Salted Caramel Apple Pie

By • May 4, 2017 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This pie is all about contrasting textures and intense salted caramel apple flavor. A flaky bottom crust is filled with creamy caramel apple filling and topped with crispy brown sugar and butter crumb topping. Just to gild the lily, the pie is drizzled with more silky smooth salted caramel sauce after baking. Pre-baking the bottom crust and cooking the apple filling to thicken up all that delicious apple juice before pouring it into the crust ensures that the bottom crust stays flaky. Rebecca Blackwell

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Serves 8

  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shorting
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from one large lemon
  • 8 cups tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Macintosh, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store bought, mixed with 2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pea size chunks
  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grund nutmeg
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. To make the bottom crust, tear off a large piece of aluminum foil – about 16 inches long. Invert a pie plate so that it’s upside down on the counter. Shape the foil to the pan, pressing it all around the pan so that it takes on the same shape. Remove the foil, careful to retain the shape of the pie pan and set aside to use later when pre-baking the pie crust.
  2. Sift together the 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Cut in the shortening using a pastry knife, or rub the shortening into the flour with your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles coarse cornmeal.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, egg and water. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and toss with a rubber spatula or with your hands just until the dough comes together in a ball. Add more ice water if your dough is not coming together or a bit more flour if it's too moist. You want it to hold together in a ball without being sticky. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 13-inch circle. Run a large spatula or dough scraper under the dough as you roll to ensure your crust is not sticking to your rolling surface. Add additional flour as necessary.
  5. Trim the excess dough from the edges with kitchen sheers, leaving enough to create a nice high edge to your pie, about an inch of overhang. Fold the overhang under itself so you have a cylinder that rests on the edge of the pie plate. With one hand on the inside of the edge, and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your outside hand to form a U or V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or place in the freezer for 30 min.
  6. While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Take your pre-shaped piece of foil and gently press it over your pie crust in the pie pan. Fold the edges of the foil over the edges of the crust very gently so as not to wreck your beautifully shaped edges. For the first several minutes of baking, it’s important to weight down the pie crust. Otherwise the crust will puff up as it bakes making it very difficult to fill later. I like to use dried beans to weight the crust, but you could also use pie weights. (I’ve been reusing the same beans for years, storing them in a zip-top bag.) Pour in enough dried beans over the foil to almost reach the top of the pan.
  8. Place the pan in the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 17 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently pull up the edges of the foil and remove from the pan along with the beans. Using a fork, pierce the crust bottom all over, 10-12 times, gently twisting the fork with each piercing to slightly enlarge the holes. Put the pan back into the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, until just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool before filling.
  9. To make the apple filling, squeeze the lemon juice into a large, heavy bottom sauce pan and toss the apple slices with the lemon juice as you slice them to prevent the slices from browning. Pour 1/2 cup of the salted caramel sauce over the apples and stir briefly to mix. Reserve the other half cup of caramel sauce for drizzling over the baked pie.
  10. In a small bowl, add the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, cornstarch,1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves and 1/4 tsp salt and stir with a wire whisk just to combine. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples and toss with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to coat the apples. Cook the apple pie filling over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until the mixture thickens and boils. Pour the apple pie filling into the pre-baked pie crust and dot the surface evenly with the 1 tbsp butter. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  11. While the pie is baking, make the crumb topping: In a medium size bowl, add 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Stir to combine. Pour in the 7 tbsp melted butter and mix with your hands just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
  12. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Remove the pie from the oven and cover the apple pie filling with the crumb topping, squeezing the topping with your hands as you do so to create some large chunks.
  13. Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, until the crumb topping is golden brown and the apple pie filling is bubbling slightly.
  14. Remove the apple pie from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of salted caramel sauce over the pie and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.

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