Apples are everywhere this time of year, and many families have already been lucky enough to go picking at some of the orchards outside the city.
My family and I went to our favorite place, Outhouse Orchards, to get a few bushels, and then went back to mom’s house for our traditional post-picking pot roast dinner, complete with carrots and gravy over egg noodles and Grandma Jenny’s pickled red cabbage.
As we feasted on the delicious meal, our own apple pies were bubbling away in the oven — a traditional double-crusted variety, a few topped with a buttery cinnamon streusel and a delicious new addition: a caramel apple pie with a crunchy peanut crumble.
This pie features a creamy caramel mixed into the apples right before baking.
Topped with a buttery peanut crumble, it is reminiscent of the peanut dipped caramel apples we’d eat with pleasure at the county fairs where I grew up.
1 large egg
1 tablespoon heavy cream
6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Caramel sauce, warm (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Position oven rack in the bottom 1/3 of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the egg wash by mixing the egg, heavy cream, and salt with a fork, set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat with flour. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and pulse until the crumble begins to hold together. Add the peanuts and pulse briefly until the peanuts are coarsely chopped. Turn the crumble out into a bowl, and scrunch into large pieces by hand. Set aside at room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine apples with lemon juice, caramel, flour and salt. Mound the caramel apples into the unbaked crust. Brush edge of crust with egg wash.
Crumble the peanut topping over the apples. Place the pie on a cookie sheet lined with buttered parchment paper or foil. Loosely tent the top of the pie with aluminum foil.
Bake for about 75 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling thick and the apples are tender.
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons butter
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream to hot, but not boiling. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the sugar with the water over medium heat until amber in color. Immediately remove the caramel from heat.
Slowly stream in heavy cream, stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir in butter. Add vanilla.
Melissa Murphy is the chef/owner of Sweet Melissa Patisserie [175 Seventh Ave., between First and Second streets in Park Slope, (718) 788-2700; 276 Court St., between Butler and Douglass streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 855-3410]. Full menu at www.sweetmelissapatisserie.com.