thick. Gently place the circle of dough into a 9-inch pie plate - make sure it's centered, if you try to stretch the dough at this point it will shrink back in the oven. Trim the overhang to one inch.
  8. Check the caramel - If it's cool enough to touch, spread a layer onto the the bottom of the crust (save some caramel for the top too!). If the caramel is still too hot, wrap the pie in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the caramel cools off. {Note: If the caramel is too warm it will melt the pie dough.}
  9. Scoop the apple filling over the caramel-lined bottom crust. Use a spoon to dollop the rest of the caramel over the apples. Set the pie aside as you roll out the second disk of dough.
  10. Place the second disk on a very well floured surface and roll out another 12-13-inch circle. Drape the circle of dough over the filled pie and trim the overhang slightly longer than the bottom crust. Fold the bottom and top crusts together and use your fingers (or fork tines) to make a decorative edge. Use a sharp pairing knife to cut about four 2-inch long slits in the upper crust - these "air vents" will help the give the crust a wonderful, flaky texture. {Note: If you're bored with a boring top crust, have a bit of fun! Use cookie cutters to cut out as many shapes as possible.}
  11. Brush the top crust (or cut outs) with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  12. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. If the edges are browning too quickly, cover them with a loose foil tent or pie protector. {Note: Some of the caramel oozed out of the pie and onto my oven - if your pie looks like it will do the same, place the pie onto a thin cookie sheet and continue baking.}
  13. Remove the pie from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Cool completely (at least six hours) before enjoying!

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