Salted caramel apple slab pie with cinnamon whipped cream
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
Whoever wrote this was clearly referring to my inability to make pie crust, as if the baking gods knew I’d need someone whispering words of encouragement.
I was standing in the kitchen rolling out dough, which resembled a severely damaged city street lined with potholes and actual pieces missing, when I felt like scrapping it all. But determination is a funny thing, and broken pie dough be damned, I was willing myself to persevere.
Pie crust — the struggle is real. (Wait, wouldn’t that would make a great title to a cookbook?!)
I’m not sure what apple pie means to you, but to me it signifies the start of a new season. One where leaves are falling faster than I can sweep off the deck, and the air is finally blowing cool and swift. It means a trip to orchards to stuff ourselves with apple cider donuts and to pick more apples than we can carry. It never fails, and again this year we came home with an abundance.
And so with two pecks of apples (a technical farm term, I assure you), I did what any sane person would do. I searched tirelessly through my bookmarked recipes for some new and inspiring take on a classic.
I know what you’re thinking: there’s nothing innovative about apple pie.
Every single element of this pie is elevated. The crust — a mixture of shortening and butter — is earth shatteringly flaky. The apples are warm and sweet, the handy work of almost two cups of salted caramel being poured on top. Store bought is fine, but if you have the time to make it yourself you will have zero regrets. And homemade whipped cream? It’s a must.
Hands down, this is one of the best desserts to come out of my kitchen.
And because this isn’t baked in a traditional pie dish it’s practically begging to be eaten straight from the pan. Mark your calendar for Friendsgiving, because this is one recipe you simply must share. Patched up pie crust and all!
I’m sure there’s some scientific reason why mixing butter and shortening together results in a light, flaky crust, and to that I would say go to the library and check out books by Kenji Lopez. Seriously, the guy is a food scientist genius and I’m sure he’s explored various techniques for making dough and why some work better than others. But trust me when I say that if my overworked, broken dough could result in something this light and flaky, the odds are in your favor.
If you are on a low-sugar diet, this miiiight not be the recipe for you. However, to that I say… this is a pie full of fruit. And fruit is healthy! So what we have here is a healthy fall dessert.
Do you still need convincing?
One last question. Whipped cream or a la mode? There is a correct answer, and I hope you pick the right one.Print
For the pie crust
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (cold)
- 14 tablespoons shortening, (cold)
- 10 tablespoons ice water
For the caramel
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup heavy cream, (slightly warmed)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the pie filling
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice ((about the juice of one lemon))
- 6 cups peeled and diced baking apples ((I used 6 large Macintosh))
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
For the whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
To prepare pie crust
- Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add shortening and butter. Pulse until pea-sized pieces form.
- Add 6 tablespoons ice water and pulse. Add an additional tablespoon of water until the dough begins to form. I used 8 tablespoons total, but think my dough would have benefit from one more.
- Remove dough and separate into two round disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
To prepare caramel
- Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan (at least 6 quart) over medium-high heat. Cook undisturbed about 10-11 minutes until the sugar has turned a deep amber hue. (This took me closer to 15 minutes — don’t get caught up on the time, just watch the caramel based on temperature and color.)
- Carefully and slowly drizzle in heavy cream while whisking. Continue cooking for a few minutes until the caramel is smooth and well combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add salt and butter. Whisk until combined. Set aside while you prepare the pie.
To prepare pie filling
- Combine lemon juice and apples in a large bowl. Add flour, cinnamon, and sugar, then toss to combine.
To assemble pie
- Preheat an oven to 375°F. Make egg wash by whisking 1 egg with 2 teaspoons water. Set aside.
- Roll out one round of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12″x17″ rectangle. Once smoothed and sized, roll the dough back onto the rolling pin (this literally never works for me) and transfer through onto a 15″ x 10″ x 1″ jelly roll pan.
- Gently press the dough into the edge of the pan and trim off excess dough, leaving a ¾” overhang around all edges. Use any excess dough to fill in spots where the dough cracked or wasn’t long enough. (It’s true – this works!)
- Pour prepared apples into pan and spread out to fill evenly. Drizzle caramel over apples, covering evenly. If it’s hard to pour, reheat the caramel slightly beforehand.
- Roll out your remaining piece of dough into a 12″ x 17″ rectangle. Roll dough onto your rolling pin and transfer to the pie. Center the pie top on the pan and fold the bottom edge over the top, crimping with your fingers as desired. Use a knife to vent the pie and brush the egg wash on top.
- **Bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the caramel inside is bubbling. Rotate the pie during baking as needed to brown evenly. Serve with cinnamon whipped cream (or ice cream).
To make whipped cream
- While pie is cooling, pour heavy cream into bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed until peaks begin to form. Stop mixer and add vanilla, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. Continue to mix until stiff peaks form.
**You can freeze the assembled pie and bake it straight from the freezer! Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, just until top is golden brown.