I bake whatever I want whenever I feel like it. I think you’ve noticed. This one is no exception. Its beginning to become spring outside and I’m baking a fall dessert.
Fortunately, being my creative self, I gave a nice twist to this recipe. Sure, traditional apple pie is delicious, but even that gets old and some days I need an extra kick. Such as today.
This post will be very long because there’s three parts to it. The flakiest pie crust, vanilla ginger caramels, and then finally the pie. Or hand pie I should say. (Yep, I made it mini!) All the recipes are at the bottom of the post if you want to skip there.
First off. The flakiest pie crust.
I found the trick! I found the trick to the flakiest pie crust. It’s not whether to use shortening or butter (btws, use butter, it gives the pie crust more flavor), but the technique in making the crust. Plus, my recipes also the best.
You start off with cutting your butter into small chunks. Like this:
Then you use half whole wheat and half white flour. To provide more flavor to the crust, duh!
Trick #1: Blend it together with your fingers. It gives better control of how big your butter pieces are. (Also, I don’t have a pastry blender)
Afterwards, your blended mixture should look like so:
Mix it together. Add water as necessary. It should be crumbly, yet when mushed together, it should hold.
Put it onto some plastic wrap. Pat it into a round. Wrap it in the plastic wrap. See all the butter pieces? That’s going to make our crust really really flaky. Oh yeah, by the way that was tip number 2. I guess I only have two tips for you guys!
Vanilla Ginger Soft Caramels (no corn syrup!)
Now for the caramel. This caramel is a nice soft caramel. Very, very good! And perfect for a pie!
Start off with some sliced ginger.
Pour on some warm melted honey.
Add the sugar!
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to line a pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Also, you’re going to need some butter and milk because you sure don’t want to get them when the sugar is cooking, I mean burning.
Back to the stove, stir the sugar mixture!
When it reaches a nice golden amber, add in the butter one by one.
It WILL bubble so stir vigorously. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when the caramel bubbles over.
Add the milk. Stir vigorously!
Cook until nice and amber again.
Pour into prepared pan.
Now for the actual pie:
An apple. Granny Smith’s apple.
Put it onto a cut and rolled crust.
Pile on the caramel.
Place another piece of pie crust on top and press down firmly with a fork.
Slice vents on the top.
Place on a baking sheet.
Top with salt.
Among other things…
Flakiest Pie Crust
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup of water
Cut the butter into small chunks. Blend the butter and the flour together with hands, leaving chunks of butter. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal.
Add the salt and half of the water. Mix. Add water as necessary. The mixture should still be crumbly but should hold together when mushed together.
Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover and pat into a circle. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Makes enough for the bottom of one pie.
Vanilla Ginger Caramels (no corn syrup!)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp sliced ginger (big pieces! small and you’ll never find them)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup milk
Cook the first 4 ingredients in a tall saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a golden amber.
Add the butter a tablespoon at a time, mixing vigorously.
Add in the milk and stir vigorously again.
Cook until it reaches a nice amber again, or when a drop of the hot syrup enters cold water, it becomes soft and mailable.
Pour into a prepared pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes)
Cut into pieces.
Makes about 18 bite sized pieces.
Apple Hand Pies
- Pie crust from the recipe above
- 6 pieces caramels from the recipe above.
- 1 granny smith apple
- a pinch of salt
- a dash of sugar
- 1 tsp walnuts
- a dash of cinnamon
Roll out the pie crust into a rectangle. Cut into 4 pieces.
Cube the apple and place onto two pieces of pie crust.
Top each with 3 pieces of caramel.
Cover with the remaining crusts.
Crimp the edges with a fork.
Cut vents into the top of the pie.
Sprinkle the last 4 ingredients onto the pies.
Bake at 375 F for 25-30 minutes.
Makes 2 pies.