On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Salted Caramel Apple Pie, a good use of caramel

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I heart caramel

I’m on a bit of a caramel kick. I don’t need much of an excuse to add caramel to anything. Enter the Salted Caramel Apple Pie.

While the recipe I followed for the pie filling included a recipe for the caramel, I followed the recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce from the blog Two Peas and their Pod.

Sticky Caramel

Making a dry Caramel Sauce is the same no matter whose recipe you choose, and pretty much the proportions of ingredients are the same. The ingredients in the Pie recipe is half of what I made. I decided that if I’m going to go to the trouble of making caramel sauce I might as well make some to have left over.

It’s a messy job, or maybe it’s just me. I know, I’ll just have to keep practicing. I don’t really see a downside to that. Other than the spatulas that will give up their life for this glorious rich creamy sauce. I sacrificed two spatulas. I made caramel for the Salted Caramel Ice Cream yesterday and didn’t have a problem using the very same spatula. But today it took a lot longer for the sugar to melt. There was 50gm more sugar but that couldn’t have been it.

Anyway, I swapped the spatulas for the whisk, which is what is called for in the Caramel sauce recipe. Then we were back in business.

Caramel sauce mess

Back in business and making a mess. Oh the waste. Ok, I didn’t waste it, I scraped it up, most of it going straight into my mouth.

After mixing in the butter followed by the cream I ended up with some sugar crystals/lumps that would not remelt. I thought I’d strain the caramel as I was getting to the bottom of the pot. But it was cooling and no longer straining as easily, plus as you’ll notice the strainer is wider than the opening of the jar. It was bound to get untidy.

Sauce made it was onto the pie.

Ingredients

I can’t remember the variety of red apples that I bought, it’s a tart sweet apple. I don’t especially like Gala apples, I like my apples to have a little bit of a kick and be super crunchy. And with the addition of the caramel I expect a little less sweetness wont be missed. And perhaps it’ll make the caramel come out more (I haven’t yet had a piece!).

Turbinado sugar, as I discovered thanks to Google, is Raw Sugar, as we know it in New Zealand.

Pie dough

I made the pie dough on Friday night and left it in the fridge until this morning. You can read about my account of using this dough recipe in my post here.

Preparing the apple filling

Do not tell Mr Fussy there’s cinnamon in this recipe. He doesn’t need to know, and I’m hoping he can’t taste it, but if he can I’ll let you know.

I have an apple corer but I liked the way Adrianna detailed coring the apples in her blog, A Cozy Kitchen.

After peeling and slicing the apples I took 2-3 slices and then jabbed the corer through the middle. My corer is extremely difficult to push in and pull out of an apple, there’s a lot of brute force needed. And then I end up cutting myself trying to release the core from the corer part. I come off second best. Besides doing it this way I can see which direction the core is going and not waste good apple.

I mixed all my dry ingredients together first then sprinkled a little of it over the apple slices, tossed those around and added more of the mixture and repeated until it was all gone. It was a little messy, but I got a fairly even distribution.

Pie dough I rolled out the dough and used the other half with two sizes of heart cutters to make the top. I preferred to have the top mostly covered, and with my larger heart cutter still being smaller than Adrianna’s I knew I’d have enough space for a row or two of the small hearts that it would look silly and out of place.

Caramel layer

Then comes the exciting part. The caramel.  I probably used less than the recipe calls for. I didn’t measure it. Plus I’m serving this with Salted Caramel Ice Cream which I made last night, and I fully expect to pour some of that left over caramel sauce over the whole lot. I think there’ll be plenty of caramel, I’ll make sure of it.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie by A Cozy Kitchen

Ingredients

You’ll need 1/2 cup of Caramel Sauce, I used this recipe.

You’ll need a 9” pie dough, I used this recipe.

For the pie filling

  • 2 nine-inch pie crusts (homemade or store-bought)
    3 Gala Apples (You can use others too – like Russets or Orins)
    1 Granny Smith Apples (I used this for an added tartness – totally optional)
    1 lemon
    4 tablespoons of standard flour
    1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)
    3 tablespoons white sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Maldon sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 170degrees Celsius.
  • In a small bowl add all the spices, sugar and flour and mix together.
  • Roll out half of the pie dough to fit a 9” pie dish. Return the dish to the fridge.
  • Roll out the remaining pie dough and cut into shapes putting the cut out shapes onto a baking tray and returning to the fridge.
  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Slice the apples and place them into a large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over the apples to help prevent them from browning, or cut a lemon in half and rub the lemon over slices of the apple.
  • Sprinkle over the spice mix and the Bourbon if using it.
  • Toss the apples to evenly coat them in the spice mixture.
  • Take the pie dish out of the fridge and layer the apple rounds into the plate.
  • You may need to use a little extra apple to plug up the holes in the apple slices at the edge of the plate which will prevent the top dough from collapsing into the holes.
  • Pour around 1/4 cup of caramel over the apples.
  • Sprinkle the caramel with a little extra sea salt if you like.
  • Brush the sides of the pastry with water.
  • Lay the cut out hearts around the edge of the pasty and gently press them to make sure they’ll stick during baking.
  • Continue to lay hearts around on top of the apple slices as you desire.
  • Brush more caramel sauce on top of the hearts.
  • Sprinkle a little Raw Sugar and more sea salt on top of the pie.
  • Place the pie into the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to 175degrees Celsius and continue to bake a further 35-40 minutes. The top will have browned and the caramel will be bubbling when the pie is cooked.
  • Allow the pie to cool for around 5-6 hours to ensure you can cut a slice and have it keep shape. Or sooner if having a perfect slice isn’t necessary.

My Notes:

  • Sometimes one stab of the corer isn’t enough to get rid of all the core, just keep stabbing around the edges of the core until you’ve got the most of it.
  • I had to cover the pie loosely with a piece of tin foil at 20 minutes as the top was browning too quickly.
  • I also took this opportunity to turn the pie to allow more even baking.
  • Around 5 minutes before the pie had finished baking I removed the tin foil to ensure the top was evenly browned.

Hurry up dinner time, I want a slice, now!

I’ll be back with an update, and of course another photo of a perfectly sliced piece of pie with a scoop of Salted Caramel Ice Cream and a modest (cough) drizzle of more caramel sauce.

And the update. Crikey that was good. And it was filling, so filling, but then I did have 1 and a bit scoops of ice cream.

I took the photos before dinner and by the time I was done the ice cream had soften a lot and would be soup by the time we’d finished our meal so I tucked in. Wouldn’t you?

Caramel overload

Then I had just a little bit more ice cream with dessert because I wanted to drizzle some caramel sauce over it. I wanted the full experience, that seems only fair.

I really enjoyed the mix of spices in the apple filling. The caramel sauce in the pie was subtle, but possibly over shadowed by the full on, in your face caramel with caramel praline ice cream. There was absolutely no guessing what the flavour was. In a good way, it was just right, and the salty caramel praline, mmmmmm.

The pie dough really hit it’s best with the crust of all things. It was super flaky and it taste great, not that it has a real distinctive taste. It wasn’t one of those pie doughs where you leave the crust, we all ate the lot, our plates more or less licked clean. And we’re all suffering from BBS (bloated belly syndrome – I just made that up, I have no idea if there is such a thing).

Mr Fussy gave a pursed lipped smile when I asked if he liked the mix of spices. I told him what was in it, waited, then admitted there was cinnamon in it too. But he knew. I feel so sorry for him because the flavours were incredible.

Never let it be said that apple pie is plain. At least not this apple pie, not served this way.

A slice of pie

Oh look, there’s enough for another meal. Minus a slice which is going to my brother in law. He rings and talks to Mr Fussy every Saturday asking what I’m up to. I think he’s just making sure that come Monday, when my MIL visits him, he’s got something else other than company to look forward to.

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