Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie

So today I realized it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post.  I blame it on one thing: The Walking Dead.

I’m about 859395 minutes late to the party, so I spent the last week watching the first two seasons.  It was an enormous race to watch all the episodes before the new episode on Sunday.  Good news: I’m all caught up.

Now I freak out when my lights flicker, but that’s okay.  If fictional tv shows freak you out (like they do me), just think of pie.

Then head into the kitchen to make this…

Bourbon Caramel Apple Pie

Single Pie Crust:

175g All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
pinch of Salt
1 stick of Butter, cold
2 tbsp (maybe more) Ice Water

Filling:
6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp bourbon/whiskey

Caramel:

1 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Bourbon
few pinches of salt

Topping:

1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of Salt
3 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp bourbon

Prepare pie crust by combing flour, sugar and salt.  Using your fingers, break the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse crumbs (even pea sized is fine).  Add ice water and bring it all together into a ball using your hands.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a few hours.  You can make this up to two days in advance.

Once your dough has rested sufficiently, you can start to assemble your pie.  Roll our dough and place into a 9inch pie dish, trim the edges, make them look pretty if you’d like.

Next make the caramel.  In a deep saucepan, melt sugar over medium heat.  Do not stir.  Once it reaches a golden brown color, remove from heat.  Stir in butter (it will bubble a lot, keep stirring), then stream in cream while stirring then stir in bourbon and salt.  If you get some clumps it’s not a big deal.    Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350F.   Stick the prepared crust in the freezer while you make the filling and topping.  For the filling, I like to throw all the ingredients into a large ziploc bag, close it and toss it around.  A bowl works too.

Set aside while you make the topping. Next make crumble topping.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add butter and using your fingers work it into the mixture.  Drizzle in bourbon and toss to combine.  The mixture should look sort of like crumbs.

Next assemble the pie.  Pour a bit of the caramel into the pie crust and spread.  Next lay in half the apple mixture, pour some more caramel sauce (maybe 1/3 of it? also note if your caramel cooled too much and hardened just warm it up a bit on the stove).  Add the remaining apples and drizzle with some more caramel.  You should have about 1/4 of the caramel left over.  Sprinkle the crumble topping on the apples, then drizzle remaining caramel on top.  Place pie on a baking sheet and bake 45-60 mins or until golden and the fruit is bubbling in the middle.

Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then serve!

I recommend having this with a glass of bourbon while watching The Walking Dead (or maybe Vampire Diaries is more your supernatural style?).

Pear/Apple Almond Tart

We all have tried and true recipes.  You know, the things that you make over and over again.  You know how to do it well.

…If it ain’t broke, don’t fit it.

I know I certainly do.  Sometimes you need something you know is going to taste good.

Here are some of my tried and trues.  I’ve made each of these a handful of times, and each time they turn out well.

Peach Pie

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes/Cake

Protein Pancakes/Waffles

Lentil Chili over Sun-dried Tomato Cornmeal Waffles

Sometimes when I make the same recipe, but change them slightly.

Take this Pear Almond Galette

I’ve made a few times, but this time…

I changed a few things:

1. I made a large Apple Almond Tart.


2. I made mini Pear Almond Tarts.

The basic differences are shape and fruit.  The taste is pretty much the same, though.  Let’s be honest though, sometimes we all need a “fancy dessert” in our arsenal.  This is mine.

Apple Almond Tart

For Crust:

350g all purpose flour
2 sticks of butter, cold and cubed
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup very cold water (or vodka, yep, you read correctly)

For Apple Almond Filling:
2-3 apples, peeled, carefully cored and thinly sliced (you can also use pears or peaches or pretty much any fruit)
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, softened
2 egg
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp flour
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)

Prepare the dough a day or two in advance.  Measure out flour, sugar and salt.  Combine in a large bowl.  Drop butter cubes in the flour mixture.  Using your hands break up the butter and work it into the flour until you get it to be the size of small peas.  Pour in the water, using your hand, work the dough together to form a ball.  You might need to add more water (rarely if you measured the flour correctly), but only the tiniest bit.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  This will help keep your crust from shrinking.

The next day, or when you’re ready to make the tart, remove the dough from the fridge.  Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper.  Not too thin.  Place in the tart pan, press into the sides and trim the edges (patch up any areas that are too thin or stretched, this will help avoid strinkage).  Poke with a fork and stick in the freezer while you make your filling.  You can do the same with mini tart pans.  This is enough dough and filling for about 8 mini tarts.

Pre-heat the oven to 375.  Using a hand mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until smooth.  Add the eggs (one at a time) and almond extract.  Beat until well combined.  Add all purpose and almond meal, beat until combined.

Pour the mixture into the tart pan, fan the thinly sliced apples on the surface and press them down lightly.  Sprinkle with extra sugar if you’d like.  Bake for about an hour and 20 mins for a large tart or until the top is golden brown all around, including the center, or about 45 mins for the mini tarts.  Check periodically as every oven is different.

Allow to cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve and enjoy the almond-y goodness.

Go ahead make changes, choose different fruits, but in the end, this is a tried and true.

You’re bound to like it.  If not, at least it looks fancy.  Maybe you’ll add it to your list of go-to recipes as well.