I had a very surreal moment this past Sunday. Sunday football was on the TV in the background, Game 5 of the World Series was due to start in the next hour, and I was in the kitchen– cooking down Granny Smith apples on the stovetop to make homemade apple pie. Is that not just the most quintessential slice of Americana ever? In fact, I think I even said out loud, “I feel SUPER American right now. ”
But apparently making apple pie from scratch wasn’t enough of a challenge for me, so I decided to also tackle making salted caramel. Because apples pair perfectly with caramel and ya know…
Well, maybe my salted caramel was a little too hot, because I totally ended up burning my first batch… I’m pretty sure caramel isn’t supposed to be black. So I dumped the whole thing out, decided to forego trying to use the candy thermometer, and just wing it. I almost panicked when I realized I was low on butter (how does that even happen? I’m a baker- there should always be unsalted butter in the fridge!), but luckily I had a few scraps here and there and was able to whip up batch #2 of the delicious golden nectar without a problem just in time for the opening pitch. Mission accomplished. Victory has never tasted so sweet.
- 6 Granny Smith apples
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- Salted caramel (see recipe below)
- 1 box store-bought pie crusts
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel & dice apples, then toss with lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Transfer apples to a saucepan, add water and heat over med-high heat, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes until the apples soften and break down a bit.
- While apples are cooking, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch in a separate bowl.
- After 8 minutes, add your dry mixture into the apples and stir until fully incorporated. Heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens - about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Flour a flat surface, and unroll your store-bought pie crusts. Cut out four bottom pieces for your mini pie pan and four smaller top pieces.
- Gently press the bottom pieces into each well. Add several scoops of apple pie filling into each pie.
- Add one big heaping spoonful of salted caramel to each mini pie.
- Add the smaller pie crust pieces to the top and press firmly to seal edges. Cut a small slit in the top to allow steam to escape. If desired, brush with egg or butter to give pies a golden finish.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Continue baking for another 10-15 minutes until crust is golden and flaky.
- Remove pan from oven and allow pies to cool before serving. Add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream & enjoy!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, sliced into pieces
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- In a semi-deep non-stick pot, heat sugar over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk.
- The sugar will soon start to clump together and break down into a liquid.
- Once the sugar is in liquid form, continue stirring constantly until the mixture turns a golden color.
- Carefully add the sliced butter. The mixture will hiss and splatter a bit. Continue stirring quickly until all the butter has melted.
- Once the butter has melted, CAREFULLY add the heavy cream. Your mixture will bubble and splatter again. Stir the mixture until it thickens slightly, being careful not to overcook the caramel.
- Remove from heat, stir in the salt, and let completely cool before you use it or pour it into any jars to be stored.