deep dish salted caramel apple pie

This pie started it's life about 12 months ago when I first heard there was such a thing as a salted caramel apple pie. I downloaded a few recipes and had plans to make my own version then and there but 2020 got in the way.
Last month with a stack of Falcon enamel pie dishes at my disposal from Everten (gifted), I decided it was time to finally get this pie made. Originally it was going to be a lattice pie but whilst scrolling through the internet I saw a version with a crumble topping. 
I had some crumble topping and leftover salted caramel sauce in the fridge, loads of apples in the fruit bowl so all I needed to do was make some pie dough and pretty soon I would have pie. Except this is not that kind of pie recipe. I actually made it over the course of 2 days. There are loads of steps and chilling involved but I think the finished product justifies the means because this pie is sensational! Honestly, it's one of the best things I've ever made.

It's a bit of a bitzer of a recipe - lots of bits of this and bits of that. The filling I found online on the Taste website whilst the pie dough is from a Julia Busutill Nishimura recipe. The crumble topping is from a Nigel Slater recipe whilst the salted caramel sauce is an old favourite from Belinda Jeffery's book, Mix and Bake. The salted caramel sauce requires a thermometer and makes a generous quantity so you will have leftover caramel sauce that keeps for ages in the fridge. If salted caramel sauce seems a bridge too far, then just buy a jar of good quality sauce and proceed. The pastry recipe makes sufficient for a double crust pie or a pie and a galette so there will be leftover pastry. It freezes well though. If pastry gives you the yips then buy some all butter shortcrust pastry or leave out the base and make this into a salted caramel apple crumble. It will still taste delicious.

After all those preliminaries, here is the recipe for you which makes a 26 cm deep dish apple pie or a regular 9 inch pie. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Deep dish salted caramel apple pie
Salted caramel sauce
1 cup cream
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup caster sugar
½ cup golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch sea salt flakes

2 ½ cups plain flour
1 pinch sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon caster sugar 
250g cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces 
150 mls cold water
1 tbs lemon juice or apple cider vinegar 

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 large Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch allspice
pinch ground nutmeg

75g unsalted butter
75g plain flour
90g raw sugar
3 heaped tbs rolled oats
Pinch each salt and cinnamon

To serve
Salted caramel sauce

Put the cream, the sugars, syrups and vanilla in a small heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to the boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil until a sugar thermometer registers 108°C. Remove from the heat then set aside for 20 minutes before whisking the mixture smooth. Add a pinch of sea salt flakes to taste. The sauce will still be runny at this stage but the caramel will continue to thicken as it cools. This makes more caramel sauce than you need for this recipe but the sauce keeps for many months in an airtight container in the fridge. Just re-warm when needed.

Stir flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or your hands. Work quickly, cutting it in until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain. You can also do this stage in a food processor.

Combine the water, lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the water mixture over the flour mixture, and cut it in with a bench scraper, a spatula, or your hands until it’s fully incorporated. Add more of the water mixture, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing each time until it just holds together (sprinkle dry bits with more small drops of water to combine if necessary). It should have streaks of butter.

Cut the dough into two, and shape each half into a flat disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. You’ll only need to use one disc of pastry for this recipe but the dough can be refrigerated for three days or frozen for one month. 

Take the dough out of the fridge 5 to 10 minutes before you roll, so it won’t crack. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Begin rolling, starting from slightly below the centre and rotating the dough as you go. Lightly sprinkle more flour on everything as you go. Be careful not to let the centre get too thin—it shouldn’t be less than ⅛ inch in thickness. You want the dough to be 2 or 3 inches larger than the pan you are using—lay the pie tin face-down on the rolled dough to see if it’s rolled out enough.

Butter the pie dish. Fold the dough disc in half, lay it across one side of your pan, and unfold. Make sure there are no gaps between the dough and the pan. Trim the dough along the edges to allow 1-2 cm of excess. Fold the excess dough under and crimp decoratively. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the filling and the topping.

Combine apples and lemon juice in a bowl. Add brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Let rest for 30 minutes. 

Place all the ingredients into a small bowl. Rub the butter into the sugar and dry ingredients until it forms a soft dough then place in the fridge until needed.

Take the pie dish out of the fridge. Arrange one-third of the apple mixture over the pastry case. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce. Continue layering with half the remaining apple and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons caramel sauce. Top with remaining apple. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, conventional. Place pie on a baking tray on the lower third shelf of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry edges are just coloured.
Remove the pie from the oven and lower the oven to 190ºC, conventional. Sprinkle clumps of the crumble topping over the top of the pie to cover the apple. Return the pie to the oven this time placing it on the middle shelf. Bake for a further 30 minutes or until the apple is cooked when tested with a knife and the crumble is golden brown and you can see the juices bubbling. If the top of the pie is browning too quickly, cover it with foil or a piece of baking paper. I left the pie in the turned off oven for a further 30 minutes to ensure the apple slices were fully cooked.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool 2 to 3 hours to let the filling set before serving. 
Serve with cream and some of the remaining salted caramel sauce and prepare to be blown away. The pastry base is nice and crispy - no soggy bottoms here. The filling is well flavoured and not too sweet and the crumble topping is also nice and crunchy. Stored in the fridge, the pastry base was still crisp 3 days after baking so it also keeps well.

I'm heading down to Orange later this week where it's been snowing up a storm so I'm off to the shops to buy some warmer gear. 

Anyway enough from me. See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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