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Lindsay

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Friday
Oct292010

Recipe: salted-caramel apple pie

Being home on bed-rest is not all it's cracked up to be.  My days away from the office are not spent watching Jerry Springer or sipping on hot cocoa, no, they're consumed with my stir-crazy antics of just how much I think I can tackle from the couch - armed with nothing but my laptop and a remote control.  With the weekend of Halloween festivities upon us, I sent a mass email to all of the friends whom I had plans with, and family/out-of-town buddies who were anxious to hear about the results from my MRI:

"Howdy, I hate to do a mass email, but there's many of you that I've either made plans with - have spoken to - or have seen recently and, many of you are aware that I hurt my knee last week.  For those of you that don't know, I twisted my knee while running - then took a spill while going down stairs.  I went to the doctor on Monday, got an MRI yesterday, and found out that I have a stress fracture (a nice term for a break) today.  Doctor's orders are to stay home and stay off of my foot.  I will be getting fitted for a walking brace soon, so that I can travel to Hong Kong next week.  So, for those of you who I have plans with in the coming days, I'm going to have to gracefully back out and hope that you will accept a "rain check."  Until then..."

The responses I received were a hearty mix of everything, from "Man, you're an idiot," and "Damn girl, you have the worst luck," to "How 'bout I come by this weekend and visit?"  

In taking inventory of my groceries and household items, I came across the plastic bag filled with apples that my friend, Justin, had brought me from his orchard in Vermont.  When he presented them to me about a week ago, I remember thinking, "What the heck am I going to do with ten apples?"  Let's face it, the only "apples" I consume are those found in fritters and Baked McApple Pies.  

By about 3p.m. yesterday afternoon, I was going stir-crazy in my apartment.  I began researching, via Google, "How long does it take to get bed sores?"  Then magically, a light bulb went off in my head while first glancing over at my crutches and then at my bar stools.  "Shoot, as long as people are coming over to visit me this weekend," I thought, "I should probably have something yummy for them to serve me to serve them.  What about homemade apple pie?"  Since I was told to stay off of my foot, I figured that I could attempt, very carefully, to move my bar stool in to the kitchen and set up a pseudo work station. 

As you can see from the picture above, my chair was perfectly positioned between my sink and the refrigerator.  Having to stand-up only a handful of times, I successfully made a delicious salted-caramel apple pie that my friends and I can help ourselves to!

~

Nothing says "Autumn" quite like a homemade apple pie!  And if you know anything about me, then you're familiar with my passion for all-things salted-caramel.  In this recipe, the apple remains the star of the show but, in a wild-card move, I've added fleur-de-sel to bring out the robust, hidden flavor notes of the fruit's natural sweetness.  Enjoy! 

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch Pillsbury Pie Crust (dough), at room temperature
  • 6 cups apples (Northern Spy or McIntosh)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup Sugar in the Raw / natural-cane turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter

Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter (cut in to dice-sized cubes)
  • 2 Planters Peanut Bar Originals (1.6 ounces each), crushed - *if you cannot find these bars in your area, subsitute with 1/4 cup of crushed peanut brittle*
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur-de-sel (sea salt crystals)

~

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Secure uncooked pie crust in a 9-inch circular glass/aluminum pie pan.  Using a fork, gently prick the bottom of the pie shell, to vent.

Peel and slice apples.  Sprinkle with juice from 1/2 of a lemon, making sure to catch seeds. 

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Pour over apples and toss to mix.  Add vanilla and cream.  

In a heavy skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add apple mixture and stir frequently for approximately 8-minutes - this will soften the apples.  Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the streusel topping, combine flour, sugar, and butter in a small bowl.  Using clean hands and a fork, lightly toss ingredients until course crumbs form.  Add crushed Planters Peanut Bars and toss.  

Pour apple mixture in to pie shell.  Evenly coat with streusel topping.  Sprinkle with fleur-de-sel (sea salt crystals).

Bake pie for 40-minutes in a 350 degrees F oven.

~

Read it & eat...and bon appetit!

The Lunch Belle

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