Monday, October 21, 2013

Caramel Apple Pie

Yes! This does taste as good as the name sounds!

But first, a little history of how this recipe came about....

If you remember, we had a little snowstorm up here in South Dakota a couple weeks ago...

It was the kind of snowstorm you usually only find in stories, like The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Rudolph, the Red-Nose Reindeer.

The challenge that weekend was cooking with no power, or spotty power. 

My food-channel-watching daughter came up with a dessert that didn't take long to put together or bake. We ended up eating by lantern light, but the power stuck with us long enough to finish baking it!

It was fabulous.

Again, remember that she developed this recipe in the middle of a blizzard, which means you use what you have on hand.

We had apples.

And one pie crust, leftover from a previous project.

And staples - flour, sugar, spices.

By the way, if you don't have one of these apple peeler/corer/slicers, put it on your Christmas list. It's a great tool for the kitchen!

Here's the recipe:

Caramel Apple Pie


1 prepared pie crust for a 9-inch pie - you can use your own recipe, or my pie crust here one, Ruthy's pie crust here, or use a purchased crust.

6-8 cups sliced peeled and sliced apples
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix apples and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add sugars.

Mix flour and spices in a small bowl, then add to the apple mixture.

Stir together and put in pie crust. Fold edges over.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.

Remove the pie from the oven, and make the caramel -

Caramel ingredients:

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter (don't use unsalted)

Put the sugar, water and salt in a medium pan. Swirl once or twice to combine, but don't stir it.

I know, I just goes against the grain to cook sugar this way, doesn't it? But we've done it before, and it really does work!

Bring the sugar/water to a rolling boil over medium heat, and let boil until it turns a light amber color - about 10 minutes or so.

Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the 1 Tablespoon butter.

Drizzle over the apple pie. Let cool for a while - but serve it warm.

This caramel is an old-fashioned hard caramel. It makes a crunchy shell on top of the pie, and tastes like Werther's Originals :)

And today, I thought I'd leave with a shot of Wynter in her element - she is definitely a snow dog!

So, tell us - what kind of pie is your favorite?


  1. I love the crust turned inside over the edge, Jan! I've never done that and it's such a homey look! And the caramel sauce... if folks knew how easy it was to make caramel they'd all weigh a hundred pounds more. I think that's probably TRUE.

    This is so fun, I love that you made your own sauce and this is total comfort food to the max!

    I love pies. I have more than one favorite. One of my current faves (and I need a GREAT recipe for it) is Sweet Potato pie with crunch pecan topping.

    I got this at our local public market and it was To Die For. Someone brought it as a present and gave it to me, and one of these days I'll develop my own recipe for it. Now maybe it wasn't as good as I'm making out, I'm pretty fussy but I might have been starving to death and that means I'm going to err on the side of BEST FOOD EVER!!!! :) But I think it really was that good and I haven't been to the market to check it out a second time. I find that the second time is my more "objective" sampling. And it also shows me if a baker/bakery is consistent.

    Ach, there's a critic born every minute, right???? But I will love this Pie Born of a Blizzard, Jan! Thank you!

    1. That crust turned over is something Carrie saw on the Food Channel - it gives the pie a rustic look, doesn't it?

      And that sweet potato pie sounds fabulous! I can just taste the pecan topping..... I may have to experiment along with you!

      One of my favorite pies ever is the custard pie at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana. I get a piece every time we're in the area (about twice a year), and it's perfect.

      Every. Single. Time.

      Consistency is certainly the key!

  2. Jan,

    This is my favorite kind of pie! And caramel is easy? *Puts fingers in ears* I did not need to hear that! I sometimes top the apples with streusel, but this looks heavenly!

    1. Yes, Piper. Caramel is easy. Easy-peasy, as we say here at the cafe!

      Sinfully easy :)

  3. Oh, and Ruthy,

    The only thing DH can make in the kitchen is sweet potato pie. It was his aunt's recipe. He uses a Graham cracker crust. He'll be performing his once-a- year magic in a few more weeks....

    1. ....and I'm coming to your house for Thanksgiving :)

      The biggest question, though, is: Will he share the recipe? Would you share it here at the cafe?

      I'll be sending you a message on facebook!!!

      (Ruthy - I beat you to it! I asked Piper first!)

    2. She did beat you Ruthy, but I'll send you some special!!!

    3. PIPER!!!!! You're coming to the cafe, that's all that matters!!!!

      And (being altruistic because that's how nice I am) it doesn't matter WHO invites you and hosts you.... (Jan is afraid I'll blow it, and I honestly... mostly don't blow it... but every now and again!!!!)

      Jan... :) She is safe in your hands!

    4. Ruthy, you wouldn't blow it!

      I mean, that would only happen once in a blue moon, right? And only on the same weekend as a fundraiser for a sweet little boy :)

  4. Yum, Jan.

    I made a caramel walnut apple pie for Thamksgiving a few years ago. It was amazing, but I used a jar of caramel topping.

    Love blizzard cooking. It must have smelled sooooo wonderful baking.

    1. The big difference between this caramel and the ice cream topping is that this is crunchy.

      And it was wonderful as it baked.... Warmed up the whole house with its fragrance.

  5. I want Wynter! no snow for her here though1 and I better not try making caramel or I'll be 100 lbs heavier and I don't need that 'cause I'm pretty close to being that much heavier as it is...sigh...

    on the opposite end of the spectrum, I spent Saturday in Galveston! a friend of mine loves it there and there's a couple I buy antique quilts from for the past few years and he was doing the art show there -Artoberfest-a small but nice little art thingy. I love his stuff - he does watercolors of 'normal' stuff- no weird bodies painted like maps (yes I'm sure it's art to some but a bit too much for me!) but I was so tired from not sleeping Friday ngiht(used to nights) but we had a great time - at the end my friend drove to a public beach and we sat and listened to the waves - then some kids showed up and got rowdy so I decided to take off my shoes and walk into the water - it was chilly! so I can pretend that was like snow huh?!

    man this dessert looks soooo good!


    1. Yes, Susanna, you should only make this caramel if you're going to give it away.

      I wouldn't even make it if I was alone in the house....I need accountability not to eat it all myself!

      And you went to Galveston? I've never been there and have always wanted to go. When we lived in Texas, we were just too far away (Abilene), and had no money. We never did make it to the Gulf, although we did manage a couple trips to San Antonio to spend time with my husband's brother.

      The beach at night sounds fabulous (without the rowdy kids).

    2. I had always thought Galveston ugly - but this time I tried to see it differently and it worked - th water actually looked blue instead of brown! figured I've lived here long enough (almost 23 yrs) to not be taking advantage of the stuff around me. I think I'd still prefer the mountains though!
      we left around 6 or so so didn't get to see it in the dark - plus those kids were still there. they wre having fun but still would've liked it quieter like it was for about 15 min after we got there!

  6. Great action shot of Wynter!!! She looks like she's bounding out into the blizzard to save a lost child or stranded kitten or something. Has hero written all over her furry face. :-)

    And I never knew how simple it was to make caramel sauce. I kept waiting for a secret exotic ingredient to be revealed. Who knew? Not me!

    1. I would like to say that Wynter was being heroic when I took this shot...but the truth is that she was hightailing it back to the house through the wind! That storm was the kind of weather that even made a husky want to stay in by the fire!

      And the caramel...oh, man. It is so easy. So simple.

      But when it's done, it's a hard caramel. If you make it, don't let it sit in one place very long - you'll have a big, hard, sweet chunk of caramel goodness.

  7. how do you make that sugar glaze that's on cinnamon rolls? coworker claimes it's easy (but didn't tell me how to make it!) she makes extra for those toaster struedel things her daughter likes. do you just not cook it down like with the caramel?


    1. I think it's just powdered sugar and water, mixed together to the right consistency (it doesn't take much water, though!).

      Anyone else?

    2. you don't cook it or anything? just spoon it on top of whatever? gosh she wasnt' kidding it was easy! thanks!

  8. Jan, I have one of those apple peeler/corer thingies and I love it. You're right. A must-have.

    And I love this recipe. You know, my MIL used to make homemade caramel when she was a little girl. She'd wrap the candies and sell them door-to-door. Now she can't remember the recipe. Ack!

    1. You need to make some of this and have your MIL try it - maybe, just maybe it's the same!

  9. Jan, I'm DROOLING! I love, love, love caramel! And would you believe I've never made it?? I so want to try this recipe.

    Love Wynter's photo!! So very cute. My lab used to love the snow--even as rarely as she saw it.

  10. It's a tie between peach and apple! A great way to eat apple pie is to top the slice of pie with a slice of cheddar cheese and microwave until the cheese melts. Yum-o!! My dad used to do this and I started. It's delish - that is if you like cheddar cheese. :)

  11. Yum. I want to play with the apple peeler, the dogs and the snow.

    My daughterinlaw's apple pie is stellar but yours looks great too.

    We all have pie on the brain this time of year, don't we? A pie a day is fine by me.

  12. It looks totally awesome ! Oh I love your doggie... I like Edwina's idea of peaches...
    Linda Finn

  13. Amazing pie. Thank you!!

  14. I missed this! YUMMY!!!! I want to make this now... as if I need it!!