Of course I had to make something sweet for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. I was between two pies: the Salted Caramel Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Pie. The host suggested I bring this one and so glad she did. I have been wanting to try apple pies for some time now.
As you may know, not all apples are created equal, and with apple pies you cannot use just any kind of apple. I chose to use Granny Smiths this go around and though I read that they are usually a bit more tart, they were prefect for the pie with so much sweetness to it. I found out that I didn’t have heavy cream (the one in our fridge expired) so instead I used almond milk. The milk worked fine in the caramel sauce and its another option if you making this for the lactose-in tolerant crowd. This pie recipe is from Blackbirds Four & Twenty which has yet to disappoint.
- Have a prepared an All-Butter Crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie
- 1 cup plus 2 TBS granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 lemons
- 6 to 7 baking apples
- 2 to 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1/3 cup raw sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground all spice
- pinch of nutmeg
- one grind of black pepper
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 TBS unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp flake sea salt plus more for finishing
- egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt
- Demerara sugar for finishing
Have a prepared and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and one for the top, whether it be lattice strips of some other design (use a leaf cookie cutter perhaps).
Whisk together 1 cup of the granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the butter and slowly bring to a boil. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a golden brown. This does take some time to achieve this color so be patient. Remove from heat and slowly add the almond milk/heavy cream. Adding the milk to the mixture will cause it to bubbly and steam. Whisk well and set aside for cooling.
Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl, removing any seeds. Prepare the apples by peeling, removing the core, and thinly slicing them with a sharp knife. Dredge the apple slices in a lemon juice. Sprinkle lightly the remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Set aside for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the apples to soften and release some juices.
In a small bowl, add the Angostura bitters over the raw sugar Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, black pepper, kosher salt and flour and mix well. Add the prepared apples, leaving behind excess juice Gently turn the apples to evenly distribute the spice mixture.
Tightly layer the apples in the pie shell so that there are minimal gaps, mounding the apples slightly higher in the center. Pour a generous 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the flake sea salt. Assemble the top crust and chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set the pastry.
Position the racks to the bottom and center positions. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack and preheat the over to 400F. Carefully brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat, making sure you do not drag caramel onto the crust or it will burn. Sprinkle with sea salt and demerara sugar Place the pie on the baking sheet on the lowest rack for 20 to 25 minutes. Lower the oven temp to 375F and move the pie to the center rack and continue to bake the pie for another 30-35 minutes. I keep the baking sheet and the pie together incase of overflow of the pie. Allow to cool 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temp.