After a week of eating cakes that taste alternatively like matzah or ground almonds, I'm ready to go back to truly delicious – and flour-filled – desserts. This caramel apple pie is just the thing.
Because of my slight dessert obsession, I often ask people what their favorite sweet treat is. And apple pie is almost always high up on the list. Of course, this isn't just any apple pie, but one enhanced with a layer of ooey gooey caramel. Caramel can be a scary thing to make (and you could always take the easy route and buy a jar already made) but once you get the hang of it it goes pretty easily.
Caramel Apple Pie:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbsps shortening, cubed and frozen
9 tbsps butter, diced and frozen
6 to 8 tbsps ice water
8 apples (I used half Granny Smith, half Golden Delicious)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream or 1/2 cup soy milk, heated
1 egg white
Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
Sprinkle the shortening over the flour, and pulse until it resembles cornmeal.
Then scatter the butter on top and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in 4 tablespoons of the ice water.
If the dough doesn't come together, sprinkle a tablespoon at a time until it does.
Divide the dough into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.
Core, peel, and slice the apples.
In a saucepan, stir together with the sugars, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Cook over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until just tender.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Roll half the dough out on a well-floured surface into a 12-inch circle.
Carefully fit the dough into a 9-inch pie plate, leaving the overhang. Cover with saran wrap and freeze, about 30 minutes.
Fill the crust with the cooled apple mixture.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or deep frying pan (preferably not non-stick) heat the cup of sugar for the caramel over medium heat until it begins to melt. Stir very gently, allowing it to melt evenly and begin to turn brown. Continue cooking until it turns a deep golden brown – resist turning up the heat as it can burn easily. Pour in the cream or soy milk and quickly whisk it in. It should bubble up. Pour the caramel over the apples.
Roll out the remaining dough into a 10-inch circle, and a cut a hole or vents into the dough.
Place over the filled pie.
Trim the excess of both crusts to about a 1/2 inch, and crimp to form a neat edge.
Beat the egg white and brush it on top, sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes, then reduce to 375 F and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes.