Fall is officially upon us, bringing cool-weather clothes, a whole new repertoire of warm and hearty recipes and the start of a brand-new school year.
However, our charming days of new, multicolored backpacks, freshly sharpened color pencils and desks with fun, felt-pen name cards are gone, replaced by hundred-dollar textbooks, homework you somehow are already behind on by day one, and professors who assume that their class is the only class you’re taking based on the workload they assign.
Though we no longer get to bring an apple to our teacher on the first day of class, we’re not giving up on the age-old tradition of ringing in the school year with an apple … make that a whole bundle of them!
Get on your roommates’ good side right off the bat with this crunchy caramel apple pie! The crumb topping, caramel sauce and cinnamon-y goodness of the apple filling will knock your socks off!
We’re college students, so take the easy way out and buy Pillsbury dough crust, unroll that into a pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until just baked.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup flour and ½ cup quick oats. Cut in 1 stick of butter, gently softened, and mix with your hands to form “crumbs.” Set aside.
*Tip: Feel free to play with the proportions here to get it just how you like it. I like mine oatier, some like theirs with more sugar or flour – you are the artist here!
In a large bowl, stir ½ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of salt. Add 6 cups of apples, already peeled and thinly sliced.
*Tip on the apples: I use a combination of Fuji, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious.
Toss the apple slices until coated, again playing with your ingredients.
*Tip: If the apples are especially juicy, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour to thicken the mixture … you don’t want apple soup in your pie.
Transfer the apple mixture to a 9-inch pie shell. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples, place pie on a cookie sheet (to catch drippings) and cover edges of pie with foil (since the edges are usually what burn first).
*Tip: Poke generous amounts of good-sized holes in the crumb crust so the caramel will have a place to go and won’t run off. Heat caramel briefly in the microwave to soften caramel to drizzling consistency.
Serve alongside a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Maybe coming back to school isn’t so bad after all?