Spiced Caramel Apple Pie
Warning: The filling is so good, you might eat it before even getting to the baking part.
Submitted by: Beantown Baker
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbl. dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (5-1/3 Tbl.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 to 6 medium-size tart apples, such as Braeburn, Cortland or Winesap
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 Tbl. ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Southern Comfort liqueur
1/2 cup heavy cream
Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream
Make your favorite pie crust and place in a pie plate.
Directions for the topping:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Coarsely chop the nuts.
3. In a food processor, process both sugars, the cinnamon, salt and flour for about 1 minute. Add butter; pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans.
4. Refrigerate the topping, covered, in a a medium bowl until ready to use.
Directions for the filling:
1. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.
2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. When the butter starts to foam, add the apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it on the apples, and reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Simmer the apples for about 1 minute.
5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples from the skillet to a large baking sheet, and arrange them in a single layer. (If you heap them in a pile, the hot apples will steam and get soggy.)
6. Pour the Southern Comfort into the butter-sugar mixture in the skillet.
7. Simmer the mixture over medium heat at least 5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off. Add the cream, and continue cooking about 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is as thick as pourable caramel.
8. Return the apples to the skillet.
9. Pour the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust, and sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.
10. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping is brown.
11. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature, with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce.
Originally from Ezra Pound Cake, adapted from The Pastry Queen