Few things are associated with America, fall, or thanksgiving quite like apple pie. There is something about the time of year that requires apple pies to be made. May or may not have something to do with apples being in season… nah, I’m sure it’s completely unrelated. Definitely something to do with pilgrims and indians and apples… then America was made and everyone feasted on apple pie a la mode… yeah, that sounds about right.
Back east, we have tons of apple orchards, you just go and pick your very own apples, watch some turn into cider, pet some farm animals, get a hot apple fritter, and bring however many pounds of apples you’ve acquired home for fresh apple pie, apple cobbler, apple sauce, or just plain apples.
The apples here are sad when compared to the ones back home, but just like lemonade from lemons, when life gives you apples…. No, don’t make apple-aid. Pie will do just fine. There are a lot of different apple pie camps. Not only is there debate over which apples to use – granny smith, macon, macintosh, golden delicious… So many varieties of apples are available they’ll make your head spin. And then there’s the crust – single crust, double crust, thick or thin crusts… Where’s a girl to start.
Well, for this girl at least, it starts with streusel. Not only does streusel make everything infinity better, it gives this pie a welcome ‘crunch’ that accents the soft apples and makes your mouth go “wow”. Not literally, of course, because then you’d be spilling apple pie out of your mouth, and what a waste of apple pie that would be, I don’t care how shocked you are. Swallow first, then “wow”. There will be no wasting of apple pie in my home. None.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Just when you thought you were done, a drizzle of caramel takes it to the next level – taking the pie up a notch from “apple pie” to “caramel apple pie”… That’s right. I went there. Mmmm … caramel… (did anyone else hear Homer Simpson in their head?)
For my pie, I used a mixture of pretty much whatever I could get my hands on at the store. The apples here don’t carry the same heft as back home, but they worked out just fine. I used, I believe, 2 granny smiths, 2 macintosh, and perhaps even a pink lady. With the added sweetness of the streusel and caramel though, feel free to stick with the tart granny smith for more flavor contrast. Otherwise, mix and match to your heart’s content.
Caramel Apple Pie
For the filling
- 1 recipe single-crust pie dough
- 3 tablespoons AP flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 c thinly sliced, peeled apples (about 3 large, or 6 small apples)
- 1 c packed brown sugar
- ½ c AP flour
- ½ c quick-cooking oats
- ½ c butter
- ½ c granulated sugar
- ¼ c caramel topping
Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a pie pan for use.
1. Make pie crust and roll dough to 12-inch circle. Transfer to 9” pie plate.
OR … unroll thawed store-bought pie crust… blasphemy, I know
Make the streusel:
- Stir together brown sugar, ½ c AP flour and oats and cut in butter until crumbly.
Prepare the apples:
- Stir together sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add apple slices and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to pie crust & sprinkle w crumb topping.
- Cover edges of pie with crust covers or aluminum foil and bake 25min @ 375F.
- Remove foil and bake additional 25 – 30 min until top is golden.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with caramel. Cool before serving