Mile-High Apple Pie with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream: Step by Step

2006-09-24

This very involved pie with multiple time-consuming steps comes from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard. I don't normally make complicated desserts unless it's for celebrating a special occasion, or I'm hosting a dinner party, or I'm trying to impress a date. But I picked and bought some apples from Chudleigh's last weekend intending to make a pie. By the way, a word of warning: the farm draws huge crowds and charges admission.

ApplesThe main ingredient. I used about 2 kg of apples: one Jersey Mac, along with Royal Gala and Wealthy.
 
CaramelBoth the Apple Caramel Glaze (left) and the Creamy Caramel Sauce (right) are based on her Master Caramel recipe. She says to take the caramel to 350°F, but my candy thermometer wasn't working so I judged it by eye. Both the sauce and the glaze ended up being very dark, almost to the point of being bitter. The sauce had a tangy flavour from the addition of crème fraîche and lemon juice, while the glaze had spicy notes from star anise, ginger and cinnamon.
 
Caramelized ApplesThe apples were cut in eighths then mixed with a cup of lemon juice before being sauteed with more sugar and butter, the glaze and sauce and more cream.
 
Mile-High Apple Pie (1)For the crust, I made her all-butter 3-2-1 Flaky Pie Dough which was fairly easy to roll. It's one of the few pie dough recipes I've seen that doesn't warn you about using too much water. Unfortunately, I didn't bake the pie quite long enough, so the crust isn't very crisp, kind of chewy in the thicker places. Also, the filling is very runny, even though I only used a fraction of the reduced caramelizing liquid. Some sort of thickening agent would help but her recipe doesn't call for any. Worse, the apples are quite tart, no thanks to all that lemon juice which overpowers the sweetness from the caramel. I also found the big chunks to be too firm: I prefer thinner slices
 
Mile-High Apple Pie (2)So now I have three-quarters of a pie leftover that I don't really want to finish. On a brighter note, the crème fraîche ice cream (recipe) has only four ingredients and is a snap to make. It also tastes great with the leftover caramel sauce and glaze.

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