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Celebrate Johnny Appleseed day with an apple pie!

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September 26, 2013 · 710 Views

September 26 is Johnny Appleseed day!  Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman, is both an American legend and a true historical figure.  John Chapman was born in Massachusetts in 1774 but left home at an early age to head west.  Similar to the legend, John became an orchardist and a pioneer. In fact, the common image of Johnny Appleseed spreading apple seeds everywhere he went is not too far from the truth.

Johnny Appleseed planted apple nurseries in many parts of the then frontier including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and West Virginia. He would plant a nursery, leave it to be tended by neighbors and move on to plant another. John would return to each nursery every couple of years to perform maintenance. Johnny Appleseed shared the proceeds of his nurseries with the neighbors who helped maintain them during his travels. As Johnny Appleseed traveled around the country he gained fame for his warm and generous spirit. John lived a bare bones life, giving much of his earnings to charity and preaching the gospel everywhere he visited, oftentimes in exchange for room and board.

Celebrate a true American folk hero today by taking advantage of the bounty that Johnny Appleseed left behind. To help, I am going to share my favorite apple pie recipe with all of you!

 

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Photo by David Leggett

What you’ll need:

Pie Crust I recommend purchasing pre-made crust from the store. A solid pre-made crust is just as good as the home made variety!

Filling

–          6 large apples. I like to mix and match the varieties, it makes for a more complex and tasty pie!

–          1/3 cup granulated sugar

–          2 tbsp flour

–          1 egg

–          Cinnamon and allspice to taste

* If you are feeling exotic, a little Chinese 5 spice is an interesting addition.

Salted Caramel Sauce

–          ½ cup heavy cream

–          2 ½ tbsp of unsalted sweet cream butter

–          ½ tsp of fleur de sel (sea salt) *Do not use table salt, it doesn’t taste right or have the right texture, if you don’t have sea salt, kosher salt is the best substitute.

–          ¾ cup granulated sugar

–          1 tbsp corn syrup (this helps to keep your caramel smooth)

–          2 tbsp water

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel, core and slice your apples.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the apples with sugar, flour and spices to coat. Set the mixture aside.
  4. Prepare the caramel
    1. Add the cream, salt and butter to a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.
    2. In a separate saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
    3. Continue to boil the mixture, stirring constantly until the hot sugar has a light golden brown color.
    4. At this stage, very carefully stir the cream mixture into the sugar mixture. It will bubble up so be very careful. Continue stirring the caramel until it reaches approximately 250 degrees. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, it should be a nice caramel colored golden brown at that stage.
    5. Once the sauce has reached the proper temperature pour it into a heat safe container and set it aside to cool.
    6. Pour off any liquid that has accumulated in the bowl with the apple filling.
    7. Retrieve the pie crust and begin layering in the apples and the caramel sauce. I like to do 3-4 layers of each.
    8. Place the top of the crust over the pie and then place the pie on a cookie sheet.
    9. Bake the pie uncovered for 30-35 minutes until the crust is a light gold brown. At this point cover the pie with aluminum foil and continue baking for 15-20 additional minutes. You will know the pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the apple filling is bubbling.
    10. Remove the pie and allow to cool before serving (if you have the self control!)
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