Sunday, October 23, 2011

caramel apple pie

I’m quite sure that pretty soon, my iPod will only have the ability to play the same 20-odd songs, as I’ve been listening to nothing but Cole Porter, Margaret Whiting, and Radical Face on loop for the past few weeks. Not that I would complain if this were to become reality soon, since the three are perfect to listen to while strolling outside under falling leaves and welcomed sunshine.

Yesterday was spent primarily with MattMatt, as the two of us rarely get to see each other one-on-one, and it was hugely pleasant. Pumpkin pancakes and peach cake for brunch at Tommy’s, as well seeing an old friend from high school who came down for the weekend. A spontaneous drive out to the downtown mall soon followed, which made for a lovely afternoon sipping coffees, browsing dusty bookshelves in used bookshops, and searching for the perfect menswear blazer at Urban Outfitters. Though I came home empty-handed in the department of androgynous outerwear, a purse heavy with new (used) books and some quality conversation in the living room with David Tennant staring us down with a raised eyebrow was more than enough.

Now my only wish is that I had enough time to just sit on piles of pillows and blankets and read the day away. And also that my apartment had a fireplace crackling with warm flames, filling the living room with the smells of earthy cocoa and roasted walnuts.

Perhaps my next investment will be a bigger bookshelf.

I love strolling downtown at this time of year; early fall, before the leaves have had the chance to wither away and it’s still just warm enough to eat lunch outside wearing a wool scarf and sweater.

Nevertheless, today was a day to spend inside, curled up on the couch in an oversized sweatshirt catching up on work and oodles and oodles of Merlin.

And, of course, at the end of a perfect weekend, it’s only appropriate to put a basket of mountain-fresh apples to good use. 

Caramel Apple Pie
Adapted from If You Give a Girl a Cookie and Tartine

For the crust, you'll need:
  • 3 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 sticks butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cold water
For the filling, you'll need:
  • 5 cups of baking apples [about 6 medium or 5 large; Golden Delicious, Jonagold, or Winesaps work splendidly, or any combination thereof], cored and sliced
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a few shakes of nutmeg

To prepare the filling:
In a large saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium-low flame. Add in sliced apples, increase heat to medium-high, and cook the apples in the sauce until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle flour and spices over the apples, and turn them over to coat until the flour dissolves. Let cool while preparing the pie crust.

To prepare the crust:
In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, and salt the consistency is that of peas. Slowly pour in the water until the dough comes together [you may not need to use all of the water]. Divide the dough in half, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To assemble the pie:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch pie pan. Roll each ball of dough out wide enough to cover the base of pan. Place one on the base. Using a fork, poke holes into the bottom and sides of the crust. Gently scoop the apples and caramel sauce into the pan and spread evenly. Lay the second sheet of dough on top of the apples, pinching the top and bottom crusts to seal. Make a slit or two on the top crust.

Bake pie for about 25 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Allow pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with sweetened cream or vanilla ice cream.

I’d like to make a confession: I’m really not that keen on apple pie. At all, really. I know, I know, as if it’s bad enough I’ve forgone all non-BBC television, I’ve now basically rejected all of the basic tenets of our great country.

But this one is pretty good. I mean, it’s no cherry Bakewell tart, but Noosh and Tommy loved it, and the flaky crust is to die for. The apples really benefit from bathing in brown sugar and butter, as obviously expected, and cooking them beforehand prevents the crust from becoming soggy. The end result is a beautifully golden, crunchy, autumn-y pie.

Would have been divine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but good company and quality television will make do just as well.

Then I'll pretend it is my bed
I'll jump in very quick
And pile their leaves up over me
For covers soft and thick


  1. I'm drolling now :D I LOVE apple pie... You are making me hungry now :D

  2. @Carla: Thanks for the sweet words, as always, darling :)


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