Apple pie from scratch
FRIDAY PIEDAY! Not sure if that’s a thing but If I had it my way it would be! Mark and I went apple picking on Sunday, and when we got home I went straight to work baking.
I absolutely love to bake. I grew up with my mom always making old family recipes— French puffs for Christmas morning, pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting at thanksgiving, my great grandmother’s chocolate roll with peppermint ice cream and homemade hot fudge. To say the fam has a sweet tooth is putting it mildly, but more than the sugar rush baking makes me nostalgic for all those memories doing the baking (not the eating).
I don’t have a ton of cause to bake out in LA, mostly because it results in Mark and I eating entire cakes by ourselves, or me pawning the finished products off on unsuspecting friends for the benefit of my blood sugar level. But ten pounds of freshly picked baking apples means that even if it’s over 100 degrees you MAKE A PIE.
I was lucky enough to meet the ladies behind Four & Twenty Blackbirds at a "Chilled Reds and Pie" class hosted in West Hollywood (the dream, I know), and after tasting pies that they had baked themselves and hearing about what badass lady entrepreneurs they are I was instantly a fan. So, I grabbed my autographed copy of their Pie Cookbook and made the Salted Caramel Apple Pie from scratch, crust and lattice and all.
I struggled a little bit on the crust (I made the butter only double crust) for two reasons: I didn't have a pastry cutter and tried to combine the butter and dry mixtures with just a fork and a whisk, resulting in the butter not getting as combined as is ideal. And second-- my apartment was hot as sh!!!t and no amount of air conditioning was going to cool it down. This meant I kept having to put my crust back in the fridge as it was losing shape too quickly in the heat to properly roll out. BUT overall the crust tasted incredible and I managed a fairly respectable lattice out of it!
I love that the pie filling in this recipe isn’t terribly sweet (I only used 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce and opted to just pack in the apples for natural sugar, using 8 instead of the recommended 6) and the unexpected savory bite from using cracked black pepper, bitters and apple cider vinegar in the crust. The recipe didn't call for it, but I added a few pinches of Tahitian Vanilla to the dry mix for the filling and I think it was completely perfect.
Have to say this recipe was a complete success, and I even have enough apples left over that I'm going to try another one over the weekend! #pieday