Gingerbread Caramel Apple Pie
This delicious, spice-filled pie is the perfect pairing to Alisa Weis's novel The Emblem. Apple pie is already a classic, but when you add the addition of warm gingerbread spices to a salted caramel and drizzle this all throughout the apple pie filling, the classic is elevated to the next level.
Alisa's novel is inspired by the Black pioneers who arrived in Roslyn, Washington, in the 1800s to make a new life. The Emblem explores heartbreaking class divisions, persevering love, and the hope for reconciliation.
Short summary: Because of local prejudices, when Callie falls for her employer’s right-hand-man, Gabe, not everyone in the small, coal mining town of Roslyn accepts them. Knowing there’s a price to pay for a biracial union, Callie and Gabe must decide whether breaking social constraints and expectations for love against the odds is worth the cost of ridicule and oppression.
With a heartfelt storyline, real-life struggles, and compassionate characters, Alisa's writing will keep you reading until the very last page.
I've known Alisa for years, and I had the privilege of reading The Emblem during its early stages and have watched it evolve into this brilliant story. I'm so thrilled to share her novel with you!
Alisa is a lifelong resident of the evergreen state (WA), likes coffee as much as any Seattle resident, and enjoys running and dancing. Her favorite color is purple, but she's never seen a more beautiful lily than the orange one that ended up on her cover. Connect with Alisa on Instagram at @alisaweisauthor, on her website at www.alisaweis.com, and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also offers a 20% discounts to book clubs, but readers need to contact her directly for this rate!
Gingerbread Caramel Apple Pie
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 7 hours
Yield: 8-10 servings
Homemade pie crust for 2 crusts (1 for bottom and 1 for lattice top)
6–7 large apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced (approximately 10–12 cups total; I use Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.)
1 cup (198g) sugar
1/4 cup (28g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or 1 tbsp + 1 tsp instant ClearJel*)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt
egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon (15ml) milk
optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on crust
Ingredients for Gingerbread Caramel
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
How to Make
1. The crust: Prepare your homemade pie crust and place in refrigerator to chill (at least 30 minutes).
2. Make the gingerbread caramel while you wait for pie dough to chill. Heat granulated sugar in a medium heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high-heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
3. In a small bowl mix together salt, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and pepper. Set aside.
4. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately stir in the butter until melted and combined. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. If you notice the butter separating or if the sugar clumps up, remove from heat, and vigorously whisk to combine it again. Keep whisking until it comes back together, even if it takes 3–4 minutes. Be very careful; this mixture is hot. Wear rubber gloves if it gives you more comfort. The mixture will eventually come back together—just keep whisking. Return to heat when it’s combined again.
5. After the butter has melted and combined with the caramelized sugar, cook for 1 minute without stirring.
6. Very slowly stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Since the heavy cream is colder than the hot caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. After all the heavy cream has been added, stop stirring and allow to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
7. Remove from heat and stir in the gingerbread spice mixture. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools.
8. Make the filling. Place apple slices into a very large bowl. Add sugar, lemon juice, flour, and salt. Gently toss to combine. Set aside.
9. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the extra overhang of crust and discard.
10. Fill the pie crust with the apples, stopping at 1/3 full and drizzling with approximately 3 tablespoons of gingerbread caramel. Fill with more apples until 2/3 full and drizzle with 3 more tablespoons of caramel. Finally, use the remaining apples, and drizzle with a final 3 tablespoons of caramel. There are a lot of apples, so pile them tightly and very high. Reserve the rest of the gingerbread caramel for topping.
11. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
12. Make the lattice crust: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out, 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut 16 strips 1/2 inch wide. We always use a clean measuring tape or ruler as a guide to assure the lines are straight. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Using a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang. Crimp the edges of the dough with a fork or your fingers.
13. Lightly brush the lattice top with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
14. Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C), and bake for an additional 40–50 minutes. If the top of your pie is getting too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil. The pie will be done when the caramel begins to bubble up. A small knife inserted inside should come out relatively clean.
15. Cool pie for 4 hours before serving. Drizzle the pie with the extra caramel sauce to serve. This apple pie is best served on the same day, but it can be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
* There are a few ways to help thicken pie filling (so you don't end up with a runny mess), and King Arthur Flour has great options and the substitution amounts HERE.