They say that pie is the new cupcake; all we can say (through a mouthful of pie) is that we’re obsessed. In fact, Etsy recently took part in the Third Annual Pie Bake-Off at SPACECRAFT. Though many dipped their hands in the flour, childhood best friends Cayenne Douglass and Ruby McNeil collaborated on the blue ribbon winner, a tasty Pear Caramel Apple Praline, which was inspired by the prize pie at the 2010 Wisconsin State Fair. The duo has also come together for projects such as Click Send, a charitable art show that explored visual storytelling through cell phone photographs.
You’ll definitely want a slice of their pie, so jot down the recipe and get to the grocery store before the old-timey caramel candies sell out!
Pear Caramel Apple Praline
Makes a 9-inch pie
3 cups of flour
1 ½ cups of Crisco
A pinch of salt
A tablespoon of sugar (optional — Ruby likes less, Cayenne likes more)
9-inch pie pan
Put the flour in a large bowl and add Crisco by mixing with a pastry cutter or a fork until pieces the size of gravel form. Add the water, a tablespoon or two at a time, and stir with a fork until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and can be formed into a ball. Break in half and create two dough balls. (Remember, it is important to touch the dough as little as possible while you work with it!) Wrap in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate while preparing your filling.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Spread flour on the counter, cover one ball with flour and begin rolling it out. To avoid tearing the crust, roll in one direction with each stroke; don’t push the rolling pin back and forth. Roll the dough into as round a shape as possible.
When you’ve rolled the bottom crust to a size that fits your pan, lift one edge onto the rolling pin and roll it gently to transfer the crust to a plate without tearing. Then you can unroll it completely.
When you’ve filled the pie, follow these same directions for the top crust. Trim the edge, if necessary, and fold it under itself and pinch together the edge neatly. Mix an egg into a small bowl of milk and paint the surface so that the crust will brown nicely. Then cut a design into the top crust to provide vents so the steam can escape while the pie cooks.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
2 cups peeled, thinly sliced pears (about 4)
2 cups peeled, thinly sliced apples (about 4)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter, cut up
Praline Mixture and Topping
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
18 caramels, unwrapped
5 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans
In a large bowl, mix the granulated sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Add pears, apples and lemon juice; toss to coat. Pour into crust-lined pie plate. Top with 2 tablespoons butter.
In small bowl mix: oats, brown sugar and 1 tablespoon flour. Cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit. At this point you should pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
In a 1-quart saucepan, melt caramels with milk over low heat until smooth (make sure it’s low heat to avoid burning the mixture); add the chopped pecans. Drizzle over praline mixture. Top with second crust and flute; cut slits in several places. If you like, brush the top with milk or egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Place pie on middle oven rack; place sheet of foil on rack below pie in case of spillover. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 4 hours.
*Also, please note it can be very difficult to find caramels unless it’s right before Halloween. Worthers does a caramel chew, which is what we used. Avoid caramels that have a cream swirl in the middle, as it has kind of a malted taste and will not blend nicely with the other pie flavors.
What’s your favorite pie recipe?