November 12, 2007

WHICH COVERS MOST OF THE IMPORTANT FOOD GROUPS:

Caramel Apple Pie (Susan Sampson, 10/31/07, Toronto Star)

SHELL:

Unbaked 9-inch, deep-dish pie crust

10 caramels (about 3 oz [...]), each quartered

FILLING:

5 Golden Delicious apples (about 2-1/4 lb [...]), each peeled, cored, sliced in 30 wedges (about 7 cups)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

CRUMB TOPPING:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup pecan halves

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut in 1/4-inch pieces

COATING:

30 caramels (about 1/2 lb [...])

3 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp water

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

1/3 cup pecan halves

For shell, sprinkle caramel pieces in pie crust. Refrigerate.

For filling, put apples, brown sugar and lemon juice in large bowl. Mix gently. Set aside 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

In small bowl, stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Stir into apple mixture.

Mound into pie shell. Use hands to distribute and smooth filling. Place pie on large baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400F oven 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make crumb topping. Put flour, pecans, granulated sugar and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse to chop nuts coarsely. Scatter in butter pieces. Pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Transfer to medium bowl. Squeeze and rub mixture between fingers to create crumbs that look like gravel. Cover and refrigerate.

Remove baking sheet with pie from oven. Reduce temperature to 375F.

Dump crumbs in centre of filling. Using hands, but being careful not to touch hot pie plate, spread crumbs evenly over surface and tamp down lightly.

Return pie to oven, rotating part that was in front to the back. Bake until juices bubble thickly around edge, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Cool 45 minutes.

For coating, put caramels, butter and water in top of double boiler over pan of water simmering on low heat. Melt caramels, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

With pie still on rack, pour caramel evenly over surface to coat. (Pie should be warm but not hot. Some caramel will drip.) Use small spatula to assist spreading. Quickly sprinkle chopped pecans over top. Stud top with pecan halves.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2007 6:31 AM
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