Cookbook

Pie - Michigan Mom's Favorite Caramel Apple Pie :rectnt *PIC*

Michigan Mom's Favorite Caramel Apple Pie

"We all fell in love with the natural flavor of the Michigan apples mixed with the sweet caramel and pecan shell top." -- Leah Dowell.
Ingredients:

Pie Crust:
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 stick of butter cut in pieces
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening cut in pieces
1/4 cup water

Filling:
10 caramels cut into small pieces
7-8 cups McIntosh apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla (Watkins tastes best)

Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup flour
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 stick unsalted butter cut in 8 pieces

Caramel Garnish:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon water
35 caramel pieces(about 1 bag of caramels)
1 handful pecans AND
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

To make the Crust:
Combine flour and sugar.
Place butter and shortening in the mixture by hand.
Cut or rub the flour in until the mixture is in small, fat pieces.
Sprinkle water over the mixture while tossing with a fork.
Mix from the bottom.
Continue tossing until the pastry can be packed into a ball.
Knead on a floured surface.
Pack into a thick circle and wrap in wax paper.
Refrigerate until chilled.
When dough is chilled, roll and place in pie plate.

To make the pie:
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Place cut up caramel pieces into the bottom of the pie shell.
Combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice.
Mix well and set aside for 8 minutes for lemon juice to soak in to the apples.
Mix granulated sugar and cornstarch together in separate bowl.
Stir the cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar/cornstarch mixture into the apples.
Pour mixture into the pie shell.
Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the Crumb Topping (see below).
After the pie has been in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, remove from oven and reduce heat to 375º F.
Take prepared Crumb Topping out of the fridge and evenly distribute them across the top of the pie.
Place pie back in the oven and cook 30-40 minutes until the juices bubble around the edge.
(Place a cookie sheet on bottom rack to catch drips).
For the last 15 minutes, cover the pie with foil loosely or pie will burn.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
While still warm, prepare and apply the Caramel Garnish (see below).
Refrigerate pie for two hours before serving.

To make the Topping (applied approximately halfway through baking):
While pie is baking for the first 30 to 35 minutes, combine the flour, pecan halves and granulated sugar in a food processor, then process until the nuts are coarsely chopped.
Add butter and pulse the machine until the mix resembles fine crumbs.
Place in a bowl and rub the mix around until you get damp gravel like crumbs.
Refrigerate until needed.

To make the Caramel Garnish (applied after pie is completely finished baking and still warm from oven):
Combine butter, about 35 pieces of caramel, and water in the top of a double boiler.
When melted, stir the mixture until smooth.
Pour the caramel slowly over the entire surface of the pie.
Press pecans into the caramel while still melted.
Then sprinkle the chopped pecans over this.


Unfortunately, this is NOT T&T (yet) by me, but was submitted as a favorite recipe by Leah Dowell Michigan Foodways website (http://www.michiganfoodways.org/food/recipecontest-dundee.shtml).

Leah said the recipe was given to her by her mother several years ago and it is now a favorite among all of her friends and family. It is the absolute MOST requested at the holidays. Posted and edited slightly by LuAnn, who tried to keep everything intact, while still reformatting the recipe to fit KRT recipe form. If you have any questions, see the url address noted above.

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