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Caramel Apple Pie

Here is the winning recipe for last week’s Farmers' Market’s apple pie baking contest. It comes to us courtesy of the winning baker... 12 year old Rachel Wise! This is seriously good apple pie... if you only bake one pie this fall, bake this one. It's that good! Read about the contest in this week's Farmers' Market report.

For pie:

1 pie crust for 9-inch pie
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons half & half or cream

For crumble topping:

3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter

For caramel sauce:

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup half & half or cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange crust in a 9-inch pie pan, trim edges, and use scraps to decorate crust. In a large bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add apples, sprinkle with lemon juice, and toss to coat. Transfer filling to crust, mounding apples slightly in center. Brush edges of crust with half and half and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, until apples just begin to soften. Meanwhile, prepare crumble topping and caramel sauce.

For crumble topping, combine pecans, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.