Is there any thing better than good ol’ American Apple Pie? I am a caramel addict. So when you throw on layers of sea salted caramel into my apple pie...that…THAT is what is better than good ol’ American Pie.
I know I keep yapping about my mother-in-law Teresa. Well, she has been here for weeks and we both just love to bake. I have converted her into an American food show addict. When the kids go to sleep we flip threw shows and I translate what they are making. I’m a good daughter-in-law.
Teresa is the crostata QUEEN! She has made several of them the last few weeks. A crostata is sort of like a pie. That was the easiest way for me to explain to her what a “pie” is. She kept saying, “Cos’e’ un abblebie?” What is an apple pie? So I said, “Let’s make one!” We caught an episode on the Cooking Channel and it featured this particular pie. She wanted to make it. I wanted to EAT it immediately. Well, we both wanted to.
I used Martha’s Perfect Pie Crust Recipe. I found it in an old book I have of hers from the 90’s. It was perfection. The caramel part…ohhh…the caramel! I can’t tell you how difficult it was to not eat all of the caramel right from the pan. Big spoonful by big spoonful. I was amazing. If you don’t like the whole sweet/salty combo idea, you can leave out the sea salt.
The crust…ohhh…the CRUST! It may have been the best part of the pie with all that caramel and turbinado sugar/sea salt on top! My daughter says it was. So there you go! You can skip the whole filling part. Just make the caramel crust with sea salt and sugar on top and it will be done even quicker.
When you bake with another baker, it gets a little complicated. You both want to do every thing. Sometimes things get forgotten. Like the pretty lattice criss-cross pattern. We sort of forgot to criss-cross. But you don’t mind, do you? It’s still pretty. We’ll make another one and show you how to do that soon.
Teresa liked her lesson on American apple pie. I learned that week how to make 3 different crostatas. She’s shocked with how big every thing is here in American. She is afraid she is going to fall into my dryer every time she opens it.
Now we’re on to making Easter breads and eggplants sott’olio (eggplants marinated in olive oil). If you are still single out there, marry an Italian guy. Lots of food fringe benefits.
Salted Caramel Apple Pieslightly adapted from Four and 20 Blackbirds
1 recipe your favorite (2-crust) butter pie crust – *I used Martha Stewart’s Perfect Pie Crust Recipe. It was, well, just perfect.
Yield: Makes 1 double-crust for a 9-inch pie
2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water
- Hand Method: In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Cut the chilled butter and margarine into 1-tablespoon bits and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, work flour and shortening together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water little by little pressing the pastry together into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
- It is very important to work the pastry as little as possible. Don't over handle. A secret to light, flaky pastry is to keep the mixture cool, add as little water as possible, and mix only as much as necessary.
- Food Processor Method: Put flour and salt in bowl of machine. Cut butter and margarine into flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process would take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.
- If pastry has been chilled for a long time, let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling.
- Lightly flour a pastry board, marble counter, or kitchen counter. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, turning pastry continually to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
- Using pie plate as a guide, measure rolled-out pastry -- it should be slightly larger than the pie plate and 1-8-inch thick. Fold rolled pastry circle in half so you can lift it more easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing pastry to hang evenly over the edge. Do not trim the pastry yet.
- Fill the pie with filling. Then roll out the second crust in the same manner as for the bottom. Fold circle in half and with a sharp, pointed knife cut little vents in a decorative pattern. Place folded pastry on one half the pie. Unfold, pressing top and bottom pastry together. Trim edges with scissors, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold bottom pastry overhang over top and press firmly to seal. Crimp rim, using fingers or the tines of a fork.
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 stick (1/2 cup) fresh unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (recommended: Maldon sea salt flakes)
4 to 6 lemons
5 to 6 medium to large apples*
*Cook's Note: A mixture of Crispin, Granny Smith, and Cortland is nice if you can.
Apple Filling Seasoning
1/3 cup raw sugar (castor, unrefined, large granule sugar)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg beaten
Raw sugar, for sprinkling on top (I used turbinado)
1 teaspoon sea salt (flake)
Special equipment: Mandolin for slicing, and a pastry brush.
DirectionsTo make the pie crust:
Prepare one 2-crust batch of your favorite all butter pie crust. Roll the bottom crust to fit a 9-inch pan, and cut the top crust as a lattice, approximately 1-inch in width or as desired. Chill the rolled crust while you prepare the salted caramel and apple filling.
To make the salted caramel:
Cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper.
Cook's Note: This process can take awhile depending on the heat source. Keep an eye on it, if the caramel begins to smoke, you've burned it and you'll have to start over.
Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream - the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam - be cautious as the sugar will be very hot.
Whisk the final mixture together well over low heat and sprinkle in the sea salt. Set the caramel aside while you prepare the apple filling.
To make the apple filling:
Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples. Cook's Note: A mandolin works great for producing very thin slices.
Dredge all the apple slices in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning and to add flavor. Set the prepared apples aside.
To make the apple filling seasoning:
In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples in the mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices.
To assemble the pie:
Preheat the oven to 375 to 400 degrees F (depending on the hotness of your oven).
Gather your rolled pie crust, salted caramel, and apple mixture.
Begin by layering 1/3 of the apples in the bottom of the crust so that there are minimal gaps.
Pour 1/3 of the caramel over the apples.
Add 1/3 of the apples and caramel for a second layer, and then add a third layer of apples, and then the caramel again. Cook's Note: Save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top once the lattice is assembled.
Assemble the lattice crust and flute the edges of the crust.
Pour the last bit of caramel on top.
Brush the crust with the beaten egg.
Lightly sprinkle with sea salt.
Sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake the pie on a baking sheet larger than the pie pan for 20 minutes (otherwise the caramel will bubble over and burn on the bottom of your oven). Reduce the oven temperature to 325 to 350 and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. You can test the apples for doneness with a long toothpick or small knife. The apples should be just soft.
Let the pie cool, then slice and enjoy.
Thank you for stopping by!! What is your favorite American pie? Mine is apple pie. To be totally honest, I like my recipe a whole heck of a lot and one day will post that too.