My kitchen is finally clean. It’s as if I’m an adult or something. My dishes are clean, my counter is clean, my sink is clean, my conscience is clean. Suddenly, cooking doesn’t feel like a chore because I don’t have to make room for myself amidst a staging of Hitchcock’s The Birds being performed by a cast of dirty dishes. For the pedants around here (I don’t blame you, I am one of you), baking doesn’t feel like a chore either. So for our anniversary, I made a delicious whiskey caramel apple pie and I’m going to share my recipe with you.
As in most things, I started Betty Crocker and wound up Boozey Crocker. Somewhere in there is the Big Red Cookbook’s recipe for apple pie but, as my mother taught me, I can do anything I want. So I did.
- 1 pie crust (I’ll admit it: Due to unreliable climate control, I don’t make my own crust. I buy it.)
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 6 medium apples (I used 3 Honeycrisp and 3 Pink Lady, great balance of sweet and tart.)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/8 cup whiskey (I used Jameson but I bet a bourbon would be good, too, and I’m estimating how much I used. Feel free to splash a little more in. You want to get the scent and the flavor without adding too much extra liquid.)
Topping (This is twice as much as I made but yours will be better. Mine was a little bald.):
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp firm butter
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400°. Peel and chop apples into approximately 1″ cubes. Put them in a large bowl with the whiskey and toss them. Let them soak it up while you put your crust in your pie plate and make your topping. No need to prebake the pie crust, in case you were wondering.
For the topping, put the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix them with a fork. Add the butter and combine them until you’ve achieved a sandy texture (some gravel is fine but don’t leave any boulders).
Set that aside (but not near your oven so the butter in it doesn’t melt) and return to your apples. Add the brown sugar and spices and mix thoroughly so every apple bit is coated in deliciousness. This is where I recommend you try an apple and gauge the flavor. Throw in more spices if you want–I’m very liberal with the cinnamon.
Pour your apple mixture into the crust in your pie plate. Take that tablespoon of butter, cut it in 4 cubes, and put it in four imaginary corners of your round pie. Add the topping and pop in the oven for 45 minutes.
It’s delicious on its own and with whipped cream. I bet it’s awesome with vanilla bean ice cream but I wouldn’t know about that. It didn’t last long enough for me to pick some up.