It's the time of year for some indulging, and what better to go overboard with than a beautiful, golden pie.
Apple pie, luscious in its own right, is downright naughty with the addition of caramel. Ohhhh baby. This recipe is a snap if you use ready-made pie crust, but if you choose to make your own crust using our No Fail Pastry recipe (below) your pie will achieve unicorn status. Attribute this to the lard in the recipe. Yes, I typed the word "lard." We are going overboard, remember? Let's live a little.
So you'll cut that lard into flour until you get a texture like this. Roll. Trim & chill. Now to the filling. About 8 large and tart apples will do. Peel & slice thin. Butter, brown & white sugars, flour and cinnamon transform our caramel into a sauce which just bearhugs those apples. This is some plum snuggling, to be sure. Roll, fold, crimp, brush, sprinkle, pierce into a serene pie face like this one. Cool. Whip up some cream (leave it just a whisper runny) to drop atop and then find a cozy nook to sip some coffee, listen to some Neil Young and savor every morsel of that pie yourself. Or share with your absolute favorite people. Enjoy!
Caramel Apple Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie.
No Fail pastry (recipe follows) or 2 ready-made refrigerated pie crusts
8 cups peeled, cored, thinly sliced tart apples (like Granny Smith)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
1/4 cup flour
1/4 lb Annie B’s baking caramel (1/4 block), cut into chunks
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Milk or heavy cream
- Prepare pastry (recipe follows). Divide into three portions, cover and chill for 30 minutes. This recipe makes 3 portions, 2 portions will be used with this recipe; third portion can be used for another recipe or wrapped and frozen.
- Roll one portion of pastry to fit 9” pie pan. Trim edges, leaving 1/2” overhang. Chill 20-30 minutes.
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup flour and caramels, stirring occasionally until sugars are dissolved and sauce is slightly thick – about 5-7 minutes. Stir in cinnamon.
- Heat oven to 400°F. Arrange apples over dough in pan. Pour sauce evenly over apples.
- Roll remaining disk of dough so that it overhangs about 1”. Place over apples. Fold top crust over bottom crust; crimp edges. Brush with milk and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut slits into top crust.
- Bake crust for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40 to 45 minutes. Since the caramel mixture will bubble before apples may be done, gently poke through one of the slits with a knife to determine if the apples have cooked through and don’t resist. If crust is turning too brown before filling is done, lay aluminum foil strips over the edges.
- Let cool completely before serving.
No Fail Pastry:
8 ounces lard
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon vinegar
- Mix salt, 4 tablespoons ice water, vinegar and egg in a small bowl with fork.
- Cut the lard into the flour until it lard is in pea sized pieces using a pastry cutter or two butter knives cutting across each other.
- Add liquid mixture until dough forms. If too dry, sprinkle additional tablespoon of ice water over the dough.
- Divide dough in thirds, wrap, and refrigerate.
Recipe & Photography by Jill May.