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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

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Do you want the good news first or the bad news first?

Had you asked me, I’d want the bad news first, so that’s what you’re getting. This pie almost burnt my house down.

Okay, “burnt my house down” might be a slight exaggeration, but it did cause my entire kitchen to fill with smoke, set off our smoke detector, and then require us to open every window in the house for the afternoon in an attempt to remove the smell.

WAIT, don’t leave! This pie doesn’t have to be dangerous…chalk it up to my overly filled pie plate. So long as you save enough room (1 ½ inches or so) between the top of the filling and the edge of the plate, you’ll be good to go. No overflowing caramel. No burning caramel in oven. No smoky kitchen.

Onto the good news. This pie is really good. I feel a little bad giving it to you after Thanksgiving, which in some families might as well be called Pie Day. If you’re like our family, however, you’ll eat apple pie year round, meaning you don’t have to wait 11 months to give this a try!

Several reviews I read of this pie called it the best pie they’d EVER eaten. I’m still partial to my grandma’s apple pie, but this is definitely a fantastic pie…especially if you love caramel! The filling is sweet and the topping has a nice crunch from the pecans, making this more of a caramel apple pecan pie than anything else. I brought this to our church Thanksgiving dinner, which is why I only have pictures of it prior to us cutting into it. Rest assured, underneath the crumble topping is a thick layer of caramel soaked apples. It was worth the shivering I did while we aired out the house ;)
One Year Ago: Gingerbread Truffles (Cake Balls)
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Blondies

Southern Comfort Apple Pie
from the Pastry Queen cookbook, as seen on 20-something Cupcakes

-1 single crust pie, homemade or store bought

for the topping-
-1/2 cup pecan halves
-1/3 cup sugar
-3 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter

for the apples-
-5-6 medium-sized tart apples (I only used 4 and I used Braeburn)
-1/2 cup unsalted butter
-3 tbsp cinnamon
-1 cup sugar
-3/4 cup Southern Comfort liqueur
-1/2 cup whipping cream

1. Roll out pie crust and place in a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and store in fridge until ready to fill.
2. To make the topping, combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Meanwhile, lay pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 7 minutes, until toasted. Coarsely chop nuts and set aside.
3. Add butter, cut in small pieces, to food processor and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Pour mixture into a bowl, stir in pecans, and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. To make the apples, peel, core, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once butter is foaming, add apples and saute for 5-8 minutes.
5. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Pour over apples, stir to combine, and cook for an additional minute. With a slotted spoon remove apples (leaving as much butter mixture as possible in the skillet) and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.
6. Add Southern Comfort to butter mixture and simmer over medium heat until alcohol burns off (5-10 minutes). Add cream and continue simmering until mixture thickens slightly (5-10 minutes). Pour apples back into skillet and stir to coat.
7. Fill pie crust with apple mixture, leaving 1 1/2 inches between the apple mixture and the top of the pan, and sprinkle with topping. Bake at 375F for 50-60 minutes, until filling is bubbling and topping is brown.

This post is linked to Eat at Home.