Happy Fourth of July! Let’s take a quick break from our work/life balance series to ask: Any plans to see fireworks or eat hot dogs? Since nothing is more all-American that apple pie, Hannah from Honey and Jam is sharing her favorite recipe today, and bonus: it has caramel

The Best Apple Pie You’ll Ever Have
By Hannah from Honey and Jam

Apple pie is the best sort of pie. It’s homey, familiar and always delicious. This recipe is my absolute favorite. It takes a little more time than your average recipe, but it’s worth it, I assure you!

The best part of this pie is the apple cider caramel. Caramel-making sounds a little fussy, but it’s actually as easy as standing over a pot for a few minutes. It adds such a depth of flavor and intensifies the apple taste. You’ll want to save the left over caramel for pancakes or ice cream!

Tip: Let this cool completely before cutting. I always want to dive right in, but you have to let it set, otherwise you’ll have a watery mess. Enjoy!

Recipe: Cider Caramel Apple Pie

For the cider caramel:
4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter

For the pie:
5-6 cups sliced apple (gala or granny smith are best)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cider caramel, warmed
1 large egg, beaten

For the crust:
(recipe from Martha Stewart)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

To make the crust:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)

With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

To make the caramel:

Pour cider into heavy bottomed pot. Boil cider until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Add butter & sugar, cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Can be made 2 days ahead, transfer to bowl and keep refrigerated.

To make the pie:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Let pie dough rest on counter for 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into two 1/8 inch thick rounds. Press one round into lightly greased pie plate.

In a large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla, and caramel. Mix well. Spoon apples into pie plate. Cover with remaining crust. Cut 4 steam vents into top. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar & cinnamon.

Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool before serving.

Thank you so much, Hannah–and happy Fourth of July, everyone!

P.S. More best recipes, including cookies and chocolate ice-cream.

(Photos by Hannah from Honey and Jam. Thanks to Shoko for help with this series.)