Kate Hudson’s pie lives up to its name!
FOR THE CRUST:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (cold, cut into pieces)
1/4 cup cold water
10 store-bought caramels (roughly chopped)
FOR THE FILLING:
2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 7 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE PECAN CRUMBLE:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
FOR THE CARAMEL DRIZZLE:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
30 store-bought caramels
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Crust: Combine the flours, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Sprinkle the butter into the bowl and pulse another 5 or 6 times to mix. Use a fork to break up the mixture, lifting the heavier parts of the mixture from the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle the shortening into the bowl and pulse 5 or 6 times. Gently toss the mixture again with the fork. Pour half of the water over the flour mixture and pulse another 5 or 6 times. Toss again. Add the remaining water and pulse until the dough starts to look like coarse crumbs.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Squeeze a bit of the dough between your fingers – if it crumbles instead of packs together, sprinkle a teaspoon of cold water over the dough and work it in with your fingers. Form a ball with the dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the ball a couple of times, and then shape it into a 3/4-inch- thick disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
On a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, roll the dough into a 15-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Carefully flip the dough over a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan, making sure the dough is centered, and then remove the parchment paper. Use your fingertips to tuck the dough into the pan, without stretching it, and press the dough up the sides to create a roughly 1-inch ridge above the rim of the pan. Trim the overhang of excess dough and form into a ball and set aside. Use your thumb and finger to create a fluted edge. Scatter the caramel pieces over the dough in the bottom of the pan and place it all in the freezer while you make the filling.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten the remaining ball of dough and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a leaf-shaped cookie cutter, punch out leaves. Use a paring knife to create the lines of the leaves. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and hold in the freezer until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
For the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to macerate. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Stir the mixture into the fruit along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top. Put the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
For the Pecan Crumble: In a food processor, combine the flour, pecan halves, granulated sugar, and salt. Pulse to coarsely chop the nuts. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl, then rub it between your fingers to form slightly larger crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375ºF. Carefully and evenly spread the pecan crumble over the top of the pie. Use your fingers to pat it down lightly. Gently arrange the pie dough leaves on top of the crumble. Set the pie on a baking sheet and return it to the oven, rotating it 180 degrees from how it was originally placed in the oven. Bake until the filling is bubbling around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. If the top starts to get too dark, cover the pie with loosely tented aluminum foil. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for about 1 hour.
For the Caramel Drizzle: While the pie is still warm, combine the butter, caramels, and 1 tablespoon water in a large heatproof bowl set over a small pot of barely simmering water. Melt the caramels, pressing down with a rubber spatula to help them soften. Once the caramels are completely melted, whisk the mixture until it’s smooth. Drizzle the caramel over the pie, immediately arrange the pecan halves on top (get creative with a design!), and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.