What do you think about apple pie for breakfast? That was the plan this morning. It was freezing outside, 49 degrees Fahrenheit (proper cold for us delicate Southern Californians) and I had finally survived two weeks of sheer misery with a monumental head cold. My senses of smell and taste came back. To celebrate, I baked an old favorite, APPLE PIE wrapped in a CRISP CRUST, crowned with PECAN STREUSEL, finished with a hefty drizzle of CARAMEL SAUCE, all from scratch with loads of butter.
It is tender and crumbly with just the right amount of buttery sweetness.
There is no waiting for the dough to rest in the fridge. Just throw it together and bake it. A few tricks guarantee success. The butter must be very, very cold. Pressing the butter into the dry ingredients between your fingers forms sheets of dough. Finally, a splash of icy vodka is the secret to the flaky texture, but the taste is transparent.
To prevent the fruit juices from making the bottom of the crust soggy, simply brush egg white over the inside of the crust and bake it shortly for the coating to set. This creates a barrier between the crisp crust and fruit juices. Wearing a pretty apron not only keeps your clothes clean, but also gives you the confidence to bake like a champ! Like my apron? Enter below to win your own. It’s my Christmas gift to you!
Serves: 8 (1 single-crust 10-inch pie)
Prep: 20 mins
Chill: 60 mins -overnight
Bake: 60 mins
2 1/4 cups flour
1 free-range egg white
6 cups peeled + sliced Granny Smith apples
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup starch
3/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Measure the flour, sugar and salt and
Sift exactly 3 times into a big bowl. This technique, along with the frozen butter, make for a very flaky crust.
Sprinkle butter cubes over the dry ingredients.
Working quickly, flatten the butter into the flour mixture between your fingers.
Add iced water and cold vodka.
Wrap dough in plastic and tuck away for a 1-hour nap in the fridge (up to overnight).
Wash, peel and core the apples.
Cut into about 1/4-inch thick slices and collect them in a bowl.
Dust with cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar, starch and salt.
Toss gently with your hands to coat the apples and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
Combine flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl.
Cut butter into the dry ingredients.
Gently toss chopped pecans into the mix.
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Roll dough around the rolling pin, lift it and unroll over the pie dish.
Gently tuck the dough flush against the baking dish.
Allow the crust should hang over the edge of the pie plate as it will shrink a bit in the oven.
Brush the inside of the crust with the egg white and up the sides.
Remove crust from the oven and pile apples over the crust.
Cover evenly with the streusel and return the pie to the oven.
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and allow the pie to rest 10-15 mins.
Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve with ice cream.
Making something by hand is so rewarding, especially if it is something delicious that you can share with others. The holidays are here and it’s time for no-holds-barred over-the-top extravagance. I’m not talking about truffles and caviar, folks. If you can’t pronounce it, you won’t see it here. Memories of Grandma busy making old timey goodness in the kitchen fill my head. Let the fancy mixer collect some dust. Grab a big bowl, wooden spoon and come, bake a caramel apple pie with me. Every bit of this dessert is rich with flavor, because every bit of it is homemade from scratch. There really is no better way to celebrate the season and no better gift than something homemade with care.
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