I have to admit that while caramels have been my favorite addition to chocolate for as long as I can remember (Rolos and Milky Ways were GOLD at Halloween). Recently, the hubster and I took a mini-vacation to a nearby mountain town, Leavenworth, WA. The town is just adorable - it's a Bavarian style village that always has string lights up and a decorated tree, year-round. While it's not for everyone, it's one of our favorite little get-away spots - close to some other friends, and just far enough away to give us a break. Do you have any spots like that??
On this recent trip, we found a chocolate shop we'd never found before: Schocolat. We tried some incredibly delicious, hand-made treats. In addition to the lovely chocolates (my favorite was an earl grey truffle - WHAT??), they also make a chocolate sauce and a caramel sauce. But the caramel sauce was not your ho-hum-run-of-the-mill jarred caramel sauce. Oh no. It is a scratch-made pear cinnamon caramel sauce. You can even buy if for yourself here (scroll down near the bottom).
|I demand pie, as well. K, thanks.|
I wouldn't recommend that two people consume an entire pie within 24 hours... but it happened. Good news: hubster actually liked a recipe. Bad news: he consumed the equivalent to a stick of butter on his own. He doesn't see a problem with this, though (maybe also a problem?). Looks like I'm going to have to better moderate his dessert portions...
In addition to this beautiful pie, a bunch of my closest blogging buddies are also participating and creating some delicious creamy caramel alternatives:
Caramel Apply Pie
Adapted from Tyler Florence and 365 Days of Baking & More
1/2 recipe of your favorite pie crust (or the one from Tyler Florence) - let it rest in the fridge while continuing
Prepare about 1/2 cup of caramel sauce (either store bought as I did or homemade). Set aside.
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 lemon, halved
8 Granny Smith Apples (or a combination of your favorites)
1 Tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, four, and cinnamon. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and use a fork or your fingers to cut together until well incorporated. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350* F.
- Fill a large bowl with cool water and squeeze the lemon into the water. Peel and core each apple and slice thinly by hand or with a mandolin. Add the slices to the water (the lemon prevents browning so you don't have to rush!)
- On a well-floured surface, roll out your dough and press into a 9" pie pan.
- Drain the apples and sprinkle with flour and cinnamon. Toss to make sure they're all coated.
- Place one layer of apples in the dough. Dollop caramel all over the apples, then put another layer of apples over the caramel. Repeat until you run out of apples and and caramel. Dot the top of the pie with the remaining 1/4 cup butter.
- Press the crumble over the top of the pie.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet and pop into the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until top is deep golden brown.
- Let the pie cool, then serve. It may be hard to resist - but cooling will REALLY help with cutting!