Apple Pie and Fall Memories

The sense of smell plays such an integral part in our lives.  Scent has the ability to conjure memories and transport us back in time.  Soon after the pie was in the oven, the kitchen was filled with the scent of cinnamon and apples, and my mind was filled with wonderful childhood memories of fall and apples.  I grew up in the beautiful state of Vermont and as a child I remember every fall going with my parents to the local apple orchards to pick bushels of apples!  It was always so much fun.  The air was crisp, the apples were delicious, and trees were fun to climb.  I even lost my first tooth in the apple orchards, while eating a big juicy apple.  After a fun day at the orchards, our bellies full of apples, we headed home and then the work began for my mother as she baked apple pies and made apple sauce.  On a Sunday afternoon, stocked with apples for the car ride, we would take our annual road trip in the back roads of Vermont to view the exquisite, brilliant colors of the fall foliage spread so vibrantly across the mountains in hues of reds, oranges, yellows and greens.  Each year it was breathtaking and something we all looked forward to.

I hope this recipe will bring wonderful memories to you as you bake it in the oven and you breathe in the wonderful scent of apples and cinnamon.  Enjoy!

 What memories do you have of fall and apples?

Little Pie Company’s Sour-Cream Apple-Walnut Pie

  •  ¾ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 lbs. tart apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ¼ inch thick slices (about 10 cups)
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell


  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup cold butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces, chopped coarse

 Heat oven to 400 degrees

Wisk sour cream and egg in a large bowl until blended.  Wisk in sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir in apples.  Spread in unbaked pie shell, mounding in center.

To make topping:  mix flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in walnuts.

Sprinkle evenly over filling, then press down lightly.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes until topping is dark brown and apples are tender when pierced.  (If topping browns too quickly, drape a piece of foil over the pie.)

Cool on wire rack.


Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Glaze

I’ve been craving apples and cinnamon lately so while I was browsing the net I stumbled across this recipe at Annie’s Eats that I changed slightly.  What a fantastic idea she had to combine apples with cinnamon rolls.  The outcome was positively drool worthy!

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Glaze


For the cinnamon rolls:

  •  6½ tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1 Packet instant (rapid rise) yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. milk, at room temperature

 For the filling:

  •  1½ tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

 For the glaze:

  •  4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. caramel sauce
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar


In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium-high speed until smooth.

 Mix in the egg until incorporated.  Mix in the flour, yeast and milk until a dough forms.  

Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 8 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky.  (You may need to add a little extra flour or liquid to achieve this texture.)  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling.  To make the caramelized apples, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. 

Add the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Mix until the apples are evenly coated.

Cook about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool.  

Roll the dough out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the dough with flour if needed to keep it from sticking (about 12 x 14 inches for larger rolls or 9 x 18 inches for smaller rolls).  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to blend.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the dough.  Evenly distribute the caramelized apples over the top of the dough.

Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon sugar spiral as you roll.  Pinch the seam shut, and with the seam side down, slice the log into your desired number of rolls.  Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing the rolls about ½-1 inch apart.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 75-90 minutes, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size.  At this point, the rolls can also be covered and retarded in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Pull the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to let the dough proof.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  

To make the glaze, combine the cream cheese and butter in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 15-20 second intervals until it is warm enough to whisk together.  Whisk in the caramel sauce, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.  Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.   Swirl the glaze over the top of the cinnamon rolls.  Let cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

If eating the next day, microwave approx. 25 seconds to enjoy a warm Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll!

Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings are synonymous with Fall.  On a cool crisp fall day the aroma of cinnamon and apples fills the kitchen and Apple Dumplings become impossible to resist!


Apple Dumplings


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 5 large Apples (Honeycrisp), peeled and cored
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 teaspoons butter
  • 8 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar, divided


Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide into five portions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Roll each portion of dough into a 7-in. square. Place an apple on each square. Place 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar in the center of each apple.

Gently bring up corners of pastry to each center; pinch edges to seal. If desired, cut out apple leaves and stems from dough scraps; attach to dumplings with water.  Brush each apple with egg white and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.  Place in a greased baking dish.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until apples are golden brown.

Serve with your favorite sauce

Grab a spoon and savor the taste of Fall!