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Salted Caramel Apple Pie


Try this caramel apple pie packed with well-spiced baked apples and salted caramel pudding, then topped with crème fraîche whipped cream.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

For the crust



1. Line a round 8-inch tart pan with parchment.

2. In a food processor, pulse walnuts until a fine meal forms.

3. Add dates and pulse until a coarse meal forms and the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers.

4. Press mixture into prepared tart pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.




For the pudding



1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat brown sugar, water, and salt. Cook about 10 to 12 minutes, until a smoking, dark brown caramel with a nutty aroma forms.

2. Immediately whisk the cream and milk into the caramel to stop the cooking. The mixture will steam and the caramel will seize, but will become smooth again as you whisk.

3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks and cornstarch. Temper the hot caramel cream into the egg mixture by adding a cup of caramel at a time, whisking constantly. When half the caramel is incorporated, pour the egg mixture back into the remaining caramel and boil, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the custard is very thick.

5. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and rum. Strain custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps, place into a container with a lid and chill in the refrigerator for several hours or up to 3 days.





For the apples



1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a food processor, combine vanilla pod and sugar. Pulse until finely ground.

3. On a baking sheet, place apple slices in a single layer.

4. Sprinkle vanilla sugar mixture on top.

5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until apples are soft but still hold their shape.





For the whipped cream



1. In a chilled, medium mixing bowl, whip the whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add crème fraiche and beat until the mixture is thick and fluffy.





To assemble



1. Remove crust from freezer and spread with chilled pudding, sprinkle with fleur de sel salt. Cover pudding with apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.

2. Slice pie into wedges, top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and serve.

The pie crust and pudding can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.

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