Apples and salted caramel should become one of the new classic combinations and with this pie, I am doing my bit to make that happen. Slightly tart apples coated in sweet, rich, salty caramel. Can you say “died-and-gone-to-Heaven”?
I use fresh Granny Smith apples instead of pie apples because I like when apple retain a bit of texture in a pie and the tartness of the Granny Smith’s really works well with the rich pastry and the salted caramel. I use a home-made shortcrust bottom with a shop-bought puff pastry top as I love the flakiness of the puff but if you wish, you can double the shortcrust recipe and use it for the top and bottom.
Apple pie is a big comfort food favourite but by adding Salted Caramel, this stand-by classic becomes a chic, delicious dessert.
for the shortcrust pastry
- 250 g flour
- 50 g icing sugar
- 125 g cold butter cubed
- 2 egg yolks
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 roll ready-made puff pastry
for the salted caramel
- 250 g sugar
- 50 ml water
- 100 g butter
- 100 ml cream
- 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
for the filling
- 1 kg apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- salted caramel
for the top
- 1 roll ready-made puff pastry
- ground cinnamon for sprinkling over the top
- thick cream to serve
- To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the yolks and blend for a few seconds.
- With the motor running, add the ice water, spoon by spoon until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- The pastry needs to be firm and smooth. Remove from the food processor, flatten into a disc and wrap in cling wrap.
- Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- When the pastry has firmed up slightly, roll it out on a floured surface until it fits your pie dish. Press into the dish and trim the edges. Place back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- To make the salted caramel, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow the syrup to come to a boil and wash down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush (just one granule of sugar can cause your caramel to crystalise).
- Allow the syrup to boil until it turns amber in colour then carefully add the butter and cream. The mixture will bubble up aggressively so take care not to burn yourself.
- Stir until the butter and cream are incorporated then allow to bubble for another 5 minutes.
- Take the pot off the heat then stir in the salt and allow the caramel to cool down. At this stage you can also bottle the salted caramel and keep in your fridge for up to 2 months.
- When you are ready to fill and bake your pie pre-heat the oven to 180°c and toss the chopped apples with the salted caramel and transfer to the shortcrust pastry base.
- Roll out the puff pastry, trim to fit your pie and place on top of the apple filling. Crimp the edges and make a hole to allow the steam to escape. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
- Place the pie on a low rack in the oven and allow to bake for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender but not mushy.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with cream.