Jeanne's Caramel Apple Pie
This pie is AMAZING. The crust is easy to work with, and the caramel is a lovely addition to the traditional apple filling. Thanks Jeanne!!
Crust for 2 pie crusts:
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into cubes
6 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into small pieces
8 tablespoons (plus extra) ice water
0.5 cups (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon water
0.5 cups white sugar
0.5 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 Granny Smith apples
1. Blend the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening, and blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and process just until moist clumps form. Add more ice water a tablespoon at a time if necessary. Gather the dough into a coherent ball and cut in half. Flatten each half into a 4"-ish disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
2. Meanwhile, peel, core and slice apples. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14" circle. Transfer to a buttered pie dish and trim overhang to 1". Prick bottom with a fork, and sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate until use. Roll out second disk to 14".
4. Melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to form a paste and no clumps remain. Add the sugars and the water and stir to blend. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Reduce heat back to a simmer.
5. Mix half the caramel syrup into the apples. Load the apples into the pie crust, slightly mounded. Pour the rest of the syrup over the apples. Cover with the top pie crust, folding edges under bottom crust. Crimp edges to seal. Pierce top crust with a knife to make steam slits. Brush the top with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until apples are soft. Cool to room temperature and serve.
My notes: The crust was very easy to work with! We cut the pie only an hour after it came out of the oven, so the interior was still pretty liquid. When Jeanne brought the pie over, it had cooled for almost 8 hours, and the filling was much more set.
- Butter the pie plate before putting in the rolled pie dough (makes it easier to get the slices out)
- Sprinkle a little granulated sugar on the bottom of the pie crust before adding apples. It crystallizes as the pie bakes and helps keep the crust from getting soggy.
- Rather than just dumping in all the apples, layer them so they're somewhat flat. This gives a better apple to crust ratio with each slice and prevents big empty pockets within the pie.
- Good mise-en-place is very helpful with this recipe, as a lot happens at once. I recommend getting the pie crust rolled out and in the pie pan and all the apples cut up and ready before starting the caramel.
- For recipes that call for a prebaked pie crust, preheat the oven to 375°. Line the crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Bake until golden and set, about 10 minutes. Cool. (Crust can be made one day ahead. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature.)