As someone once said, nothing says autumn like pie. And what's my favorite pie, why apple of course. Again, I couldn't make just an ordinary apple pie. This one had to be the apple pie of apple pies. I spent a great deal of time peeling 8 Braeburn apples, slicing each one into the proper sized chunks, and placing the chunks into lemon water. When they were made, I found my largest deep dish pan and made a recipe and a half of pie dough, using every technique I know to make it perfect. I put the pie together and baked it. When I pulled it out, it looked perfect. We let it cool until this morning (it didn't get done until midnight) and had a slice for me and DW. To my horror, it was undercooked. The apples were overly crunchy, and the bottom crust was doughy. I was stunned and disappointed. But I made it right tonight and it is fabulous. Here's how I built this perfect Caramel/Apple Pie
4 1/2 cups ap flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
8 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
7 oz Kraft Caramel Bits
place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add about a third cup of lard and cut it in. Add more lard until the dough looks like pebbles when the fat is cut in. Add about a third cup of ice water and fold it gently into the dough, just to make everything begin to stick together. Remove half of the dough, shape into a flat circle, and place onto a well dusted work table. Carefully roll the dough from the center out in all directions until it is about 15 inches wide. Center the pie pan upside down on the rolled crust. Carefully cut the dough into a circle three inches larger than the pan rim. The circle edges need to be smooth. Run a thin metal spatula or icing spreader under the crust to make sure it isn't sticking to the table anywhere. Carefully fold the crust in half, and then in half again to make a wedge. Place the point of the wedge onto the center of the pie pan and unfold.
drain the apples. Spread a handful of the caramel bits evenly over the crust bottom. Spread a single layer of apple chunks into the pie. Sprinkle liberally with the sugar, then with the cinnamon, then with a handful of flour. Build the next layer the same way, with caramel, apple, sugar, then flour. Continue this process until the pie is heaping with the mixture.
Set the pie aside and roll out the top crust. Fold it like you did the bottom crust and place the corner in the pie center. Unfold and push the edges between the side crust and the pan. Flute the edges. Cut vent holes in the top crust. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake at 375'F for 1 hour and ten minutes. Remove and let cool.
I baked the pie at 350' for 45 minutes. That's how it was undercooked. I saved it by baking it longer wehn I got home from work tonight. I made a foil protector for the pie edges, and a foil wedge to fill the removed slices area. I preheated the oven to 360 and place the pie in to bake for 20 minutes. It still wasn't done ( I tested a little of the apple filling by removing an apple chunk with a fork). I boosted the temp to 375 and baked for thirty minutes more. It came out perfect, top, filling, and bottom crust. You can save an apple pie.
Critique: Needed to make it right on the first try. But all in all, this pie is great. The braeburn apples kept their texture nicely, and the pie isn't too sweet. The crust, in spite of my best efforts to ruin it, came out very light and flaky (how did that happen!
) And apples, caramel, and cinnamon, what else do I need to say. The caramel turned into a really nice sauce, but not soupy, right inside the pie. I don't know how I did it, but this pie is a winner. And my wife agrees (I didn't even have to pay her, except in slices of pie
) Here's proof. The first two pictures are of the undercooked pie. The second 2 are just plain yummy. The angle doesn't do the pie justice. It's about three inches thick. It was bulging when it came out of the oven. The apples didn't lose their shape at all.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North