Friday, October 15, 2010

Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

Last night, the fall weather got the best of me and I decided to make an apple pie. This is the first pie from scratch I've ever made so I researched the components extensively beforehand and made my decisions based on ingredients, level of difficulty and the comments left by the people who had attempted it before me.

I posted pictures of my success on Facebook and after an overwhelming response of people asking for the recipe, I decided to share it here. Bear in mind this was my first pie and feel free to add and subtract ingredients at will to your liking. My pie was tart with a sweet syrup and a slightly salty crust, which in my opinion balanced itself out perfectly.

I started out using 5 Gala apples because they hold up well in baking and are a nice in-between of sweet and tart. I peeled them, and sliced them into thin slices, placed them into a large bowl and set them aside for the moment. Next in a medium sized bowl I added 1/2 a cup of apple juice (reduced from 1 cup, but 1/2 a cup apple cider would work too) the juice from 1/2 a lemon, cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg, 1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff people, not Aunt Jemima) and 2 teaspoons of sugar - brown or white depending on the flavor you want to achieve. In a large skillet I melted 2 tablespoons butter and sauteed the apples until the color changed to a rich yellow, sprinkled them with some cinnamon and sugar, then poured the juice mixture over the top and cooked about 2 minutes more. I transferred the apples into my pie crust that I had prepared earlier and returned the juice mixture to heat, added 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and simmered until thickened, and poured it over the apple filled crust. I topped my pie with a crumble I made of 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar, cut with 3 tablespoons butter until it resembled a coarse meal, then I sprinkled it over the top but not before drizzling the apples with caramel sauce. I got mine at Starbucks, I use it to make Charlie his coffee in the morning, but it worked well on the pie too! The girls at my Starbucks got a kick out of my creative use for it. I baked the pie at 375*, loosely covered with tinfoil for 25 mins and then uncovered for another 25 and it came out perfectly.

For the sake of me testing this recipe I used a Pillsbury readymade rolled pie crust. They are found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and come in packs of 2. Feel free to use any type of crust you would like. Next time I'm going to attempt to make homemade crust, so I will definitely share those results as well.

I topped my pie with some homemade whipped cream to which I added a bit of sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and whipped on high in my Kitchen-Aid for about 5 minutes.
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