This recipe was created by Ka'rin Huelsman of MTN TOP BAKERY! Ka'rin spent years behind the scenes in some of the most loved bakeries including Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, and her pies have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Her methods combine French and American techniques, and she specializes in Refined Sugar-Free baking. Pies are her absolute favorite thing to bake.
If you don't have time to make your own pie crust, use 2 sheets of your favorite store-bought dough.
1 lb. All Purpose Flour
8oz unsalted butter, cold (2 sticks)
5.5oz cold water
1 tsp Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Kosher Sea Salt
1 tsp heavy cream
3 lbs. baking apples
6 pieces Jacobsen Salt Co. Salty Caramels
2 TBS Bee Local Honey
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Jacobsen Vanilla Bean Sea Salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Flake Sea Salt for finish
In a measuring pitcher or large cup, mix 1 tsp sea salt and water well by hand until you feel all the salt crystals dissolve. Put into fridge to chill while you prepare the butter and flour.
Cut up cold butter into small cubes using a butter knife or bench scraper, then combine with flour in a medium sized bowl. Mix by hand moving quickly to break up butter by squishing all the pieces between your fingers while incorporating flour each time you touch the butter. If the butter starts to soften before combined, take a break, and pop the whole mixing bowl into the fridge for 5-10 min. Continue mixing and squishing until you have combined most of the butter, leaving a few very small pieces of butter in there.
At this point, pour your cold water/salt mixture all at once over the flour mixture. As the water absorbs, fold flour over the wets by hand, tossing larger clumps and mixing in smaller ones. Depending on how dry/fresh your flour is, you could need more or a bit less flour or water. The more you make this dough, the more you will get a feel for how much flour or water to add if you feel an adjustment is needed. When the wets are fully absorbed, the dough seems moist, but not too dry and you have pieces just starting to combine (don’t overwork or you will start to develop gluten) form into a rectangle. The dough should be tightly packed from edge to edge, not at all shaggy. Wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-10 min.
Take your Salty Caramels and slice them in thirds. Set aside.
Prepare your apples. Apples of every variety are delicious when mixed with spices, and baked in pastry dough! Each variety will change the texture slightly. You can choose to bake your apples peeled or unpeeled, sliced or cubed, so long as your remove the apple cores! Place your prepared apples in a large mixing bowl with all pie filling ingredients including sliced Salty Caramels and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Take the dough out and cut in half. One of these portions will become your bottom crust, and the other your top crust. Flour the doughs well and place one back in the refrigerator to chill while you roll out the bottom dough.
When you are ready to roll, generously flour both the dough and work surface prior to rolling out. Move quickly using even pressure to get the dough down to about 1/8" with any rolling pin that suits you. If edges begin to separate, take a break from rolling and pat the surface down or pinch it together while the butter is slightly exposed, acting as glue, then flour after to seal it. If the butter sticks to the work surface while rolling, put the rolling pin aside so you can scrape off excess butter off the surface then re-flour before moving forward.
When the rolled out pie dough is large enough for your pan, quickly lift it into your pie pan and firmly press dough into base and sides. Make sure there is plenty of dough overhanging the lip of the pie pan to create a good seal with your top dough. Put the dough lined pie pan back in the fridge while you roll out the other dough. Use the same method as above, remembering to cut a steam hole in the center, place on parchment, then set aside. Alternatively, you can make a lattice with your dough, and there will naturally be spaces between the woven dough for steam to escape during baking. If you are making a lattice with your top crust, work on piece of parchment and set aside.
Take your dough lined pie pan out of the refrigerator and fill with your apple filling, piling the apples very high in the center. Use the egg wash to moisten the overhanging dough, then using parchment, slide your top dough over the apples quickly. Make adjustments to the dough as needed, and if you find your dough does not reach your edge, at this point, you can remove a few apples to reduce the overall size. Press the top dough firmly down onto the overhanging dough on the bottom dough, then tuck all the overhanging dough under itself, making an edge. If your hands get sticky from the Egg Wash, wipe your hands clean, and add a bit of flour to the sticky parts to make them smooth again. Crimp this edge, then place the whole pie dough into the freezer for at least 15 minutes to get it nice and firm before baking.
When the oven is hot and your pie is firm, generously egg wash your entire pie, sprinkle with Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Flake Salt, place on sheet tray and bake for 10-15 min at 425°F. Placing your pie on a sheet tray during baking will help insure your pie juices don't overflow into your oven.
After 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake for another 45-60 min until golden brown. If at any point juices overflow or begin to burn on your sheet tray, remove from oven and transfer your whole pie to a fresh sheet tray to continue baking. You can also line your sheet tray with foil if you are concerned about bubbling juices.
Pies can take up to 2.5 hours to bake, so keep an eye on it and don't hesitate to let it bake longer. A well baked crust is irresistibly flaky!
Remove your baked pie from sheet tray after baking to cool on a cooling rack, or hot pad to avoid pie pan sticking to sheet tray if any juices overflowed during baking.
Let pie cool for at least 4 hours to let the filling set, but it’s best to let the pie reach room temperature. Enjoy!