It's definitely fall. In case you didn't notice.
Just to be sure, I went up to Oak Glen with Sam and Ben. Mid-October and Apple season was already well underway. We took advantage of the weather, there was hazy fog, and rain west of the orchards which I think kept people home. There were still plenty of Apple enthusiasts out there, tasting the different varieties.
We stopped at a couple of Orchards and picked 5 different kinds of apples. Tasted some hyped-up apple cider donuts, and took home some cider. It was a great Sunday afternoon.
After doing some research, I found out that the Winesaps and Romes I had picked are good baking apples, so I got to work.
Spiced Caramel Apple Pie
As seen on Beantown Baker. Originally from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen"
Make your favorite pie crust and place in a pie plate. Topping
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup AP flour
1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Make the Topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Arrange the walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Coarsely chop the nuts.
In a food processor, process sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour for about 1 minute. Add chilled butter; pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Refrigerate the topping, covered until ready to use.
5 to 6 medium-size apples, such as Winesap
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Bourbon, (I used Maker's Mark)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Make the Filling
Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees (F). Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When the butter starts to foam, add the apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it on the apples, and reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Simmer the apples for about 1 minute.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples from the skillet to a large baking sheet, and arrange them in a single layer. (The single layer will keep the apples from becoming soggy)
Pour the Bourbon into the butter-sugar mixture in the skillet. Simmer the mixture over medium heat at least 5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off. Add the heavy cream, and continue cooking about 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is a thick pourable caramel. Return the apples to the skillet.
Pour the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust, and sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, (with a baking sheet directly underneath the pie plate to catch any boil over), until the filling is bubbling and the topping is brown.
Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce.