By Edward Kdonian
About 10 medium sized apples
1 cup dark or light brown sugar
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ cup bourbon or brandy
1 Tbs vanilla
1 pie crust either homemade or store bought
Step one: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside
Step two: Cut apples into 4 pieces around core. Do not use a circular coring tool as this will make it harder to get flat slices for the rose shape.
Step three: Using a mandolin slice all apples thinly. Make sure to slice them in a way that the each have at least one side with the skin still across whole apple
Step four: Place about one third of apple slices in a large bowl and sprinkle a third of the sugar mixture over them. Repeat with second third of apples and sugar. Then add remaining apples to the top of bowl and cover with remaining sugar mixture.
Step four: Let apples marinate in sugar for about 30 minutes to soften and release liquid. Then pour brandy and vanilla over apples and mix gently. If some slices break don’t worry but try not to handle roughly. Let sit another 30 minutes or so.
Step five: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and place pie crust in bottom of dish.
Step six: Now that the apples have softened begin by picking a large piece and rolling it tightly into a tube. Then begin adding one slice at a time until you have a rose sized blossom formed from the apple slices. Now place that apple rose in the center of the pie crust. The sugar should act as a binder holding the apple slices together enough so that it doesn't fall apart.
*Note: if making caramel sauce save left over juice from apples rather than throwing out
Step seven: Begin adding onto the center rose one apple slice at a time, make sure to add evenly on all sides. Do this until you reach the edges of the pie. Remember it is okay if some slices are broken it won’t be noticeable in finished product. If you notice you might not have enough slices when you are still distant from the edge you can begin working inwards from the outer edge and then spread out the blossom one layer at a time to fill the pie.
Step eight: Bake pie for about 45 minutes or until apples and pie shell are nicely browned.
Step nine: Enjoy
Combine remaining juice from the apples with one cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of bourbon or brandy, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium low heat until mixture reaches approximately 210 degrees. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and thicken slightly before drizzling it over your pie, or save it in the fridge and serve individually with slices of pie. Caramel will be thick when cold and should be warmed slightly in the microwave before serving.