Happy happy autumn, my favorite time of year. Okay I know it’s not technically the fall, but as I mentioned the other day, I defy calendars (and the earth and the moon) this time of year. Autumn, in my opinion, begins with Labor Day. So as I was saying, happy happy autumn, I’m so glad you’re here!

There are so many things I love about the fall.
The color pallet.
The holidays.
The food.
I love the way it makes me feel contentedly nostalgic.
And pulling out my knitting needles for the first time in the season and getting to work on Christmas gifts for my nieces.
I love warm spicy chai
And fires in the fireplace.

And apple pie. I love apple pie. But better yet, caramel apple pie. I LOVE caramel apple pie.

Caramel Apple Crumble
*revised from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
makes (1) 9” pie or (4-5) 4” pies

Crumb Crust
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) vegan butter (I use earth balance)

Apple Pie Filling
8-9 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegan butter

Caramel Sauce
makes 1 cup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegan creamer or coconut milk

This crumb crust is a simplified substitution for pie crust. With no rolling or shaping involved, it is an easy solution for even the most novice of bakers. And in my opinion, the taste is far superior.

Begin by making your caramel sauce. Here is my method.  Allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the pie. *Caramel Sauce has a long shelf life and can be made days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. This time of year I’ll often make larger batches so that I always have a little caramel on hand.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil your pie pan and set aside.

Mix together flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add vegan butter in small chunks and with a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut into the dough until it resembles small pea sized pieces (a few larger ones are okay). Using half the dough, press firmly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan so that the crust evenly covers the inside of the pan. Place in freezer for 15 minutes while you prepare filling.

Core, peel, and slice the apples then mix with lemon juice, sugar, spices, and salt until apples are well coated. Place apple mixture into chilled crust, creating a mound in the center. Dot the top with vegan butter and drizzle 3-4 tbsp of caramel sauce over the apple mixture. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs in clumps so that the entire top is covered.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until apple filling starts to bubble and crumb top begins to golden. Let cool completely before serving.

Top with extra caramel sauce and serve with Coconut Whipped Cream or Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Do you love the fall? Or are you sad to see summer go? If you are excited about autumn’s arrival, what are some of your favorite things about the season?

Beyond the things I mentioned I love:
Listening to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack
Everything about Halloween
Fall equinox parties
The world series
Sweet potato pies
And cold rainy nights (from the window of a warm cozy house)