One of my great coups of Thanksgiving had to be this pie. I'd read about it in the New York Times several weeks ago, where it listed some ingredients in passing, but no recipe. I was totally intrigued and just had to give it a whirl. After all, what's the worst thing that could happen? A big fail, that's what, but, given that enough food to feed a small army was already prepared, I decided that even if it didn't work, no one was going to starve, so "what th' ?" as Mark Trail would say. I thawed one of my trusty no-fail dough balls that I've written about in a previous post, assembled my ingredients and let 'er rip. What a wild success and a new addition to not just the Thanksgiving repertoire, but really, a new favorite apple pie. I know the ingredients are a bit wacky, but give it a try anyway. Salt and pepper aren't just for entrees anymore.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
1 large pie crust rolled to fit pie pan, plus enough for lattice and decorations
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
5-6 pink lady apples, peeled and thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
First make the caramel. Combine the butter, sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and heat slowly while stirring until it turns a rich golden brown color. Add the heavy cream all at once. Turn heat off and whisk constantly until smooth. Let caramel cool while you prepare the pie filling.
Whisk together the lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, black pepper, the Angostura bitters and the flour in a large bowl. Add the apple slices and toss them in the mixture to coat.
To assemble: In your prepared pie shell, layer apples followed by half of the caramel then a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Repeat layers making sure that you have stacked the apples high in the center of the pie. Cover with a lattice and decorate the edges with pastry leaves if you feel like it. Brush pastry with a little egg wash and bake for 55 minutes to an hour until apples are soft and pastry is a deep golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream.