Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

It’s October!  Time to embrace apple season!!  I always look forward to apple pies, among other things.  Last year, I made an apple pie with caramel sauce.  Drizzling it over the pie is great, but I thought- why not mix it in with the pie filling?  Brilliant!  And I just had to make my favorite vanilla bean caramel sauce, but I put a twist on it.  I added more salt so we’ve got the sweet and salty thing going on here.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

This pie is fabulous.  It is beyond fabulous.  The sauce just makes it over the top.  And, I couldn’t resist drizzling it over the top of the pie either.  I made the same pie recipe since it’s my favorite.  This brings a basic, delicious apple pie above and beyond.  It’s a great way to dive into apple season!

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Yield: 1 apple pie

  • dough enough for two crusts
  • 5-6 medium/large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon cold water (for egg wash)
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce made with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for drizzling

Directions

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pie dough into approximately a 12-inch round.  (Keep the other half of the pie dough chilled for now.)  Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, trimming the excess.  Place in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, spices, lemon juice and caramel sauce.  Toss well to combine.  When the bottom crust is finished chilling, pour the apple mixture and accumulated juices into the bottom pie crust and use a spatula to even the top out slightly.  Dot the surface of the apples with the pieces of cold butter.  Roll out the remaining pie dough on a floured work surface. Roll out large enough to cover the pie. Cut out shapes in the center with a mini cookie cutter, slice to make a lattice top, or cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape. Crimp the edges from the bottom and top crust together. Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg wash.

Place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch the overflow. Trust me, you don’t want that on the bottom of your oven) and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 50 minutes. If the edges are browning too quickly, make a ring of tinfoil over the edge or use a pie ring to cover the sides. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a drizzling of caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Source: Pie filling adapted from Annie’s Eats

Peach Vanilla Bean Pie

Peach Vanilla Bean Pie

Okay, I swear this is the last peach recipe for a while!  I just couldn’t resist sharing this recipe with you.  Vanilla beans are one of my favorite additions to any dessert.  They always add a great depth of flavor.  And, they can take any classic/plain dessert to a whole new level of greatness.  So, when I saw this recipe for a classic peach pie, I thought, why not incorporate vanilla beans!

Peach Vanilla Bean Pie

I don’t think I have ever actually made a peach pie.  So strange, I know.  Most likely because only in the last few years, I have discovered my love for peaches.  So, I was pretty excited to try this pie out.  Since the addition of vanilla beans to my favorite jam worked so well, I figured it would work well in this pie.  Boy, oh boy, I was definitely right!  This pie is pretty much like eating warm forkfuls of peach jam, sandwiched between a flaky, buttery crust.   Oh, and topped with whipped cream, of course.  I’ll wait while you go and make this pie.  Right now.

Peach Vanilla Bean Pie

Peach Vanilla Bean Pie

  • chilled pie dough for two crusts (homemade is definitely better, but store bought is acceptable)
  • 3 lbs. ripe peaches
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean, split with the seeds removed
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoon cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water, for egg wash

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Roll out half of the pie dough to about a 12-inch round.  Transfer to a pie plate, then place in the refrigerator while making the filling.  In a large bowl, place the sugar with the vanilla bean seeds and rub together with your fingers until fragrant and evenly distributed.  Whisk in the cornstarch, flour and nutmeg.  Peel the peaches and slice them to 1/4-inch thick slices. Combine the peach slices with the sugar mixture.  Toss to coat.  Add in the lemon juice and stir until combined.

Remove the lined pie plate from the refrigerator and pour in the peach filling in an even layer.  Dot the top of the peaches with the pieces of cold butter.  Roll out the remaining pie dough to a 12-inch round.  Cut into strips with a pastry cutter or knife (a pizza cutter works well here too!) and weave together to form a lattice top.  Trim away excess dough and crimp the edges together to seal.  Lightly brush the top and edges of the pie dough with the egg wash.

Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips, then place in the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 350ºF and continue baking until the pie is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 40-50 minutes more.  Remove the pie to a wire rack and let cool until just warm, about 2 hours.  Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Source: Roughly adapted from Annie’s Eats

Rustic Peach and Strawberry Tart

Peach and Strawberry Rustic Tart

I still can’t get over that there are so many apples on our trees already.  I am looking forward to picking/eating apples, but I am still holding on to summer fruits.  I still have a couple of peach recipes to share with you all, so bare with me!  (The next one I am going to share- you definitely don’t want to miss!)

Peach and Strawberry Rustic Tart

Believe it or not, I don’t think I have ever made a rustic tart before (also known as a galette).  Strange, I know.  I guess I just have never really seen a recipe that peaked my interest.  That is, until I saw the recipe for a peach and strawberry tart.  I had several peaches sitting on the counter that were just begging to be baked.  I had a pint of heavy cream in the refrigerator left over from something else, and a quart of strawberries.  I love it when things work out like that!  It was meant to be.

Peach and Strawberry Rustic Tart

This tart is super simple, and super delicious.   I opted to sweeten the fruit with honey instead of sugar, but you can do either! It’s even better topped with freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It is a perfect treat to celebrate the dwindling days of summer.

Rustic Peach and Strawberry Tart

  • 2 ripe fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cold water, plus more as needed
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  • additional sugar for sprinkling

Directions

To make the filling, mix the peaches and strawberries together in a medium bowl.  Add the honey and vanilla, tossing well to coat the fruit.  Set aside and allow the mixture to steep as you prepare the crust.

To make the crust, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse, pea-sized crumbs.  Add 1/4 cup of the cold water, stirring with a fork until completely incorporated.  Add up to 2 more tablespoons of cold water if the dough seems dry.  Gently knead the dough a few times in the bowl until it all comes together. Shape the dough into a ball and slightly flatten.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Once the dough is sufficiently chilled, preheat the oven to 425°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle.  Transfer dough to the prepared baking sheet.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the fruit (not the juices) into the center of the dough, leaving a 2-3 inch border all around.  Gently fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, overlapping the dough as necessary. Press gently to seal the edges. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the reserved fruit juices over the fruit.

Brush the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

The tart is best served the day that is made, but can be kept well wrapped in the refrigerator for three days.

Source: Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

A week or so ago, my girls and I met up with a friend and her kids, and went strawberry picking at a local farm.  It’s one of the things I look forward to in the summer.  I missed it last year due to having a baby right around prime strawberry picking time.  This year, I was afraid I’d miss it because it was such a horrible year for it.  A long, cold winter that dragged into Spring.  Making it a hard growing season this year.  In result of the cold, the strawberries were small and the owners of the farm claimed to have lost several fields of berries.  But, we still managed to pick 8 quarts of those sweet, small and delicious berries.  Well, I say “we” lightly because my oldest daughter ate more than she picked and my youngest napped in the car.  Ha!

Strawberry Tart

Since I had 8 quarts of fresh, ripe, beautiful red strawberries sitting in my fridge, I had to think of ways to use them ASAP!  That is, whatever we didn’t eat.  So, I have several strawberry recipes to share with you all that I am pretty excited about.  But first, I just HAD to share this recipe with you.  After putting this dessert together, I was giddy with excitement.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

Strawberry Tart

First, I baked a sweet tart dough.  Then, I made a velvety pastry cream to fill the crust with.  To top it off, freshly diced (or in my case, whole) strawberries are piled over the top and smeared with jam.  Oh my.  It is definitely as good, if not better, than it sounds.  A show-stopper dessert fitting for the heart of summer.

Strawberry Tart

For the sweet tart dough

  • 1 /12 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 Tablespoons cold, or frozen, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the pastry cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature cut into small pieces

For the berries

  • 4 cups your choice of berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and/or raspberries), washed and larger ones diced
  • a few tablespoons of strawberry jelly

Directions

For the dough, have ready a greased 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a bowl of a food processor.  Pulse 2-3 times to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the butter is roughly chopped, making sure there are no big pieces left.  Pulse in the egg yolk.  Then process until the dough starts to clump.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead to incorporate any loose flour.  Gently press most of the dough into and up the sides of the prepared tart pan, saving a small piece to patch the crust after it partially bakes incase it cracks.  Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Once the dough is sufficiently chilled, grease the shiny side of aluminum foil and gently press down and around the dough.  (You don’t need weights since you froze the dough.)  Place on a baking sheet, then put in the preheated oven on the middle rack.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and patch the cracks if necessary.  Place back in the oven, uncovered and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly golden around the edges.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

Meanwhile, make the pastry cream.  Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat.  In a separate heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until well combined.  Very slowly, whisk in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the eggs to temper the eggs so they won’t curdle.  Whisk in the remaining milk.  Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.  Cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and the whisk leaves streaks through it.  Remove from the heat.  Whisk in the vanilla extract, then let sit for 5 minutes.  Whisk in a few pieces of butter at a time until fully incorporated.

Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl and press plastic wrap over the cream to prevent any skin from forming.  Place in the refrigerator until completely cooled 2-3 hours.  (Alternatively, you can chill it by creating an ice bath- place cold water and ice cubes in a large bowl.  Place the bowl the pastry cream is in, in the larger bowl with the ice.  Whisk every 10 minutes or so, and add more ice to the larger bowl until chilled.)

To assemble the tart, remove the tart from the pan and place on a plate.  Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the pastry cream into the tart, smoothing the top.  Remaining cream can be used as an extra topper, smeared on scones or eaten with berries as a separate dessert.  Place the berries in a mound in the center of the tart or sprinkle evenly over the top.  Microwave the jelly in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water.  Brush or drizzle the jam over the berries.  Serve immediately or cover tightly and refrigerate.  It is best the day it is made, but will last several days in the refrigerator.

Source:  Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Patriotic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

In honor of this weekend being the 4th of July (already!?), I just had to share something appropriately themed.  The rhubarb in my backyard is just flourishing, so I have been trying to use it all before it goes by.  Strawberries are just coming into season here (it’s been a hard, cold spring), so, I knew that a strawberry rhubarb pie was in order!  After all, they are the perfect pair!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This pie is just right.  Not too sweet, not too tart. I chose to do a “flag” crust for the pie, but you can obviously do whatever topping you’d like.  (My favorite is a lattice top, but a few slits cut into the full top crust would work great as well.)  I also used my favorite pie crust, which you totally should try if you need a really simple and easy recipe.  This pie is wonderfully paired with freshly whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It would make a wonderful addition to any 4th of July BBQ you’re attending this weekend! (Or maybe just for yourself instead?)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered
  • 4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
  • chilled double pie crust dough (your favorite, store bought, or my favorite)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Have ready a rimmed baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the pie crust to fit into a 9-pinch pie plate.  Trim excess and place in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.  Gently toss until the the fruit is well coated.  Place the filling in the bottom crust in the pie plate.  Place the butter pieces over the top of the pie.  Roll out the other half of the pie crust.  Cut into strips if doing a lattice top, leave whole with just a few slits cut for steam vents, or make a flag top by using a mini star cutter and cutting out a few stars from one “corner”, then place the crust over the pie.  Cut out a square where the stars were cut out, then place the cut-out stars there.  To make the stripes, cut out strips, leaving a space between each one.  Trim excess, and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal.

Lightly brush the egg wash over the pie.  Place the pie on the baking sheet and place in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF, and bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly.  If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the edges with a tinfoil ring.

Let cool before slicing.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Store covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, re-warming before serving.

Source: Adapted from Lily’s Cafe Cookbook Revised Edition by Kyra Alex

Raspberry Cream Pie

Raspberry Cream Pie

In honor of tomorrow being national Pi day, I just had to make a pie. I am not much of a math person (I resort to my husband for all number related questions), but hey, any excuse to make a pie and I am game. A chocolate and raspberry combination sounded mighty fine.  But, I couldn’t seem to find a recipe anywhere that fit my wants. I wanted simple and not overly sweet. So, I decided to make up my own pie.

Raspberry Cream Pie

This pie is creamy, dreamy and divine. Not too sweet, so you still get to enjoy the slight tartness of the berries.  Slightly sweetened cream cheese whipped to perfection, mixed with whipped cream, folded in raspberries all smoothed into an oreo crust. Perfection! You can easily make this pie a day ahead of time. In fact, it’s almost better the next day after the flavors meld together. This is a wonderful treat to enjoy any time of the year. (But, perhaps perfect to bring along to BBQ’s when those things exist in the hopefully not-so-distant-future!)

Raspberry Cream Pie

Raspberry Cream Pie

Yield: 8-10 servings

For the crust

  • 1 package oreos
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the pie

  • 12 oz. raspberries fresh or frozen, thawed, drained and mashed
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Place the oreos in a bowl of a food processor.  Process until finely ground, 2-3 minutes. (Alternatively, place in a ziploc bag and smash with a rolling pin until finely ground.)  Place the crumbs and melted butter in a pie plate. Mix together with a fork until the evenly combined.  Using your fingers, gently press the crumbs evenly around the pie plate and up the sides.  (Don’t worry about how even or neat the sides look.)  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, just until set.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

Meanwhile, make the pie filling.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed, until smooth and creamy, 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, (or another stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment), whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Once incorporated, gently fold in the raspberries.

Carefully pour the pie filling into the cooled crust, smoothing off the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Serve with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings, if desired.

Island Bakes Original

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Has anyone else been getting winter-like weather? We got hit with a big storm this past weekend, knocking out power to 150,000 people in downeast Maine. We lost power for two days, while some friends that live elsewhere on the island lost it for 5+ days! We got 6-8 inches of snow and 50 mph winds. Trees and power lines were (and still are) down everywhere. Many roads were impassable. Pretty crazy for our first winter storm. And now it’s 50 degrees out and most of the snow is already gone. Weird weather! The storm made us all sort of rush into winter mode. We hurried to get all the lawn furniture in the barn for the winter, drain all the hoses and drain the pipes to the outdoor shower. And now all we have left is to get our winters supply of wood loaded onto the covered porch. Whew, I am going to need a slice of this pie when I am done with all of that!

Speaking of this pie… It is beyond amazing. Seriously.

Some weeks back, my brother’s girlfriend and her parents were visiting and decided to host a Canadian Thanksgiving for my whole family. Super cute. I, of course, offered to bring a dessert. This pie came in mind immediately. I made it a few years back for Thanksgiving at my parent’s house, but haven’t had the opportunity to make it again. This pie is epic. Let me layer it for you. First, there is a graham cracker crust, then a delicious layer of caramel sauce (homemade of course), a sprinkling of pecans, a thick layer of sweet, sautéed apples, a layer of cheesecake filling which is then baked to perfection. Then, because all that isn’t enough, dollops of sweetened whipped cream are spread over the cheesecake, then caramel is swirled in with another sprinkling of pecans. Epic. Enough said.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 1/3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1/2-3/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5-6 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg

For the topping

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • Additional chopped pecans, for garnish

Directions

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 375° F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Toss with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened and the ingredients are evenly mixed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan and press the crumbs in an even layer over the pan bottom and about half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden in color. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Pour a layer of caramel into the bottom of the crust and sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.

To make the apple filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, until bubbling. Mix in the apple slices and toss well to coat. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until tender and most of the liquid has been reduced, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and pour into the prepared pie shell. Set aside.

Reduce the heat of the oven to 350° F. To make the cheesecake layer, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Mix in the vanilla, egg and lemon juice until fully incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Spread the cheesecake filling into an even layer over the top of the cooked apples in the crust. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (being careful not to overbeat.) Spread gently over the top of the chilled cheesecake layer. Top with dollops of caramel sauce and swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with a handful of chopped pecans if desired. Slice with a long, thin knife to serve.

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from Mimi Hodges, the winner of Good Morning, America’s “Pie of Emeril’s Eye” Contest, 2000