Let me just start by reminding you I am not a baker.
Like I've said so many times, I can't bake. It's too much of a science, you know? I'd much rather throw stuff together and taste as I go than measure off perfectly even cups of flour.
My issue is, I like to bake, and I do it a lot. Which, unfortunately for my family, means we have tons of very interesting baked goods laying around all of the time--- "Very interesting" meaning not so tasty, usually very gummy and/or dense cookie shaped mysterious smelling things.
Okay, it's not that bad. Well, most of the time at least...
Anyways, back to the good stuff- this dessert!! Out of all the terrible baking I've done, I have discovered a few staple recipes of mine, like a basic quick bread recipe and this pie crust. The whole recipe is a little on the labor intensive side, but trust me when I say it's worth it.
This pie crust is mine, and my dad's new obsession. He couldn't stop talking about it, well except for when he was eating it. Actually, he might have been talking about it then too...
That really isn't saying much coming from my dad, though. He tends to get enthusiastic about pretty much anything new to him, especially if it involves dessert.
Even though the crust is delicious, my favorite part of the dish is definitely the caramel sauce. It seriously might be my favorite caramel anything I've ever had.
I guess my loss of fall inspired dishes this past year is catching up to me now because all of the sudden I got this intense craving for warm, cozy autumn meals. This dessert really hits the spot.
I mean salted caramel + apples is a classic combo. Especially when you add a brown sugar cinnamon crust and A LOT of vanilla bean custard.
And a lot of that amazing caramel sauce...
Vanilla Bean Custard
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy Cream- room temp
1 can full fat unsweetened evaporated milk
2 Vanilla beans
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
Whisk the egg yolks with 3/4 Cup Sugar until a pale yellow hue; about 5 minutes. Bring the cream, milk, salt, vanilla extract, and one cup sugar to a low simmer. Split the vanilla beans down the center and scrape completely into the cream mixture. Temper the eggs by whisking in 1 cup of cream mixture a little at a time, being careful not to cook the eggs. Add egg mixture back into pot of cream and whisk until thickened into a melted ice cream custard consistency. Let cool to room temperature and churn in ice cream machine until set. Keep in freezer in a plastic container/carton.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Spice Pie Crust
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter- cubed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
ice cold water
Pulse the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until combined. Add cold butter and pulse until crumbled. Add 1 tbs. cold water until it forms into a moist, but not sticky, dough.
Form into a ball, wrap in cling wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll out into a 12 inch circle or oval using flour to keep from sticking, and lay on a buttered and floured baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes at least while preparing Apple filling and Caramel.
2 large red apples w/ skin- I used Honeycrisp apples
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbs. melted butter
2 tbs. brown sugar
a squeeze of fresh lemon or orange juice
pinch of salt
Cut apples into 1/8 inch thin slices. Toss with all other ingredients to coat and set aside.
Bourbon Vanilla Salted Caramel
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs. course sea salt
1 cup room temperature heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
splash of bourbon (about 2 tbs.)
Over medium heat, heat the sugar until it starts to melt slightly. Pour in cream and vanilla and whisk until combined and smooth. Bring to a low boil, add bourbon and salt and turn to simmer, stirring occasionally until smooth and thickened.
Turn off heat and pour into a jar to keep from sticking to pan.
2 tbs. cold butter- cut into pats
sprinkle of sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 375º.
Spread a thin layer of caramel onto the crust. Lay the apples in one direction to form an even layer with a 1 inch border of excess crust. Drizzle with caramel sauce and continue layering until apples are gone, remembering to drizzle each layer with more caramel- should be 2-3 layers depending on thickness of slices and size of apples. Do not do more than 3 layers, even if you have more apples.
Fold over crust edges to close in filling. Tuck pats of butter in the crust, on top, and in between apple layers.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until apples are soft and bubbly, and crust is golden brown and crumbly.
Let cool (or eat immediately if you're like me!) drizzle with more caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Serve with frozen custard and even more caramel, because it's just that good.