This pie may be the best apple pie I have ever made or tasted. And I was so excited, because I saw Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving dessert special on the Food Network and on it, she made made a lattice crust.
It's funny, now whenever I watch Martha Stewart, I can only see Ana Gasteyer playing a topless Martha Stewart on Saturday Night Live, where all of her baked goods were the only things covering her bosom (yes, I just said bosom. It's an underused word in my opinion). It was the 1996 Christmas Episode and now, whenever I watch Martha, all I can picture her is shimmying her shoulders to Jingle Bells.
Now, I have never made a lattice crustI had the most wonderful photos of this pie, the crisp juicy apples sprinkled with wintery spices and brown sugar, drizzled with the most delicious salted caramel, and then step-by-step photos of how to make a lattice crust.
But of course, my laptop ran out of space and that must have made my camera very upset, because it deleted about 300 of my step-by-step photos (Aren't you glad I didn't subject you to 300 photos of lattice weaving?).
So instead, look how pretty.
This flaky crust blankets soft, tender apples fragrant with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg and just smells like warmth and happiness, Thanksgiving and Holly all in one. The sweet, salted caramel adds a wonderfully complex element. And if you want to really go crazy, drizzle some reserved salted caramel right on top of the pie right before serving and top with some vanilla ice cream. I basically forced our Thanksgiving dinner guests to do just that.
Guest: Hey, Teanna, can you pass me a slice of the pie?
Me: PUT SOME SALTED CARAMEL ON IT!
Guest: Teanna, can I have a slice of the pie?
Me: (plunging the bowl of salted caramel in their hands) SALTED CARAMEL!
It's that good that it makes you want to assualt your guests with caramel. They'll thank you for it.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
click here for a how-to on lattice top crusts.
For the crust - from Dorie Greenspan's - Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 T) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 T very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening care cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing — what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons of the water — add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling. (If your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.)
To roll out the dough: Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate at hand.
You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. (I usually roll this dough out on the floured counter.) If you’re working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to life the paper, plastic or cover frequently so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases.
If you’ve got time, slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 mins to rest and firm up.
Fit the dough into the pie plate and, using a pair of scissors, cut the excess dough to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge. Alternatively, you can finish the crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork.
5 or 6 medium to large apples (a mixture of Granny Smith apples and Cortland is nice), peeled and cored and cut into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl to coat fruit. Set aside until ready to use. (My apples got a little watery after setting it aside. This is where I'm supposed to give you blogger-ly advice that this is totally fine - I don't know if it is, but it didn't affect my apples that much. So I guess it's fine :)). When ready to use, toss filling in juices and drain before you put on crust.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
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.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Pile apples in chilled pie crust. Top with crumbled topping. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 20 minutes.
If pie is browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
Remove from rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream (in my opinon :))