Apple Pie with Maple Caramel

Lauren Ko puts her signature spin on a Bakehouse classic

We miss bringing in special guests to BAKE! in-person, so, throughout this year, in addition to virtual classes and events, we’ve been bringing chefs, authors, and friends of the Bakehouse to your kitchens via recipes created exclusively for us, like today’s scrumptious apple pie!

These special guests will be creating recipes that use Bakehouse breads or freshly milled flours, or that put their own spin on one of the recipes found in our cookbook or cookbooklets.

This month, we’re welcoming cookbook author Lauren Ko:

overhead view of Lauren Ko's unbaked apple pie on a marble surface with a rolling pin and applesIf you’re familiar with Lauren Ko and her popular Instagram account @lokokitchen or her best-selling cookbook Pieometry, it will come as no surprise that she chose to adapt a pie recipe!  

She tweaked a double-crusted Rosy Red Apple Pie that appears in the Bakehouse’s cookbooklet, Breezy Breakfasts*, sweetening it with a homemade maple caramel sauce instead of granulated sugar and increasing the amount of dough in order to create one of her signature, complex lattice tops. You’ll end up with extra maple caramel sauce, perfect for drizzling on apple slices or your morning oatmeal.

Apple Pie with Maple Caramel

Ingredients

Maple Caramel Sauce (adapted from The View From Great Island)

  • 1 cup (300 g) maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Pie Dough

  • 3 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp (545 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp (10 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (330 g) unsalted butter, cold, 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tsp (120 g) cold water

Pie Filling

  • 5 (910 g) Ida Red apples (see the Tip! for additional apple options)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp (25 g) cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple caramel from above
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) water

Instructions

Make the pie dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt with a fork. Add three-quarters of the cold butter to the bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, or two knives, or your fingers. Cut or work the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. If using your fingers, break the butter chunks down and rub the butter and flour together. Pick the mixture up between your hands and rub your palms together as if they’re cold. This will break down the butter and rub it all over the flour.
    The flour will take on a creamy yellow color during this step. When you pick the mixture up in your hand, it should be possible to squeeze it into a mass that will hold together. When you see the color change and the mixture holds together when squeezed, you know that you’ve worked the butter in enough. Work quickly so that the butter doesn’t become warm.
    The goal of this step is to cover the flour with fat so that the gluten strands are not able to develop. This will allow the dough to be short and tender. It is much more problematic to not break down the butter enough in this step than it is to break it down too much. Most of us don’t incorporate it enough. Try not to be hesitant in this step.
  • Add the remaining one-fourth of the butter and cut it into the mixture as before. These butter pieces should be left pea-sized. The chunks of butter will create flakiness in the final pie crust—when they melt during baking, they create steam, which separates layers of the coated flour, making flakes of crust.
  • Create a well in the center of the mixture and add the cold water. Using a fork, blend the water into the flour mixture. The mixture will still be crumbly in the bowl, but it should look moist. If it still looks dry, add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water, until the mixture looks moistened but still crumbly.
    If the butter has been rubbed into the dough adequately in step 1, the amount of water specified should be adequate. More water is usually necessary only when the butter has not been adequately distributed. It’s not desirable to add more water, because it tends to make a tougher crust.
  • Turn the mixture out onto a clean, unfloured work surface, form into a mound, and push out sections of dough across the work surface with the heel of your hand. We call this “schmearing.” Push each section of dough once, not twice. Make sure to schmear enough so that the dough loses its dry, crumbly appearance. At the end of the schmearing, all of the pie crust will be pushed out flat on the work surface.
  • Fold the dough back onto itself with a bench scraper. Gather it into a ball, pressing it firmly so it holds together.
  • Cut it into three equal pieces, shape each one into a disk, and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling it out. The dough can stay in this form in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen, well-wrapped and preferably in an airtight container, for up to 3 months.

Make the maple caramel sauce:

  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the syrup to a boil. Boil until it reaches 225-230°F.
  • Remove from heat and add the coconut oil, stirring until it melts. Then gently stir in the coconut milk and salt, just until combined—over-stirring can cause the mixture to crystallize—and set aside to allow to cool.

Make the lattice top:

  • Remove one piece of the chilled dough from the refrigerator. While the dough is still in the plastic wrap, firmly but gently tap on it with the rolling pin until it is flexible but still cold. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Place the disk of unwrapped dough on the surface and lightly flour the top of the disk with flour.
  • Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and, using a rolling pin, start rolling the dough from the center to the edge, away from you. Do not use too much pressure, or the dough will crack. Roll it into a 13 by 13-inch square, reflouring the top of the dough to prevent the dough from sticking as necessary.
  • Using a pastry wheel and a ruler as a straight edge, cut the dough into approximately 1/3-inch strips.
  • Slide the parchment onto a baking sheet and place it in the fridge to chill while proceeding with the following steps.
  • Repeat steps 1-3 with the second disk of dough. If your baking environment is warm and the dough feels soft, slide the sheet of parchment onto a flat baking sheet and chill the dough in the fridge for 5 minutes. If your dough gets warm at any point in the weaving process, you can slide the sheets of parchment on a flat baking sheet to chill the dough in the fridge for several minutes.
  • Place one set of dough strips on parchment on your work surface so the strips are oriented vertically. Starting from the left side, fold back the first four strips of dough halfway. Skip the next four strips and then fold back the following four. Continue in this pattern until you run out of strips. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment and place it horizontally. This strip should lay across the center of the whole square. Unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Starting again from the left side, leave the first strip. Fold the next three strips back. Leave the next three strips and fold back the following single strip. Leave a strip and begin the pattern again until you reach the right side. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment, place it horizontally, and unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Starting from the left side, leave the first two strips. Fold back the next two strips. Leave the next two and fold back the following two. Continue in this alternating pattern until you reach the right side. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment, place it horizontally, and unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Starting from the left side, leave the first three strips. Fold back the next single strip. Leave the following single strip and then fold back the next three. Continue in this pattern until you reach the right side. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment, place it horizontally, and unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Starting from the left side, leave the first four strips and fold back the following four. Continue in this alternating pattern until you reach the right side. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment, place it horizontally, and unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Starting from the left side, fold back the first strip. Leave the next three strips, and then fold back the next three. Leave the following strip and then repeat the pattern. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment, place it horizontally, and unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Starting from the left side, fold back the first two strips. Leave the next two and then fold back the following two strips. Continue this pattern. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment, place it horizontally, and unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Starting from the left side, fold back the first three strips. Leave the next single strip and then fold back the following single strip. Leave the next three strips and then repeat the pattern. Retrieve a dough strip from the second sheet of parchment, place it horizontally, and unfold all the vertical strips.
  • Repeat steps 6-13 until you reach the end of the vertical strips.
  • Rotate the sheet of parchment containing the woven dough 180 degrees. The unwoven strips should be oriented on the bottom half of the square.
  • Repeat steps 7-13 in descending order to complete the full sheet of woven dough.
  • Slide the sheet of parchment on a flat baking sheet and place it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until the woven dough is frozen solid.

Make the filling and assemble the pie:

  • Heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Core and slice each apple into 6 pieces. In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.
  • Remove the third disk of dough from the refrigerator, While the dough is still in the plastic wrap, firmly but gently tap on it with the rolling pin until it is flexible but still cold. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Place the disk of unwrapped dough on the surface and lightly flour the top of the disk with flour.
  • Using a rolling pin, start rolling the dough from the center to the edge, away from you. Do not use too much pressure, or the dough will crack.
  • Stop and give the dough a one-eighth turn. This rotation will prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface and will help make a perfect circle.
  • Reflour the work surface and the top of the dough to prevent the dough from sticking. Continue to roll the dough until it’s about 1/8-inch thick and is about 1 inch bigger than the pie plate you will be using. Flour is your friend in this process. Use it liberally to avoid sticking.
  • When the crust has reached the correct size, use a pastry brush to brush away any extra flour from the top of the pie dough. Turn the dough over and brush off any extra flour from the bottom. One way to do this is to roll the dough up on your rolling pin and then unwind it with the bottom surface now facing up.
  • Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough loosely around the pin. Position the edge of the dough over the edge of the pie plate and unroll the dough. Gently ease the dough down into the pie plate, making sure not to stretch the dough.
  • Toss the apples with the cornstarch mixture until the dry ingredients are moistened, then add the maple caramel and stir to coat.
  • Line the apple slices into the pie shell to fill in any gaps, building the apple mound up. Press the apples down slightly, and pour any of the maple caramel that is left in the bowl over the apples. Evenly distribute small pieces of the softened butter on top.
  • Make the egg wash by whisking together the egg, egg yolk, and water. Lightly brush the edge of the pie dough with the egg wash.
  • Remove the frozen lattice from the parchment and place it directly on the prepared and filled pie shell. Allow to thaw for about 5 minutes. Run a paring knife around the edge of the pie plate to trim off the excess dough. Gently press the edges of the pie to ensure the top and bottom crusts are sealed.
  • Brush the entire top of the pie with egg wash, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 70 to 80 minutes. The pie juices should be bubbling in the center and the crust will take on a golden color.
  • Remove from the oven and let the pie cool to room temperature before serving (this will allow the juices to thicken).

Notes

Tip! Don’t have Ida Red apples? Try Northern Spy, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or a blend of apple varieties.

Lauren Ko's Apple Pie with Maple Caramel*If you’re wondering why this recipe appears in a breakfast cookbook, it’s because Bakehouse Managing Partner Amy Emberling’s family often eats leftover fruit pie for breakfast—she calls it “Burgess Breakfast” after her mother-in-law’s maiden name. You’re more than welcome to adopt Amy’s family tradition as your own! 

Hungry for More?

Lauren Ko headshot by Danielle Elliott
Lauren Ko
Website | + posts

LAUREN KO is an artist, self-taught home baker, founder of the popular Instagram account @lokokitchen, and author of the best-selling cookbook, PIEOMETRY. Her colorful geometric style made all hell bake loose on the frontier of contemporary pie art, and her iconic signature spoke design has been dubbed the “modern lattice.” Her work has been widely featured in publications such as Vogue, O Magazine, Buzzfeed's Tasty, and on-screen in Martha Bakes and CBS’ Sunday Morning. Lauren has roots in sunny San Diego, but is currently based in Seattle, WA with her partner, Ben, and their bear dog, Santi. 

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