When it comes to apple pie, there are tried and true recipes that run in families across the world. Or maybe just the country. Apple pie is ‘all-American’ right? There are apple pies that you barely remember, and then there are apple pies that transcend all baking possibilities and bring wavering believers to the right side of the line. This just might be that apple pie. There are so many versions of apple pies out there in the world, though really the recipe is simple. Fresh apples with a mix of spices and sugar between layers of pie crust. That’s all you need. But it’s the little things that can make a classic dessert over the top. And it’s the little things that help you create you the best of the best. The French like to say the ‘crème de la crème’. You can call it what you want, but when you find something that tops the charts, just make sure you share it.
This pie was served for family members in Atlanta during over the Thanksgiving holiday. Usually, apple pie is not on the menu for desserts. It’s always sweet potato pie. This year, apple pie took the reigns and perhaps booty-bumped sweet potato pie to the curb. Could it be? Could it be that a newbie would edge out the old competition? Yes. It could. This is a recipe slightly adapted from a box of almond paste. Almond paste is not an ingredient that we use often, but it played a big role in last year’s Thanksgiving where apple pie was on the menu. That pie was a winner. This year, the Odense apple pie was back for a new group of eaters, and let it be known that these folks tore it up. Tore. It. Up. These are people who do not eat apple pie y’all! You have to trust that fact. The almond paste adds a nutty, aromatic layer to each bite. It is complementary to the pecans and walnuts in the crust, and there’s a comforting grittiness that rubs against the tongue amongst the buttery crust pieces and bits of soft apples. Of course the caramel and whipped cream just take the entire dessert beyond the beyonds. Take a trip to that place that is beyond the beyonds. You will enjoy every second of it.
Apple Crumble Pie with Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Honey Whipped Cream – Serves 8 to 12 (tweaked from Odense)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup uncooked oats
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Homemade or frozen pie crust, deep dish
8 ounces almond paste
6 different apples, peeled, cored and sliced (Choose your favorites–Jonagold, Rome, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, etc.)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Place the almond paste between two sheets of plastic wrap, wax paper or parchment paper. Roll the paste out to a circle that is about 9 1/2″ – 10″ wide. Carefully set the almond paste into the bottom of the pie crust, pressing along the bottom and up the sides of the pie. Cut off any overhang that covers the upper crust of the pie. Save the extra pieces of almond paste. Toss the pie crust into the fridge to chill.
2. For the crumble, put all of the ingredients except the butter into a food processor and pulse until roughly combined. Drizzle in the butter and continue to pulse until fully incorporated and the mixture resembles a crumbly paste. Cover and pop into the fridge until ready to use.
3. Carefully mix the apple slices with the lemon juice and zest, sugar, apple pie spice and ginger. Pile into the chilled pie crust, then top with the leftover almond paste pieces. Use your hands to press the crumble crust uniformly across the top of the pie, covering all of the edges completely.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes, tenting lightly with aluminum foil halfway through baking to prevent the crust from burning.
5. While the pie bakes, make the caramel by pouring the sugar into a medium-sized, deep pot over medium high heat. Once the sugar begins to melt and turn light brown, whisk continuously until it is completed melted and any clumps have disappeared. Carefully add the butter, making sure to watch for the bubbling and steam, and stir until melted. Remove the pot from heat and stir for about a minute to cool the caramel. Finally, pour in the cream in an even stream, watching again for steam. Whisk until smooth while adding the salt and cinnamon. Pour into a heat-resistant container, then set aside to cool. (If your caramel clumps up with the addition of the cream, place it back on low heat and whisk just until the clumps disappear.) If the caramel hardens up too much, set in a wide pan of simmering water or pop into the microwave to slowly reheat it.
6. Combine all of the ingredients for the whipped cream in a wide bowl and whisk or beat with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Cover and chill until ready to use.