Brûléed Apple Butter Pie

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Fall is finally showing its face.  While biking around town last Sunday, we found this beautiful building covered in autumn leaves. On our way back home, we went through the park to pick some leaves I wanted to use as props for this pie.

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I’ve wanted to get a kitchen torch for a while, and last weekend I finally did. This was the first thing I brûléed. This is not your traditional apple pie. I made it thinking of pumpkin pie. Just that instead of using pumpkin puree, I used apple butter.

Since the apple butter takes about 4 hours to make (not something I plan to make often), I made a big batch to have some leftover, and enjoy it on other dishes. If you only want it for this recipe, you can just make half a batch. I found this recipe for apple butter on the Food Network’s website. I just slightly adapted it and it turned out delicious. I made the apple butter the night before so it had enough time to cool down.

This recipe is for a 23Cm pie mold.

Ingredients:

For the apple butter:

3 kilos of apples, peeled and chopped (I used royal gala)

1 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 1/3 cup of brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of cinnamon or more to taste

1 ½ tablespoons of vanilla extract

For the pie crust:

1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour

¾ tablespoon of sugar

Pinch of salt

113gr of butter, cold and cut into cubes

3 tablespoons of cold water

For the filling:

400grs of the apple butter, at room temperature

3 eggs

¼ cup of sour cream

1 vanilla bean

2 tablespoons of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup of heavy cream

Extras:

Egg wash

Sugar

 

To make the apple butter:

Preheat the oven to 120C/250F. Place the apples, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and salt in an oven proof pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let it cook for about 20 minutes, until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat. Add the lime juice, cinnamon and vanilla. Then blend the apples until smooth, I used an immersion blender.

Bake uncovered for 3 ½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

Once the apple butter is done, allow it to cool down completely before transfering it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To make the pie crust:

You can make the pie crust in the food processor, by hand or in the stand mixer.  I used my stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the cold butter pieces, mix it with a spatula. Then mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Then add the cold water and mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until you have an even dough.

Place the dough on your floured working area. Dust it with enough flour so it doesn’t stick. Roll it big enough to cover the bottom of the pie mold. Place the dough on the bottom of the pie mold, press with your fingers so the sides stick and trim the edges. Refrigerate it for 1 hour.

To make the pie:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Place the sugar, vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan with the cream, let it come to a simmer and then turn off the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the apple butter with the sour cream, eggs and salt. Then slowly whisk in the cream. Discard the vanilla pod.

Take the pie crust out of the fridge and brush the edges with the egg wash. Pour the filing into the pie crust. Be careful that it doesn’t overflow. You will have some extra filling left over, which you can use to make mini pies if you like.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the center barely giggles.

Allow the pie to cool down completely before serving. Just before serving, sprinkle some sugar on top of the pie and brûlée until the sugar has melted and turns a bit dark brown. Serve right away.

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