Salted caramel apple pie with a beautiful lattice crust is a delicious dessert any time of year. Make this pie ahead of time and freeze it before baking.
Tis the season for holiday parties, and whether you're hosting or not, you're probably cooking and baking a bit more than usual. Whether it's your own party's food, a potluck dish to contribute, or hostess gifts to make, it's just not feasible to make everything the day you need it.
Making dishes that are freezer friendly can be a major holiday helper. Cookware and bakeware that can safely go straight from the freezer to the oven without thawing is an even bigger help. I received products from OXO's "Tis the Season for Freezin'" campaign for free in exchange for this post, but as always, all opinions of those products are my own.
OXO has introduced glass bakeware, like the Glass 9" Pie Plate I used to bake this salted caramel apple pie, made with thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass, which allows the cookware and bakeware to go from freezer to oven without the need to thaw.
Not only do I love that I can prep recipes in the dishes in which they'll bake, I don't need to remember to take them out of the freezer to thaw before baking! I'm notorious for forgetting to do things like that, which has, on more than one occasion, caused us to eat dinner at 10 o'clock at night.
I made this salted caramel apple pie for Thanksgiving. I think I mentioned that I cooked dinner at my mom's house. I made several dishes ahead of time and froze them, including this pie, and since it was a huge hit, and would be appropriate to serve any time of year, I had to share it with you. It helps that the pie plate has a generously sized rim for easy transportation.
It's loaded with spiced apples, and there's salted caramel sauce both inside and on top of the pie. With its lattice crust, the pie itself is beautiful. To make a lattice crust, you need a double recipe of pie crust, and a Double Pastry Wheel (similar to a mini pizza wheel). A double pastry cutter has two wheels, one straight, and one fluted. Use whichever side you prefer.
You can make the strips as wide or as thin as you choose. The wider the stripes, the fewer you'll have. Whether thick or thin, space the strips across your pie, so you can see the filling underneath. If you want a tight lattice that disguises the filling, you'll need a third recipe of pie crust to have enough strips. But the method for weaving the strips together is the same.
Below the recipe at the bottom of this post, there is a collage of the same images contained in the animation above, for easy reference.
To help adhere the lattice strips to the outside edge of the bottom crust, moisten the edge with water or egg (as pictured below) with a 1" Pastry Brush before you begin laying strips, and dab with more water or egg as you go. Gently press the strips to the bottom crust to help them adhere.
I like using a beaten egg, because I use the remaining egg to brush all over the exposed crust just before baking. "Egg wash," as it's called in professional bakeries, is what helps give baked pastry the characteristic shine you see in professionally-baked goods.
If you wanted to sprinkle your pie with coarse sugar before baking, the egg wash also helps the sugar adhere. Just remember to beat your egg well, and mix in a tablespoonful of water to help thin it out. If you brush on a thick layer of egg wash, you can end up with scrambled egg on top of your pie.
NOTE: If you plan to make your pie ahead, brush your lower pie crust with water to adhere the lattice strips. Once the lattice is finished, cover your pie with two layers of tinfoil and place in the freezer. When you're ready to bake, you will need to extend the baking time at the lower temperature.
For the caramel sauce:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt
For the pie crust:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, 1½ sticks
- ⅓ cup very cold vegetable shortening
- 6 tablespoons to 8 ice water, about ½ cup
For the filling:
- 4 inch medium Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and sliced into 1/4- slices
- Zest of half a lemon
- Just of one lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
For the egg wash:
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- Make the caramel sauce: Heat the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Once sugar is completely melted, immediately and carefully add the butter. The caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
- Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Very slowly and carefully drizzle in the heavy cream while continuously stirring. Again, the caramel will rapidly bubble when the cream is added.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in the flaked sea salt. Allow to cool down before using. This can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. Gently rewarm over medium-low heat until drizzle-able consistency.
- Make the pie crust: Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Add the butter cubes and shortening to the flour mixture, pulse 8 to 12 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- While pulsing the machine, slowly stream 6 tbsp of the ice water into the food processor, until dough starts to form large clumps. If it doesn't, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until large clumps form.
- Scrape clumps onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the pie dough is resting, toss the apple slices, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the apples, and toss to coat.
- Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Divide the dough in half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- On a well-floured surface, roll one half of the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Gently fold in half and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Carefully unfold the pie dough and trim overhang to half an inch.
- In a small dish, whisk together the egg and the water. Set aside. Roll the second half of the pie dough into a 12-inch circle and place on top of the filling. Use a pastry wheel to cut 1/4-inch strips. Brush the outer edge of the bottom pie crust with the beaten egg mixture. Starting with two strips in the shape of a cross on the surface of the filling, weave the strips into a lattice crust, pressing the edges of the lattice strips into the egg-brushed bottom crust to adhere.
- Use the remaining egg wash to brush onto the lattice top crust. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 and bake for another 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the pie plate on a wire rack to cool for at least two hours.
Recipe by The Redhead Baker