Introduction: Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie With Rendered Bacon Fat Crust
The bourbon balances and tones down any excessive sweetness in the pie, while the bacon fat crust gives an undertone of smokiness. The combination of the two is delicious on its own or served a la mode.
The steps aren't overly complicated, but this pie will sure stun guests! Serve warm and with extra caramel if you so please. :)
I hope you enjoy it as much as my friends and family has!
Step 1: Prepare the Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Bourbon Caramel Sauce (Adapted from: Food and Wine):
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon golden corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream*
½ cup bourbon
1. Bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Brush down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush to prevent burning.
2. Cook without stirring until an amber colour forms, about 6 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and carefully stir in cream. Let cool for 1 minute and then stir in the bourbon.
4. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Let simmer 1 minute.
5. Let sauce cool. Sauce will thicken while it cools
NOTE: Makes two cups. You will only need ¾ cup for the pie, you can reserve the rest in the fridge for 1 week. You can serve the remaining sauce with your baked pie and ice cream at room temperature or you can heat it up.
*For a thicker caramel sauce, use 3/4 cup of whipping cream. You can add a few tablespoons of additional cream at a time until desired consistency is reached. Avoid adding an excess of 1 cup total cream as your sauce will be too thin. If your sauce is too thin it will run to the bottom of the apple mixture and prevent the bottom crust from cooking fully.
I would suggest making this the day prior to baking. It doesn't take very long to make, but the cooling time may take longer than you expect.
Step 2: Prepare Pie Crust
Double Shell Pie Crust (Adapted from Simply Recipes):
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
3 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons salted butter, very-cold, cut into small cubes
8 tablespoons rendered bacon fat, very cold, cut into small cubes *
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and bacon fat and use a pastry cutter or fork to “crumble” them into the flour. The mixture should resemble coarse meal, with pea sized chunks of butter and bacon fat.
2. Mix a few tablespoons into the flour mixture at a time until it starts to clump together. You should be able to pinch the mixture together so it holds.
3. Place on a clean work surface and knead the dough just enough to form two discs.
4. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
5. Remove one disc from fridge 5-10 minutes before rolling out. Roll out to fit your pie plate leaving a one inch over hang. Place back in fridge to cool.
NOTE: Salt was omitted from this recipe as I used salted butter. If you wish to use unsalted butter add 1 teaspoon salt. My bottom crust wasn't cold enough when I rolled it and it became very difficult to handle. If your dough is too soft pop it into the freezer for a few minutes and then try rolling it out again. Additionally, you can completely substitute bacon fat for the butter in this recipe, but I chose to do a 50/50 mix of butter and bacon fat as the butter holds its integrity better when rolling out the dough.
* Instructions are in the pictures, I would suggest you make this the day before as you will be waiting around for awhile if you make it the same day you make your pie.
Step 3: Prepare Pie Filling
Apple Filling (Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen):
3.5 pounds firm cooking apples (I used 5 Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1. Peel and thinly slice the apples, toss with lemon juice and zest. Set aside
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and then toss with apple slices.
NOTE: I find that the thinner you slice your apples the less likely your pie is too have an “air pocket” where the crust sat when the apples were raw and you placed your top crust and where they settle after they are cooked.
Step 4: Assemble and Bake Your Pie
1 egg, beaten
Rough Sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Place apple slices in chilled shell and set aside.
3. Roll out top crust.
4. Spread approximately ¾ cup of bourbon caramel sauce on top of apples.
5. Place top crust onto pie and crimp edges. Cut vent holes
6. Brush top of pie with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with rough sugar
7. Bake at 425° F for approximately 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° F and continue baking for an additional 30-35 minutes. Or until crust is golden and juices are bubbling from the vent holes.
NOTE: To prevent juices from leaking onto the bottom of your oven, bake pies on a baking sheet. Additionally if your crust begins to brown too rapidly place a sheet of foil loosely over your pie and it will prevent it from browning further.
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