Monday, October 12, 2015

Pie! Oh My!

If I am to be totally honest, I have to admit that I don't really like pie. Pie season is in full swing here in New England with apples and pumpkins at peak harvest. Even I, the pie hater, got caught up in the hoopla and made one this weekend. I figured it would be easy to resist and I would stay on my diet. Boy was I wrong. This pie, even though I didn't get the bottom crust quite right (soggy) has changed my opinion regarding pie. I love pie. Well THIS pie!

Maple Whiskey Caramel Apple Pie (adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)

For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used Imperial)
3 TBSP dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 TBSP chilled butter, cut into pieces

For the filling:
6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced about ¼-inch thick
1/2 cup  butter
 3 TBSP ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup Maple Whiskey (I used Cabin Fever)
1/2 cup half and half (can sub heavy cream)
1 tsp butter vanilla (can sub vanilla extract)

Preheat over to 400F

Prepare the topping:
In a bowl (or food processor) combine the both sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour.
Cut in the butter (by hand, pastry cutter, or using the food processor) until crumbly and stir in the pecans.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the filling:
Melt the butter for the filling in a large pot over medium-high heat and sauté the apples for 5-8 minutes.
Transfer the apples to a bowl and set aside
Add the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and whiskey to the pot, simmering for at least 5 minutes until much of the alcohol burns off.
Add the cream and cook another 5-10 minutes more, until it is about as thick as pourable caramel. Turn off heat and return the apples to the pot and stir to coat. Let filling cool before preparing pie crust.

Assemble Pie:
Roll out the pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and then transfer it to a deep dish pie plate, crimping the edges.
Pour the filling into the pie plate, sprinkle the crumb topping over, and put in the oven on a baking sheet for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping has browned.
Serve warm or room temperature.

I should probably mention that I used a combination of Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Granny Smith Apples to make this.

UPDATE - Sept 2017: I recently made this pie using a combination of McIntosh, Macoun, honeycrisp, golden delicious, and cortland apples (1 each). The combination made for a nice balance of flavors and textures. I also ran a little of short of Maple whiskey and subbed about 1/3 C with honey whiskey. Results were still delicious.

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