Saturday, November 10, 2012

Salted Caramel Apple Pie - Deeper Roots Customer Appreciation Dinner

I thought that this was posted right before I left for Italy, but obviously it wasn't. So here is the post that I meant to post before I left for the Salone del Gusto - Terra Madre. I'm sorry I wasn't able to post while I was there. Please expect posts about the Salone in the very near future!

I'm getting ready to take off to Italy in a couple hours, but I thought I'd post a few tasty things that have been going on recently to give me some inspiration for the Salone del Gusto - Terra madre.

Last weekend Deeper Roots Coffee had a Customer Appreciation Dinner. At this event they asked their customers to bring a home-made apple pie and then we would have a bake off. I thoughts, what a great idea so I whipped out my favorite apple pie recipe - Salted Caramel Apple Pie. yumm.  Everyone brought such amazing pies. It was very hard to decide whose was best.

Courtney Robinson was the winner with her yummy apple pie with a crumble topping. Yum! Sorry I don't have the recipe for her pie, you'll just have to ask her to make it.

This is the recipe for my pie. I made it once for my family, but unfortunately I wasn't able to taste it because I was doing a "no sugar" detox type thing for Lent, but everyone said it was delicious. So I thought I would try it. I think it turned out beautiful. I'm really thankful that I learned how to make pie crusts when I worked at Flourish Bakery in Chicago.  So here it is.

Pie Crust 

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/2 - 3/4 cup ice cold water

Fill a liquid measuring cup with water and several ice cubes, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.  Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and work together with a pastry blender.  Work until the mixture looks sandy and the butter is about the size of peas.  The mixture will look uneven, which is ok.

Pour 1/2 cup of the ice water (no ice cubes) in the flour-butter mixture.  Use a rubber spatula, or your hands (I find it easier to use my hands at this point) to gather and mix the dough together.  Dip your fingers in the ice water and continue to work the dough until the mixture was fully come together.  Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Makes one, thick 10-inch pie

Salted Caramel
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel

Apple Filling & Seasoning
4 to 6 lemons
6 large apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg, beaten
granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the salted caramel:
Cook the sugar and water together over low heat, until just dissolved.  Add the butter and bring to a slow boil.  Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper (this will take a while).  Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove from the heat immediately and add the heavy cream.  The mixture will bubble rapidly and steam.  Whisk the mixture together well over low heat, and sprinkle in the sea salt.

To make the apple filling:
While the sugar mixture is boiling, begin to work on the apple filling.  Juice the lemons into a large bowl.  Peel, core and very thinly slice the apples.  Coat the sliced apples in the lemon juice - this will prevent the apples from browning and will add flavor.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and mix together.  Sprinkle this mixture over the apples, and use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices.

To assemble:
Roll your pie crusts, cut your lattice and fit the bottom crust to the pie dish.  Layer 1/3 of the apples in the bottom on the crust, and move to adjust so that there are minimal gaps.  Pour 1/3 of the caramel mixture of the apples.  Add 1/3 of the apples and another 1/3 of the caramel for the second layer, then add the third layer of apples and all but a small bit of the remaining caramel.  Note: save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top of the lattice once it's assembled.

Patiently assemble the lattice crust on top and flute the edges of the crust.  Pour the last bit of caramel on top.  Brush the crust with beaten egg and lightly sprinkle with granulated (or turbinado) sugar and sea salt.

Place pie on a baking sheet (the caramel will bubble over during baking).  Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and make 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the pie is golden brown and apples are soft.

Remove pie from the oven and cool fully.  

Customer Appreciation Dinner

Here are some other photos from the appreciation dinner:
The dinner was prepared and cooked by Courtney Robinson, Les Stoneham and Ryan Doan.  Wow it was tasty.  Here is what we had:
  • Harvest Salad (fresh greens, pork belly strips (from Gorman Heritage Farm), sage goat cheese, figs, and pumpkin seeds with a light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette)
  • Blue Corn Meal Corn Bread
  • 4 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese (Court's specialty)
  • Ryan's special grilled chicken (from Gorman Heritage Farm)
  • Tons of coffee, yum
  • Jasmine iced tea
  • Blank Slate -  India Amber Ale
It was a fabulous night. Thanks to all the customers that came out to be appreciated!


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