Sunday, October 7, 2012

CCC: Southern Comfort (Drunken) Caramel Apple Pie

It's time for another Mom's Crazy Cooking Challenge and the theme is Apple Pie.  Each month participating bloggers go off and make something related to that theme.  Then on the 7th of each month everyone reveals their challenge recipe and the blog hop begins!

Though I may have used Granny Smith Apples in this pie but believe me when I say that this is NOT your Granny's apple pie recipe.  It's sweet like apple pie but with a bit of a naughty side.  The filling is rich with apples and caramel but that's not all, it's then made drunken with a good hit of Southern Comfort liqueur.  And while you're at it, why stop there?  In my homemade pie crusts, I also add a bit of vodka to make it oh-so-flaky (the theory is that the alcohol bakes off leaving behind pockets of airy goodness).

Now, I actually don't drink except on special occasions.  But, you might think that I'm a bit least where cooking is concerned.  Penne a la Vodka?  Yes, please.  Brat Burgers with Drunken Onions?  Uh huh.  Stuffed Chicken Marsala and Chicken Marsala Risotto (to be posted Monday!)?  You betcha.  Adding a bit of red wine to my Minestrone Soup?  Flavor BAM!

This apple pie did not disappoint and if it weren't filled with butter and sugar, I'd be tempted to eat the whole pie myself.  It has all of my favorite things: a flaky, buttery crust; loads of tart apples...sweetened with (drunken) caramel...swoon!; and then a crumbly cinnamon sugar streussel topping studded with nuts.  The original recipe calls for toasting the nuts but I'm lazy and skip this...besides I think they toast just fine as they bake regularly with the rest of the pie.  Overall, this pie takes some effort but is totally worth it.

Southern Comfort (Drunken) Caramel Apple Pie

Regular apple pie just won't be the same any more...

One Year Ago: Brown Sugar Spice Cutout Cookies with Maple Icing


Past and Upcoming Challenges:

Southern Comfort (Drunken) Caramel Apple Pie

Yields: 8-10 servings


For the Crust
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup (11 Tbsp) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp chilled vodka
  • 3-4 Tbsp ice water

For the Topping
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tbsp) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Filling
  • 5-6 medium-sized tart baking apples 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Southern Comfort liqueur
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  1. To Make the Crust: Using a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add butter; pulse until the mixture looks crumbly. Add vodka and 3 tablespoons ice water, and pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. If it doesn’t come together, add the additional 1 tablespoon water, and pulse. Gently mold the dough into a disk,; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Wipe out the bowl of your food processor with a paper towel to get ready to make the topping.
  3. To Make the Topping: In a food processor, process both sugars, the cinnamon, salt and flour for about 1 minute. Add butter; pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecan pieces. Refrigerate the topping, covered, in a a medium bowl until ready to use.
  4. Transfer the unwrapped pie dough to a lightly floured flat surface. Roll it into a 1/8-inch-thick circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. To keep the dough from sticking, gently pick it up every once in a while and rotate it in place, adding more flour underneath if necessary.
  5. Wrap the dough lightly over the rolling pin, and set it in the ungreased pie plate. Press it into place, and crimp the outside edges with your finger or a fork.
  6. To Make the Filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a pan in the lower rack to catch any pie filling overflow (Trust me, you'll thank me for this.). Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it on the apples, and reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Simmer the apples for about 1 minute.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples from the skillet to a large baking sheet, and arrange them in a single layer. (If you heap them in a pile, the hot apples will steam and get soggy.)
  9. Pour the Southern Comfort into the butter-sugar mixture in the skillet. Simmer the mixture over medium heat at least 5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off. Add the cream, and continue cooking about 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick as pourable caramel. Return the apples to the skillet.
  10. Pour the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust, and sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping is brown. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with garnishes of your choice such as  ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce.
Source: Barely modified from Erza Pound Cake as originally from Rebecca Rather's The Pastry Queen


Unknown said...

This recipe sounds amazing!

Kathy Walker said...

Mmmm...looks delicious!!

Jennifer said...

Fabulous looking pie! Jen #16

Melissa said...

This sounds fantastic! Great CCC recipe! I'm #17 :)

Teri said...

Absolutely beautiful and it sounds great. I know a lot of cooks that swear by alcohol in their cooking~and they are right,it's good!

Lesa @Edesias Notebook said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing! Great choice! #1

Kristin said...

Um...this pie sounds amazing! I'm so glad you shared it!