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Caramel Apple Struesel Pie - total time 1.5 hours

What's more American than apple pie?  Well, a lot of things.  What's more American than apple pie on Thanksgiving surrounded by family?  Hmm... okay, now that's pretty American.

I've made traditional apple pie before... and you know, it's as easy as... pie.  Even making the pie crust from scratch is pretty easy.  Then I had a Dutch apple pie made by Amish bakers.  Can I just say, yum!  I looove cinnamon sugar in any combination I can think of... so packing even more of that deliciousness on top for a crunchy, cinnamon-y crust... that has to be the perfect pie right there!

For Thanksgiving, I wanted to incorporate that Dutch apple pie idea and add a little something to it.  I have been on a caramel kick lately after including Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel in our trick-or-treat candy bowl (one for you, two for me).  So caramel apple filling it is!

Pie Crust
1.25 cups flour
.5 cup butter
cold water

Pie Filling
4 medium apples, peeled and chopped
.25 cup sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp caramel sauce

Struesel Topping
.5 cup rolled oats
.33 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

1.  Make the pie crust first, maybe even the night before.  Combine flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  With a pastry cutter (or food processor) cut in very cold, cubed butter.  Sprinkle a few drops of cold water and knead... repeat until dough ball forms.  If you have sprinkled water three times, keep kneading the dough, refrigerate, and knead some more... then add some more cold water (if necessary).  Refrigerate dough while prepping other ingredients (or over night).
2.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel apples and cut into half inch squares.  Pile them up in a medium mixing bowl.  Add sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg... make sure every apple piece is coated and let sit (the sugar will bring out some of the apple's juices).
3.  Combine butter, brown sugar, and oats together in a small mixing bowl.  I used my hands because it was faster.
4.  Roll out your cold pie crust using powdered sugar to "flour" the surface and rolling pin.  Form crust to pie pan and trim off any extras.  Spoon in apple mixture (do not add in extracted apple juices!).  Drizzle caramel sauce on top of apples.  Top with struesel (loose, not packed down).
5.  Bake for 45 minutes and let rest for at least 30 minutes.  It may look "juicy" inside, but the resting time allows it to thicken up into a delicious, gooey filling.

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