It’s not because we aren’t cold. It’s just because we’re frugal. And there are some standards we have to uphold here when it comes to comfort right? I mean, we didn’t put the a/c unit in the window until July, at least. And we only took it out last week.
So until we can turn those little knobs and hear the light dinging of the pipes getting warm, I will bake. And I will crank the oven heat high, and when I’m done I’ll stand in front of the open oven door holding my shirt out a smidgen to get that warm, cozy air to shoot right up it and warm my body.
And then I’ll eat some warm apple pie.
Smothered in caramel sauce and covered in a wonderfully, flake-full homemade butter crust. Also, I would like to add, this is the first pretty looking pie i have ever made. My pies usually aren’t pretty, which is why I panic and buy the roll-out dough from the grocery store. But really, it isn’t all that bad. I just get lazy.
Recipe for caramel apple pie with homemade butter crust
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 sticks of very, very cold butter, cut into cubes
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
In a food processor, add the flour, salt and sugar. I suggest cutting the sticks of butter into cubes and then sticking them back in the freezer to get good and hard. Once that’s done, add the butter to the food processor and pulse until well blended. Slowly add one tablespoon of water at a time and pulse after each one. I usually only add 6 tablespoons, just enough to get the dough to stick together when you press it.
The dough will look like little crumbs and you’ll think you’ve messed up, but that’s just how you want it. Pour the mess out onto the counter and press the dough into two balls. Don’t knead it too much, you don’t want it to get tough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set it in the refrigerator for at least an hour but it can go for up to two days.
While the dough rests, prepare the filling.
For the filling:
- 6 medium Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- A pinch of all spice
- A pinch of ground cloves
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heaving whipping cream
Mix all the apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cloves and lemon juice in a bowl. Toss well until coated. That’s it.
For the caramel, make sure you have the sugar, butter and whipping cream ready to go.
Add the sugar to a heavy sauce pan over medium heat and let it melt, whisking so it doesn’t burn. As it comes to a boil, stop whisking. As soon as the sugar is a light brown add the butter and whisk until melted.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cream but be careful as it will foam up. This is why you should use a large pan. Whisk until it subsides. That’s your caramel sauce.
When the dough is ready, flour the counter and a rolling pin.
Unwrap the dough and roll out each until thin. You want the dough to lay about an inch wider than the pie pan.
Lay the first dough sheet in a greased pie pan. Gently form it into the pan. Add the apple filling. Pour the caramel sauce over the top.
Add the top layer of dough. Pat it around the sides and then cut off the extra dough that lays over the lip of the pie pan.
Using a fork, crimp the edges. Use a knife the gently cut an X into the top to allow a vent for steam so your pie crust doesn’t break and bubble over.
Prepare an egg was (1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water) and brush the top of the pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve warm. With whipped cream of vanilla ice cream if you really want a delicious experience.
What to do with extra dough
If you have extra pie dough — make pinwheels! Take the dough scraps and make it into a ball. Roll it out flat. Spread sugar and cinnamon in a thin layer across the dough. Roll the dough like a cinnamon roll. Cut into slices. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes at 400. Enjoy with coffee or tea.