Paula Deen savannah high apple pie

  • For the pie crust
  • 900g plain flour
  • 450g butter-flavored solid fat
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 185ml cold water
  • For the filling
  • 24 apples, preferably Golden Delicious or Granny Smith, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 120g plain flour
  • 300g sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • For the streusel
  • 110g butter, softened
  • 200g firmly packed brown sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g pecans
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 60g butter
  • 60ml milk
  • 1 recipe caramel pecan topping, recipe follows
  • 60g sugar
  • For the caramel pecan topping
  • 700g melted caramel
  • 45ml evaporated milk
  • 225g chopped pecan pieces
For the shortcrust:
1) Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.

2) Cut the flour into the fat. Add the salt and stir in enough water to make a stiff dough, then knead slightly together. Chill the pastry before using.

3) Roll the pastry out and use 1/3 to line the bottom of a pie dish.

For the streusel:
1) In a small bowl combine together the butter, brown sugar, flour, pecans and cinnamon. Layer this mix every so often between the sliced apples.

For the apple filling:
1) Combine the apples, flour, sugar and cinnamon and mix lightly with a spatula.

2) Using a stainless steel bowl, begin layering the apples slice by slice, slightly overlapping slices and starting at the outside circle of the bowl and working towards the centre. Push firmly as the layers build and add a layer of streusel at intervals.

3) Round off the top layer of apple slices when you reach the top of the bowl. Put a single layer of sliced apples over the bottom of the pastry-lined pie dish.

4) Take the pie dish in your left hand and the bowl of sliced apples in your right hand and invert the bowl over the pie dish. Slide your finger tips under the edge of the bowl to release the air and gently lift the bowl off. Press and firm the apples and straighten.

5) Add slices of apple to take away any sharp edges (so as not to puncture the pastry). Add more slices of apple to the top of pie to round off. Divide the 60g of butter into pats and dot over the top of the pie.

6) Roll out the remaining pastry and gently place it over the mound of apples. Smooth the sides of the pastry towards the bottom of the pie pulling out any extra. Pinch down to seal the two layers together.

7) Crimp the pie for the first time and cut away any extra pastry with the back of a sharp knife. Re-crimp the edges and push towards the pie.

8) Brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle sugar, rubbing your left hand from the bottom up to evenly spread the sugar.

9) Make 5 steam vents with a small knife towards the upper part of the pie. Do not vent at the top as this will cause the pie to split open as it bakes.

10) Bake between 180C/Gas 4 to 190C/Gas 5 for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

11) Allow the pie to cool for at least 1 hour.

For the caramel pecan topping:
1) Melt the caramels completely in a microwave. Add the evaporated milk and stir until the mixture is a smooth consistency. Add chopped pecans and stir. Spread the warm topping over the pie beginning at the base above the fluting and working towards the top.

Serving suggestion:
Drizzle the caramel pecan topping with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.

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