Is Summer Over All Ready? - Gertrude's thought's Blog at - 308838

Gertrude's thought's

Is summer over all ready? 
Aug. 16, 2013 2:47 pm 
Updated: Aug. 16, 2013 7:09 pm
Didn't summer just start? Holy cow where does the time go?!! It seems like I just put my baby on the school bus the first time and now she has started college. Thank goodness I still look as young now as I did then (haha!)
  Anyways, my county fair results were very very good this year.  I took first place in everything white chocolate cranberry cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, and of all things my salted caramel apple pie.  That will teach me to go with a new recipe and not tweak it! I will share the original recipe for my new cookbook The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook, which is a fabulous cookbook by the way!

1 recipe for a double crust 10 inch pie
For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
12 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of heavy cream

For the apple pie filling:
2 tsps. grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon  juice
6 large apples ( I used granny smith)
  cored, peeled, and sliced very thinly
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

1 egg beaten for wash

Roll out your dough and fit half into your pie pan.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
To make the caramel (which I did first before everything else)
Combine the sugar, fleur de sel, and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved.  Wash down any crystals from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook, without stirring, until the syrup becomes a medium -dark amber caramel, about 15 minutes (this took a little longer for me)
Carefully remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream.  Be careful of hot steam when the cream is added, and don't worry if the butter starts to separate - it will come together once the caramel has cooled.
Transfer the caramel to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or to a medium bowl if using a standard hand mixer) and beat on low speed until the caramel cools and starts to come together. I actually left my stand mixer running on low while I peeled and chopped my apples and it cooled perfectly!
To make the filling: Put the lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the apples and toss gently.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, and sugar.  Gently toss the apples with this mixture.
Layer the apples in the crust.  Pour 1/4 cup of the caramel mixture on top of the apples.  Reserve the remaining caramel for serving.  Place the topcrust on the pie and cut vent holes in it.  Brush the pie with the eggwash and sprinkle extra cinnamon and sugar on top. 

Place on a cookie sheet (in case it bubbles over) and bake in oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 and continue baking for an additional 45 to 60 minutes. 

At the fair, the only take out one piece and you can pick up your leftover pie later in the day.  Once I got it home, and cut into it, I realized the caramel had all bubbled out (which I knew some had on the cookie sheet, but I didn't realize all!) and the apples didn't cook down quite as soft as I like.  I think this is what garnered it a third place.  The next time, I will cook the filling, make a crumble top, and drizzle the caramel over the top. Because the caramel just makes it! It is truly a fantastic caramel.
Oh well lesson learned! Anyways, I had fun at the fair and got to eat my jumbo corndog, and a giant basket of curly spuds! Hope there is a county fair close to you and you can go enjoy as much as I do!
Aug. 16, 2013 7:09 pm
Our county fair is next week and I can't wait! I have gone to this fair every year of my life except for a very few years I missed due to things like having just given birth. :) Some day I'm going to enter something; but I just never seem to remember or have the time. Congrats on your wins!
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Craig, Missouri, USA
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Burr, Nebraska, USA

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About Me
I learned to cook watching my mom and my Grandma's cook - who all are the best in the world! I have huge garden and I can a lot of stuff for winter. My daughter would'nt dream of eating a pie that was store bought! And we raise chickens. There is nothing that compares to farm fresh eggs. They just make your baked goods taste better.
My favorite things to cook
Comfort food! If it's fattening, chocolate or salty I'm in! I love to take leftovers and transform them into something wow!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom always made sugar cookies with us kids at Christmas time and do the same thing now! I used to love to pick out a recipe and Mom would let me got to town in the kitchen! At Christmas I also make tons of candy's, breads, and cookies that I give away to neighbors and family for gifts.
My cooking triumphs
I love to enter canned goods and baked goods in the county fair! I have won quite a few ribbons! I recently had a recipe published in Nebraska Life Magazine's cookbook. I was so excited.
My cooking tragedies
One time I tried to make pierogies when I was about 15. Well I didn't realize how much a cast iron skillet would smoke when it got hot! I ended up filling the house with a lovely smokey aroma! I never have made them again! Another time I tried to make chicken satay, and my husband and daughter about gagged when they tried the sauce. As they said peanut butter doesn't go with chicken! But I loved it. They were scraping the sauce off the chicken. They won't let me live that one down!
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