In the second round of the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off, Brityn Proulx of East Grand Forks scored an American classic. The written description she included on the recipe probably describes the pie better than any journalist.
The submitted recipe described it as a “classic apple pie topped with a trellis, bubbling with salted caramel and gooey cinnamon apples.”
Well said. What more can we add?
Proulx was one of 16 bakers in the month-long tournament and she fought her way through to the third round. In the second round, she scored a victory with her version of the tried-and-true American apple pie.
Here’s Proulx’s recipe for “salted caramel apple pie.” During the holiday season, the Herald will publish recipes for the 30 pies entered into this year’s Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.
Recipes will be published in print, electronic and online and will be compiled on the Herald’s website.
Baker: Brittany Proulx
Hometown: Great East Fork
Business Sponsor: Valley Senior Living
The description: Classic apple pie topped with a latticework, bubbling with salted caramel and gooey cinnamon apples.
All Butter Pie Crust
2 ½ cups (313 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed (spoon and level)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (230 g, 16 tbsp) unsalted butter, cooled and cubed
½ cup (120 mL) ice water, plus more if needed
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Blend in the butter using a pastry blender or food processor.
Add ice water a little at a time until the dough starts to come together. It will feel thick and moist, not too wet. You will use about ½ cup (120 ml).
Mold the pie dough into a ball.
Cut in half. This recipe makes two 9” pie crusts, one for the bottom and one for the lattice top.
Flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 2 hours before use.
Homemade Salted Caramel
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar (make sure it’s labeled “pure cane”)
6 tablespoons (90 g) salted butter, room temperature, cut into 6 pieces
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon of salt
Heat the granulated sugar in a medium heavy-duty saucepan (avoid using non-stick coating) over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or high heat-proof wooden spoon. The sugar will form lumps and eventually melt into a thick, brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn it.
Once the sugar is completely melted, immediately stir in the butter until melted and combined. Be careful with this step as the caramel will bubble quickly when the butter is added. If you notice the butter separating or the sugar clumping together, remove from the heat and whisk vigorously to mix again. (If you’re nervous about splattering, wear oven mitts. Keep whisking until it comes together, even if it takes 3-4 minutes. It will eventually – just keep whisking. Return to heat when combined again).
Once the butter has melted and combined with the caramelized sugar, stir constantly while very slowly pouring in the heavy cream. Since heavy cream is cooler than hot caramel, the mixture will bubble quickly when added. Once all the cream has been added, stop stirring and boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool slightly before use. The caramel thickens as it cools.
Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. The caramel solidifies in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop to desired consistency.
Make the tart shells and the salted butter caramel before starting the apple filling.
Apple pie filling
6 to 7 large apples, cored, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices (11 to 12 cups total)
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice
¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon and leveled)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp (15ml) milk
Optional: coarse sugar to sprinkle over the crust
Place the apple slices in a very large bowl. Add sugar, lemon juice, flour, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir gently to combine. Put aside.
Roll out the cooled pie crust. On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other in the fridge). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after a few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough in a 9 x 2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it’s smooth. With a small, sharp knife, cut off the excess crust and discard. Fill the pie shell with the apples. There are a lot of apples, but pile them well and very high. Drizzle with about ½ cup salted caramel, reserving the rest for garnish. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
Make the lattice crust. Take the other disk of refrigerated pie dough out of the refrigerator. Roll out the dough, 12 inches in diameter. Using a rolling pin, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut 16 ½-inch-wide strips. We always use a clean tape measure or ruler as a guide to make sure the lines are straight. Carefully thread the strips over each other, pulling the strips as needed to weave. Using a small, sharp knife, cut away the extra overhang. Pinch the edges of the dough with a fork or your fingers. Lightly brush the top of the trellis with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Place the pie on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, lower the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes. If the top of your pie is getting too brown, lightly cover with foil. The pie will be cooked when the caramel begins to bubble. A small knife inserted inside should come out relatively clean.
Let the pie cool for 4 hours before serving. Drizzle pie with additional caramel sauce to serve. This apple pie is best served the same day, but it can be covered tightly and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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