Apple, Caramel, and Hard Cider Pie by Sarah Kieffer

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Let sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, or covered in the refrigerator overnight. Strain the sugary juice (you should have about ½ cup [120 g]) from the fruit into a medium saucepan and return the apples to the large bowl. Add the cornstarch and cinnamon to the apples and toss to combine. Add the hard cider to the saucepan with the juice and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until reduced to a scant ½ cup [120 g], 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the caramel.

 

Pour the caramel mixture over the apples and toss to combine. Set aside while rolling out the pie dough.

 

Lightly flour a work surface and roll one piece of the dough into a 12 in [30.5 cm] circle about ¼ in [6 mm] thick and place it into a 9 in [23 cm] pie plate. Transfer the plate to the refrigerator and let the dough chill while you roll out the second piece. Lightly flour the work surface again and roll the second piece of dough into a 12 in [30.5 cm] circle, about ¼ in [6 mm] thick.

 

Fill the prepared pie shell with the apple mixture and place the second crust on top. Trim the dough overhang to 1 in [2.5 cm] past the lip of the pie plate. Pinch the dough together and tuck it under itself so it’s resting on the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges of the dough and cut at least four vents in the center, each about 2 in [5 cm] long. Transfer the pie plate to the freezer to chill for about 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. The crust should be nice and firm before you bake it.

 

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 425ºF [220ºC]. Place a sheet pan on the oven rack (the preheated sheet pan helps crisp the bottom of the pie crust and also catches any leaks and drips).

 

When ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Transfer the pie plate to the preheated sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375ºF [190ºC] and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble.

 

Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let cool for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. The pie is best eaten the same day it’s made.

 

Excerpted with permission from Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season (Chronicle Books, 2021) by Sarah Kieffer. Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Kieffer.

Carmel

  • 1¼ cups [250 g] granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup [80 g] water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup [120 g] heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons [70 g] unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan (the caramel will bubble up quite a bit once it starts cooking, so it’s important to have a deep pan), combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt, stirring very gently to combine while trying to avoid getting any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is clear, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture has turned a light golden color. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until it turns a deep golden color and registers 340ºF [170ºC] on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the heavy cream. The cream will foam considerably, so be careful pouring it in. Add the butter next, followed by the vanilla, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Caramel can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

VARIATION: Salted Caramel
When you take the caramel off the heat, add ½ teaspoon fleur de sel. Stir to combine.

Pie Dough

SINGLE 9 IN [23 CM] PIE CRUST

  • 8 tablespoons [1 stick or 113 g] unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1½ cups [213 g] all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup [240 g] ice water

DOUBLE 9 IN [23 CM] PIE CRUST

  • 18 tablespoons [2¼ sticks or 255 g] unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
  • 2½ cups [355 g] all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup [240 g] ice water

Place the butter pieces in a small bowl and transfer it to the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined. Add half of the chilled butter and mix on low speed until the butter is just starting to break down, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the butter and continue mixing until the butter is broken down in various sizes (some butter will be incorporated into the dough, some pieces will be a bit large, but most should be about the size of small peas). Stop the mixer and use your hands to check for any dry patches of flour on the bottom of the bowl; incorporate the flour as best you can. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add about ¼ cup [60 g] of the ice water and mix until the dough starts to come together but is still quite shaggy (if the dough is not coming together, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does). • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and flatten it slightly into a square. Gather any loose/dry pieces that won’t stick to the dough and place them on top of the square. • Gently fold the dough over onto itself and then flatten into a square again. Repeat this process three or four more times until all the loose pieces are worked into the dough, being careful not to overwork the dough. Flatten the dough one last time, form it into one 6 in [15 cm] disk (if making a single) or two 6 in [15 cm] disks (if making a double), and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes (and up to 2 days) before using.

 

BAKING A SINGLE CRUST

Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 12 in [30.5 cm] circle. Gently fold the dough in quarters and transfer it into a 9 in [23 cm] pie plate. Unfold the dough, letting the excess dough drape over the edges of the plate. Gently press the dough into the bottom and trim the overhang to 1 in [2.5 cm] past the lip. Tuck the overhanging dough so the folded edge lies on the edge of the plate. Crimp the edge of the dough with your fingers and place the pie plate in the freezer until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. • Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 400ºF [200ºC]. Place a
sheet pan on the oven rack (the preheated pan helps crisp the bottom of the pie crust). Remove the pie plate from the freezer and line the pie shell with parchment paper, covering the edges to prevent burning. Fill the center with pie weights and bake as directed below.

 

PARTIALLY BAKED CRUST:

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and no longer wet. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and carefully remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Finish the pie as directed in the recipe.

 

FULLY BAKED CRUST:

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and no longer wet. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and carefully remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Return the pie plate to the oven and continue to bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until deep golden brown. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let cool completely. Finish the pie as directed in the recipe.

Servings:

6-8

Ingredients:

 

Pie Filling

  • 2½ lb Cosmic Crisp®  apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼ in pieces (7 to 8 apples)
  • ¼ cup [50 g] light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup [120 g] 2 Towns Cider House Cosmic Crisp® Imperial Cider
  • ¾ cup [162 g] Caramel or Salted Caramel at room temperature (recipe below)
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 recipe Double Pie Dough  (recipe below)
  • Egg wash
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Ice Cream or Whipped Cream, for serving