Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Best Apple Pie Ever

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I took last Friday off because I was with family and intended to write this post on Sunday night and post this recipe yesterday, but after a 7.5 hour flight, I was simply too tuckered. Yes, you read that correctly. What should have been six hours at the most became 7.5 hours due to wind or some mysterious evil travel elf. So, a day late, I'm sharing with you my amazing Thanksgiving discovery. If I'm being honest, apple pie really isn't my favorite. I know it's the American dessert, but I'd much rather have pumpkin, pecan, chocolate cream, coconut cream, or any other type of fruit pie. I'm not really sure why, I've just always felt that way. However, it was one of my assignments for Thanksgiving and I was determined to do it well. This recipe may have actually changed my position on apple pie. It was that good. The key is to cook the apples and the sauce in a skillet before filling the crust. Sounds crazy I know, but it turns the goo into this amazing caramel and softens the apples just enough. I will never make another apple pie recipe again. Ever.

Caramel Apple Pie
recipe from here
note: I had a crust on hand from the pumpkin pie recipe, but you could also use store bought

6 -7 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons heavy cream (I used light and it was just great)
4 tablespoons butter

I started by peeling and slicing the apples. I must say, this task sucks. But I made fiance talk to me while I was wielding my knife and it helped pass the time.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples and toss. Then, add the brown and white sugar, the spices, and the salt and toss until all of the apples are coated. There will be some extra of the dry ingredients in the bottom. That's ok. Add the vanilla and the cream and mix again.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. When the butter is hot, add the apple mixture and cook on medium for about 8-10 minutes. It will start to sizzle and you will see the filling liquid turn thick and begin to resemble caramel.
At this point you can go right ahead and fill the pie shell or put the mixture in a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours until you are ready to bake the pie. I found it very help to be able to get that step out of the way and just assemble later. When assembling make sure you leave plenty of room around the crust because it will shrink in the oven.

Lay the second piece of pie shell on top or make a criss-cross pattern with strips. I went for the full cover because it seemed easier and I was trying this for the first time. Trim off a little of the extra crust around the edges, but leave enough so the rim of the dish is just covered. Using a fork, or your fingers, press the pieces together to seal. Next time, I'll brush a little cream in between the layers to seal extra tight. Make a few slits or poke some holes with forks on the top to allow the steam to escape. Brush the top with cream to help turn a lovely brown.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 45. I'd recommend you check on the pie about half way through and either used a pie crust shield or wrap some tin foil around the edges so it doesn't get too burnt. I meant to get a mid-slice picture, but the eating got in the way. Take my word for it, you'll love it! Enjoy!

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