I can count on one hand how many times I’ve made apple pie. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve made other pies, but for some reason, apple pie never made the cut. (har har). Was it too simple? Too much effort to make pastry, when I could get the same flavours in a simple crisp? Was it that pecan was always a better choice? Probably all of those reason, which brings me to THIS pie.
I wanted more than just apple and cinnamon. I’ve been known to get greedy yes, but I knew apple was such an easy vessel for flavour, if I could just come up with the perfect combo. Then I thought caramel apple. Then I thought if I’m melting butter, why not brown it? Why not use maple syrup in lieu of sugar? Why not use the extra and pour it overtop of the pie? Why have I never done this before??
The caramel is subtle, but it’s there. It may be not entirely pronounced in the pie, but it’s a lip smacking, teeth achingly sweet topping (which I’m totally ok with.)I didn’t want that sweetness in the pie, but wanted the hint of flavour. If it was too sweet, how could we eat it for breakfast? I may or may not have made this pie for the sheer reason I could eat it the next day…
Maple Caramel Apple Pie
Inspired by Canadian Living’s Georgian Bay Apple Pie
- 1/2 basic pastry recipe
- 2/3-3/4 cup brown butter maple caramel sauce* recipe follows
- 8 cups apples (5- 7)peeled and diced or grated
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons oats
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Demerara sugar or other coarse sugar
Brown Butter Maple Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Oprah.com
Makes 1 cup
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, brown butter.
- Add sugar and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved, then adjust heat to medium and boil 2 minutes longer.
- Add maple syrup and boil, stirring frequently, until sauce is thick, smooth, and coats a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat and cool completely until ready for pie filling.
- Preheat oven to 400˚
- Prepare pastry. While it’s resting, prepare caramel sauce then apple filling.
- For the apple filling, peel and grate or slices apples, placing into a bowl of cold water with the juice of a lemon. This will keep them from browning and losing any flavour.
- Drain water and add remaining ingredients to apples, stirring to combine.
- Take out dough and roll into a rough 12″ circle, using your rolling pin, roll the dough and drape overtop of glass pie plate.
- Dock the bottom with a form and trim the edges of pastry.
- Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of oatmeal onto bottom of pie, this will absorb the excess juices while it bakes.
- Pour apple filling into pie, try to strain juice as there will be quite a bit.
- For lattice top: Using extra dough, roll into a rough 9-10″ rectangle, and cut strips about 1/4″ wide.
- Lay strips over pie, weaving accordingly (one over, one under) if it’s not perfect no one will notice, it still looks pretty.
- Alternatively, use extra dough to roll into one large sheet, repeat the same method as the bottom crust; make sure to cut a hole or slit in the top to let steam escape.
- Crimp the edges however you wish. You can use a fork, pinch it with your fingers, as long as it’s sealed.
- Wash with milk using your fingers or a pastry brush, sprinkle generously with sugar.
- Bake in bottom of oven for 15 minutes.
- Lower oven to 350˚ and bake for 60-80 minutes longer, until bottom is golden.
- Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream and extra caramel sauce. Or plain, but why would you want to do that?
Keeps at room temperature covered for up to a week; you can extend this by refrigerating too; I doubt it will last that long however.