Thanksgiving is officially upon us. There is no turning back now. One of my favorite past-times, especially this time of year, is dreaming up new recipes. New combinations, updates on the old, and taking current recipes and trying to figure out what would make them better. Once I get a recipe to make in my head to make, I have to make it or else it will drive me crazy thinking about it. This caramel apple pie was exactly one of those recipes.
With all the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities about to happen I was trying to do figure out another desert for Thanksgiving. I am already going to do my pumpkin cheesecake (that will be a staple for the rest of my Thanksgiving celebrating life) but I wanted something else. Something traditional and delicious. Like an old-fashioned apple pie. Scouring the internet, I stumbled up Tyler Florence’s Apple Pie and was intrigued.
This apple pie uses caramel instead of sugar in the filling. That could be great- it would be just like eating a caramel apple but in pie form. What could be better? But when I looked closer at the recipe and then the video – they didn’t match each other. They just kind of threw them together and hoped for the best. Stuff like this drives me crazy – if I am going to spend the time to make something like this from scratch, I want to know that it is going to work. Right? Plus I want the recipe and the video to match. (Maybe I am just a perfectionist but go with me here). So I decided to re-do the recipe. Tyler, it is not you it is me but thanks for inspiring me to come up with my own Caramel Apple Pie.
This apple pie takes a little bit of effort but there are all sorts of ways you can cut corners and still come out with a great pie. You could use store-bought pie crust instead of making your own and store-bought caramel sauce will work just as well as the homemade stuff. Up to you and what you have time for. I feel like you could also buy pre-sliced apple slices and remove the apple skin to make this super easy. You may not get the height of thinly slicing the apples, but I promise the filing will still be delicious.
Regardless of what you decide to do, this dreamy, creamy apple pie makes your kitchen smell like every amazing baking scent possible. The final result is an ooey-gooey apple filling in a delicious flaky crust – perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table.
- Pie Dough
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 sticks of very cold butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1/3 cups very cold vegetable shortening, cut in large chunks
- 1/2 cup ice water
- Apple Filling
- 1 lemon
- 8 apples - 4 gala apples and 4 granny smith apples
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup caramel sauce store bought or homemade
- 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't over mix, the goal is to have some pieces of butter/shortening the size of peas and others the size of oatmeal flakes.Continue pulsing the machine on and off and gradually add about 3 tablespoons of the water. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling. Make apple filling while dough is chilling.
Slice lemon and add to large bowl of water. Set water aside.
Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, cornstarch and brown sugar in a bowl and place to the side.
Peel and slice apples as thin as possible. If you have a mandolin use that (but be careful, I manage to slice my fingers every single time I use one of those suckers). While you are peeling all of the apples, toss the peeled apples into the lemon water to prevent them from turning brown.
Once all of the apples are peeled and sliced, pat dry then toss with the flour and cinnamon mixture.
Roll out pie dough and place dough into a pie pan. Cut off excess dough. If dough starts to get soft, simply put it back into the refrigerator or freezer to firm up. Add filling to pie plate by layering apples.Try to get the apples to overlap as much as possible. You want the filling to be tight together. After one or two layers of apples drizzle about 1/3 cup of caramel sauce over filling and repeat until all apple slices are used.
Drop butter pieces over the apples and return the pie to the refrigerator while you roll out the remaining dough.
Roll out the remaining dough and gently place over apple filling. Press the sides of the dough together and crimp. Cut 5 steam vents on top of dough.Put completed pie back into the refridgerator to firm up. (You want the dough to be as cold as possible before you bake it so the steam from the butter makes a flaky crust).
Preheat over to 450 while the pie is chilling.
Once the oven is pre-heated, drop the temperature to 425. Pull the pie out of the refrigerator and make egg wash by combining egg and milk in small bowl. Brush top of dough with egg wash then then place pie in the over for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes rotate the pie and reduce to 375. Once the pie is bubbling and the top crust is golden brown, remove pie and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.