As much as I love summer, there are so many reasons about fall weather that I look forward to. Wearing a beanie all day long, wrapping myself in the I biggest scarf I can find, drinking tons of tea and reading more, but if I had to choose my favourite thing about fall, it would definitely be baking.
Baking and fall just go hand in hand. From pies to muffins and galettes, as soon as the leaves start turning all shades of orange, you can find me whipping something up in my kitchen with some of the local fruit we have around our home. I feel fortunate to live within minutes from some of the best farmer markets and fruit stands I've been to, and on any given weekend I stop by to pick up apples, pears and buttercup squash.
The owner of one of the markets makes these delicious apple fritters from an old family recipe, that she hands you as soon as you walk in. They are always freshly made, warm, pillowy and have a subtle hint of cinnamon. I usually get a latte to have them with and I kid you not, those apple fritters make my day. She hands me two and knows by now, that by the time I leave, I might have 2 or more, along with a basket full of apples to bake pies at home.
A warm apple pie is one of those desserts that's just pure food for the soul. Comforting and best had with a hot cup of tea while watching your favourite show, catching up with friends, or having it ready when your kids come back from school. I love baking it for Gaby. Her smile when she sees that I've paired apple pie with salted caramel sauce, is priceless... and those are the moments that I live for.
This recipe is as simple as it gets and one you can make with your kids too. I chose Macintosh apples (my favourites for baking), cinnamon and a dash of Dominican vanilla. Something my mom never fails to bring with her when she visits. I've also used Tenderflake Deep Dish pie shells to make it even easier. They've revamped their old recipe and have made the shells with simpler ingredients.
Baked in a cast iron skillet, the crust turns out flakey and golden brown, while the apples cook evenly, in a syrupy heaven of cinnamon and vanilla. I've also made my go to salted caramel sauce, the one I use for cheesecake and brownies, but if there's a dessert where this sauce really shines is in this pie, drizzled over the apples before baking and topping the vanilla ice cream that I love serving it with.
Trust me when I tell you, this pie won't last too long when you make it :)
6 Macintosh apples
1/2 butter ( cut in cubes)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (paste or extract)
3 tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
For the salted caramel sauce
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or another sea salt)
Preheat the oven at 375 F. Make sure both pie shells are not frozen and at room temperature. Cut and slice apples. To a frying pan set at medium heat, add the butter. Once is bubbling, add the apples, cinnamon, both sugars and vanilla for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Let cool for another 10 minutes.
Take the pie shells out of the original pie plate where they came in and place the first shell on a medium size cast iron skillet, pressing it sides and bottom to the skillet. Add apple mixture to the shell and cover with the second one, pressing the sides and pinching the dough to create a pie crimp.
Cut an x on the top of the pie to let the steam come out while cooks, and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
To make the salted caramel sauce
In a 2 to 3 quart saucepan, melt the sugar stirring after two minutes until all sugar has dissolved and turns an amber colour, making sure not to let it go too dark. Add the butter and stir carefully as mixture will bubble. Continue stirring until the butter has melted.
Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour the cream. Again, mixture will bubble vigorously, keep stirring until the cream is fully added. Finish the sauce by adding the sea salt. Transfer to a glass container. Serve the pie with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the salted caramel sauce over it.
To my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving! How will you be celebrating ? I'll be baking pies, spending time with family, and celebrating one of my best friend's wedding. Hope you have a wonderful weekend that includes this apple pie :)
*This post was made in collaboration with Tenderflake, however all views, opinions and recipe creation are my own.