Thursday, March 5, 2015

Salted Caramel Apple Pie : Bake-Along #76

Bake-Along #76 bake is Salted Caramel Apple Pie, selected by Zoe to bake-along with Lena, myself and anyone who wishes to join us in our Bake-Along.

This apple pie uses an old-fashioned crust pie with shortening and butter in it's ingredients. I am not a fan of shortening, but really wanted to try this "old-fashioned crust", so I have used half of what the recipe calls for, and make up the balance of the amount with butter.


I've used the food processor to mix the dough. To roll out the dough, I used a method I learnt from one of my favourite master baker, Nick Malgieri, from one of his books, is to use the base of the removable pie pan and place the dough in the middle. Roll in out to desired size. I have been using this method for making pies and tarts, and I find that this method is the easiest way to handle pie crust dough, as most of the time, I have problems transferring the dough to the pie pan, without them tearing! 


I sprinkle some flour on the edges of the crust dough all around (to prevent sticking),  fold them in gently and carefully place the base into the pie pan.


Unfold the sides gently and press the dough to the sides of the pan, trim off the excess, leaving about 1" overhang all around. Use the dough as directed in the recipe. 


To make the caramel; Stir sugar and water over a medium heat until all the sugar dissolves. Continue to boil without stirring until the syrup becomes a medium-dark amber caramel. Immediately remove from heat, stir in butter and heavy cream.


Lovely colour of the caramel, but it will be rather thin in texture. Whisk the caramel in the stand mixer until it has thicken to a thick delicious gooey sauce. Transfer to a container and keep aside.


For the apples, I have used Fuji apples, sliced to thin slices, toss with lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix the spices together, and toss with the apples slices.  Place the apple slices onto the pie crust, pour 1/4 cup of the caramel over the apples. Brush the sides of the crust with egg wash all around.


Cover the apples with the second pie crust, press the edges to seal, crimp and brush with egg wash all over. Sprinkle some turbinado (I've used demerara) sugar and bake as directed in the recipe.


Could not wait to cut a slice, but according to the book, best let it cool for at least 4 hours before serving, to allow the juices and caramel to thicken. What a long wait, my daughter asked several times whether is it time yet to slice! 


Finally! A slice of Salted Caramel Apple Pie. (I actually sliced it after 3 hours!)


The crust is flaky, the apples slices are full of spice flavour, a little too strong for me. The next time, if I make this, I would omit all the other spices, and use only cinnamon. Overall, this pie is lovely. And the gooey, sticky caramel goes really well with this pie, as the pie is not too sweet, and the sweetness of the caramel is just right. The caramel thickens considerably when cooled, a quick reheat in the microwave is all it takes, to make it a little runny and served it warm over the apple pie.





Salted Caramel Apple Pie
(adapted from "Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook", Cheryl Day & Griffith Day)
1 recipe Old-Fashioned Flaky Piecrust, unbaked ** (refer below)

For the Caramel :
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
12 tablepsoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Apple Filling :
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 large apples, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Honey Crisps, or a combination, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
Fleur de sel for sprinkling
Ice cream for serving (optional)

To roll out the dough : Dust your hands and your rolling pin with flour. On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out the chilled dough into a 12-inch round. Roll the dough from the center out, rotating it slightly as you roll to prevent sticking and to keep it round. Dust off any excess flour using a dry pastry brush. Roll the dough onto the rolling pan and place it in the pie dish. Carefully arrange the dough to slump inside the dish and press it into the edges. Trim the excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Wrap and place the pie dish in the refrigerator to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the remaining disk of dough on parchment and transfer it to a baking sheet. Wrap in plastic wrap and return the dough to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to bake, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F.

To make the caramel : Combine the granulated sugar, fleur de sel, and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Wash down any crystals from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, without stirring, until the syrup becomes a medium-dark amber caramel, about 15 minutes, you can carefully swirl the pan around to check the colour.

Carefully remove the pan from the heat, and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. Be careful of hot steam when the heavy cream is added, and do not worry if the butter starts to separate - it will come together once the caramel is cooled.

Transfer the caramel to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or to a medium mixing bowl, if using a handheld mixer) and beat on low speed until the caramel cools and starts to come together. Set aside.

To make the filling : Put the lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the apples and toss gently.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and turbinado sugar. Gently toss the apples with this mixture.

To assemble the pie; Place the bottom piecrust in a 9-inch pie pan and prick the bottom of the crust gently all over with a fork. Layer the apple mixture in the crust, making sure there are no gaps between the apples. Pour 1/4 cup of the caramel mixture on top of the apples. Reserve the remaining caramel for serving.

Place the top piecrust on a work surface and cut 4 to 8 vent holes in the center with a mini cookie cutter in whatever shape you like. Reserve the cutout pieces for decorating the crust. Brush the rim of the bottom piecrust with the egg wash to create a seal. Place the top crust over the pie filling and seal and crimp the edges, trimming the excess dough. Decorate with the cutout pieces, and brush the entire crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar and a pinch of fleur de sel.

Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375F and bake for an additional 45 to 60 minutes, until the caramel blossoms into big, thick, syrupy bubbles and the crust turns golden brown; test the apples with a small paring knife to make sure they are tender but not mushy. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 4 hours before serving to allow the juices and caramel to thicken. The pie is best served the same day, but it can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days.

To serve, slice the pie into wedges and top with a drizzle of the caramel sauce, and if desired, a scoop of ice cream.


**Old-Fashioned Flaky Piecrust
makes two 9-inch piecrust (or 1 crust for a double-crust pie)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour (not self-raising)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup plus 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and salt; set aside.

In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, beat the egg with 1/3 cup of the water and vinegar.

Add the shortening and butter to the flour, and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the butter resembles small peas. Add the egg mixture, gently tossing and mixing with your hands or a fork just until the dough comes together in a ball. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more ice water, about 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary.

Gather the dough together on a lightly floured work surface and divide it evenly into 2 balls. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten with the palm of your hand into a disk. Chill for at least 1 hour. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Follow the instructions for making the Salted Caramel Apple Pie, as above.

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15 comments:

  1. Wow! Now the question is should I or should I not. Haha.

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  2. Aaa.... Now I learn a new way to place pie crust into the pan vs using the rolling pin... This looks interesting.. Always learning something new with ya

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  3. Hi Joyce,

    I can't wait as well and had to try one before waiting for 4 hrs!!! Too long lah... My son and I will drool to form a swimming pool inside our home... LOL! Glad that you like this recipe too!!!

    Btw, under your influence, I have bought Nick Malgier's pastry book too! It is awesome!

    Zoe

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  4. What a beautiful pie. I bet the caramel makes it so rich and delicious. This is a perfect treat with a cup of coffee.

    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  5. We love salted caramel everything.... this sounds so sinful and delicious!

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  6. Wow, this apple pie looks so inviting!

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  7. Apples and caramel are a match made in heaven :) Your pie looks wonderful, Joyce!

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  8. Hi Joyce,
    Agree with you ... your apple pie looks lovely!

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  9. This pie looks spectacular! I love the addition of the salted caramel - it really adds something extra special!

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  10. Can place order?? We come collect.. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜œ

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  11. you and Zoe have made me crave apple pie now!!

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  12. Wow, Joyce! This is really tempting. Apple pie in itself is already so delicious and with the addition of salted caremel, OMG! Chinese New Year is over and aren't we supposed to be on a diet? heee..heee...

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  13. hi joyce! yes, just like what phong hong just mentioned, with the addidtion of sated caramel, it is even more delicious. I still hv some balance of the salted caramel..no idea what to do with it, if not baking with it, then just eat with some ice cream!

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  14. I have that book and have been pondering over making that pie...yours looks so good! I love caramel and apples! :)

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  15. Lovely brown and crust, Joyce.

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