Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Just about the only thing more American than apple pie... is voting. We are blessed to live in a place where we all have the right to participate in government. Whomever you choose today, just be grateful you have that right and do your part by making an educated decision.

Like the ever-present conflict of red and blue, this pie is a delectable flavor fight to the Ohio-like last bite. Sweet tart granny smith, piqued with salty, sticky caramel. All checked and balanced by a flaky, buttery crust.

After seeing Smitten Kitchen's Apple Mosaic Tart, I was dying to make a pie variation for my Thanksgiving menu.

I started with Martha Stewart's pie crust recipe. Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor with COLD butter until a light meal forms.

Stream in ice cold water until this lovely dough comes together.

Refrigerate covered in in plastic wrap for at least an hour. This can be done a few days in advance.

Then we roll out on a floured surface. This dough will stick, so no cuts in the flour department.

Of all the damn kitchen supplies I've acquired over the years, I realized yesterday that I don't have a pie pan. A cake one will work just fine, but you'll feel like a failed food blogger for a lacking a kitschy vintage pie plate. Note to self to raid mom's cabinets at the holidays.

Prepare for caramel time. Admittedly I was a bit intimidated at the "candy" part of this... the only "soft ball" I know involves drinking beer in the outfield. But this was surprisingly easy.

Pour over thinly sliced apples, reserving a bit to glaze the top.

Baked until ooey gooey done.

Enjoy a piece after you've cast your ballot. You've earned a moment of true American celebration. Try not to stay up too late tonight trying to figure out how this thing is gonna go.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie
For the crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes2-3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling
4-6 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

For the sauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons heavy cream

Combine crust ingredients and COLD butter in a food processor. Pulse until a coarse meal forms. With machine running, stream in cold water one tablespoon at a time, until a stick dough forms. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to several days.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare an 9-inch pie plate by greasing with a butter wrapper. Roll out   dough on a floured surface until thin and wide enough to fit pie plate. Gently lay in to the pan and fill with apples, setting aside enough slices to cover the top.

Over medium high heat, melt sugar for caramel sauce; stirring frequently with metal whisk. Cook sugar until it acquires a copper color (about 3-5 minutes; monitoring closely). Off the heat, add butter and sugar; stirring until butter is fully incorporated. Add heavy cream and return to heat; stirring vigorously. Cook another 1-2 minutes and handle with care; this is VERY hot.

Pour 2/3 of caramel over apples in pan. Beautifully arrange remaining apples over the top of the pie and glaze with remaining caramel.

Bake pie until crust is golden; about 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

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