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.
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.
Tuck pads of butter into the flour.
Press the butter into the flour, until crumbly, scraping and gathering together using a pastry scraper.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add water.
Add cheddar to flour mixture, Work together using pastry scraper until dough comes together into a ball.
Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Mix flour, sugars, spices and salt in medium bowl to blend.
Add pads of butter.
Because you can always use more butter.
Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture forms pea-size clumps. Mix in pecans and set aside.
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.
Take apple slices and toss with lemon juice and flour set aside until ready to use.
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.
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.
Crimp the edges of the dough and cut away the excess.
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.
Sprinkle the crumble over top of the pie.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
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.
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!
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.
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 whenever I wanted. All was once again right in the world.
Deep Dish Spiced Caramel Apple Pie
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 a 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.
- Mix flour, sugar, spices and salt in medium bowl to blend. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture forms pea-size clumps.
- 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 the 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.
Alice meehan says
Can this crust be made without the cheddar cheese. I have a family member that hates cheese ????.
The Noshery says
Jennifer Garcia says
How do I get the actual recipe? I can see the steps, but not amounts of ingredients. Off like tho try this.
The recipe has been updated. I apologize for that. I recently did and update and some recipes didn’t transfer.
What did you do with the remaining half of the caramel mixture? Did I just miss that part?
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.
John Sherrill says
This is the acme of acmes! Unanimous by all who ate this tremendous mother of all apple pies.
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 🙂
charlotte mcpherson says
What do you do with the other half of the caramel sauce?
Seal in and air tight container and refrigerate. Nuke for a few seconds and pour it over ice cream or any dessert.
Got it in the oven now. Looking forward to tasting it!
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!
I don’t even like apple pie, but I think I NEED to make this….it looks amazing! And cheddar in the crust? Genius!
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!! 🙂
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.
Wow, I have never seen a pie this deluctable!! YUM!
Megan (Best of Fates) 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.
THIS LOOKS AMAZING. Bookmarking now. I love giant things. Giant pie is a fantastic idea.
Thanks for sharing!!
A mouthwatering pie!
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!
You weren’t lying! That’s one gigantic pie! I’d definitely have trouble not eating it all!
Mel Kettle (The cook's notebook) 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 🙂