Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
Maldon or other flaky salt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (320 grams)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
20 tablespoons (2 ½ cups) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
4 to 8 tablespoons ice water, as needed
1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
Sugar, for sprinkling on crust
2 ½ pounds firm apples, peeled and cored, thinly sliced (5 large apples should do)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Juice of ½ lemon
Salted Caramel Sauce
Pour sugar in an even layer into a sturdy, large light-colored saucepan (about 3 quarts) over medium heat. As the sugar heats up, the edges will start to brown. With a heat-proof spatula, begin to drag some of the sugar toward the center to prevent burning. Don’t go anywhere because this will happen quickly. The overall color will begin to darken and the lumps of sugar will smooth out. Stir any stubborn lumps. The caramel is perfect when it’s dark, reddish-brown like an old copper penny and it is just past the point where it begins to smoke. At this point, turn off the heat and carefully pour in the heavy cream in a slow, steady stream. It will bubble up as you stir it into the hot caramel. Continue stirring as you add in a big pinch of the flaky salt. Carefully pour caramel into a glass jar or other heat-proof container and let cool. Caramel can be made ahead and will keep at room temperature for several days (or in the fridge for several months).
In a food processor or stand mixer (or by hand), mix the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms lima bean-sized pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet. If you pinch a piece of the dough and it stays together, it’s done.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly with your hands a few times to gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half with the heel of your hand to form two discs. Cover each disc tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to a 12-inch circle. To prevent tearing or sticking of the dough, rotate the dough on all sides and add flour to your rolling surface as you roll out the dough. Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Chill crust for 30 minutes to help dough maintain its shape as it bakes.
Heat oven to 425 degrees and place a large, rimmed baking sheet in center rack of oven.
Apple Pie Filling
Toss apple slices with cinnamon, salt, ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a bowl.
Turn out the second disc of dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 12-inch circle. If you’re cutting out shapes (such as circles or stars) or doing a lattice design for the top crust, shape and place on a small baking sheet and let rest in freezer while you fill the pie.
When bottom crust is ready, drain apples, because there will be juice at the bottom of the bowl. Fill crust in three batches, stopping to drizzle each layer with ⅓ of the salted caramel sauce. Cover pie with top crust and seal edge together, making sure to slash the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Brush top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Place pie on baking sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes and then reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Cook until filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, another 30 to 40 minutes. Let pie cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours, giving time for the filling to settle, which results in neater slices.
Store pie at room temperature for up to a day.