‘Tis the season for comfort food!
Last week I shared a recipe for Cheeseburger Skillet, and today we’re jumping to dessert with a Deep Dish French Apple Pie, drizzled with a rich, salted dark caramel sauce. This hearty autumn dessert is naturally sweetened with sucanat, and chock-full of ripe, tart-sweet apples, in season now.
What makes it a “French” apple pie? Apparently, it’s the crumb topping, which is used in place of a top crust. I might need to go to France and research that. You know, by sampling all of their apple desserts(;
Since I was going for complete taste bud awesomeness with this pie, I finished it off with a drizzle of salted dark caramel sauce. You can whip the sauce together quickly on the stove top. Use sucanat or rapadura if you can–it lends a complexity that regular brown sugar can’t produce.
Yes, making this pie does take a smidge of extra work than most desserts do. But it’s so good that it’s worth every minute! Put on some music, tie on an apron, and fall into the hum of a pleasant baking spree.
If you don’t want to make the whole pie at once, you can prepare the crust and crumb topping ahead of time. Place the crust (don’t roll it out, yet), and the topping in separate bowls, cover them, and store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the rest of the apple pie.
Deep Dish French Apple Pie with Salted Dark Caramel Sauce
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 10 Tbsp butter
- 5-6 Tbsp milk
For the filling:
- 10 baking apples peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Granny Smith)
- 3/4 cup unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
For the crumb topping:
- 3/4 cup unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup sucanat
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 6 Tbsp butter
For the caramel sauce:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sucanat or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp salted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- For the pie crust, stir together the flour and salt. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the flour, working it in with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.
- Sprinkle in the milk, two tablespoons at a time, mixing lightly after each addition until the dough begins to hold together and cleans the sides of the bowl.
- Gather the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 425, and lightly butter a cast iron skillet.
- Add the sliced apples to a large bowl. Add flour, sucanat, lemon juice, and spices, and stir to coat the apples.
- Prepare the crumb topping by blending the flour, sucanat, and spices. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Roll out the pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface until you have a circle about 13 inches across.
- Lay the pie crust in the skillet and fill with apple mixture. Evenly distribute the crumb topping over the apples.
- Bake pie for 45-50 minutes. Cover pie with foil for the last 10-15 minutes if the crumb topping browns too quickly.
- While the pie bakes, prepare the caramel sauce: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the mixture bubble for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Drizzle pie with caramel sauce before serving.
Want more comfort food recipes? Come back all season long for a cornucopia of comforting dishes from the Richly Rooted test kitchen!