Most of the week’s recipes will focus around apples due to the fact that my kitchen is exploding with bags of freshly picked apples of various shapes and sizes, and I would love to see my countertop sooner than later.
With this in mind, our first recipe will be for a Caramel Nut Apple Pie. Yum!
My dad used to make the best Apple Pie. One of my biggest regrets, now that he is gone, is that I didn’t write down his recipes or pay more attention to him as he cooked. Fortunately, his “award winning” Clam Chowder, the one for which he (according to him) won several Chowder cook-offs on the shores of Cape Cod and spent years perfecting, can be easily found in one of the Disney Cookbooks…hmmm, odd.
The Apple Pie, though, I don’t know where this recipe came from. So, my quest is to find something close to what I remember growing up.
This recipe, though not a traditional Apple Pie, is DELICIOUS!! We watched Modern Family last night on Hulu, and ate a piece. When the episode was over, we ate another. And for breakfast, I had another slice. Its ok though, because its rainy outside, which means Mother Nature wants me to lock myself away eating pie and muffins.
Here is the recipe for a great pie. You will wow friends and family alike. If there is any left, after you get to it, of course.
Caramel Nut Apple Pie
For the crust:
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 ½ C All-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (I added this, and I think it makes all the difference)
1 C (2 sticks, uh-huh!) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼-1/2 C ice water
Pulse flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some larger pieces remaining. Drizzle ¼ C water over the mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add more water 1 Tb at a time.
Divide the dough in half onto two pieces of plastic wrap. Gather into two balls, and loosely wrap. Press each into a disk and refrigerate until firm, one hour. You can keep in fridge for up to 2 days. Freeze for up to 3 months, and thaw before using.
For the filling:
3 TB flour
3 lbs or about 5 apples, assorted: peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch slices (Use tart apples)
2 Tb fresh lemon juice
¼ C sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tb caramel sauce
½ C chopped walnuts
On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of the dough to a 13-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, do not trim overhang. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425. (The high temperature will help set the crust quickly. We’ll lower it later, but no one wants a soggy crust.)
In a large bowl, toss together apples, flour, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, caramel sauce, and nuts. Pour mixture into chilled pie shell, piling in center. Dot with butter.
At this point, you can either roll out your second disk for a crusty top, or you can continue below for a crumb topping. If you use the second disk, roll out the dough, as before. Use a sharp paring knife to cut slits in top of the dough. Brush rim of crust with a wash of 1 egg yolk and 1 TB of heavy cream. Center dough on top of pie plate, and trim with kitchen shears, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck dough under bottom piece, and crimp edges. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, 30 minutes.
For Crumb Topping:
1 C Flour
1 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C butter, cut in small pieces
About 2 Tb Caramel Sauce, more if desired
Mix together the flour and sugar. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Top pie with crumb topping. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, 30 minutes.
To Bake Pie:
Transfer pie plate to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake on lowest rack until crust begins to brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375, and bake until crust is golden brown and juices bubble, about 60-70 minutes. If top or crust begins to brown too quickly, tent pie with foil. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely.