I typically do this really annoying thing where I’ll post a great Thanksgiving (or Easter, or Christmas…) recipe precisely after said holiday occurs where you would want to use it.
So this year, I’ve planned ahead!
We’re hosting Thanksgiving again and I could not be more excited. Nothing fills me with more joy than spending several hours in the kitchen prepping. And the compliments mid-meal don’t hurt either.
Last year my mom brought down the pies because she knew I was doing the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce. She brought this enormous apple pie from Costco that is actually pretty good but was way too big for 7 people and the GS and I were literally still eating it 3 weeks later.
My Aunt Tracy gave me a pie dish and the Williams Sonoma pie cookbook at my bridal shower and I was so excited to turn to it now that it is officially pie season. I realize there are summer pies, but to me it’s always felt like more of a fall/winter thing.
So no shade to Costco, but this year I REALLY want to make the pies from scratch, too. And apple was a natural first choice given that, next to pumpkin, it’s the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
slightly adapted from The Pie Cookbook
for the pie crust (you’ll make two of these):
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
1/4 cup cold water
for the filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1 cup heavy cream
4-5 apples, I used Gala but I know Granny Smith is a popular choice for pies
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tsp sea salt, divided
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut up the butter and pulse that a few times. Slowly start to add the cold water, pulsing until the dough comes together. Form into a disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
If you want a double crusted pie, you’ll make two of these individually.
Combine sugar, water, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir regularly until it’s very bubbly and a golden brown color. Remove from heat, and stir in the heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Set aside.
Peel and chop the apples, and place into a saucepan with the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir occasionally until the apples are soft and there’s juice at the bottom (about 6-8 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the corn starch until combined. Add 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce, and reserve the rest of that for serving. (Note: I discovered this makes way more caramel than you would actually need. So you can cut the recipe in half, or hang on to it for your future caramel enjoyment.)
Allow the filling to cool to room temperature. While that’s happening, you can roll out your pie crust into the dish. Flour the surface generously, and then roll evenly into a round. Roll it onto the rolling pin and place in the tin, pressing it slightly into place. Put it back in the fridge.
Once your filling has cooled, pour it into the pie crust. Roll out the second crust the same way and place it on top, trimming the ends and pressing the edges of the two crusts together. I did the fancy fork thing- it helps to wet the fork so that it won’t stick in the dough.
I purposely made this a day ahead of when I planned to bake it, just to make sure that it held up okay. Pies are a great make-ahead item if you have a lot on your plate (pun intended) for Thanksgiving prep. Or even if that’s the only thing you have to bring, you can do it on your own time.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of the pie crust with a whisked egg, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for one hour. The book does recommend doing this at least 4 hours ahead of when you plan to serve it. We’ve all had apple pie and know that the filling has to firm up a little bit in order to cut slices- if you try to serve it piping hot it will be all soupy.
SPEAKING OF SERVING.
Since I’m an enormous overachiever and because my brother-in-law responds to every dessert with “but where’s the ice cream that goes with it?” I also made ice cream. I followed my old standby NY Times vanilla ice cream recipe, but added about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and threw in two cinnamon sticks to steep in the custard overnight.
Plus the rest of the salted caramel drizzled over the top.
So good I wanna cry. I have leftovers and I still can’t wait for Thanksgiving when I get to make it again. My plan is to also make a pumpkin pie because the cinnamon ice cream was SO good and I know it will go swimmingly with both pies.