Category Archives: Fruits

Southern Living’s Skillet Caramel Apple Pie

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Southern Living’s Caramel Apple Pie

Every once in a while I get out of the kitchen and make way for my Sous-chef dishwashing mom to create something wonderful! That is exactly what happened recently after she was leafing through the fall Southern Living magazine and came upon this recipe.

The minute she saw it she knew it was meant for us! Even though I adore Southern Living magazine, I leave it to mom to let me know what I need to see and read!  We have several cast iron skillets — and even though skillet is well-worn and not too pretty — oh my what a nicely browned, flaky crispy crust it makes! This recipe works in a regular pie plate, but dig out the cast iron if you have one.

I was reading through the recipe before typing this blog post and I read “The rich, bourbon-y caramel sauce makes the tender, lightly spiced apple filling, and flaky crust even more irresistible.”   Whaaat?  Bourbon? Maybe Jack Daniels?   

Hmmm …. I am going to have a little chat with my Sous-chef Apple-pie making momma because I am pretty sure she didn’t include a local hometown ingredient. (Have I ever mentioned that we live only a couple of miles from the only place on earth where Jack Daniels Whiskey is made? )  I am sure we are now going to need to make another one and include a little Jack. Maybe their Tennessee Honey.  Yum.

Skillet Caramel Apple Pie (without any tasty JD!)

The recipe calls for Fuji apples.  Mom used Fuji.   Although this recipe works made with most apples, you will want to get the Fuji if you can because the tart-sweet flavor works well with the sweet caramel, and the apples hold their shape when baked instead of turning to mush.

Mom made a second pie and I asked her to use up some Macintosh apples we had on hand.  BIG MISTAKE!  They really did turn to mush and just made one big gob of apple in the center of the pie. (Not pretty, not too tasty either.)

The recipe calls for two store-bought refrigerated piecrusts, but you can use your favorite homemade pie dough recipe if you prefer.  If you use store-bought, we suggest Pillsbury.  For $1 or more per box, you can get Kroger brand or another brand.  Don’t do it, the crust will be a disappointment.  If you have time to make your own crust you can check out my favorite recipe and a little tutorial:

Favorite Pie Dough

Flaky Pie Dough, Part 1
Flaky Pie Dough, Part 2  Tips and Tricks!

Mom was concerned that the pie crust wouldn’t stretch up and over the skillet edge.  We discovered it really doesn’t need to.  Just place the crust in the skillet up to the edge and gently fill.  Then when placing the top crust crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.

Place the skillet in a preheated oven on the middle oven rack until the crust is golden, the apples are tender, and the filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to one hour.  IMPORTANT:  Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning — or earlier if the pie begins to over-brown on the top. 

Let the pie cool completely before serving to allow the filling to set. This is also important so that each piece will come out picture perfect!

Besides the really flaky crust, the homemade salted caramel sauce is what separates this pie from all the rest!  The caramel sauce goes in the pie and on top of the pie!  Oh my goodness, can’t you just taste it?

Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and extra caramel sauce, there is plenty to go around!


Thank you to my Sous-chef Dish-washing Apple pie-Making momma for this wonderful dessert!

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

Southern Living's Skillet Caramel Apple Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Nothing says "southern" quite like making an all-American apple pie in a cast iron skillet! Top it with homemade caramel sauce and you will be the talk of the town!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (14.1-oz.) pkg. refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey *(optional)
  • 3 pounds Fuji apples (about 4½ medium apples), peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Fit 1 piecrust on the bottom and press up sides of a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Transfer skillet to refrigerator, and let chill while assembling caramel sauce and apple filling.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Stir together light brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring, until butter melts and mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract, and, if desired, bourbon or whiskey*. Let caramel sauce cool to almost room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  4. Toss apples with cornstarch in a large bowl.
  5. Pour ⅓ cup caramel sauce over apples, and toss to coat. Reserve remaining caramel sauce for serving. Pour apple filling into prepared skillet.
  6. Place remaining piecrust over apple filling. Crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 (1-inch) slits in top crust for steam to escape. Whisk together egg yolk and water in a small bowl; brush over crust.
  8. Bake pie in preheated oven on middle oven rack until crust is golden, apples are tender, and filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to 1 hour, shielding loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 3 hours. Serve with reserved caramel sauce.
Notes
*Bourbon or Whiskey optional for a little boozy-flavoring.

 

Autumn’s Best Cooked Apples

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Yummy Cooked Apples!

When Abby shared some of her favorite things of fall, I knew it was time for me to put a pot of apples on the stove.  Apples are plentiful this time of year in the United States.  Not only are they available at farmers markets but even the grocery stores are selling from new crops.

Cooked apples compliment a breakfast casserole, work perfectly as a brunch side dish,  or easily stand alone in a healthy and delicious “I need a snack” moment.

My sous chef dish-washing mom will happily clean-up a kitchen full of pots, pans, and bowls when there are apples simmering on the stove-top!

Truly, any type apples work in this recipe. With over 2,500 varieties in the U.S. alone, here is a short list of common choices.

Comparing Apples to Apples

This information came from All Recipes.com site.

Braeburn

Braeburns have a sweet-tart flavor, with a texture that remains firm when it’s baked. An all-purpose apple, it works well in pies and tarts where you don’t want the filling to be overly juicy.  For cooked apples, Braeburn works well but add a little extra water to begin.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Braeburn Apples

Photo by Meredith

Cortland

Cortlands are juicy and slightly tart, with bright red skin and snowy white flesh. They are a terrific baking apple: Use in pies, cobblers, and crisps. When sliced, Cortlands are excellent for salads and cheese plates, as the flesh doesn’t brown and discolor quickly.  Cortland works well for cooked apples because they stay pretty and white while cooking.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Cortland Apple

Photo by Meredith

Empire

Empires are a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious apples. Firm-textured and sweet-tart, the Empire is a fine all-purpose apple good for juice, sauce, pies, baking, salads, eating fresh, and drying.  I haven’t tried an Empire apple but will be looking for these next trip to the market.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Empire Apple

Photo by Meredith

Fuji

Firm, crisp, and juicy, Fuji apples are among the most popular apples for eating fresh, but they’re also great for baking, as they hold their shape when they cook. We love Fuji apples and use them in cooked apples and soon I will share a fabulous apple pie recipe made by my Sous Chef Dish-washing mom!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Fuji Apples

Photo by Meredith

Gala

A crisp, sweet apple with a mild flavor, Galas have yellow-orange skin with red striping. They’re best for salads, eating out-of-hand, applesauce, and pressing into cider.  Gala are a perfect apple to use in cooking apples. Really sweet!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Gala Apple

Photo by Meredith

Golden Delicious

The Golden Delicious is sweet, with a rich, mellow flavor. It is one of the best all-around cooking apples, as it maintains its shape after baking. I don’t use Golden Delicious much because they always seem too soft and I don’t want them mushy.  Maybe if they are super fresh they will cook well.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Golden Delicious Apples

Photo by Meredith

Granny Smith

One of the most popular tart apples, Granny Smiths are crisp and quite sour. They’re a good all-purpose cooking apple, and their flavor is enhanced when paired with sweeter, spicier apples in pies and crisps.  When using Granny Smith for this cooked apple recipe you will need to add a little extra water to begin.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Granny Smith Apples

Photo by Meredith

Honeycrisp

Developed in Minnesota and introduced fairly recently, Honeycrisps are fantastic eating apples. As the name indicates, they are crisp and juicy, with a honey-sweet and tart flavor. Honeycrisps are also good for baking and applesauce.  I adore Honeycrisp apples and highly recommend for cooked apples!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Honeycrisp Apple

Photo by Meredith

Jonagold

A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, Jonagolds have a tangy-sweet flavor. With a yellow-green base and a blush stripe, is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Jonagold Apples

Photo by Meredith

Jonathan

Jonathans are quite tart, with a rich, slightly spicy apple flavor. They hold their shape well when baked. They are also good in salads and for applesauce.   Jonathan’s are a good apple to mix with a sweeter apple for rich cooked apples or chunky applesauce.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Jonathan Apples

Photo by Meredith

I haven’t even scratched the surface of apple choices and you can find a few more here.  Mainly I want you to realize you can use whatever you have on hand.

Even though some apples are better suited for certain kinds of recipes than others, you don’t have to limit yourself to using just one kind of apple when you’re cooking or baking. Many cooks like to use a mixture of apples to get more complex flavors and textures.

If you’re buying apples during autumn’s apple season at farmers’ markets and specialty grocers, you have a better chance of finding regional and heirloom varieties. Be sure to ask the grower how they work in recipes!

I often cook these apples while making the rest of the breakfast.  A few minutes peeling and chunky apples and they can simmer until you are ready to put on the table.

One thing I know for sure — as soon as my Chief apple-loving husband and Sous Chef Dish-washing mom see this blog post they will be asking “when? soon? today?”  I can count on it.

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine


Autumn's Best Cooked Apples
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Uses for cooked apples can be as varied as types of apples available! Learning how to cook up a pot of apples will make this a go-to recipe when in a only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="193" data-gr-id="193">hurry, when planning a special breakfast or brunch, or just to cook up for the kids when they get home from school!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack!
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 apples - your choice of variety - you can also mix and match for awesome flavors
  • water
  • 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup brown sugar*
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Peel apples and cut in 1" chunks. Place in 2-3 quart saucepan.
  2. Cover bottom of a saucepan with ½" to 1" of water. If the apples are not a juicy variety, you may add more water as they cook.
  3. Sprinkle with spice.
  4. Cook over medium bringing to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Add sugar. Cook at least 10 to 15 minutes until apples are starting to release juice. Stir often. Stirring a bit briskly will mush the apples some and provide more of an "applesauce".
  5. Add more water if there is not enough juice released to cook the apples.
  6. Check taste for sweetness - sugar to taste. Add vanilla extract.
  7. Remove from stove, cool slightly, Enjoy!
Notes
* Apples can be sprinkled with Jack Daniels Whiskey or favorite bourbon before serving for an added kick of conversation!
* Spice can be varied to taste.
* Honey may be used in place of brown sugar.

Luscious Peach Pie

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Luscious Peach Pie
Luscious Peach Pie

I experience some real joys from living in the country.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the early morning, I can sit on my front porch in the solitude of nature. I enjoy the sights and sounds of the world coming awake, from the buzzing of the hummingbirds to the babbling of the nearby brook.  Often a momma deer and her newborn will come to the creek to drink or nibble on nearby foliage.

Truly, for me, the one downside is the limited quantity and quality of internet service in our area.  Our internet is supplied by satellite and I suppose that is better than none.  But when 10 family members converged on our homestead the first of the month our internet data allotment slipped away faster than ice cream melting on a hot Tennessee afternoon!  Our little 11-month old great-grandson Elijah was the only one who didn’t sport a data-devouring device!

Summer's Bounty
Summer’s Bounty

I share this information simply to say … I haven’t had enough data to blog and share some of our fun summer recipes! This morning I got up at ‘O dark hundred and beat back the data gremlins to write for a few minutes!

Alice's Peach Pie
Alice’s Peach Pie

But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Hot Caramel Apple Spice Drink That Rivals Starbucks!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Caramel Apple Spice
Caramel Apple Spice

My Chief Starbucks-loving husband and I had an appointment about an hour away from our home.  Since we were leaving early in the morning, I knew it meant a stop at the Starbucks down the road. [Side note: I don’t drink coffee.  I have never drunk coffee.  I like to cook and bake with coffee granules but do not care to drink it.  For me, Starbucks is a clean bathroom on the way to wherever we are going or coming from!]

On this particular day, I came out of the bathroom andThe Chief was still in line.  I wandered over and as he ordered I said to the Barista, “what do you have that isn’t coffee based?”  She immediately, “OH!  You must try the Caramel Apple Spice.  Caramel. Apple. Spice. What’s not to like?   At this point, I did something that is pretty uncharacteristic for me.  I just said “okay.”  I didn’t ask how much$. I didn’t look for calorie count (mistake) I just said “okay.”

But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...