Here in the ol’ USA we love both our traditions as well as our innovation. So, Team BBx has gone ahead and concocted a tasty variation of the quintessential American dessert using delicious Barbary Brix caramel. Yes, Caramel + Apple Pie. It tastes as amazing as it sounds.
Before we start, here’s a few items of note…
APPLES: We recommend using a “sweet” apple like Red Delicious or Fuji.
SUGAR: We recommend using a “good” sugar! You know, an organic one that isn’t over processed so you get more of the nutrients and enzymes your body needs to digest it well. For example: coconut palm nectar, evaporated cane juice, etc. Keep in mind, depending on the type of sugar you use, it may be more or less sweet. You can change the quantity of the GRANULATED sugars in the recipe to your liking without affecting the way the dish turns out but be careful with the SYRUPs – they add more liquid so we don’t recommend using them in this recipe.
- 1 Box uncooked French Picnic® brand pre-made piecrusts OR Make your own, you’ll need two crusts
- 5-6 Medium apples (or 7-8 small ones) peeled and sliced into ¼” thick slices
- ½ – ¾ c. Sugar
- 4 T. Flour
- 1 T. Ground cinnamon (optional)
- ½ t. Ground cardamom (optional)
- ½ t. Salt
- 10-15 The Salty Dog or The Eligible Heiress caramel chews cut into quarters
- 1 egg white, beaten (optional)
- 1 T. Milk
- Lots of LOVE (Mom’s secret ingredient; works like magic.)
- Vegetable peeler
- Cutting board + Chef’s knife
- Pie pan
- Prep bowls
- Pastry brush
- Wire rack
First things first, adjust your oven rack to the center and preheat the oven to 425°. Pull your pastry crusts out of the freezer, if you are using pre-made ones, and bring to room temperature. Make your egg wash by gently beating egg white with milk and set aside in the refrigerator.
Next prep your fruit by coring, peeling, and slicing the apples into 1/4″ slices. To prevent them from turning brown while you work on other things, put the slices in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice. The citric acid prevents them from browning. You’ll need to drain and dry them well before using. We recommend using a salad spinner to spin the excess water off.
After you’ve combined your dry ingredients, in a large prep bowl, combine your flour mixture with your drained and dried apple slices and toss to coat apples in the flour mixture. Set aside.
Next, unwrap and your caramel pieces like so and then cut into quarters as pictured below. We used The Salty Dog for this demo but any of the varieties could be swapped in depending on your preference. Be sure to compost the discarded wrappers along with the apple peels and cores!
We love French Picnic® brand pre-made pastry crusts. They are flaky and full of flavor. They don’t use any hydrogenated oils or artificial ingredients, which is impressive. The texture of the cooked product is ideal, not just for pie but for lots of other pastry applications. Not only are these crusts superior in every way, the company is just down the hallway from our kitchen in SF. In summary, we’re big fans. We picked ours up at the Whole Foods on California and Franklin in San Francisco.
Now it’s time to assemble your pie! Start by evenly spreading 1/3 of the apples into the pie crust followed by 1/3 of the caramel pieces. Then sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar evenly over the layer of apples and caramel. Repeat two times until you have added all of the apples, caramel, and sugar to the dish.
For this demo we used a homemade vanilla sugar made with organic evaporated cane juice and vanilla beans. You can use any granulated sugar that you prefer. Coconut palm nectar, sucanat or another “brown” sugar also taste great and add a molassasey flavor.
Once you’ve filled your pie, you need to cover it with the second pie crust. You can do a lattice crust as pictured below or simply put the entire crust over the top in one single layer making sure to join the bottom and top layers of crust. If you choose to do a single layer on top, be sure to use a paring knife to cut decorative holes on the top to ventilate the pie during cooking.
The last step before cooking is to use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Doing this will make the crust shiny and golden brown. If you’d like, sprinkle sugar on top of the egg wash for a little extra sweetness and caramelization.
Cook the pie for 15 minutes in a 425° oven then reduce heat to 375° for remaining 30-35 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is nice and golden brown.
Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.
While you wait in eager anticipation for your delicious pie to cool, go grab a cup of coffee or other tasty beverage. We took a break from our hard recipe testing and headed over to one of our favorite spots, the Blue Bottle kiosk in Hayes Valley and grabbed some coffee to enjoy with our pie…
Which tasted as scrumptious as it looks here! We drizzled it with our (coming soon) Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce, The Formula 79, for a little extra caramel flavor and added a little vanilla ice cream for good measure. We, clearly, never get sick of this stuff…
Click this link: BBx Caramel Apple Pie for a printable PDF with step-by-step instructions.
Let us know how your pie turned out in the comments section below!!
-The BBx TeamTweet