Spiced Caramel Apple Pie
The other day Hubby cleaned out our basement storage area. He made a big pile of things to take to Goodwill. One of the things I pulled out of the Goodwill pile was my apple peeler/corer/slicer. I see why he put it in that pile, I haven’t used it since… well ever. I got it from my mom a long time ago and kind of forgot about it. See I am not a big apple pie fan. I’ve actually never made one before today. As I tried to explain to Hubby that we needed this torture-device looking cooking gadget, he promised to cut up any apples I ever need cut.
Hubby does cut the two apples I take in my lunch every morning. Yes, I realize I’m spoiled… Luckily for me (and Hubby) this debate took place during apple season. I told him to he should use it to cut, peel, and slice the apples for this pie. After using it once, he agreed that it was awesome and worth finding a place in our tiny kitchen to store it. In fact, he loved using this gadget so much, that he used it multiple times that same day since we had apple grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch too.
Now on to this pie. Holy wow. The filling in this pie is AMAZING. I had to take a bite of it before filling the pie and I joked to Hubby that I was just going to eat the filling without actually baking the pie. The sautéed apples are coated in a spiced caramel sauce that is out of this world.
This pie reminds me of a variety of apple favorites. It’s got the apple pie thing going, then topping reminds me of a great apple crisp, and the filling reminds me of spiced apple cider. We will definitely be sticking with this apple pie forever. I see no reason to try any other recipes out there.
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 to 6 medium-size tart apples, such as Braeburn, Cortland or Winesap
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Southern Comfort liqueur
1/2 cup heavy cream
Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
Make your favorite pie crust and place in a pie plate.
Make the Topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Coarsely chop the nuts.
In a food processor, process both sugars, the cinnamon, salt and flour for about 1 minute. Add butter; pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Refrigerate the topping, covered, in a a medium bowl until ready to use.
Make the Filling
Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When the butter starts to foam, add the apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it on the apples, and reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Simmer the apples for about 1 minute.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples from the skillet to a large baking sheet, and arrange them in a single layer. (If you heap them in a pile, the hot apples will steam and get soggy.)
Pour the Southern Comfort into the butter-sugar mixture in the skillet. Simmer the mixture over medium heat at least 5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off. Add the cream, and continue cooking about 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick as pourable caramel. Return the apples to the skillet.
Pour the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust, and sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping is brown. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce.
Don’t forget about my Power of Pink Challenge – make something PINK by the end of the month to raise Breast Cancer Awareness!