I don't know about you, but I love apple recipes. Apple tarts, apple pies, apple turnovers, apple cake, apple butter; you can't really go wrong, right? So I wanted to incorporate apples with something really different than what I've made before. I thought,you know what would be freakin' delicious? Cinnamon custard, with apple and caramel, and something crunchy on top!
And it was so! A chic little pie with all the caramel and apple flavors I could dream of. Each element is worth making on its own, but all together, it's amazing. Creamy, sweet, and super rich. The caramel sauce and praline topping can be made and stored in the refrigerator for later use (or over ice cream!). That being said...
.. it's oh-so chic and elegant on the table...
...and super sloppy on the plate. Like come on, pie, get yourself together.
But honestly, this has to be one of the trickiest pies to scoop out. I couldn't get a neat slice onto a plate.
But then it got me thinking about the caramel sauce my mom would buy in fall. The big tub we would dunk slices of apples into...
... oh my god. It's a dip pie!
What's a dip pie? Well, I just made it up. It's a pie whose filling can be dipped into, either with apples, Nilla wafers, pretzels, or the crust itself. Voila! Magic.
It also has like a million ingredients. And for that I am so sorry. But they are very basic ingredients, just repeated a couple times over.
Total Time: 3 hours
Bake Time: 20 minutes
For the apple filling:
2 apples, skinned and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the custard:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the caramel sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 stick butter, cubed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the praline topping:
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- Bake or purchase a pre-made pie crust. A good recipe for it is here! Allow the crust to cool.
- In a medium sauce pan, toss the apple slices, sugar, and cinnamon until well-coated. Saute the apples on medium heat until just soft. Place in the bottom of the pie crust.
- In a large sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and milk. Cook on medium-high heat, whisking continuously for 7-10 minutes. When the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Gently press the custard through a fine sieve and into a heat proof-bowl, to remove any lumps. Then pour directly on top of the apples. Allow to set for 1 hour in the fridge.
- To make the caramel sauce, it's good to get all of the ingredients out and ready before hand. Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan and cook on medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves and begins to bubble. Do not stir, but swirl occasionally. When the mixture has turned a gold brown, add the butter. Whisk very quickly, until the butter is completely incorporated. Then add the cream, and again whisk very quickly until completely incorporated. Take off the heat, and add salt. All the caramel to coo briefly, before pouring over set custard pie.
- To make the topping, place the butter and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan. Cook on medium heat, and allow to melt. Then pour in the pecans and mix until completely covered. Stir continuously, while cooking for another 3-4 minutes. The mixture will darken. Place on a place covered in wax paper, and allow to cool. When cool, crack with a large knife or your hands into small peices. Arrange on the pie as desired.