For the record, I am aware that I don’t live in America. That being said, when July 4th rolled around, I kind of wanted to do something & by something I mean organize a huge lunch for friends & family, & indulge in some typical American deliciousness. Now I’m normally in charge of dessert & I knew exactly what I wanted to make – a scrumptious hot apple pie. We’ve done quite a lot of travelling in America & we decided to base our menu off of a place we’d visited. So after thinking about what we wanted to do for our main course & what would pair nicely with apple pie, we decided on St Louis, Missouri. Now you might say, ‘Huh?’ but let me tell you, you can’t beat the food in St Louis. Okay so you probably could but we all really wanted to tuck into some luscious pulled beef brisket, apple slaw & cornbread. So St Louis, Missouri it was!
Onto the piece de resistance, the Apple Pie. What you’ll need:
For the dough:
2 & 1/2 cups flour
2 tbs caster sugar
2 tsp salt
225g butter, cold & chopped into pieces
6-9 tbs cold water
For the salted caramel:
1 & 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 & 1/2 cups cream
1 & 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the apples:
2 kg Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & cut into slices
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs lemon juice
3 tbs cornstarch (or arrowroot)
1/2 tbs sea salt
For the egg wash:
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water
So first things first. You’re going to want to make your dough. The above list of ingredients will make you two rounds of dough. Beat up the flour, sugar & salt, then add the butter & beat until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add the 6 tbs water & beat again. The mixture should hold together but shouldn’t be too sticky. If it’s crumbly, add more water. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface & form into discs. Wrap them in plastic & pop them in the fridge while you work on everything else!
Now onto the caramel! Combine the sugar, water & lemon juice in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook until the mixture bubbles & turns a nice golden amber colour – this takes about 9-12 minutes. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for the first 2 to 3 minutes but don’t stir after that point, instead swirl the saucepan to keep from burning. Once it turns to that golden amber colour, remove it from the heat & immediately add the cream. It can bubble up at this point so make sure you’ve protected your hands & arms. Stir until the sauce is smooth & blend in the salt before leaving to cool to only just warm.
Okay. So you’ve got the dough chilling (literally) & the caramel is sitting on the cooktop keeping warm. Preheat your oven to 200° Celsius & it’s time to do some apples! Once you’ve peeled, cored, sliced your 2 kg of apples, pop them in a nice big pot or La Crueset Dutch oven over a medium heat & stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & lemon juice. Cover & cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Uncover & let cool to room temperature before adding in the cornstarch or salt. Now if you don’t have cornstarch (it can be a tricky thing to get in Australia), you can use things like arrowroot, tapioca or even just flour, just make sure you’re using the right quantities.
Now pull your dough out & roll out both rounds. Place one in the bottom of your pie dish &, if you have enough dough see if you can’t cut out some pieces of dough for decoration, like I did above with the two stars. Mix in 2/3 of the caramel sauce into the apples & carefully pour in the filling. Then place the other half of the dough over the top. Make up your egg wash & brush the underside of any cutouts you’ve made with it before placing them on top. Then brush the egg wash over the entire pie before popping in the oven.
Bake until the pie crust is gorgeous & golden brown, about 1 hour. Check the pie at 30 minutes though & if the pie crust is already starting to brown cover the pie with foil. After the hour’s cooking, pull the pie out & let it cool to room temperature before serving. Heat up the remaining caramel sauce & pour liberally over your generous portion of pie!
^^I’m not going to lie, this was my second piece!
Like I said be liberal & generous with your caramel sauce (& vanilla ice cream if you want)! It’s the American way, after all.
Just look at all that delicious caramel, apple goodness! There were absolutely no leftovers!
^^One more look. I wouldn’t judge you if you attempted to lick your screen right about now!
Whilst the recipe is long & pretty involved, each of the steps really are quite simple. It does take a bit of time to put together so make sure if you’re having it with lunch, it’s a late lunch. Dinner would be even better! But make sure you give it a crack, you won’t be disappointed!