Caramel Apple Pie
- 7 large Granny Smith or Pippin apples, peeled and cored
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup lard
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- About 1/2 cup ice water
- Butter and flour a 9 inch glass pie plate. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to a 12 inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Line the pie plate, being sure to press the dough into the bottom and up the sides without stretching. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Roughly chop the apples into small pieces, about the size of lima beans. (The apples should measure about 9 cups chopped.)
- Combine with the sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside until the juices begin to run, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Beat together cream and egg to make a glaze and brush over the edges and bottom of the crust. Mound the apple filling in the pie shell. It will be quite full. Roll out the remaining dough to a large round about 1/8-inch thick. Place over the filling a seal the edges together by gently pressing together. Trim any excess dough with scissors and flute the edges. Brush the top with the remaining egg glaze. Using a paring knife, cut out and remove a circle the size of a quarter from the center
of the top crust. Cut 5 or 6 slits in a spoke pattern beginning 1/2 inch from the center hole and ending 1/2-inch from the outside edge. Chill for 30 minutes before baking.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- Reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and continue baking until the juice visible in the center becomes thick and bubbly, about 1 hour (if the edges are browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil).
- Meanwhile prepare the caramel topping. Spoon the hot caramel over the top of the pie to coat and return to the oven. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until the caramel sets. Cool on a rack before serving.
- In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, butter and cream. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecan halves.
- In a large bowl combine the flour with the lard, butter and salt. Mix lightly with your fingertips until the dough forms grape-size pieces. You should be able to see chunks of fat. Stir in the iced water. Lightly knead, handling the dough as little as possible, until the dough forms a ball. Add a little more iced water if necessary. Transfer to a plastic bag and shape into a log. Seal the bag, pressing out any air, and chill for as little as 1 hour or as long as 3 days. The pie dough can be frozen for as long as a week.