Deep Dish Spiced Caramel Apple Pie

Remember those carnivals and fairs when you were a kid?  You entered the gates with a stack of tickets in hand ready to hit up all the best rides.  Your parents would buy you a wad of cotton candy as big as your head that makes your lips and fingers all sticky.  Then you head down the alley with all the carnival games and beg your father to win you that giant bear with the big red bow.  Ahhh, the wonderful memories! Then you turn a corner and suddenly your in a dimly lit walk way lined with booths calling you in to see the two headed snake, the smallest horse in the world or the wolf boy.  You have entered the carnival sideshow.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

You are probably wondering what in the world the carnival sideshow has to do with apple pie.

Have you seen this pie?  It’s a freak show of incredible deliciousness, worthy of having it’s own booth on the sideshow circuit!

It’s the most ginormous pie on record.

Ok I haven’t confirmed that but it is pretty stinking huge and delicious.  It’s like the great wall of pie!

Let’s make giant pie.

First the base of this great wall, the crust.  You can make the crust in your food processor if you like, but I like to get my hands dirty.

Sift flour, sugar and salt directly onto work surface.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Tuck pads of butter into the flour.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Press the butter into the flour, until crumbly, scraping and gathering together using a pastry scraper.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add water.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Add cheddar to flour mixture, Work together using pastry scraper until dough comes together into a ball.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Mix flour, sugars, spices and salt in medium bowl to blend.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Add pads of  butter.

Because you can always use more butter.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture forms pea-size clumps.  Mix in pecans and set aside.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Get you hands on 5 lbs of apples.  I happened upon a bag of Ambrosia apples, but any baking apple can be used. I love them because fairly sweet with a crisp flesh.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Take apple slices and toss with lemon juice and flour set aside until ready to use.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

I had some leftover caramel from the pumpkin bread pudding I made for Thanksgiving and decided to toss it in with the apples.   The caramel I had on hand was more of a sauce so I adjusted the recipe below to better coat the apples.

Add the hot caramel to the apples and toss.  Let stand until apples release juices, tossing occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Meanwhile roll out your dough on a lightly floured work surface to about 16-inches in diameter or a little more.  Transfer the crust to a 9 1/2 inch spring form pan.  Press down to the bottom and up the sides.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Crimp the edges of the dough and cut away the excess.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Add the apples.  They will fill all the way to the top, almost over flowing a bit.  This is ok because the apples will settle while baking.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Sprinkle the crumble over top of the pie.

Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Bake pie until apples are tender and streusel is golden, covering crust edge with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour. Transfer pie to rack and cool at least 1 hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Cut a slice of giant warm apple pie.

Let’s evaluate this pie, shall we?

Tender sweet apples, spices caramel goodness, crumbly spiced crisp topping and a cheddar crust.   Helloooooo Mama!

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

Take a closer look at this crust.  The great wall of flaky crust.

The secret to a flaky crust are bits of butter.  Butter is your friend….keep telling yourself that and it may come true.

I loved the cheddar in the crust.It had a flavor that reminded me of cheese sticks.  I know that may sound odd but it was good, trust me.

Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

After my first slice this pie sat on my counter for a full day taunting me, begging me to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I may have given in once or twice but I eventually banished it to my husband’s office.   I wistfully watched my pie walk out the door and shed a tear knowing it would never return.  Then I remembered I could make it again when ever I wanted.  All was once again right in the world.

Deep Dish Spiced Caramel Apple Pie

Adapted from Bon Appétit | November 1998 and Bobby Flay

Ingredients

For crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, frozen
4 tablespoons (about) ice water
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
For streusel
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup pecan pieces
For filling
5 pounds baking apples, peeled, cored
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 star anise
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

Make crust:

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in processor. Add butter and cheese and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in enough ice water by tablespoonfuls to form large moist clumps. Transfer dough to work surface. Gather dough into ball. Flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill dough 30 minutes.

If you don't have a food processor you can do this by hand. Sift flour, sugar and salt directly onto work surface. Tuck pads of butter into the flour. Press the butter into the flour, until crumbly, scraping and gathering together using a pastry scraper. Add cheddar to flour mixture, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add water. Work together using pastry scraper until dough comes together into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Make streusel:

Mix flour, sugar, spices and salt in medium bowl to blend. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture forms pea-size clumps.

Make filling:

Cut apples into 16 wedges and cut each wedge in half into cubes. Combine apple wedges, lemon juice and 1/4 cup flour in large bowl and toss to coat. Let stand while preparing caramel.

Combine the cream, star anise, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean, small saucepan and place back over low heat while you make the caramel.

Combine the sugar, water and, vinegar in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook without stirring, until it's a deep amber color, about 8 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm cream mixture a little at a time, and continue whisking until smooth. Pour 1/2 the caramel over apples; toss to coat. Set remaining caramel aside. Let stand until apples release juices, tossing occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Roll out dough on floured work surface to 16-inch round. Transfer to 9 1/2-inch-diameter spring form pan. Crimp edges decoratively. Spoon apple mixture into prepared crust. Sprinkle streusel over pie.

Bake pie until apples are tender and streusel is golden, covering crust edge with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool at least 1 hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature drizzled with remaining caramel sauce.

 

Comments

    • says

      You drizzle it over the pie for serving. For more caramel goodness. I went ahead and added that at the end. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  1. Heather says

    I made this yesterday for my moms bday 10-15-12 this pie is unexplainable for words ridiculously awesome should I say it is sooo good I’m hooked this is the only apple pie ill ever make again!!! So glad I stumbled apon this recipe my mom loved it too :)

  2. says

    Oh my gosh! This pie looks utterly fantastic!! From the cheddary crust to the hot caramel to the topping, I can hardly stand it! You did a really nice job making this. “A freak show of incredible deliciousness” is a perfect description, too — the best kind of freak show indeed! Love your photos too. Beautiful blog you have!

  3. says

    This is a beautiful pie, I am sure that sounds weird but my mom has never made a pie at home. I dont know why but I think it has to do with the fact that my parents never had pie growing up so I think I might have to try to make this pie for the holidays and see if I can convince them to like pie!! :)

  4. says

    I love the idea of putting cheddar in the crust… cheese and apples go great together. I have never made a deep dish pie like this, but I hope to try your recipe soon.

  5. says

    I didn’t see the cheddar coming at all – I love shocking twists and turns!

    And my main childhood memory of fairs is my mom convincing me that if I rode one of their rides I’d die in a grisly accident.

    Which might explain something about me today.

    Hm…

  6. Amanda says

    This pie was uhhhhh-mazing! Obed brought it to the office again to share with everyone and it went fast! I was surprised to see the recipe included cheese in the crust. I would never have guessed it was in there when I was eating it. Love love love this recipe!

  7. says

    This recipe is great timing as I was just gazing at the fruit bowl full of uneaten granny smiths and wondering what to do with them. Or more specifically, what I could bake. And apple pie with cheese has always been a fave. I’ve not seen pastry made with cheese before – as part of a sweet dish – so I’ll give it a whirl. And try to remember to report back :)

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