Two-Crust Caramel Apple Pie
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie
This apple pie is sort of a cross between a French apple tarte Tatin and a traditional apple pie. By first caramelizing the sugar and then stirring in the apples so they soften just a bit, you get an evenly sweetened pie, with excess juices thickened by the caramel so that they stay in the pie as you slice it and don’t run over the bottom of the pie plate.
1 recipe Double-Crust Pie Dough, chilled
3 Tbsp (45 mL) rolled oats
¼ cup (60 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
6 cups (1.5 L) peeled and sliced apples, such as Mutsu or Granny Smith
3 Tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp (30 mL) water
Turbinado or granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Pull the chilled pie dough out of the fridge 30 minutes before rolling. Lightly dust the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate with flour, and place it on a parchment- or foil-lined baking tray.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of the pastry to just under ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Lift the rolled dough, line the pie plate with it, and sprinkle the pastry with the oats. Roll out the second disc of pastry to ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Cut a 1-inch (2.5 cm) hole in the centre of the pastry (so steam can escape as the pie bakes). Chill both the lined pie plate and rolled top crust while preparing the filling.
Preheat the oven to 400°f (200°c). In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepot, bring the water, sugar, and lemon juice up to a boil without stirring. Continue to boil the sugar without stirring, occasionally brushing the sides of the pot with water, until the sugar caramelizes, about 3 minutes. Add the apples all at once and stir to coat. Add the butter and cinnamon, and stir. Once the juices return to a simmer, remove the pot from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Pull the chilled pie shell from the fridge and pour the apples and all the juices into it (the juices will absorb into the apples as the pie bakes). Top the fruit with the second rolled piece of pie pastry. Trim excess dough and pinch the edges of the pastries into an angled, even pie crust trim.