Salted Caramel Apple Pie
For me, salted caramel is like crack. Once I start eating it, I get addicted and can’t stop. I wanted to make an apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner and decided to adapt my go-to Dorie Greenspan apple pie recipe by adding salted caramel to it. This pie is loaded with juicy apples, and not only does it capture the flavor of fall, the addition of the creamy and luscious salted caramel sauce adds a modern twist to a traditional Thanksgiving favorite. Serve it with ice cream and drizzle it with some salted caramel “crack” sauce. This pie is the perfect happy ending to any dinner, but especially my Thanksgiving dinner.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours
For the homemade salted caramel:
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
For the pie:
- 4 pounds (about 6 very large) apples (I use a combination of Granny Smith and Braeburn or Golden Delicious)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 to 1/3 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs (or dry bread crumbs)
- 2/3 cup salted caramel
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 9-inch double pie crust
For the glaze:
- Milk or heavy cream
- Decorating (coarse) or granulated sugar
Step 1: For the salted caramel: Combine the sugar, 1/3 cup water and the corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, swirling the pot occasionally, until the mixture is a beautiful amber color (watch closely).
Step 5: Working on a well-floured surface (or between wax paper, or plastic wrap), roll out one piece of the dough to a thickness of about ⅛ inch.
Step 6: Fit the dough into the buttered pie plate and trim the edges to a 1/2-inch overhang. Roll the other piece of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick and slip it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover both the circle and the crust in the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven and prepare the filling. The crusts can be well covered and kept refrigerated overnight.
Step 7: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Step 8: Peel, core and slice the apples into slices about 1/4 inch thick. I place my peeled and sliced apples in large bowl of cold water and lemon juice added to the water. Drain and dry apples and put them into a large bowl. Add the sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Step 9: Toss everything together really well. Let the mix sit for about 5 minutes, until juice starts to accumulate in the bottom of the bowl.
Step 10: Remove the pie plate and top crust from the refrigerator and put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Step 11: Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the crust and then turn 1/2 of the apples and their juices into the crust. Spread half the salted caramel on top. Repeat with a layer of apples and then the salted caramel. The apples will heap over the top of the crust. Pat them into an even mound. Dot the apples with the bits of cold butter.
Step 12: Very lightly moisten the rim of the bottom crust with water, then center the top crust over the apples. Either folds the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimps the crust attractively, or presses the top crust against the bottom crust and trim the overhang from both crusts even with the rim of the pie plate. If you’ve pressed and trimmed the crust, use the tines of a fork to press the two crusts together securely.
Step 13: Use a sharp paring knife to cut about 3 slits in the top crust. Brush the top crust with a little milk or cream and sprinkle it with sugar.
Step 14: Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the pie for another 50 to 60 minutes (total baking time is between 65 and 75 minutes), or until the crust is browned and the juices bubble up through the top crust. After about 40 minutes in the oven, if the top crust looks as if it’s browning too quickly, cover the pie loosely with a foil tent.
Step 15: Transfer the pie to a rack and let it rest until it is only just warm or until it reaches room temperature.
Step 16: Serve with salted caramel sauce drizzled on top.