- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- Pastry dough for a 2-crust pie
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- 8 cups peeled and thinly sliced mixed-variety apples (about 2 3/4 pounds) (see note)
- 1/4 cup unrefined sugar
- 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Cut a 9-inch circle of parchment paper. Place it in the bottom of a 9-inch pie or cake pan. Spread butter over the entire surface of the parchment paper, covering the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and drizzle with maple syrup. Arrange pecans on top, in a sunburst pattern, curved side-down.
Roll out half the pie crust into a 12-inch circle and tuck into the pan on top of pecans, draping any excess over the edges to hold it in place. Brush outside edges lightly with egg wash.
Combine apples, unrefined sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon. Mound apples into pie crust (it will look like a lot, but the apples will cook down). Roll out the second crust and drape over apples. Crimp the edges of the crust together firmly and trim to about 1/2-inch of overhang. Roll the edges in to form a tight seal. Pierce the surface with a sharp knife tip 3 or 4 four times to vent steam. Brush top crust with egg wash. Place pie on a baking sheet to catch any spillage.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until deep golden brown. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Place a cake plate, upside down, on top of the pie pan and grasping both together, turn over. Do this step carefully as the juices in the pie will be hot. Remove the pan and peel the parchment off the top. Be sure to invert the pie while the caramel is still warm. Let the pie rest at least 1 hour before cutting.
Using a variety of apples is a fun way to experiment with flavor and texture. A large apple will yield about 2 cups of slices; a small one, about 1 cup.