Butter + Apples + Bourbon + Heavy cream = the best 10 pound apple pie you’ll ever sink you teeth into.
At dessert or breakfast.
It’s a mash-up of 1) The Pastry Queen’s Southern Comfort Apple Pie, the very best apple pie I’ve ever eaten and 2) Tara’s Slab Apple Pie, the most beautiful apple pie I’ve ever seen. And I’ve made it 3 times in the last 3 weeks. 3. Times. That’s 30 lbs of apple pie!
Did you click the link to look at Tara’s version? No? I’ll wait. Because sweet flaky, buttery baby Jesus.
The homemade pie crust is incredibly buttery and flaky and the apples inside are lightly coated with a cinnamony (it’s a word) bourbon caramel sauce. If you’re doing the math at home, that’s 5 sticks of butter.
And it’s so totally worth every single bite.
Bourbon Caramel Apple Slab Pie
Sweet apples are served family-style in a bourbon-caramel sauce, underneath a buttery, flaky homemade pie crust.
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 sticks (1 lb) of cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1-1 1/4 cup very cold water
- 6 lbs apples, peeled and sliced thin (I used a combo of Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Braeburn)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt,
- Add the cubed butter (I cut the sticks into quarters lengthwise and then make 10-12 cuts for small cubes) to the bowl, toss to coat, and then cut the butter into the flour until the butter cubes are about the size of small peas. You can use a pastry cutter or two knives. I use my fingers - it's a workout!
- Add 1 cup of the cold water and stir with a spoon at first, and then use your hands to fold the dough a few times to create one large ball - add the additional water if necessary to bring it all together.
- Divide the dough into two pieces - I weighed the ball and pulled 2/3 off for the bottom crust, leaving the remaining 1/3 for the top crust.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- To make the filling, melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot (you'll be adding the apples to the pot - I use my big "pasta pot").
- Stir in the sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
- Let the mixture come to a slow steady boil and cook for ~10 minutes.
- Add the whiskey and cook for another ~10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and heavy cream.
- While the mixture is cooking, line a 11x17 jelly roll pan with parchment (or just butter it).
- Flour your work surface and roll the bottom crust to a rectangle larger a few inches larger than then pan.
- Transfer it to the pan, making sure it is big enough to hang over the edges, and then put it back into the fridge.
- Roll out the top crust to about the same size of the pan.
- Put the apples in the still warm caramel sauce, stirring until all of the apples are coated.
- Pour the apples into the prepared pan, spreading out into an even layer.
- Top with the other crust, fold the excess crust over the top crust, and then crimp the edges.
- Take a knife and cut several small venting slits over the top of the pie and brush with the egg wash.
- Bake in the top of the oven (with a large pan or foil on the shelf below - you will get spatters and drips) for ~45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
- Take out, let stand for ~15 minutes, and then enjoy with an optional (just do it) scoop of Salted Caramel Gelato on top.
Yields: ~18 servings
Estimated time: 2 hours
I am all cookied out. Every single cookie that I brought home from last weekend’s exchange is gone. I didn’t eat them all, because that would be a terrible idea, but I had my share. And now I can’t even bring myself to edit the photos for the butterscotch cookie post that’s hanging out in my drafts folder.
I’m so over cookies that I’m actually looking forward to a spinach salad for lunch.
What I am not over, besides that salad, is caramel popcorn. But not just any caramel corn. Caramel corn spiked with a generous dose of gingerbread spices.
It’s Christmas in a bowl… you know, if you’d ever put Christmas into a bowl and then try to ruin it by sitting on the couch to hate-watch a Homeland mini-marathon. But at least while the frustratingly empty minutes tick by, your house smells like gingerbread and you have handful after handful of spicy, crunchy gingerbread caramel corn to keep you company.
Gingerbread Caramel Corn
Caramel popcorn gets a holiday makeover with a generous dose of gingerbread spices.
- 6 cups popped popcorn (the yield from 1/3 rounded cup of kernels)
- Cooking spray or parchment paper
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar*
- 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean (can substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste)
- 2-3 tsp gingerbread spice (purchased or homemade)
- Preheat oven to 300.
- Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment. Have a rubber spatula handy.
- Pop the popcorn and transfer it to a large bowl.
- Heat the butter, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, add 2 tsp gingerbread spice and cook another 5 minutes.
- Let a little of the mixture cool on a spoon and then taste - not gingerbread-y enough? Add another tsp of spices.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
- Stir and immediately pour over the popcorn.
- Use a rubber spatula to stir until the popcorn is nicely coated and then transfer to the baking sheet, spreading out to an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Let cool ~15 minutes before eating.
- Store leftovers in a ziptop bag on the counter... if you have leftovers.
Yields: 6 1-cup servings
Estimated time: 45 minutes
‘Tis the season to pour melted butter on *&^#! –Me.
Festive and classy. That Jason is one lucky guy.
I did mean it when I said that the internet will always have room for one more baked slider recipe. And I did mean it when I said that this was the season to pour melted butter on [mommy word].
Of course, I mostly said that because I have two more slider recipes hanging out in my drafts folder. And I mostly said [mommy word] because that’s just who I am when my 3 year old isn’t around to hear it and then put me in time-out.
You have never seen a power trip like a 3 year old with that kind of power.
But back to those sliders.
These buttery bites of magical cookery are the best thing to happen to holiday flavors since… Maybe I’m stretching, here. But, they do come slathered with a spoonful of Bacon & Cranberry Chutney and topped with browned butter with cripsy, salty bites of prosciutto and crunchy slivers of sage leaves.
And then they’re baked until the cheese gets all melty and starts oozing out the sides. Is it an appetizer? Dinner? Breakfast? Something to grab on one of those “just because” trips through the kitchen?
Baked Turkey & Cranberry Sliders
Repurpose holiday leftovers into a baked turkey slider topped with browned sage butter.
- 24 dinner rolls (Hawaiian or homemade)
- 24 slices of turkey
- 6 slices of provolone (or other cheese), quartered
- Cranberry & Bacon Chutney (or leftover cranberry sauce)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 4 slices of prosciutto
- 4 large sage leaves, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 and line a large baking pan with foil.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until browned, frequently scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula.
- Remove from heat and add the prosciutto and sage, swirling to mix.
- Slice the rolls in half horizontally (if you break the rolls into 2 halves of 6, you can do this with 4 cuts and not squish the bread).
- To build the sliders, top the bottom roll with a slice of turkey (folded to fit), a quartered piece of cheese, a spoonful of the chutney, and the top roll.
- Place rolls close enough on the pan that they're nearly touching.
- After all rolls are assembled, brush butter sauce onto the rolls and spoon the prosciutto and sage leaves over top.
- Bake for ~15 minutes and serve hot. Or warm.
Yields: 24 sliders
Estimated time: 40 minutes
Let me tell you about the Thanksgiving Side Dish That Wasn’t.
No matter how many times you’ve hosted or cooked for 279 people at your house for a party or a holiday dinner, you aren’t immune from forgetting something. Realizing that the bag of ice you bought is now nothing more than a puddle underneath the shopping cart in the HEB parking lot is always my favorite.
Or the 2 boxes of cream cheese that slipped out of the bag and under the passenger seat when you had to slam on your brakes to avoid fusing your car with the car of a clueless driver because – SERIOUSLY, THE WET STUFF IS RAIN AND IT DOES SOMETIMES FALL FROM THE SKY IN TEXAS.
This year, that something was the cauliflower.
It was going to be slow-roasted in the oven until the bottoms caramelized and the very tips of the florets turned brown and crunchy. It was going to be tossed in a straight-from-heaven browned butter cooked with fresh sage – ’tis the Season, SAGE IN EVERYTHING! – and thin strips of prosciutto. It was going to be topped with some fresh grated Parmesan before passed around the table.
And every bite topped with those crispy bits of sage leaves and prosciutto was going to be met with oohs and aahs and mmms and rmgphrmnhgphs.
Instead, the cauliflower was left in the barren vegetable drawer in the fridge. Which worked out fabulously because when we got back from Thanksgiving #2 in northeast Texas, it was the only food left in the house.
The Thanksgiving Side Dish That Wasn’t turned into The More For Us Sunday Dinner.
Roasted Cauliflower with Sage Brown Butter & Prosciutto
Toss roasted, caramelized cauliflower with browned butter flavored with fresh sage and prosciutto for a quick but impressive veggie side dish.
- Olive oil
- 2 heads cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 4 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 4 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced
- Grated Parmesan, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Lightly grease 2 large baking pans with olive oil and divide the cauliflower between pans, spreading out into a single layer (or just bake half at a time, if you're short a baking sheet).
- Lightly brush or spray with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, until nicely browned.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it begins to brown.
- Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, add the sage leaves and prosciutto.
- The mixture will bubble up - swirl, remove from heat, and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a large serving platter - or onto a single baking sheet - and drizzle with the sage butter. Toss to coat.
- Season with additional salt and pepper and serve topped with grated parmesan.
Yields: Servings vary - it will go fast!
Estimated time: 45 minutes