Thursday, November 27, 2008

Caramel Apple Pie

I love Apple Pie. Year round, but especially at Thanksgiving. I know Pumpkin is more traditional, but I can only eat about 1 slice of Pumpkin Pie a year - and then I've had my fill. So Apple tops my Pie List! (Actually Lemon Meringue tops the List, but we'll save that for a Summer post!)

Another favorite sweet flavor of mine is Caramel. Believe it or not, I'm not a big chocolate fan. But caramel sounds good anytime. On ice cream, with apples, in brownies. Caramel makes everything better! So why not add it to Apple Pie, I thought?

I am always unhappy with how runny my Apple Pies turn out. The filling turns out too wet once the apples bake with the sugar and create their own juices. My thought was if I pre-cooked all the same ingredients I usually toss with the apples, they might not become as runny.

To my pleseant surprise, it totally worked! Even better, I saved a little of the caramel sauce and poured it over the top of the crust. YUM! It looked great and tasted even better!

(HINT) My pie didn't bubble over when baking, but just to be sure, place your pie plate on a cookie sheet when you bake it in the oven. Nothing smells worse than bubbled over sugar burning in the bottom of your oven a week later! And cookie sheets are SO much easier to clean than ovens!

CLICK HERE for Pie Crust Recipe

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and diced

1 egg
2 TBSP milk
1/4 c raw sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Stir in flour to form a paste.
Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, white sugar, brown sugar, and apple juice and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
Roll out your pastry and place the bottom crust in your pie plate.
Toss apples with about 3/4 of the caramel mixture. The caramel will seem thick, but it will coat all the apples as they bake and create their own juice.
Fill the crust with apples, mounded slightly.
Cover with a lattice work of crust.
Slowly pour the remaining caramel sauce over the crust.
Brush the crust with a mixture of milk and egg beaten together.
Top with raw sugar crystals.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and cover top of pie with a piece of aluminum foil to keep the crust from getting too brown.
Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

ENJOY! Happy Thanksgiving!

Be sure and visit Bringing Up Burns for my final Thankful Thursday post. Meet another fabulous woman who is working hard to keep Thanksgiving in her heart and home all year through!

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