Salted Caramel Apple Pie
1 cup plus 2 T. sugar
1/4 cup water
1 stick ( 1/4 lb.) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
6-7 assorted baking apples, sweet and tart (about 2-1/2 lbs.)
2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 t. each ground cinnamon and allspice
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
one grind black pepper
1/4 t. kosher salt
2 T. unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 t. sea salt
egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 t. water and a pinch of salt)
MAKE THE CARAMEL:
Whisk together 1 cup of the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium low heat until the sugar is just dissolved. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper. Remove from the heat and immediately, but slowly add the heavy cream – be careful, the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam. Whisk the final mixture together well and set aside to cool while you prepare the apple filling.
MAKE THE APPLE FILLING:
juice the lemons into a non-reactive bowl. Core, peel. and thinly slice the apples with a sharp knife or mandoline. Dredge the apple slices in the lemon juice and sprinkle with 2 T. of sugar. Set aside to soften slightly and release some of their juices, 20-30 minutes.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the Angostura bitters over the raw sugar. Add the spices and flour, and mix well. Drain the apples and add to the sugar spice mix.
BAKING THE PIE:
Tightly layer the apples in the prepared pie shell so there are minimal gaps, mounding the apples slightly higher in the center. Pour 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples ( you can use 3/4 cup for a sweeter pie). Sprinkle with 1/4 t. of the sea salt. Assemble the top crust using the design of your choice.
Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack and preheat the oven to 400F.
Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat, and sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the temp to 375F, move the pie to the center oven rack and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30-35 minutes longer.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack for 2-3 hours.