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Healing through cooking: Caramel sauce apple pie

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Autumn and winter are full of delicious apples. Sometimes you end up with lots of apples, after apple picking is done and some generous relative gives you a crate or two. Or you just get over excited at the market and buy a great deal of them.
But sometimes, they spoil quicky and it takes just one bad apple to spoil the barrel, doesn’t it? So I like to get creative with apples. I love them just the way they are, so an apple pie for me has to keep them as crunchy and fresh as possible. I am not that crazy about the grated apple pie, there is no more taste of apples, just sugary stuff.
So I have discovered my favorite apple pie, I’ve cooked it five times already this season (I had that relative I mentioned earlier) and it barely makes it to the next day.

Ingredients

The crust
400g flower
250g soft butter, cut into little cubes
1 egg
3 spoons of milk
3 spoons of brown sugar (or just two)
1 spoon of crumbled rusk or bread crust
salt
Them apples
about 2 kg apples
3 spoons of brown sugar
the juice of ½ lemon
cinnamon, nutmeg

The showdown

The crust:
Mix the flour with salt,sugar and rusk, add the soft butter and mix it until you can’t mix it anymore. Add the egg, mix it in. Add the milk if the dough is too crumbly. Roll it into a ball, wrap it in cling and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes. You need this ball of dough to be enough to cover the tray and as a protective layer for the apples, so don’t be afraid to change the quantities and make more dough.

The apples:
Peel the apples, remove the seeds and cut the into wedges. Try to make them evenly thick. The thicker they are the more they will be like a baked apple and not mushy. If you want to please everyone, 2cm wedges are perfect. Put the apples in a bowl and cover them in the mixture of the dry ingredients: sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Mix them well, make sure all the wedges are brownish. Add the lemon juice and mix again.
You will have to leave them sit for two hours for the apple juice to drain naturally.

The apple pie:
Get the doug out of the fridge, separate it into two almost even balls. Roll one of them flat as circular as possible. The rounder the ball you start with, the rounder the dough is going to be when you smooth it out.

Get the pie tray, butter it and spread the dough inside.

Separate the apples from the caramel sauce you have just created. Don’t worry if it seems there isn’t enough sauce, it will be enough.

Spread the apple wedges as evenly as possible on the dough.

The sauce needs to be thicker, so take a small pot and simmer the sauce on low heat. You don’t really need to stir it, but you can shake the pot around to test the thickness. The sauce will soften in the oven, so don’t worry if it gets a little thick.

When you think the sugar is melted and it seems thick enough for you, spread the sauce on the apples.

Don’t forget to preheat your oven to a medium heat.

Now you need the second piece of dough spread out and layed on top. Although the apples need protection from the heat, not to get too dry, they also need venting for that extra crunchiness. So the crust on top needs to have some holes.

It’s your time to get creative: I like to punch holes out with any baking shape (round, star, gingerbread man), but I also cut out with scissors triangles, or made stripes out of the dough.

Pop it in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

That caramel sauce has spread on all the apples, it’s a real sweet treat!


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