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Deconstructed Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Deconstructed Caramel Apple Pie Recipe | Michele Bogle
Deconstructed Caramel Apple Pie Recipe | Michele Bogle

Most everyone has an apple pie recipe from their grandmother, close friend, or the internet. As apple season is nearing an end, I thought I’d offer a little twist to a classic – a deconstructed caramel apple pie. 

The frame of this dessert is shortcrust dipped in caramel and accented with edible gold dust. Under the pastry dome is a baked red gala apple stuffed with walnut and cinnamon custard. Whether you enjoy the elements individually or all at once, this elegant presentation will wow whoever comes to dinner. 

This is a reminder that the Civitan Farmers Market at Dorval Crossing in Oakville ends on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 1:00 pm.

Deconstructed Caramel Apple Pie Recipe


Baking dish, heat-resistant measuring cup, small saucepan, whisk, tablespoon, teaspoon, paring knife, parchment paper, pastry cutter, plastic wrap, small bowl, rolling pin, baking sheet, pastry brush

PREPARATION TIME   1 hr                     YIELDS   4


Baked Apples

4 similar-sized gala apples 

½ cup water


¾ cup milk

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 Tbsp butter

1 ½ tsp cornstarch

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp cinnamon

4 walnut halves, crushed


2 sheets of shortcrust, cold

Gold dust (optional)


½ cup sugar

⅛ cup cold water

1 Tbsp butter

¼ cup heavy cream


Step 1 - Apples

Preheat the oven to 350℉. Dig a well in each clean apple with a paring knife. Be careful not to cut through the bottom. Set the apples right side up in a baking dish. Pour ½ cup of water in and bake for 25 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool.

Step 2 - Custard

Pour milk and ⅛ cup of sugar into a small saucepan. As the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.

Step 3

Combine an additional ⅛ cup of sugar and cornstarch in a heat-resistant measuring cup, then whisk in egg yolks. Pour approximately ¼ cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg while whisking to avoid cooking the egg into lumps. When smooth, add the measuring cup mixture back into the saucepan. Stir or whisk on low heat for 3 to 5 minutes until custard thickens.

Step 4

Turn the heat off and add one tablespoon butter. When the custard cools, remove it from heat and gently stir in vanilla, walnut and cinnamon. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to avoid a dried layer from forming on top. Refrigerate while preparing the pastry.

Step 5 - Pastry

Preheat the oven to 390℉. Lay one ¼ inch pastry sheet at a time on a clean surface. Use a rolling pin to make adjustments. 

Ball up four wads of parchment paper, larger than each apple. Do a fitting with the pastry around the paper ball without tucking it under. Use this fitting to cut a circle for each of the four pastry pieces. Serrate each piece of pastry with the pastry cutter. Carefully fan each one out into a dome shape around the balled-up paper. Apply gentle pressure to secure the pastry in place. Flowers are optional. A cutout was used in this recipe. The shape is basic and can be made easily by hand with pastry scraps.

Place another piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Carefully set each pastry-covered ball spaced apart on the baking sheet. Adjust the shape before baking, making certain that the pastry will stand on its own when the paper is removed.

Bake for 12 minutes or until a light golden brown. Keep an eye on it near the end in order to avoid burning them. The flowers can be added a couple of minutes before the timer ends. Let cool, and carefully remove the paper through the bottom of each dome.

Step 6 - Caramel

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add ½ cup of sugar and ⅛ cup cold water. Stir to combine, then cook without stirring for approximately 10 minutes or until an amber hue appears. Lower the heat to medium. The caramel will turn dark and become bitter very quickly. Reduce heat to low.

Step 7

Microwave cream in a heat-resistant measuring cup for 40 seconds. Slowly whisk the warm cream into the caramel until smooth, and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

Step 8 - Assembly

Set the apples on the serving plates. Spoon custard into each apple until it reaches the top. With the pastry brush, cover the domes with caramel. The flowers can be attached to the domes with caramel. Sprinkle a little gold dust on the domes. Carefully lift the domes onto each stuffed apple.