Yeah – we still had a whole lot of apples left over. And, while we do love us some apples in this house – they make handy afternoon snacks for the kiddos – I was beginning to worry that they might go bad before we could eat them all.
Or maybe that’s just the excuse I used when I set out to make this pie the other day.
Let me just start by saying that I didn’t have a recipe for this pie. Oh, I’m sure I could have found one if I’d looked hard enough, but I didn’t really want to stop what I was doing long enough to do that. I literally just started throwing stuff in some bowls and pots and this is what I came up with.
It all started with a craving for caramel apples. They’re really yummy, right? But they’re also really messy, and the thought of cleaning up my kitchen and my children after we’d made and devoured caramel apples just wasn’t terribly appealing. But a caramel apple pie? Now that’s something I could get behind.
As I mentioned, I didn’t use a recipe for this, so the measurements below are really just estimations. You could easily replicate this using your favorite store-bought pie crust and a good quality store-bought caramel sauce. The point is to achieve that caramel apple quality without all of the caramel apple mess.
Single-crust Caramel Apple Pie
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 1.5 hours
2 cups whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1 stick of chilled butter, cubed
1/2-3/4 cup ice water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
6-7 apples, peeled, cored and cubed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon corn starch
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Begin by stirring together flour and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, until mixture resembles course meal
- Add ice water, mixing as you go, until mixture forms a ball
- Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead a few times to bring dough together
- Use a rolling pin to roll dough out into a disk large enough to fit in a deep-dish pie plate
- Blind-bake your crust for 15-20 minutes (line crust with foil and fill with dried rice or beans to weigh it down and keep dough from puffing up during baking.
- While crust is baking, make your caramel – combine milk and sugar in a saucepan and cook slowly over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it becomes a lovely brown caramel color.
- Remove pie crust from the oven, remove foil and beans/rice and pour the caramel in the bottom of the crust.
- Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch.
- Add apples on top of caramel.
- Bake, covered loosely with foil, in your 350F oven for about an hour, or until apples have softened and released their liquid and the caramel is bubbly. Covering with foil serves two purposes – it allows your apples to steam in their own juices as they would in a double-crust pie, and it keeps the edges of your crust from becoming too brown during the baking process.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.