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Apple pie ravioli with caramel sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch fine sea salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cardamom
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
⅓ cup ice water, plus more as needed
2 medium crisp apples (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pinch fine sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch fine sea salt
1 large egg yolk (white reserved for brushing dough)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted and finely chopped, optional
1 large egg white, for brushing
Coarse raw sugar, for sprinkling
Caramel Drizzle, for serving
Toasted chopped walnuts or pecans for serving, optional
For the caramel drizzle, heat the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the sugar melts and darkens to a pale amber color, 3 to 5 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add the butter all at once (the sugar will be bubbly, so be careful) and continue whisking until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Carefully add the cream, vanilla, and salt, whisking until smooth and fully incorporated, about 1 more minute. Let the caramel cool about 10 minutes (it will continue to thicken as it cools), then transfer to a jar; or cool completely and pour into a small squeeze bottle.
This can be made ahead and stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for weeks. Before serving, reheat gently (by transferring to a saucepan and warming over low heat, stirring occasionally; or by transferring to a bowl and microwaving at half power in 15-second intervals, stirring between each interval) until warmed through. If you keep the caramel in a squeeze bottle, the best way to rewarm it is to stand the squeeze bottle in a bowl of hot water for several minutes.
Variation: Sea-salted Caramel Drizzle – Instead of the pinch of fine sea salt, use ½ teaspoon fleur de sel or other sweet, flaky sea salt.
To make the pastry dough, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the standard blade. Pulse to mix, then add the butter and pulse a few more times, just until the mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal. Add ¼ cup ice water, then pulse the machine a few more times. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing only enough to uniformly combine the ingredients—just until the mixture begins to gather together, but not long enough to allow it to form a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of wax paper. Lightly press the pieces together through the paper. Then divide the dough in half and lightly pat each half into a rectangle about ¾ inch thick, wrap tightly in the wax paper, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.
To make the apple filling, peel, core, and finely dice the apples, transferring them to a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, tossing to coat. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and salt and mix well to combine.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the brown sugar until melted, then add the apple mixture to the pan, raise the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the liquid in the skillet has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. (The apple filling can be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
To make the cheese filling, combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, ricotta, lemon zest, and salt in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Stir in the nuts. (The cheese filling can be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.).
Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack positioned in the center. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly dust a smooth work surface with flour and roll out one portion of the dough as a 10 by 15-inch rectangle, with an even thickness of ⅛ to ¼ inch (not too thin or it will become difficult
to handle and fall apart).
Use a pastry cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough lengthwise into 2½-inch-wide strips. Then cut each strip crosswise into 2½-inch squares. (You should end up with 20 squares.)
Arrange the first set of pastry squares on the parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Spoon 1 scant teaspoon of cheese filling onto each square. Use the back of the spoon to spread the filling in an even layer, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge. Top the cheese with about 1 teaspoon of apple filling.
Roll out and cut the remaining rectangle of dough into 2½-by 2½-inch squares. (You should end up with another 20 squares, to top the filled ones.)
Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Use a small brush to lightly coat the edges of the filled dough squares with egg wash. Lay a square of dough over the top of each and gently press the edges together with a fork to seal. Carefully use the tip of a very sharp paring knife to make a tiny, X-shaped vent in the top of each pouch (this will allow steam to release during baking).
Lightly brush the tops and edges of the little pouches with the remaining egg wash, then sprinkle the ravioli with coarse sugar. (The pastries can be frozen at this stage for up to 3 months.
Freeze on the baking sheets, then transfer to heavyweight plastic freezer bags. Don’t thaw before baking; just add a few minutes to the baking time.)
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until tops and edges are golden brown, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time.
Let cool 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully transfer the ravioli to a wire rack. Serve slightly warm, drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with toasted nuts.