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Idaho Today: Flavorful Kitchen - Angie's Carmel Apple Pie

Angie shows us how to make the perfect Carmel Apple Pie!

Angie’s Caramel Apple Pie

Serves 2-10 (just be warned — people will fight over this one)

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. mixed-variety apples (about 7 or 8-ish)
  • Should include at least ⅓ Granny Smiths. Throw in some Fuji’s, Honeycrisp, Opals, Pink Ladies, Tangos, etc. to get the most balanced flavor & texture.
  • 12 TBSP unsalted butter
  • ⅓ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ¾ c. packed brown sugar
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. apple cider (can substitute water, but try not to)
  • 1 9” double-crust pie pastry, thawed

Process:

1. Line (deep-dish) pie pan with bottom pastry. Roll out/shape top pastry and place it on a parchment or flour lined sheet pan. Put both back into fridge to chill while making filling.

2. Peel & core the apples, then rough chop into approx. ½” pieces. Set aside in a large bowl.

3. Put one oven rack on the lowest setting in your oven. Place a large sheet of heavy foil over it—even better if you give the foil a slight lip all the way around. The pie WILL drip and this WILL save you a lot of headache later. Put the second rack on the setting directly above lowest. Preheat oven to 425°.

4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir with whisk to form a smooth paste. Cook until smelling toasty, 1 to 2 minutes. Add both sugars, salt, cinnamon, and apple cider. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, then add vanilla and stir to combine.

5. Carefully, pour caramel over chopped apples and give it a quick stir to thoroughly combine. The caramel will/should clump up over the apples; that’s okay. Just keep tossing the apples until they’ve all got a little gloss/are evenly coated.

6. Pour caramel apples into bottom pie pastry. Really smoosh them down—they’ll be mounded. (If they don’t all fit, nobody will cry about eating what’s left in the bowl.) Using a pastry brush or your fingers, wet the edge of the bottom crust, then center top pastry over the filling. Fold bottom crust edges up over the top, essentially making a tight seal around the edge. Ensuring edges are pressed tightly together, complete with a trim/crimp/shape however you see fit. (Be sure to cut 3-5 steam vents throughout the top if you plan to keep the top crust solid. If you’ve cut shapes out of it already, those will work for the vents.)

7. (If you want to get fancy, brush the top with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream or an egg wash (1 yolk + 2 TBSP water), then sprinkle with some sanding sugar.)

8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to bake until apples are soft, and the filling has bubbled through the most centered vent, about 45 minutes to an hour more.

  • Lay a piece of loose foil over the top if it starts to brown too quickly. Just don’t walk away during these last few minutes—this pie loves the attention. Rule of thumb: No matter what the crust looks like or how good it smells, until you see the filling bubble through the top towards the middle--it’s not done.

9. Let rest 2-3 hours or until cooled to room temperature before attempting to slice. Even better, make this a day ahead and just reheat in a 325° oven for 20-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

*If you want to double this recipe, it’s easy enough! Consider turning it into a slab pie by shaping two crusts together onto a half sheet pan (13”x18”x1”). Double the filling, top with another layer of double crust, crimp edges and proceed to bake. This one “might” take longer, but maybe only by a few minutes. It sets up well enough that it’s easy to cut into square shapes to serve.

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