The best time of the year to make this pie is in the fall when the local farms are harvesting a variety of apples. I always look for the farmers’ bins that are labeled as “seconds.” Meaning, the apple is fine to eat but it is just not pretty. As long as the blemish on the apple is only on the surface, which will be removed when peeled to make the filling anyway, who needs a showcase apple? Take advantage of the lower price for the apples and help a farmer get rid of that part of their inventory.
I like the combination of Honey Crisp apples and Golden delicious for this pie. I use these particular types of apples because the Honey Crisp stays firm after cooking and it provides a bit of a tartness in the apple profile. The golden delicious are more of a sweet apple and it cooks to soft texture in the pie. They are also two of my favorite apples to eat, so maybe my I am justifying my excessive purchases of these apples with an excuse of making pies. I tend to pick up a half bushel of each apple at a time when I visit my local farms. I can’t beat the price and it guarantees pies because there is no way I could eat my way through that many apples.
The secret to a great apple pie is a flaky crust, filling that is more fruit than anything else and adding a little of love. The caramel sauce is a fun addition to this already fantastic dessert.
- Pie Dough
- unsalted butter - 8 ounces (2 sticks) or 1 cup, cut up and frozen
- flour - 2 cups all purpose, sifted
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- sugar - 2 teaspoons
- buttermilk - 1/2 cup
- vanilla extract - 1 tablespoon
- Crumble Top Ingredients:
- flour - 2 cups
- brown sugar - 1 1/2 cups
- butter - 3/4 cups softened
- cinnamon - 2 teaspoons
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- old fashioned oats - 2 cups
- Fresh Apple Filling Ingredients:
- apples - 4 - 5 cups peeled, cored and sliced (1/2 honey crisp, 1/2 golden delicious)
- sugar - 1 cup
- flour - 1/2 cup
- cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- nutmeg - dash
- vanilla - 1 teaspoon
- Caramel Sauce:
- unsalted butter - 1/2 cup
- brown sugar - 1 cup
- heavy cream - 1 1/4 cup
- vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Pie dough directions:
Cut up butter into 1-2 Tablespoon size pieces, place in a container and freeze before mixing. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, and frozen cubed butter. Mix with a pastry blender to break up the butter slightly. Next, add the buttermilk. Knead the dough by hand until it forms a ball and butter chunks are about the size of nickels and dimes. Place in the refrigerator until ready to roll out dough. This recipe will make one large ball of dough that will make one traditional, top and bottom-crust pie. The dough will be fine in the refrigerator for five to seven days. If freezing the dough, it is best if it is used within six weeks. (I have personally left my pie dough in the freezer longer than six weeks, but I noticed that the texture starts to change in the finished crust. - Chef Char)
Apple pie filling directions:
Mix pie filling ingredients until apples are completely coated. Scoop filling into the bottom crust in a 9" pie pan. Cover top of pie with traditional, lattice, or crumble topping.
Crumble top directions:
Melt butter. In a mixing bowl, add melted butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and oats. This will make enough crumble topping for four pies. Crumble topping can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Caramel sauce directions:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar until it completely dissolves and mixture just starts to bubble from the heat. Slowly add the heavy cram to the sugar and butter mixture while whisking. this mixture will bubble up slightly as it heats. Turn the burner to low and allow the caramel mixture to simmer for 2 or 3 minutes while occasional stirring. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla extract and stir. Serve caramel while hot and melted. This sauce can be kept warm in a double boiler for extended service time.
Bake pie at 360 degrees for 40 minutes.