For me, the holiday season is when all of the best guilty pleasures roll out. It starts with the yearly Great Pumpkin bombardment, which by mid-September I am fully ready to dive gut first into. I’m trying not to eat my weight in Stollen but let’s face it, it may well happen. I’m doing quite a lot of back-up on Elvis’ Blue Christmas (do do do DOO do, do do do DOOO do).

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This pie is a marvelous guilty pleasure, and one that I heavily borrowed from Restless Chipotle. It is splendid, as is the rest of her site. I’m not a huge candy eater, and cooking with candy isn’t usually my thing, except for this. The Red Hots don’t over-spice or over-sugar the apples, but what they do give is the prettiest candy apple pink color to the filling.

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Red Candy Apple Pie

1 batch of pie dough, divided in two pieces and chilled

8 medium sweet-tart baking apples (I used honeycrisp and pink lady)
1/3 c. Red Hot candies
1/2 c. apple juice
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
1 egg
2 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Roll each piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8″ thick. Line a 9″ pie dish with one piece, trim the excess away from the rim, and return both pieces to the fridge to chill.

Peel core and slice the apples (about 8 slices per apple) and set aside.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed pan, bring the Red Hots, juice, sugar, and salt to a low simmer. Whisk gently until the candies are completely melted.

Add the apples to the pan and stir to combine. Bring the heat up to medium and continue to cook until the apples are slightly softened. Remove the apples, but reserve the juice/candy mixture in the pan.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice, being sure not to allow lumps to form. Add a 1/2 cup of the reserved juice. Pour the mixture back into the rest of the juice and allow to thicken over low heat, whisking often. Cool to lukewarm.

Pour the cooled apples into the pie shell. Top with the thickened sauce, then with the cold butter. Place the top crust on top, crimp the top and bottom together, and decorate.

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Beat the egg with a little water and brush lightly onto the top crust. Evenly sprinkle the 2 Tbsp. of sugar over the surface.

Bake at 375F until golden brown and bubbling, about 40-45 min.

Allow to cool before serving, then eat with reckless abandon.

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