Monday, November 14, 2011

caramel apple pie for thanksgiving?

regular readers know that i am fortunate to celebrate two thanksgivings each year.  we have canadian friends living here in napa so four years ago we started the tradition of gathering a large group of friends to observe canadian thanksgiving.  this holiday is similar to the usa version...exact same food...just no pilgrim & native american stories and is held on the second monday in october. (although my friends tell me it is usually celebrated the weekend before).  the dinner is pot luck and the food and the wine (we are in napa after all) is incredible. please  read my post from last year  pear recipes, canadian t-day, a cleanse & jury duty...what? for additional details and links to other canadian t-day stories.

canadian t-day 2011  photo by ann trinca
of course i also celebrate our thanksgiving...in fact it is my favorite holiday of the year.  i love everything about thanksgiving...the food, the getting together with family and friends, the "no pressure/no gift" thing...just being with people i love and giving thanks for what we have is the point...and i love every minute of the day.  prepping, cooking, talking, eating, drinking, football (lots of football), the parade....i even love the time spent planning the menu.  this year i am adding a new item to the dessert table...my caramel apple pie.  this pie was my contribution to the canadian holiday and received so many rave reviews it must make a return appearance.

this year, in honor of thanksgiving, food network is getting the entire food community together to celebrate a virtual thanksgiving, called the communal table, on wednesday, november 16 at noon EST and they have invited me to participate...how cool is that?  here's how it works....bloggers from all over the country, as well as the food network gang,  will create a post/article on their respective sites about the dish they are "bringing” to the communal table.  each blog/website will contain links to all the other blogs so readers can see what everyone is “bringing to the table.”   just think...a one stop place to view loads of delicious sounding recipes, and plan your thanksgiving menu, with a week to spare.  now...who wants some caramel apple pie?


photo courtesy ann trinca

caramel apple pie
6 large organic granny smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup organic blue agave syrup
1/4 cup dulce de leche (milk caramel sauce)
2 tbsp white, whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp organic freshly ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup butter, very cold and cut into small pieces 
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup white, whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dulce de leche (milk caramel)

9 in deep dish pie crust, recipe follows

preheat oven to 400 degrees.  add apples to large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.  pour agave and dulce de leche over apples and stir to combine.  sprinkle flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt over apple mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed. place apple mixture in prepared pie crust. 

in a small bowl, add butter, brown sugar and flour.  using your fingers, combine all ingredients forming very small pieces the size of peas.  scatter the mixture over the apples.  drizzle the dulce de leche over the topping.  bake for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and topping is bubbling.  check pie after 35-40 minutes and cover edges with foil if browning too quickly

food processor pie crust
using a food processor makes making pie crusts as easy as, well pie!   just be sure not to over mix or the crust will be tough...
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
pinch salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, ice cold and cut into tiny pieces.  (put back in refrigerator after cutting)
1/2 cup ice water

add flour, salt and butter to bowl of processor fitted with steel blade.  pulse 6-8 times, stopping after every other pulse, until mixture resemble coarse meal.  with machine running, pour half the water into bowl.  stop and check dough.  you are looking for the dough to have formed into big chunks.  if necessary, add remaining water until dough reaches desired consistency.  do not let machine form dough into a ball...you want to process just until you get the large pieces mentioned earlier and that it holds together when pinched with your thumb and forefinger.  stop machine. divide dough in half and , using your hands, lightly form dough into two balls.  work quickly.   flatten  each ball into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour. (longer if possible).  note, you only need 1 disk for this recipe.  either double the apple recipe and make two pies (i do for thanksgiving) or freeze one for later use.

place 1 disk of dough on lightly floured silpat mat. (if you don't have one, i highly recommend you buy one...they are perfect to line pans when baking cookies or roasting vegetables and can be cleaned and reused for years...very eco-friendly.  they also are an amazing tools for rolling out pie crusts.)
lightly press down with rolling pin.  place pin in center of disk and roll toward the side.  continue rolling from center to side working in a circle.  continue rolling until crust measures 12 inches in diameter.  use the top and bottom of the silpat mat as a guide...it measures 12 inches.  place one hand under the silpat sheet and lift..(crust and sheet).  flip the sheet over a 9 inch deep dish pie pan so that the crust is evenly placed over pan.  lightly press dough into pan...do not pull or stretch.  flute/pinch top to form decorative edge. place crust back in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
my absolute favorite pie pans are by emile henry...they come in many colors, but i always use the white ones...the fluted edges naturally form lovely crust edges.




now it is time to check out all the amazing recipes from my fellow bloggers.  let me know if you add any of them to your thanksgiving menu...and please, join us at the communal table.  tell us about your favorite t-day dishes in the comments section below...or link to your blog or website. happy thanksgiving cooking/eating everyone!

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Sweet Life Bake: Pumpkin Margarita
Easy Peasy Organic: Thanksgiving Ginger Cocktail
Dishin and Dishes: Butternut Squash Bruschetta With Sage Pesto
Mooshu Jenne: Green Salad
Two Peas and Their Pod: Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Salad
Jones is Hungry: Roasted Vegetable Salad
Purple Cook: Pasta and Bean Stew With Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe
From My Corner of Saratoga: Curried Pumpkin Soup

Mains:
CIA Dropout: Turkey and Stuffles Roulades With Squash Mash
FN Dish: Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey
My Angel's Allergies: Cranberry-Glazed Cornish Hens

Sides:
Cafe Terra Blog: Cranberry Pumpkin Stuffing
Virtually Homemade: Twice-Baked Cheddar and Chive Potatoes
Easy Eats Magazine: Sausage and Dried Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing
The Sensitive Epicure: Oyster Dressing and Gravy
Daily*Dishin: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Supreme
What's Gaby Cooking: Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing
Family Fresh Cooking: Coconut Brown-Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Silvana's Kitchen: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Mushroom-Rye Stuffing
The Cultural Dish: Cranberry Sauce

Desserts:
I Am Baker: Pumpkin Cake
Heather Christo: Pumpkin Vanilla Ice Cream Pie
And Love It Too: Pumpkin Custard (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Haute Apple Pie Girls: Double Pumpkin Mini Pies With Candied Pecans
Ladles and Jelly Spoons: Not Your Same Old Pumpkin Pie
Daydreamer Desserts: Cuban Diplomatic Pudding
Thursday Night Dinner: Red Wine Chocolate Cake

best,
diane

diane padoven
founder/president
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style™ "

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8 comments:

Liz Hughes said...

My husband is Canadian (my son was born in Toronto) so we have celebrated both in years past as well - lucky us!

The pie looks wonderful! It's a beautiful fall day in San Diego - hope the same in Napa.

marla said...

Fun to be in this Thanksgiving feast with you! Your recipe looks amazing. Please update the link to my mashed sweet potatoes recipe, it is incorrect: http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2011/11/16/brown-butter-coconut-mashed-sweet-potatoes-recipe/

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks liz! it has been beautiful this week in napa...almost 70 degrees so i am loving the warmth!
(your potatoes sound delicious!)

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

ok marla...update made :)

and the potato photographs are beautiful...

Terra said...

I love apple pie, AND I love caramel, this sounds perfect! It was fun cooking with you at the Communal Table with Food Network! Take care, Terra

Nicole Gamble said...

Great recipe ! I made it! It`s delicious!!! And it looks great , too!

Scott Jones said...

Wow. Sounds and looks delicious!

Glad we were at Food Network's Communal Table together!

Best regards, Scott
(Facebook: Jones Is Hungry; Twitter: @JonesIsHungry)

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks scott...looking forward to future food fests!
diane