Instructions: To make the dough
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-sized pieces of butter.
- Add milk gradually until mixture is just combined. If dough just sticks together when pinched with small dry cracks, the dough is ready.
- Turn the dough onto a work surface. Divide in half, shaping each portion into a disk.
- Tightly wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 1 week if using later.
- Position rack at bottom third of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each disk into a 12-inch round of about 1/8-inch thickness, setting one aside when complete. Roll finished round onto rolling pin, gently unrolling onto 9-inch pie plate. Gently unfold and press down to line the bottom and sides of dish. Do not trim excess dough at this time.
TIP: Extra pie crust dough can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated up to one week for another application, or make pie crust cookies!
Instructions: Make the filling
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and apple juice and whisk with fork. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy pot, melt butter and sugar on medium high heat, stirring only until sugar dissolves (7 to 8 minutes).
- Cook until sugar is caramelized and add the apples, (approximately 8 minutes, or until caramel “seizes”). Stir well until smooth, and add the almond flavore liqueur (optional). Cook on medium high heat stirring occasionally until the apples soften (about 8 minutes).
- Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, vanilla and cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly and cook until mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes. (Note: there may be small pieces of caramel clinging to apples which will melt upon baking.)
- Pour filling into pie pan lined with dough. Pat apple slices flat and top with reserved dough, pinching top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough, leaving 1 inch overhang. Flute edges by using index finger to push the outer edge in while pinching the inner edge with other index finger and thumb. Cut 8 small parallel slits near edge of top crust to allow steam to vent while baking.
- Whisk egg in a small bowl. Brush a thin layer of egg over top of the pie and finish by sprinkling with sugar.
- Place pie on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet to catch drippings.
- Bake 20-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- Cool before cutting. Serve cool or warm with Bourbon Caramel Topping and whipped cream.
Instructions: Make the topping
- Combine cream and bourbon in a small pot and bring to a low simmer (do not boil). Continue to simmer as you prepare the next step.
- In a separate medium saucepan, bring water, sugar and vanilla to boil over high heat, stirring once or twice. Reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil and boil without stirring until sugar caramelizes and turns a dark amber color, 9 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream mixture. This will cause sugar to steam (be very careful as mixture is extremely hot). If sugar “seizes,” return to heat and whisk constantly until sugar melts and is smooth. Strain through a sieve and cool. Stir before use. Any leftover caramel sauce may be kept refrigerated up to 3 weeks.