We (the bears four) recently (well, a couple of months ago now) went on an apple picking adventure to Bilpin at the base of the Blue Mountains. This was our second year of apple picking and though the main reason we go is to teach the kids about where their food comes from, etcetera etcetera, we also love having a plethora of incredibly sweet and juicy apples to eat.
With the weather finally feeling like winter, I had a great excuse to put some of those delicious apples to use in my Salted Caramel Apple Pie recipe. There is nothing better than warm apple pie a la mode on a cold day!
- 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 120g icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- 250g unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4-5 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- coffee sugar for topping
- 1 and ½ cups caster sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- ¾ cup thickened cream
- fleur de sel (coarse sea salt for sprinkling)
- Start by making your caramel sauce so that it can thicken and cool before pouring it in your pie. In a heavy bottomed saucepan (this + monitoring the temperature is key to not burning the sauce), heat water and sugar over medium to high heat whisking continuously to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow it to boil until it reaches a dark amber colour (not brown!). Once it reaches a dark amber colour, quickly remove it from the heat and add the butter and whisk until it is completed melted and incorporated into the sauce. Let it cool for about 30 seconds, then add in the cream and whisk to combine. The mixture will bubble when you add the cream, so make sure to be careful! Once cool, add a pinch of fleur de sel then pour into a jar and place in the fridge to cool further until you’re ready to use it in the pie.
- To make your pastry, place the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter into a food processor and process until it resembles fine bread crumbs. You may need to halve the pastry recipe and make it in two lots if you have a small food processor. Next add the eggs and milk and process until it begins to come together. Using your hands, form the pastry into two equal balls, cling wrap them and place them in the fridge to firm up.
- In a large mixing bowl, place the sliced apples. Pour the lemon juice over the apple slices and give them a quick mix. Add the sugar and allow the apples, sugar and lemon juice to sit for 15 minutes. Once the apples have had a chance to release a bit of their juice, add the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and mix. Set aside.
- Pre-heat your oven to 170 degree Celsius (fan forced) and grease and flour your pie pan. Take your pastry out of the fridge and on a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out one ball of pastry to about 1/2 cm thick and make sure that it will fit over the sides of your pan. Once it’s the right size, roll up the pastry onto your rolling pin, then place it over the edge of your pie pan and unroll the pastry from your rolling pin. Insure that the pastry spills over the edge of the pan slightly. Using a fork, poke a few small holes in the pastry.
- Whisk the egg for the pastry glaze and using a food brush, brush a small amount of the whisked egg along the edge of the pie (this will help seal the bottom and top pastry). Next pour your apple mixture into the pie pan. Take out your cooled caramel sauce and pour 1/3 of it over the apple mixture. Roll out your second pastry ball so that it is large enough to cover the top of your pie. In the centre of the pastry, cut out air vents using a small heart shaped cookie cutter. As you did with the pastry for the base of your pie, roll up the pastry onto your rolling pin, then place it over the edge of your pie pan and unroll the pastry from your rolling pin (make sure that the air vents are over the centre of the pie). Pinch the edges of your pie together and cut off any excess. Brush the reaming egg wash over the top of the pie and the edges. Using any left over pastry, cut out more heart shapes and place them around the edge of the pie. Sprinkle coffee sugar over the entire pie.
- Bake at 170 for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and golden. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and your left over salted caramel sauce.