Lately I’ve had pie on the mind, and Thanksgiving only made it worse with everyone posting their pie photos. If I had made it home to North Carolina, I would have definitely made a pie to bring to dinner! Instead, Leo and I had a small Thanksgiving meal together at home with a nice bottle of wine. After dinner we chased it all down with a Religeuse au Chocolat from the bakery on our corner. A fair trade, I’d say.
To scratch my pie itch I decided to make an apple pie. My recipe is inspired by Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ famous Salted Caramel Apple Pie. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting their pies in Brooklyn, I’ve always loved the idea of pouring a cup of salted caramel into an apple pie. What could be better? A splash of whiskey, of course. I can honestly tell you that I have never had a better piece of apple pie than this creation right here, and I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it. Holy cow.
I used my own pie dough recipe, which you should all try of course, but if you don’t have time you can use store bought pie rounds. For a pie that will piss off all of your relatives because it’s so good, I would highly recommend making your own pie crust!
For a 9" Apple Pie
2 prepared pie crusts, 1 lined in pie pan
Juice of one lemon
Splash of whiskey
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon ginger, fresh if possible
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
A generous grating of fresh nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
For the caramel (Blackbirds’ recipe):
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup water
1 stick of butter
½ cup of cream
Generous amount of salt (to your taste)
1. First, prepare your caramel. Combine sugar and water in a medium sized pot. Stir to combine, and leave over medium heat until the mixture is clear. Whisk in butter bit by bit. Continue cooking the caramel, and when it reaches a lovely copper-like color, remove it from heat immediately and slowly pour in the cream while whisking. The mixture will expand, so be careful!
2. Squeeze lemon juice into a big bowl and add a big splash of whiskey. Peel and slice apples thinly, and mix them into the lemon juice. Add a sprinkling of salt, and all spices. Finally, add the flour and toss it around to cover all of the apples evenly.
3. Pour apple mixture into lined pie pan. Pile it up a bit higher than the crust, because the apples will reduce significantly! You may need more or less than six apples depending on their size.
4. Attach your other pie round to the top with your method of choice. I did a lattice with some braid work, but you could easily just put the whole top on completely if you don’t want to create a lattice.
5. Egg wash the entire crust, and sprinkle the top with a bit of raw sugar if you have it, and some chunky sea salt. Bake on 400 degrees until the pie is golden brown. The caramel will bubble, and a little may leak out. This is normal! To test, poke an apple with a knife to check doneness. My apples had some bite left in them, which I really loved.
Important: COOL your pie completely before cutting! Let it set, or you may encounter a runny mess. I let my pie rest for about 3 hours before slicing it up. Where I found such self control? I have no idea.
Thanks for reading!
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