Thursday, October 10, 2013

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

I notice a lot of recipes around on the blogosphere that take a classic recipe and then they're tweaked somehow.  IMO, it's a little unnecessary.  Not every recipe needs to have goat cheese and avocado in it.  Some recipes are your favorites just because they're classics - and they're classics because they're perfect the way they are.  Just leave them be.

That's definitely how I feel/felt about apple pie.  I love it just the way it is.  It will always be one of my favorite pies and if it didn't require peeling all the apples, I would probably always have one on hand.
So when I came across this recipe for apple pie with not just caramel, but salted caramel, I was a little hesitant.  I gave in, and was really good too.  It's probably best to just treat them as separate things altogether though.  That way you won't feel like you're betraying your oldie but (ridiculously) goodie.

This pie takes an extra step or two to make the caramel so you may decide not to make it quite as often, but when you're hosting friends or having a special family gathering, it's probably worth it.  It's definitely worth it.

I will warn you, when you are done making the caramel and you dip your finger in to taste it - because we all know you will, and it will hurt, because it's hot - it will taste really salty.  You're going to think, it's too salty.  Don't worry though!  Don't add more sugar!  Don't throw it away!  When you add it on top of the apples and when you drizzle some extra over the top, it will balance out perfectly :)
Recipe from Cheryl & Griffith Day
2 pie crusts
For the Caramel:
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
For the Apple Filling
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
6 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg (for egg wash)
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

1.  For the caramel: in a medium saucepan, combine sugar, salt and 1/2 c. water over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the sugar is melted.  Stop stirring and cook until the syrup turns a medium amber color. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter and cream.  Transfer into a stand mixer and beat until the caramel cools - at this point, it should look like and have the texture of caramel.

2.  For the filling: toss together lemon zest, lemon juice, and apples.  Sprinkle flour, spices, and 1/2 c. sugar over the top and use your hands to incorporate.

3.  Place one pie crust into the bottom of your pie pan.  Pour in the apple mixture and top with 1/4 c. of the caramel.  Top with second pie crust.  Pinch together the edges of the crusts to seal and cut vent holes.  Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with the extra 2 Tbsp. of sugar and a little bit of coarse salt.

4.  Bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 375˚ and bake for an additional 45-60 minutes (cover the crust edges if it starts to get too brown).

5.  When you're ready to serve the pie, drizzle each slice with some of the remaining caramel mixture and top with a scoop of ice cream.

*When you taste the caramel, it will seem very salty, but when it comes together with the pie, it will all work out I promise!*

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