A lot of the past week has been spent dealing with a water-leaking-through-the-ceiling-and-subsequent-costly-repair situation. Normal me would be a little stressed but calm and collected. Increasingly pregnant and emotional me, however, has a much lower threshold for meltdowns and seeing our 90% remodeled living room torn down to the studs almost pushed me over the edge. Honestly, when Bisou started meowing like crazy to alert us to the indoor rain my first impulse was to lay on the floor and cry. My second impulse was to distract myself with pie, and that’s the one I acted on. Whew! I filled a buttery crust with a mountain of fresh apples, lots of cinnamon and a hefty drizzle of homemade caramel, then baked it to golden, mouth watering perfection. And it was gooooood. So good, in fact, that we temporarily forgot all about the plumbing disaster and that’s saying something!
You may have seen me post about these pink apples a couple weeks back on instagram; they’re called mountain rose apples and you can find them at a handful of Hood River orchards and Portland-area markets in the fall. They have sweet, bright pink flesh (really, they’re that pink in real life!) and a satisfying, crisp bite. I look forward to them every year and have been dreaming of turning them into pie since last fall (when I used my supply in this baked oatmeal). If you can’t get your hands on pink apples, any sweet-tart, crisp apple will work perfectly for this pie. I mean, what apple wouldn’t go with gooey salted caramel and a buttery, flaky crust? You can’t go wrong.
The apples bake down quite a bit, so don’t be alarmed if the pie dish seems overly full before baking. You’ll have some caramel leftover from the recipe which you can serve along with the pie (as an ice cream topping if you serve it a la mode, perhaps?) or you can eat it with a spoon while you wait for the pie to cool, like I did. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 cups flour, scooped and leveled
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup of butter, frozen
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp coarse sugar
- 3 1/2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 12 cups sliced)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Zest and juice 1 small Meyer lemon
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cream
- 6 Tbsp butter
- Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the butter into the bowl using the largest side of a box grater. Combine with a pastry cutter or your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs, working quickly so the butter doesn't warm up. If it starts to feel greasy, place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes before continuing.
- Add ice water a few tablespoons at a time, stirring until the dough comes together. Form into two discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. If you can see butter marbled through the dough, you're on your way to a flaky crust!
- Mix the dry ingredients together, then toss with the apples, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and zest in a large bowl.
- Bring sugar, butter and cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook 4-6 minutes, whisking, until smooth and thick (it will thicken more as it cools).
- Roll out one chilled disc to a 1/4 inch thick circle and place in a pie dish. Trim excess dough beyond one inch. Fill immediately with apples and one cup of caramel and refrigerate while preparing the top crust.
- Roll out the top crust and cut slits or into strips for a lattice crust. Place on the pie and fold the excess bottom crust over the edges of the top crust. Pinch to seal and cinch. Chill the pie for 30 minutes. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Bake at 375º F for 50 - 70 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. If the crust browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil. Let pie rest at room temperature for 3-4 hours before slicing.