NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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October 31, 2012

Slicing up a caramel apple -- as a pie

We decided to see what would happen if we transformed that classic treat of autumn — the caramel apple — into a pie. The result? A crazy good no-bake apple pie.

It’s also totally versatile. We opted to top our pie with a blend of crumbled shortbread cookies, chopped toasted peanuts and mini chocolate chips. But feel free to cater to your crowd and top the pie with whatever you prefer to coat your caramel apples with. Just aim for about a total of about 1 cup of toppings.

This pie should be assembled just before serving. The apples can be cooked ahead of time. Then when you are ready for dessert, it will take just 15 minutes to finish the recipe and get it to the table.

CARAMEL APPLE PIE

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 8

6 baking apples (such as Fuji or Gala), peeled, cored and sliced

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

14-ounce package caramel candies, unwrapped

1/2 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon apple pie spice

Pinch salt

9-inch prepared graham cracker crust

1/2 cup crumbled shortbread cookies

1/4 cup chopped toasted peanuts

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, toss the apple slices with the vinegar. Cook until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the apples and any juices in the pan to a large bowl. Set aside.

Return the skillet to the heat. Add the caramel candies, half-and-half, apple pie spice and salt. Heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Pour the caramel mixture over the apples and stir until well coated. Spoon the apple-caramel mixture into the graham cracker crust.

Sprinkle the top with the cookies, peanuts and chocolate chips. Serve immediately.

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