Happy Thanksgiving Week! A holiday which reflects what we’re thankful for, watching football and centers around food is the perfect holiday. Actually, I already had one Thanksgiving celebration. On Saturday, I went out to my brother’s house and had a turkey day meal with my family. On Wednesday, we’ll be making the drive to Fort Wayne, Indiana to celebrate with my husband’s family. I’m pretty thankful we have families who want to celebrate with us!
On Friday night, I gave myself a test run on making pie. I haven’t made a pie in a year…and it was in my baking & pastry class in culinary school. I was nervous! I’m not sure why, but crust can be really intimidating. There isn’t much to it, but little tips can make or break your crust. Butter must be cold. Add butter to dry ingredients and incorporate until it looks like pebbles. Water must be ice-cold. Oy vey.
When I put the pie in the oven, I checked it (like every 10 minutes) to watch my crust progress. I even called in my husband to check out my dessert project. When I took the pie out of the oven, I was pretty proud. It looked like a pie I would want to eat. But my real judgement day would be on Saturday after our Thanksgiving meal.
Verdict? Well, take a look at what was left…
All of my worries and anxiety faded away after my first bite. The crust was flaky and moist. The filling was caramelly (is that a word??) and mixing two kinds of apples made each bite tart yet sweet.
My baking skill is good, but I still need to follow a recipe. I was very lucky to come across a new blog, The Baker Chick. I’ve been obsessed with her blog and she has a lot of things I want to bake. This is her pie recipe but I made one slight change. I’m really encouraging you to use two types of apples when baking a pie. It’s something I learned in culinary school, and I’ll always do it. For this recipe, I used Granny Smith (tart taste) and Gala (sweet taste).
If you’re still wondering what you’ll have for dessert on Thanksgiving, this should show up as an option. Who doesn’t love a homemade pie?
Salted Caramel Apple Pie, from The Baker Chick
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water ( you may need more, I did)
- 6 -7 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced (mix two kinds of apples)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- For the crust: Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds. You can also do this by hand or with a pastry cutter. (Pastry cutter and hands was my method for step 1!)
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two discs. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using. When chilled- roll out one disc and place inside a pie dish with a small over-hang around the edges. Let chill in fridge until filling is ready. (You can make your pie dough days ahead of time.)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- For filling: Sprinkle apples with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook approximately 8-10 minutes, until apples are soft and the liquid has turned golden. Turn into pie shell.
- Cover with a lattice top or just drape the whole second crust over the filling and crimp the edges. If you don’t have enough over-hang to turn it over to seal the pie, use my trick: roll out a thin 1/2 inch wide strip of extra dough and place it around the edge. Use a fork or your finger to decorate the edge. Brush the top of the crust with heavy cream and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. If your crust is getting too brown, cover it with tin foil as it continues to bake.