Monday, June 11, 2007

Honey Apple Pie with Thyme

3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cored (about 11⁄4 pounds)
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored (about 11⁄2 pounds)

1⁄2 cup honey

6 thyme branches

1⁄4 cup unsalted butter (1⁄2 stick), cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons instant tapioca

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Flour, for dusting

Dough for 2 9-inch pie crusts (see next recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice Golden Delicious apples and 3 Granny Smith apples into sixths.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, bring 1⁄4 cup honey to a boil. Let simmer about 2 minutes, until honey is caramelized. Add 3 thyme branches. Arrange half the apples in a single layer in skillet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons butter over apples. Cook apples, turning, until well caramelized on all sides (but not cooked through), about 10 minutes. Scrape apples and honey mixture into a bowl. Add tapioca and toss to combine. Repeat cooking process with remaining honey, thyme, butter and sliced apples. Add second batch of apples to bowl; combine. Discard all thyme branches.

3. Thinly slice remaining Granny Smith apple and add it to bowl. Stir in sugar, ginger and salt.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out both crusts to 12-inch circles. Place one crust in 9-inch pie plate. Scrape apple filling into crust and top with remaining crust. Pinch edges to seal. With a knife, slice 4 vents in top of crust. Place pie on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.

5. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until crust is dark golden and apples are tender when pricked with a fork, about 45 minutes more. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

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