The thing about apple pie is that it has been done before (a million different times and a million different ways). Such apple exploitation leads to a general lack of enthusiasm about this dessert, which is rather sad considering it’s an American classic. I’ll be the first to admit that fruit pies in general aren’t my favorite dessert. Don’t get me wrong; I can get down with a slice of pie. It’s just not top on my coveted desserts list.
However, I’m not going to say that all apple pies are boring, because that just wouldn’t be true. When you have a good apple pie, it reminds you why it became a classic American dessert in the first place. You understand why it appears at the end of every holiday meal and why every baker embarks on the noble quest to acquire the ultimate apple pie recipe. When apple pie is good, it’s really good. It just has to be done right.
What is the pinnacle of apple pie in my humble (pie) opinion?
The Clinton Cider Mill’s Apple Caramel Pie.
This is apple pie perfection. The crust is buttery and flaky, adorned with a generous topping of walnuts and caramel. Even my sister who hates pie crust enjoys it. Beneath this tasty shell lies the best apple filling I’ve ever tasted. I don’t know how the Cider Mill does it, but the apples taste so incredibly fresh. For lack of a better word, they are truly appley. Better yet, they still retain a bit of fresh crispness. I have never tasted apples this good in a pie before. The only thing that could make them better is piling ‘em mile-high with gooey filling and delicious, inviting spices. It is one spectacular pie.
The crunchy nuts and modest amount of caramel give this pie a leg up on any plain apple pie without drifting too far from this classic dessert. It is perfection. Unfortunately, the you can no longer get your hands on one this season (I know, I’m cruel for even posting this!). The Clinton Cider Mill, a wonderful local gem located in teeny-tiny Clinton, NY, is closing until next Fall (hence why I bought a pie while I could). However, if you live anywhere near The Clinton Cider Mill, you must try this the second they open up again. And make sure you buy a couple pies so you cam freeze them for later!
I don’t have a photo of the pie interior for you little cookies, and that is for selfish reasons. I am freezing the pie so that I can enjoy it during The Cider Mill’s off-season, and I refuse to risk cutting it open (Yeah, it’s that good). Forgive me! Perhaps I’ll post a picture of a slice whenever I should resurrect the pie from the frozen depths of my freezer and delve into its appley-goodness.