People always ask me which kind of apple is best for apple pie. Oh don’t get me started. I love talking about apples almost as much as I love talking about Star Trek.
I have had the fantastic fortune of being able to live in so many places. One of the things that’s enabled me to enjoy the experience to the fullest, are the amazing variations I observe in nature, including, but not limited to, the local produce I’m able to try.
I had a ball with the Bramley Apples in England. Pies after pies and baked apples galore. So tart. So crisp. So massive in size, you could just slice an slice and slice. Oh so good with the glorious Stilton cheese.
And in Pennsylvania, I cheered over the heirloom varieties. You want to find a place that loves it’s heirloom produce? Go to Pennsylvania. These people will talk forever about varieties of apples. I once bought a crate of Newton Pippins straight from the orchard. Oh, the joy. I wanted to kiss them all. Maybe I did….maybe I didn’t….
And the Japanese apples. Yes, oh the Japanese do apples like NO OTHER. Fuji Apples. Hello? They have totally revolutionized what we expect in the crisp/sweet/honey notes in an apple and almost…almost…has driven the Red Delicious right out of business. Out of business, I tell you!
The above are Mustu apples. A little lighter than Granny Smith, but with just as much crackle and a feather more sweetness. My baby daughter went over the whole batch and made sure each one was perfect.
Baby daughter and I work very well together. Every morning she pushes a chair to the kitchen counter, climbs up and sits on the counter – still in her footie pajamas and with sleep in her eyes, and looks at me expectantly, as if to say, “What are we cooking today, Mama?”
For any baking, get the crisp green apples – wherever you may live. Granny Smith is always reliable if you live in the United States. Ol’ Granny. Love her. I live in Okinawa, Japan, so we buy Japanese apples that are shipped here from the mainland. As I said before, these are Mutsu.
My Caramel Apple Slab Pie recipe calls for exactly six apples. That’s very important.
Did I say six? No, no. You’re mistaken. My Caramel Apple Slab Pie recipe calls for exactly FIVE apples.
*baby happily chomping on apple*
Chop into small pieces. We want small, cube-ish pieces. Sprinkle with about 1/3 cup sugar. I say “about” because it really depends on the kind of apple you’re using. I know that drives some recipe readers crazy.
“Why does she do that? Why won’t she just give me an exact amount? I can’t decide what to do! What if I mess up? What if I mess up?”
Relax, sister. It’s pie.
I use a quarter-sheet baking pan. If you can, buy one. They are not fancy at all, but so incredibly useful. Link here. No, I’m not even being paid for that. I just really want you to get one. I also really like the 1/2 sheet pans. These are both standard commercial pieces. “What the professionals use”. I line the whole thing with parchment paper. Tuck it kinda in the corners.
Now, use My Best Pie Crust recipe. Smash both disks together and roll the WHOLE thing out. Roll over a rolling pin, then just steamroll it right over the pan. You can even make a steamroller noise. “Vrrrrrr”. If you have boys, you should definitely know how to do this. “Vrrrrr”.
Pull off all the extra bits hanging over the pan. Don’t freak out. It’s not going to be totally even. It’s okay.
Now, we’ll just let the pie crust sit there for a minute. Let’s make the caramel sauce. Combine 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 brown sugar (light or dark) and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a pan. Medium heat in a small saucepan until it melts.
And….about a teaspoon vanilla at the very end.
Tumble all those apples into the pastry. That’s fun.
We are almost there, kids!!
Now pour all that fabulous sauce over the apples. Right over them! Like a shower of sweetness from the heavens.
Now, take the scraps that you cut from the edge of your pie, roll them out again, and slice some nice long ribbons.
I’m going to do a mock lattice today, because I just don’t feel like doing any of that optical illusion weaving today. We’ll do a lesson on that another time, okay?
1/2 one way. Then 1/2 another. You can do this! I know you can.
So pretty. I wouldn’t recommend woven lattice at all here, actually!! Mock lattice really is perfect.
The edges are tidied up here and we are READY FOR LAUNCH! So exciting!!!
Bake at 350 degrees, F for about 45 minutes. But please keep an eye on it. After 30 minutes, check it often. Just pour yourself a cup of coffee and babysit the pie. You need to slowdown anyway.
When it’s done you can have a really nice presentation if you pull the pie out of the pan with the paper. Just take paper from both the long sides of the pan and raise it straight up. Bit of a delicate operation, so go slow. Kind of like when they transport a dolphin between aquariums. Yes. Random, but ya, just like that. Dolphin noises are optional.
Oh no, here she comes again. Better wrap this up.