Friday, October 25, 2013

Caramel Apple Pie

Nothing says fall than hot apple pie. But in truth I'm not all that keen on pie crust...So, a traditional double crusted apple pie is not my favorite...this pie however might be the most delicious combination of apple and pie ever to mingle. It has the WOW factor at first bite! 

Caramel Apple Pie

Crumb Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

Stir together brown sugar, flour and rolled oats. Cut in butter until topping is like course crumbs. Set aside.

1 pastry crust* (You can use any crust you like. My personal favorite recipe is listed below)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 3 large apples)
1 recipe crumb topping
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1/4 cup caramel topping** (Store bought caramel works fine but I've included the recipe we use.)

Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, stir sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Toss apples until coated. Put in pie shell and sprinkle crumb topping on top (you might have to press it down a little). Put pie on foil lined cookie sheet. Cover edges of pie with foil. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with pecans and caramel sauce while still hot. Cool on wire rack.

*Big-Batch Freezer Pie Crust

6 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 1/3 cups vegetable shortening
1 1/3 cups cold water

In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add cold water all at once. Mix lightly with a fork until water is absorbed and mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into 6 equal portions; then shape each portion into a ball. Flatten each ball slightly, place in freezer Ziploc bags, making them airtight.

Each ball is enough to make one 9" pie crust.
To make crust for a pie WITHOUT top crust:

Partially thaw 1 ball of pie crust. Roll out dough to thin 11" circle. Place dough, without stretching, in a 9" pie dish. Flute edge.

If recipe calls for a baked pie crust, preheat oven to 425. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool; fill and bake as recipe directs. (HINT: if you place tin foil over shell and fill it with uncooked beans (for weight) and cook it for 8 minutes and then take beans and foil out and cook for 3-4 minutes until brown, you get a perfectly flat shell on the bottom, with no bubbles.)

To make crust for a pie WITH a top crust:

Use 2 balls of dough. Roll out 1 ball (as outlined above.) Fill pie. Roll out second ball; place top crust over filling. Seal and flute edge. Cut several slits or designs in top of crust to allow steam to escape.

-Can last well in freezer for 6 months.-

**Buttermilk Caramel Topping:
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup real butter (no substitutions)
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, corn syrup and baking soda in a 4 quart pan. Bring mixture to a boil. and reduce heat to low. (Make sure it is still bubbling...) Cook, stirring very frequently for 7-9 minutes or until the syrup reaches a rich golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

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