My brother in law, Justin, is pretty amazing with a pie plate. He’s been known to ship his cherry pies across the country just because someone requested it. I tasted one the first year he was married to my sister in law, Julie, because he mailed one to us in Tulsa for Thanksgiving since he and Julie couldn’t come and were stuck working in Atlanta. It was amazing and it made me doubly glad he married into the family. 🙂 He is a man of many talents and you’d never expect this hunter/carpenter/plumber/electrician type guy to be a whiz with baking, but he is! And he loves it and you can tell. There’s a pride in what he bakes that can literally be tasted. Matt and I feel so fortunate that we have two more enthusiastic hands in the kitchen around the holidays in Justin and Julie. We’re a family centered around the table with forks in hand!
This recipes was one he made over the Christmas break. He first made a candied cherry pie and followed that up with this candied apple pie, which was so beautiful and rustic, I had to take pics and then, I had to have the recipe after I tasted it – amazing. I know pie season is over and New Years Resolutions are done, but if you have room in your heart for one more pie this winter, make it this one.
Candied Apple Pie
makes one, 10″ pie
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks of butter, very cold and in small cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup ice water, more or less as needed
In a stand mixer, add the first cup and a half of flour, the salt and sugar, and gradually beat in the butter by small handfuls until each addition is pretty well incorporated. When all the butter has been added, add the last cup of flour and mix slowly to combine. Add tablespoons of water until the dough just comes together when pressed between your fingers. Wrap the dough in a plastic bag (I use a bread bag) and flatten out into a disc and let chill for at least 30 minutes. When ready for the pie, take it out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit on a lightly floured counter space for about ten minutes, and then divide the dough, not exactly in half, but let one half be a bit bigger than the other. You’ll use the slightly smaller half for the top of the pie.
For the Filling and Assembly:
3-5 lbs Granny Smith apples (or any firm, tart apple), cored, peeled, halved and sliced thin
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter (8 tbs)
1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 egg white
In a 10″ cast iron skillet melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Stir until brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Peel and slice the apples (this little gadget is worth buying!). In a large mixing bowl, stir 1 cup granulated sugar with the cinnamon and mix in the apples. Set aside.
Roll out the bigger of the two pie crusts and lay into the skillet, on top of your brown sugar/butter mixture. Fill crust with apple mixture. Roll out the smaller crust over the top and crimp edges and and trim any excess. Cut several single blade-width vent slots. Baste top with lightly whipped egg white then sprinkle with white sugar. Cook at 350 degrees for one hour.
Serve right out of the pan with ice cream or wait a bit for it to cool and the caramel in the bottom will be extra gooey. It’s up to you. If the bottom seems to be sticking and won’t come out, simply warm the skillet on a burner over low heat until the caramel melts and you can remove a slice.