Makes 1 double-crust apple pie
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound unsalted butter
½ cup water with a splash of cider vinegar
5 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced about ¼-inch thick (about 6 to 8 apples)
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch salt
1 tablespooon bourbon
¼ cup caramel sauce (recipe follows)
¼ cup milk, cream or water
For hard cider caramel (makes 16 ounces)
32 ounces hard cider
1 stick cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 ounce butter
For the pastry
For the filling
For the wash
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and salt using a pastry blender. Cut cold butter into centimeter size cubes and add to the dry ingredients, mixing to coat the butter thoroughly. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the texture is coarse with butter ranging from pea-sized to fully incorporated. If at any time the butter starts to get warm or melt place the entire bowl in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes and resume.
- Add water and cider vinegar mixture and using a bench scraper, fold water into the dough mixture. Once the water is absorbed, use scraper to cut the water into dough. Once water can no longer be cut in, bring dough together with your fingers into one large mass, being careful not to overwork it. Small bits of butter should still be visible throughout. Divide the dough into two equal parts, shaping into ¾-inch thick discs. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 3 to 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Once the dough has chilled, dust a work surface with plenty of flour and roll out one disc of dough into a large circle (approximately 13 inches in diameter) using a tapered rolling pin. Fold circle in half and place gently into a 9- to-10-inch pie tin, pressing dough firmly into the bottom of tin. Trim remaining dough on the sides, leaving about an inch of dough past the lip of the tin. Return to fridge, chill for at least 30 minutes. (Rolled dough can remain in the fridge for up to two days, but if you won’t be using them right away, be sure to wrap well in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out).
- Roll the second disc into a rectangle just small enough to fit nicely into half-size sheet pan (about 16”x12”). Using a pizza cutter, cut the other circle into approximately eight 2-inch wide strips. Places these strips on a half-size sheet pan and chill them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, again, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out if you won’t be using them right away.
- Dust your peeled, cored, and sliced apples with two tablespoons sugar and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will allow them to soften and sweat slightly. Strain and discard any liquid.
- To make the filling, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, and spices in a large bowl. Gently mix the apples, coating them completely and add in the bourbon. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove pie tin lined with chilled pie dough from fridge and fill halfway with apples. Add the caramel sauce and fill the rest of the way with apples. Remove the chilled lattice from fridge and weave on top of the filling. Trim any longer pieces of lattice and then fold dough from the tin on top of the lattice pieces, rolling and pressing firmly to seal. Crimp edge as desired, either using fingers or a fork. Return pie to fridge for 10 minutes to chill.
- For egg wash, use a fork to whisk egg in a small bowl and then add milk, whisking to combine. Using a pastry brush wash the top of pie with egg wash, being careful not to leave any pools of wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, like demerara sugar or sugar in the raw. If pie dough has started to get warm or soft, return pie to fridge or freezer for a few moments to chill. It’s best for the pie to go into the oven cold.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake for total of 1 hour on the lower third of the oven. After 30 minutes, rotate 180 degrees and bake for remaining time, until crust is golden. Wait at least 1 hour before serving to allow the filling to set.
For hard cider caramel:
This recipe will make extra. Rudel likes to drizzle on top of the pie at serving, or dip apple slices in it as a snack. Caramel will save stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks.
- Combine spices and hard cider and bring to a simmer in a heavy-bottomed pot. Maintain a simmer until reduced by 50 percent. Strain to remove any spice remnants. Set aside.
- Add a small amount of sugar (about a tablespoon) to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (this is important because it will bubble, too small of a saucepan and you’ll risk it bubbling up and burning you) over medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt completely and then add another tablespoon. Continue adding and melting until all the sugar has been added. Allow the melted sugar to cook to a deep brown. Add the reduced cider, stirring with a whisk to combine. Whisk in the butter, allowing it to melt and allow the entire mixture to cool to room temp before storing an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Recipe by Ali Rudel of East Durham Pie Company