I have always made a great apple pie that we all love. It has been in the family for some time, but decided to make changes and create a more of a special touch then just a traditional apple pie. It was time to add a new addition to a couple traditional favorites that my family comes to expect on holidays; such as our Lime Party Salad. If it does not get made at Christmas, disappointment is set in! Also the most moist potato dinner rolls you could imagine. I had tried different ways to step up the apple pie. I tried some black walnuts to the crust and thought there need to be more. I tried fresh cherries from my cherry tree to add with the apples but that did not have the “wow” factor that I was looking for. I wanted to make this a special pie to be a tradition for years to come. After different attempts of blending different things I found the “wow” and named it “Dawson’s Apple Caramel Crunch Pie”.
Dawson’s Apple Caramel Crunch Pie addition to my family is very important. I wanted to add a new tradition on behalf of my daughter, Christina. Two years ago, our daughter was in car accident. She struggled to survive, but after 9 days it was time to let her go. We were blessed to have her for 25 years in our life and even more blessed to be able to raise our two year old grandson, Dawson (Christina’s little boy who is now 4 years old). The joy and love of Dawson in our home can not be described, as it truly is the most special gift I could ever have asked for. Dawson loves to cook and bake. We have our own aprons. My husband calls Dawson’s apron his “shop apron”. Almost every Saturday we make cookies, I do believe we made just about every cookie you can think of and made up some of our own. He loves getting his hands into dough and is becoming the next “Emeril”. One of his apron’s says: “Dawson… Emeril in training”. He has kicked it up a notch and has moved on to kneading bread!
With the changes in our lives, I wanted to make a special dessert that not only will adults enjoy but a child would love. That is why I added the extra crunches with the nuts and the sweetness of the caramel, giving the apples the ultimate taste. So having a special dessert for Dawson that he can enjoy, and will know it was made with love.
1 ½ cup of flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of chopped Diamond’s walnuts
¾ cup of shortening
3 to 4 Tablespoon of chilled water
1 Egg white & 1 tablespoon water
7 to 9 apples (gala apples works nice)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
½ to ¾ cup of sugar
3 to 5 tablespoon of flour
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg
¼ cup of caramel topping (caramel dip works great)
¾ cup of Diamonds chopped walnuts
½ cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of old fashioned oatmeal
1 tablespoon of flour
1/8 of cinnamon
Dash of fresh nutmeg
2 to 3 tablespoon of butter (take out at room temperature for a ½ hour before adding to mixture)
½ to ¾ cup of Diamond’s chopped walnuts
¼ to 1/3 of caramel topping (caramel dip works great)
No nutrition information available
Time and Temperature: Preheat oven to 400 degree bake for 20 minutes and reduce to 375 for another 20 to 30 minutes.
Measure flour, salt and finely chopped black walnuts together in medium bowl and mix. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until the shortening is broken down to small size pieces. Add chilled water one tablespoon at a time mixing with fork until flour mixture is well blended. Make into a ball. Turn out on lightly floured board or pastry cloth. Flatten with hand and roll out (with pastry roller) not quite 1/8 thick. Roll out and keep crust in a rounded shape, (if brakes, pinch and continue to roll). Fold crust in half and put in a greased 9 inch pie pan. Be careful not to stretch as it can cause shrinking of the crust during cooking. Make your crust edge by pressing with finger tips and creating your own edging. Separate egg. Place the egg whites and add one tablespoon of water in a small bowl and whip, just enough to have some foam starting. Brush pie and edges with a pastry brush. Set aside.
Important to ensure your apples are firm. Peel, core and thinly slice apples in a large bowl. Mix lemon juice with the apples. Mixed together sugar and flour then blend thoroughly into the apples. Add cinnamon and fresh nutmeg then mix well. Add half of the filling to the pie crust and arrange so apples are tightly layered. Add Diamond’s chopped walnuts. Take your caramel sauce (Caramel dip products for apples works well) and fill in a plastic squeeze bottle. May have to heat caramel in microwave for about 10 to 20 seconds, it will depend on the thickness of the caramel. To get your best taste, it is recommended NOT to use flavored/syrup caramel. Then add remaining filling and drizzle over the top of the filling. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix brown sugar, oatmeal, flour, cinnamon and a dash of fresh nutmeg. Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and add to the mixture. Blend with a fork until fully incorporated as it will have a crumbled texture. You may have to use an additional tablespoon of butter if you need a little more of the crumble texture as the humidity can affect the texture. Take a tablespoon and sprinkle over top of the apple filling. In a preheated oven, place pie on the middle rack of the oven . The last 10 min before the pie is done add chopped Diamond’s chopped walnuts on top (this will prevent the walnuts from turning to dark) and resume baking.
Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack. Let set for about one hour and then drizzle the caramel over the apple pie. It is best to let the pie rest for 3 to 4 hours so it can set well and be firm when you slice. Once sliced you can add your favorite ice cream on the side or pour heavy cream on the top, then enjoy.