Introduction: Penultimate Caramel Crumb Apple Pie
The air in my kitchen is deliciously scented, because I have a Caramel Crumb Apple Pie cooling on the counter! That’s right, I’ve combined all sorts of yummy things in one penultimate pie! It’s mom’s apple pie, but with caramel sauce baked into the filling, topped with a cinnamon crumb topping, baked until golden brown and fragrant!
Oh, it smells soooo good! The DH is hovering around the kitchen and asking if the pie is cool enough to eat yet. It’s not, so I shall type up the recipe while it cools a bit, and then we shall eat pie!
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Step 1: In Which We Make the Pie Crust
I've been experimenting with different pie crust recipes lately. I've made all-butter crusts, all-shortening crusts, butter AND shortening crusts, crusts with vinegar, and crusts with vodka (you read that right!). I haven't tried a purely butter and vinegar crust, so that's what I'm making today!
Butter and Vinegar Crust
- 2 c. flour
- 1 c. butter
- 3 tbsp. vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp. ice water
Mix all the ingredients up in a mixer (what, you think I’m going to do this by hand? You can, but a mixer is sooo much easier!), until a dough is formed. Rest in fridge while filling is assembled. Then roll out and place in pie plate. And it’s done, and on to the filling!
Step 2: Caramel-icious
We're going to start with a roux (a basic butter and flour mixture), so that the sauce is nice and thick and not soup-like when taken out of the oven.
- 6 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- ½ c white sugar
- ½ c. brown sugar
- ¼ c. water
- Pinch salt
Melt butter in a pot on medium heat. Add in flour and whisk until bubbling. Add in sugars, salt, and water, and stir. Cook until caramel sauce just *starts* to stick to the bottom of the pot. Set aside.
Step 3: Apples. Because Apple Pie.
And now we mix up the filling. Because we're adding the caramel sauce, I'm not adding sugar to the filling, just some flour to soak up the juices, and some cinnamon for flavour.
- 6 Gala apples, or your favourite
- 1 tbsp. flour
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
Peel and roughly slice the apples. Toss with the flour and cinnamon. Set aside.
Step 4: Crumb Topping. Insert Cute Title Here.
This will make what seems like a lot of topping, but it bakes down and forms just the right about of crust. The use of molasses here is both because I ran out of sugar and because it adds a nice deep note to the topping.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 c sugar
- ¼ c white sugar mixed with 1 tbsp. molasses
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter, cut up into small pieces
Mix up the white sugar with the molasses. Dump in everything else and mix until a soft crumb forms. Set aside.
Step 5: Luscious Layers! and Baking. and Eating.
Ok, now we get to assemble our luscious layers!
Dump the apple filling into the pie shell. Sort of spread it around, and heap it slightly in the centre. Evenly pour the caramel sauce all over the top. Lick the caramel pot clean. Top with the crumbs, sprinkling evenly over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and then cover with foil if crumbs are getting brown. Bake for 40 minutes, covered, at 350 degrees, or until the apples are soft when a fork is stuck into the pie. Uncover during the last few minutes and brown the top if it isn’t already golden brown.
Cool. Slice, serve, and wow your friends and family! It's a fancy pie, but it's not hard at all to make (pies are pretty forgiving). Try it out and see how easy and tasty it is!