I know I am definitely late to the thanksgiving planning party with this one - I am currently par-baking pie crusts as I speak, but if I didn’t stop fluffing around I was never going to get the recipe up here, so here it is! This is a Sage salted caramel apple pie. I wanted to go with a wee twist on the old fave salted caramel apple pie, so I hit it with a sage infused caramel, and added some fresh sage to the pie crust. The toasty caramel balanced out the sage enough (if you go too overboard it can taste a lot like you’re eating a candle), but still allowed the flavour to come through and compliment the apple perfectly.
I first had a sage salted caramel when I made the ice cream pops from Lily’s book, and I have been looking for an excuse to make something similar ever since. The thing I love about caramel is that it can easily be infused with flavour - chai, sage, miso etc. The best. I hope you give this pie a try, even though I’m super late to the party. Thanksgiving aside, this would make a great any time pie.
A few wee tips:
The pie dough I have included here is 1 ½ times by regular crust recipe. The reason I have done this is to ensure that you have enough to do the detailed top if you prefer. If you are doing a more plain top crust, you can make the recipe with 2 ½ cups flour, 2 Tbsp chopped sage, a pinch of salt, 2 tsp sugar, and 2 sticks (225g) of butter, then water to mix (8-10 Tbsp is usually enough). Or you can make the full amount and then make hand pies with the excess. Damn I love hand pies.
Ideally if you can make the pie dough ahead of time, it can do with an overnight rest. It takes a while for the caramel to cool too, so ensure you allow time for this.
Sage Salted Caramel Apple Pie with Fresh Sage Crust
- Makes one 9” Pie -
3 ¾ cups (540g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
3 tsp (8g) sugar
3 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
3 sticks (345g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
¼ cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar
Sage Salted Caramel
1 ½ cups (300g) Sugar
9 Tbsp (135g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (180ml) heavy cream
2 Tbsp ground sage
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1.5kg (3.3lbs) apples, peeled and finely sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup (38g) flour
½ cup (100g) raw sugar
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- PROCESS -
Place flour, salt, sugar and fresh sage into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.
Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about ½ to ¾ cup, but add slowly) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into two discs, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.
SAGE SALTED CARAMEL
Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Place the cream and the ground sage in a small pan, and whisk together well. Heat until warmed, then keep on a very low heat until needed. Heat the sugar on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely.
PIE ASSEMBLY AND FILLING
On a lightly floured surface, roll the smaller disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately ⅛ inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and lattice.
Roll out the second, larger disc of dough into a rough rectangle approximately ⅛ inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips for your lattice. If you would like to make a braid, roll a piece of pie dough into a long thin rectangle, cut thin strips, and braid. Place your strips and braids onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge until ready to use. Press together the scraps and re-roll - these are good for extra lattice strips or for using pie stamps to cut out for the border. I like to roll it out and freeze for 5-10 minutes before stamping to help them hold their shape.
In a large bowl, toss together the apple and lemon juice. Leave to sit for 5 minutes, then drain any excess liquid. Add the flour and the sugar, and toss well to combine. Transfer the filling to the lined pie dish, packing the slices of apple in tightly, and mounding in the middle. Pour over most of the sage caramel, reserving about ¼ cup for serving.
Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving into your desired lattice. If you are adding stamps, trim any overlapping pie dough and lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the pie dish, then glue on the stamps with a little egg wash. If you are crimping, trim the crust with a little overhang and then crimp as desired.
Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven.
Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the extra sage caramel.