I mean… did you guys really think we’d make it through the holiday without some dessert featuring sea salt? I thought not.

Last week, I took a pie making class! We have this amazing kitchen store/butcher/culinary epicenter in Williamsburg called The Brooklyn Kitchen. You can take classes, shop for all the kitchens supplies you could ever need or want, and buy local meats at their incredible butcher. It’s clearly my kind of place. They have a ton of different classes you can take but I got hooked on the pie class because, well, pie making is an area I find pretty daunting. Ever notice there’s not one pie recipe on this blog? Well, now there is! The class assuaged a lot of my fears of overworking the dough, and now I’m feeling much better about my pie game.  Before even taking the class, I knew I wanted to make a version of this Cider Caramel Apple Pie. So this weekend I set out to test the recipe before making it for my family for Thanksgiving. As you can imagine from the photos, it is to die for good- quite possibly one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. The flavor of the cider caramel in the pie is beyond words. There’s a bit of work involved, but I’ve included lots of detail in the recipe to help you through it- and I assure you, it’s worth the work!

Get ready for more pie around here and here’s to a great (short) week!

Salted Cider Caramel Apple Pie adapted from Honey & Jam

Salted Cider Caramel:

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt

This caramel takes a while- so make that first. In fact, I recommend making it the day before. Place the cider in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 25-30 minutes until it’s reduced by half. Add in the sugar and butter and continue to cook, stirring occasionally,  until caramel is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. This took about an hour for me. Whisk in the sea salt and set caramel aside to cool. It must be at  room temperature before putting in the pie.

For the pie crust (recipe from Brooklyn Kitchen):

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup ice water (plus more if needed)
Next, make the pie crust. I did mine by hand, but you can certainly follow the Cuisinart method. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the cold butter and using your hands, break up the butter into small pieces. The smallest piece of a butter should be no smaller than a pea- but you should have larger pieces as well (see pictures for reference). Continue to do this until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Pour in the ice water and bring the dough together until it forms a loose ball. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if your dough seems too dry. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour before rolling out.
For the apple pie filling:
  • 5-6 cups sliced apple (I like a combo of granny smith and gala)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Toss together all the ingredients and set aside. Let the apples sit in the mixture at least 30 minutes before placing in the pie.
Make the pie:
-Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter your pie dish.
-Take dough out of the fridge and cut in half. Let dough rest for five minutes before rolling out. Generously flour your counter, rolling pin, and dough. Begin by pressing out the dough with the back of your hand so it forms a large disc. Then begin rolling out the dough from the center, continuing to turn and flip the dough so it doesn’t stick to the counter. Keep using flour! Once it’s an 1/8 to a 1/4 inch thick, place the dough in your pie dish. Trim any large overhanging bits of dough.
-Place half the apples in the dish, then drizzle generously with caramel.  Follow with the remaining apples and another drizzle caramel. Be careful not to get too much liquid from the apple mixture in the pie. Keep the remaining caramel to drizzle on top. Roll out the top part of the pie crust and place on top. Trim any overhanging bits and tuck the top layer into the bottom. Utilize this crimping method.

-Cut four steam vents in the top layer, brush with a beaten egg, and bake for 20 minutes at 400°, then 30-40 minutes at 350°. Pie is done when juices are bubbling  and a paring knife slides easily through one of the steam vents. Let pie cool for 20 minutes before serving.