Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dulce de Leche Apple Pie

After a two month hiatus that was almost too much to endure (I needs my pie), Robin and I teamed up again to deliver another tasty take on a traditional pie. Having already made among the most delicious strawberry-rhubarb and cherry pies known to man (and I'm sure whatever alien species may exist as well), we decided to bake a good old fashioned apple pie. Except, this apple pie would have the gooey amazingness known as dulce de leche to separate it from your grandma's. Despite almost ruining my microwave, we still managed to deliver one fantastic pie worthy of your favorite diner.

Dulce de Leche Apple Pie
Adapted from
Servings: 1 pie
Time: 150 minutes

Despite the weird taste from cornstarch, Robin kept eating it.
Pie Crust (recipe here)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 braeburn apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp apple cider
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

This seemed like a fitting top to our Apple pie.
But I forgot the image would be flipped when we actually placed it on...

  1. Get your pie crust prepped. You can find the recipe in the link provided or just buy frozen crust. The crust needs to sit in the freezer for an hour, giving you lots of time to make the filling and dulce de leche.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  3. Make the dulce de leche. We made ours in the microwave, which tasted great but had somewhat of a weird consistency. Just microwave the condensed milk on medium power lightly covered in two minute increments until it reaches the desired thickness (about 10 minutes). Be sure to stir well between each round. Also be careful that it may overflow and get all over your microwave and cause your plate to stick to the rotating microwave tray (not that that's what happened to us or anything...). You can also make dulce de leche in the oven or on the stove which will give a much nicer consistency but will take about 5 times longer at least.
  4. Mix the sugars, cornstarch and spices together in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Toss the apples, dulce de leche, cider and vanilla extract together to cover the apples. 
  6. Coat well with the dry ingredients.
  7. Cover a 9" pie tin with half of the rolled out crust and fill with the apple mixture.
  8. Top with the other half of the rolled out crust and sprinkle on brown sugar. Make sure to cut some vents into the top.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. If the crust begins burning, cover with aluminum foil (either as a collar around the ends or completely covering the top).
  10. Drop the temperature to 375 and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  11. Let cool for at least half an hour (preferably longer if you have that kind of crazy willpower) to let the filing set.
  12. Top with vanilla ice cream and serve.
You can't help but feel wholesome looking at that.
After anxiously sitting in front of the oven waiting for the pie to finish, we were treated to a wonderfully gooey dessert that kept things interesting. Nothing quite beats having that warm apple pie meet the cold ice cream to make your taste buds grateful. This was a fairly straightforward pie, aside from the dulce de leche. After we finally cleaned up the microwave, we were able to get a delicious, but far too thick dulce de leche to mix in with our apples. Due to its highly viscous (read: solid) nature, it didn't evenly spread throughout the filling, so we were left with delightful little pockets of dulce de leche that were a nice treat when found (think of it like finding the baby in a king cake except everyone ends up a winner and no one chips a tooth).

If the dulce de leche, takes on a weird consistency just whisk it like crazy (and watch it get stuck to the whisk).
Three pies in to our amazing pie odyssey, I'm ready to declare our baking venture a massive success (it always ends in me eating pie, so really there was almost zero chance for failure) and apply for the necessary small business loans to start up our own pie shop (writers, please send in your best pie puns for naming consideration). Next up, we need to start experimenting with different crusts (even though our current one is perfectly flaky), so we can mix things up a little. Any suggestions for the next pie we should tackle? 
Now that looks like a sweet baker you would gladly buy pie from.

But before long her true pie devouring intentions shined through.

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