We’re almost there, guys. There are only a few tasks on my to-do list until it’s officially the holidays.
Unsolicited advice: embrace the treats, drink the wine, and blow off that workout class to finish wrapping your gifts–come January 1st you’ll be all about your lame healthy “resolutions”.
Back to that holiday to-do list. If yours includes “make an awesome mouth-watering dessert,” I’ve got you covered. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made this beauty because it’s that good. Plus it’s perfect as a whole pie or a handheld mini pie. My only regret is this pie’s lack of berries. I mean come on…Berry Crustmas?! Missed opportunity.
Don’t worry, the homemade caramel makes up for it.
The Pre-Resolutions Treat: Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Make the crust: Roll out your prepared double pie crust, arrange in pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Make the caramel: Whisk 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook (without stirring) until the sugar dissolves, about 2–3 minutes. Add butter and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper. Patience young grasshopper–this can take about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add cream, stirring until caramel is smooth.
Make the filling: Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples. A note from the pie enthusiast: A mandolin is a life saver for getting the perfect thin slices. Just don’t cut yourself…
Dredge the apple slices in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning, and set aside to soften and release some of the juices for 20 to 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir 1/3 cup Demerara sugar with 2 tbsp flour. Sprinkle with bitters and add nutmeg, all-spice, cinnamon, kosher salt, and pepper. Drain apples, discarding juices, and toss in the spice mixture.
Sprinkle remaining flour and sugar over crust to prevent any soggy-ness. Tightly arrange apples in your pie dish, mounding them slightly higher in the center. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of caramel sauce (depending on your sweet tooth) evenly over apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of sea salt. Assemble your lattice on top and crimp edges as desired (maybe add a few snowflake cutouts if you so desire).
Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush egg wash over crust to coat, then sprinkle with Demerara sugar and sea salt. Place the pie on the baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and move pie to the center oven rack. Continue to bake until your pie is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes longer.
Let pie cool completely for about 2 to 3 hours before serving. I prefer to serve this beauty warm, so feel free to place back in the oven briefly before serving. Scoop some vanilla gelato on top and watch this pie disappear.
Recipe courtesy of the lovely Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.