Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July Apple Pie

Happy 4th everyone! July 4th is a day to celebrate America. What could be more American than an apple pie?

I personally am not a huge fan of pies. I don't like the filling-to-crust ratio of most pies. I'm also not too fond of the mushy cooked fruit that goes inside. I decided to make a pie that's a slight twist on the traditional apple pie made with thinly sliced apples, almond cream, and salted caramel.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie (makes 1 9-inch pie)
For the Crust
6 oz All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Stick Cold Butter
2 oz Ice Cold Water

1. Cut the cold butter into small cubes (1cm x 1cm).
2. Put the pieces into the flour and salt. Make sure each cube is coated.
3. Press the butter to flat pieces.
4. Rub the butter between your fingers to make flakes. Continue until the butter chunks are about the size of a lima bean.
5. Create a well in the center of the flour and pour your cold water into it.
6. Bring your flour towards the center of the well a little bit at a time, until it is completely incorporated.
7. Flatten your dough slightly and wrap it in plastic. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it is chilled.

Frangipane (Almond Cream)
1 Stick Butter
4 oz Sugar
3 oz Almond Flour
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 oz All Purpose Flour

1. Cream butter, sugar, and almond flour together in a bowl.
2. Add egg and vanilla.
3. Scrape the bowl to make sure that the ingredients are well incorporated.
4. Add flour and mix until incorporated.

Salted Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Cream
1/4 stick Butter 

for a more traditional flavor, you can omit the salt. 

1. Place sugar, salt, and water in a clean pot and heat. Stir only until it begins to boil.
2. If needed, brush the sides of the pot with water to wash down any sugar crystals. Do not stir.
3. Heat cream in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm. 
4. Allow the caramel to get to a dark golden/amber color.
5. Turn off the heat, add warm cream, and stir. Be careful, because there will be a lot of hot steam!
6. Add butter to caramel and mix to incorporate.
7. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.

Apple Filling
4 Green Apples
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Sugar 

1. Peel the apples.
2. Cut each apple in half. Cut at the stem. Cut the top and bottom off of each apple half.
3. Use a melon baller to core the apples.
4. Cut 1/8 inch slices starting from the top of the apple, so that if you look at the apple standing up, the slices are horizontal.
5. Put slices into a bowl with lemon juice. Toss slightly.
6. Mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the apples. Toss slightly.

Making the Pie
Pie Dough
Apple Filling
1/4 Stick Butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease your pie tin with butter.
3. Roll out your pie dough to about 1/4 inch and place into the tin.
4. Use a fork to poke holes so that steam can escape.
5. Spread the frangipane into an even layer.
6. Place a layer of apples on top of the frangipane layer. Then, place another layer on top, to make a decorative pattern.
7. Cut up butter into small cubes and sprinkle over the top of the apples.
8. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, until golden. This seems like a long time, but because of the moisture of the apples, the pie bakes very slowly.
9. Reheat caramel sauce in microwave, 20 seconds at a time until it is  runny.
10. Brush the hot pie with salted caramel sauce to glaze. Cool slightly and serve warm.

Enjoy this dish after lots of BBQ with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream while you watch the fireworks! :)

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