Friday, November 4, 2011

Caramel Apple Pie

Have you been to the Baker Chick?  You should, particularly if  you have a sweet tooth.  Audra's recipes are classic, classy and served up with a twist of her own and a marvelous smile.  Her photos are stunning and her anecdotes will lighten your day.  This recipe was inspired by her passion for salted caramels and a gorgeous crop of apples I had sitting on my counter.  Unlike traditional apple pies, there is no need to add butter or sugar to the pile filling.  The caramel sauce will provide all of the buttery sweetness you need.

Caramel sauce from Audra's Banana Caramel Brownie recipe at the Baker Chick
The pie recipe is my own

The Ingredients:
For the caramel:
6 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt

For the pie:
1 recipe for a single crust pastry
6-8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 4 cups)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping: 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1 stick butter, soft 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

The process:
For the caramel sauce:

Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add the sugar and stir frequently until sugar is a golden brown.  As soon as the sugar reaches the desired color and starts to smoke, remove it from the heat.  Carefully whisk in the cream, it will bubbly up and produce a lot of steam.  Slowly add the vanilla and salt.  Allow the caramel to cool while you prepare the crust, filling and crumb topping.

Preheat the oven to 350

While the caramel sauce cools, combine the apples, lemon juice, corn starch and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Toss to coat and set aside.

Prepare the crumb topping by combining the softened butter, brown sugar and flour with clean fingers or the tines of a fork until a coarse crumb forms.  Mix in the oatmeal and set aside.

Roll out the pastry and line in a 9 inch pie pan.  Mound the apple filling into the crust.  Drizzle the cooled caramel sauce on top.  Evenly spread the crumb top over the filling.  Bake the pie uncovered for 50-60 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crumb top is lightly browned.  Allow to cool to almost room temperature before serving.

The Review:
I've tried this sauce on many other occasions and the flavor and richness is astounding.  However, in this recipe it doesn't quite seem to hold its own.  As a sauce it turns out to be a but too thin and unstable for this type of baked good.  The pie was amazing, don't get me wrong, but where I was hoping for a rich burnt sugar flavor and rich caramel thickness, I was rewarded with a sweet and buttery ooze of apple filling.  

The pie needs to cool off substantially for the caramel sauce to set up again.  If you are impatient the pie with reward you with a soupy sea of filling pouring all over your serving plates.  (The lovely slice pictured above was taken the next day...after the pie had been in the fridge overnight).  

I absolutely loved the crumb topping, though.  The whole pie was marvelous, but this topping will lead me to try this pie again...perhaps using Audra's candy caramel recipe next time in lieu of the sauce.

1 comment:

  1. What a gorgeous pie Samantha!! I have never made a caramel apple pie, but I've wanted to all season. That sounds absolutely delicious and I can't wait to try it! And thanks for the kind words :)