Allow me to break it down for you…
I feel like the world is separated into two groups of people: Those that grew up eating brownies, cupcakes and all things chocolate, and then those that consumed sweet homemade pie. I was in the second group: lemon Meringue, coconut cream, mincemeat, blueberry, rhubarb (my favorite) and good ole’ American apple pie. My mom, and my grandma for that matter, could make some pies! They barely had running water and indoor plumbing but pies were always on the table for Sunday dinner (fyi mom always said dinner was at lunch time and supper was the evening meal. Apparently we’ve all been wrong about that for some time – just trying to get the word out.) If there was a pie-off they could bake you under the table with both arms tied behind their back, in an igloo, hanging upside down, smack dab in the middle of a colossal snowstorm.❄ Seriously, when it comes to pies, the Crenshaw women don’t play.? Truth.
In all seriousness, homemade pie making is an art form. Think about it: so much love, time and effort go into it.? Starting with white powder, some form of fat, water and whole fruit, somehow comes this mouth watering, always original, eye candy. I think I’m in love!❤
If you’re a true samurai warrior pie maker, then you don’t have any of those fandangled tools like peelers, mandolins, food processors, rolling pins…no way. You use your hands, your teeth (sorry, that was a different baking story involving chocolate chunks) I mean knives and some good ole’ elbow grease.? And you…Get. It. Done.
I truly wish I had paid more attention to all the pie baking that was going on around me as a child. I had master pie wizards in my presence for 17 years and I completely took it for granted. Meanwhile I was out climbing trees, building forts and playing TV tag till it was dark. Oh well, I guess I still have my memories, and well, Pillsbury. ?
Although it makes me break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it?, I still, to this day, once in a great while, *attempt* to make a homemade pie crust (emphasis on attempt). I am by no means good at it. Honestly, if it turns out right I just think, “phew, I got lucky!”? Regardless of all my misses, I will always keep trying – intermittently – while using store-bought crust most of the time.
Today happens to be one of those intermittent times, when I gave it the old college try and made a homemade piecrust. ‘Cause ?what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I get knocked down but I get up again? and then there’s the tiny detail about it being the biggest pie holiday of the year – Thanksgiving!!? (FEELING A LOT OF PRESSURE RIGHT NOW.)?
So, here’s how my homemade piecrust scored: On a scale of 1-10, 1 being “I have to throw this away” and 10 being “I think Martha Stewart took up residence in my body,” mine was a solid 7. Better than average but always room for improvement.? Don’t you worry, I will keep on keeping on, I guess ?you may say I’m a dreamer? but who cares… ?it’s a beautiful day?!
Enough about pie-crust and inspirational radio hits already! Let’s talk about the amazing caramel apple part.? OMG – it is like Christmas morning?, and your birthday? all in a glass dish. Seriously. It’s similar to other apple pie recipes except you actually cook the apples in butter for a bit before putting them in the pie dough. Amazingly enough, this really elevates those apples and takes my “solid 7” up to an 11!?
If you’re planning to make an apple pie for Thanksgiving (or anytime really), this is the one to make. Make your own crust if that’s what you do, or pick one up from the grocery store – either way – Caramel Apple Pie is where it’s at!!???
Oh and if you’re looking for everything else that goes along with the Caramel Apple Pie, and a bit of entertainment, check out our Friendsgiving Supper Club post!?
The only thing that could possibly be better than homemade apple pie is homemade “caramel” apple pie!
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more for work surface, spooned and leveled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold, cut into pieces, 1 stick
- 2-4 tablespoons ice water
- 6 cups apples Jonathan or Granny Smith
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- I find it easiest to repeat this recipe twice in two separate batches, so I end up with two “disks” in step 4 below (one will be for the pie shell, and one for the pie top).
- In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and cut in with food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Any remaining butter at this point should only be very small pea-sized pieces.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water, and continue to work dough with food processor until it is crumbly, but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overwork.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and form into a ¾ inch thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- When ready, allow the dough to come back up to room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Then roll out dough on a floured surface.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Peel and slice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook about 10 minutes, to soften the apples. Let apples cool to room temperature. Turn into pie shell.
- Add top crust to pie, then seal, flute the edge and vent the top. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 and bake another 40 minutes.
For the pie crust, the original recipe recommends using a pastry blender in a bowl. I have had decent success with my food processor using the metal blade as described here.