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Recipe Sleuth: BlackSalt’s Caramel-Apple Streusel Pie

Susan Wallace serves apple pie with a twist at BlackSalt. Photograph by Chris Leaman.

Although pastry chef Susan Wallace’s sour-cream-based streusel pie isn’t currently on the menu at BlackSalt, it’s an occasional special, and you can always order a whole one at the restaurant’s front fish market. It’s the perfect way to make use of all those apples at the farmers market—and a refreshing twist on the ubiquitous apple pie.

You can use this recipe, recently requested by a reader, all year. Wallace originally created it with blueberries but substitutes strawberry, rhubarb, and peach in warmer months. For the fall version, she says Granny Smith apples are best because their low moisture content means they hold up well in baked goods. Get creative with the pie, suggests Wallace: The cinnamon and nutmeg in the filling are just a starting point; try cloves or allspice, or substitute walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts for the pecans in the topping.

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Makes one nine-inch pie.

9-inch pie shell, prebaked at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes

Make the streusel topping:

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons butter, cubed
½ cup chopped pecans

Combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and combine (using two forks or your hands) until the butter is the size of peas and the streusel is crumbly. Mix in the chopped pecans. Chill.

Make the pie fillings:

2 tablespoons butter
4 or 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1⁄8 inch thick
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft but still firm. Remove the pan from the heat and chill until cool, about 15 minutes.

¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1½ cups sour cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together all ingredients. Stir in the cooled, cooked apples. Pour the filling into the prebaked pie shell. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the filling is slightly set. Sprinkle the prepared streusel topping on top of pie. Return the pie to the oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. Cool the pie completely. Store in refrigerator. May be served cold or heated with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Make the caramel sauce:

½ cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Place the water and sugar in saucepan set over medium heat. Heat until the sugar has caramelized (dark amber in color). Slowly whisk in the heavy cream (be careful of steam that will rise). Continue whisking until combined. Let cool slightly before serving with the pie.


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