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

Baked Brie with Apples and Caramel

Baked Brie with Apples and Caramel

A few days ago, my sister and I did a cheese night. Now that she is settled in their epic winter residence, we decided it was time to do another cheese night. We did one last year where the baked brie with blueberry compote was the highlight of the evening. It is a nice time to catch up without my kids, over excellent food. This year though, baby had to tag along since I am still exclusively breastfeeding. She just played on a blanket on the floor. She is only just rolling around, not mobile at all yet. I am fine with that! I like knowing that I can set her down and she’ll still be there if I leave the room for a minute. And she can’t talk yet, so there is no interrupting our conversation.

Baked Brie with Apples and Caramel

When I saw this recipe on my blogroll, I knew that I had to make it for our cheese night. With homemade caramel sauce, of course. This was so amazing. Definitely on the sweet side, but still so good. I ate more than my share of it.

Let me break this cheese down for you; first you bake the brie to make it warm and gooey-delicious. Then, you sauté some apples to make them soft and sweet. To serve, you spoon the apples over the baked brie then drizzle caramel over the top. We devoured the cheese with some lightly flavored fennel crackers. Need I say more?

Baked Brie with Apples and Caramel

Yield: About 8-10 servings

  • 1 (8 oz.) wheel of brie
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons caramel sauce

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the wheel of brie on a large baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the middle is soft.

While the brie is baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the chopped apples and brown sugar. Cook , stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 5 minutes.

Remove the brie from the oven and carefully move to a serving platter. Spoon the sautéed apples over the brie. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Serve immediately with plain or lightly seasoned crackers. (Carr crackers are an excellent choice.)

Source: Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Donut Muffins

cinnamon sugar apple donut muffins

We seem to still have quite a few apples left over from apple picking this fall. So of course, I have been trying to find new and different recipes to use them in. When I saw these apple donut muffins, I knew they’d be a winner. I mean really, donut muffins? How can you go wrong?

cinnamon sugar apple donut muffins

Well, they definitely didn’t disappoint. They were just as fabulous as I had hoped. My daughter even snuck one while I was taking pictures. Little sneaker!  The muffins taste like an indulgence, but really they have whole grains in them. I love it when whole grains are snuck in and you can’t even tell. These muffins make a wonderful side to your cup of coffee in the morning, or a great mid-morning snack!

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Donut Muffins
Yield: about 14 muffins

For the apples

  • 5 medium apples, peeled, thinly sliced then chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the muffins:

  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk
  • 1 large egg

For the topping 

  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the apples to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and browned, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to blend. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, yogurt, and egg. Whisk until well blended. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together just until incorporated and no dry streaks remain. Gently fold in the chopped apples.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans filling each about 2/3 of the way full. Bake, rotating halfway through the baking time, until the muffins are lightly browned and just set, about 20-22 minutes total. Let cool in the pans about 5 minutes, gently remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the muffins are completely cool, make the topping. Melt the butter in a small bowl. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined.  Dip the top of a muffin in the melted butter, then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat with a thin layer.  Repeat with the remaining muffins.

*You can grind oats in your food processor until finely ground if you don’t want to purchase oat flour.

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

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

Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

Apple Pie

I love apple season. Every year we go apple picking with the kids. This year we got a whopping total of 84 pounds of apples. I got home and realized that I had to process nearly all of them. Panic! I turned most of them into applesauce, which makes the perfect snack. I dehydrated a large batch to make apple rings. (Another great snack.) I saved one bag of red delicious in our pantry for my husband to take in his lunch and for us to munch on. And of course, I had to save some out for baking with! An apple pie was the first thing in order. And of course my favorite crumbly apple pie. And another amazing dessert. And I am still not tired of apples! The choices are endless when it comes to apples.

Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

My husband prefers a real apple pie opposed to my favorite with a crumble topping. So of course I had to make one for him. Since I had a lot of leftover caramel sauce, I decided to jazz up the pie a bit. A drizzle of caramel with vanilla ice cream made the already delicious pie out of this world!

Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce

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)
  • caramel sauce

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 and lemon juice.  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 50-60 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: Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Morning Glory Muffins

morning glory muffins

(Photo updated August 5, 2015)

Muffins are the greatest excuse to have cake for breakfast. Whoops, I mean, you should always start your day with a healthy, non-dessert-like meal.

Fail.

Well, luckily (for me at least), these muffins are actually healthy. Full of bright color, big chunks of fruit and (gasp!) even a vegetable! And if you are really feeling fabulous, you can play around with substituting honey for the oil and sugar.

Morning Glory Muffins

Even my little cutie pie got to help me.

These muffins were a great pick-me-up on this dreary, rainy day. As well as my all-time favorite coffee; 44 North. You can’t forget coffee.

morning glory muffins

(Photo updated August 5, 2015)

Morning Glory Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds, but walnuts would be great too)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped apples
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready two muffin tins lined with papers or greased.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, sand salt. Stir in the nuts, carrots, raisins, coconut and apples. Making sure everything is coated well with flour.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture. It is a very lumpy, thick batter, so make sure the flour is completely incorporated, or there will be dry spots in the muffins.

Fill the prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few clinging crumbs.

Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tins. Store in an airtight container up to 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator, warming up before serving.

Source: Adapted from a family friend