WAITRESS Pie Contest: Rosemary Infused Caramel Apple Pie

Sway With Me, Rosemary Clooney (Rosemary Infused Caramel Apple Pie)
Submitted by Teeny Morris

prep time: 2 hours
bake time: 50-60 minutes
total time: 3 hours
this pie yields 6-8 slices and will last 4-5 days covered, on the counter

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sprig of rosemary
1/2 cup heavy cream
7 cups peeled, cored and sliced granny smith apples
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 batch of double crust pie dough

1. To make the caramel, in a medium saucepan dissolve the sugar into the water over a low heat, about five minutes. Once the sugar is dissolved do not stir anymore, add the stick of butter and the sprigs of rosemary, and turn up the heat to a medium low to let the mixture come to a simmering boil, about five minutes.

2. The mixture will slowly start to turn a warm amber color after twenty or thirty minutes. I like to do this part slowly, because it’s very easy to burn caramel. If the sugar water butter mixture turns black or begins to smoke the caramel is past the point of no return and you should rinse out your pot and begin again.

3. When the slow boiling sugar is amber in color, remove the pot from the heat and immediately whisk in the heavy cream. Because the cream is much colder than the sugar mixture it will bubble and steam pretty intensely. I like to use a larger whisk, so I have more distance between my hand and the pot of boiling sugar. Quickly whisk everything together, until the caramel has settled. It will be a light caramel color and should be smooth.

4. Very carefully remove the stem portions of the rosemary sprigs from the caramel with the tines of a fork or kitchen tongs (the leaves are ok and simply add flavor to the finished pie). Transfer the caramel into a bowl or a large measuring cup and put it into the fridge to cool while you prepare the apples and roll out the crust. It should yield about a cup and a quarter of caramel sauce.

5. Place seven cups of peeled, cored and sliced apples into a large bowl and toss the slices with two tablespoons of flour until they are thinly coated.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position.

7. Roll out the bottom crust and transfer it into a 9 inch-diameter pie tin, being sure to leave a 3/4 inch overhang. Sprinkle one or two teaspoons of flour onto the bottom of the shell.

8. Layer half of the sliced apples into the shell. Pour about half of the cooled caramel sauce evenly over the apple slices. Layer the second half of the apples on top of the first caramel layer and pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the second layer of apples. You can keep a 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce out of the pie if you would like to drizzle it over the top after baking.

9. Roll out the top crust and place over the caramel drenched apples. Tuck the top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the two crusts together to seal. Be sure to cut a few steam vents into the top crust for steam to escape.

10. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.

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