It was Tuesday, November 8th and school was out for voting.  This called for a fun day with the kids.  Now who would be game?  I called my peeps and of course, my O.G.,  Cheri, was down.

Erwin’s Apple Orchard was calling my name and her and I discussed making and freezing apples pies so I knew this would tempt her.  She showed up with a van full of kiddos and we packed ourselves in.  We took our sweet time, farted around for a while, played on some haystacks, petted animals, ate cinnamon donuts, and took the cliche’ pictures one would take when they went to an orchard.  By the time we got to the picking apples part of the morning, we were sweatin like hogs.   Guess I shouldn’t’ve worn my down coat.  When I got home later that day, I saw the high was 69 degrees.  Unseasonably warm.  Nice!

It felt like summer, but our surroundings told us something different.  Everything was going dormant for the winter.

There were no more hay rides.  No crowds.  No lines to get cider and donuts.  What a wonderful time.  Plus a bushel of apples were on the cheap.  That’s a bonus for the frugal gourmet like me.  I’m thinking more and more the best kept secret is going to the orchards late season.

We were able to drive our cars into the fields since there were no more hayrides.  It was us and only one other car of apple pickers in what seemed to be miles of majestic orchards.  I basked in it’s beauty.  It was like we had the place to ourselves.  We got lost looking for Jonagolds, but I think the best part for Cheri was baja’ing through the trails in her over sized low rider van.  LOL

What a nice, unexpected tour.

I was somewhat surprised that there were even any apples on the trees at all.  I’ve been to orchards where there were no more to pick even in mid October.  Good thing for late varieties.

We came across many trees that’ve come to the end of their prime and trees that still had so much fruit on their branches.  I can’t remember having that much fun going to an orchard in a long time. We jammed it out.  For real!

By the time all was said and done, it was only lunchtime and we were game for more exploring.  So we went to historic Northville on our way home.

We visited the old village and rouge river that runs through downtown…

This was the last picture I took of my son reflecting on the great day we had.  That or he was thinking about being the next karate kid.  Ah, to be a kid again.  I have to say it was a good day……

It’s 2 1/2 weeks later and I’ve decided to bake something.  After reading dozens of comments on Grandma Oples apple pie recipe on, my face just about turned blue.  Took some serious notes and made many changes.

Bugga was excited to help….

Dusted off the best birthday present I ever received.

My husband got me this apple peeler, corer and slicer last year and you would’ve thought I won the Lotto when I opened it.

I cut, peeled, cored and sliced.  Sprinkled cornstarch on the apples and mixed with my fingers..

Sprinkled cinnamon and a tiny pinch of all spice.  Mixed again.

Meanwhile, melted butter in a small saucepan on medium low.  Added the flour and incorporated for 1 to 2 mins.  Then added  water, brown sugar and white sugar.

In goes the vanilla.  I kept the heat on low to keep it’s viscosity going.

Brushed the bottom of a frozen pie crust with egg whites and pre-baked to keep it from getting soggy when filling goes in.

In a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 5 minutes and then turned it down to 350 for another five minutes.

Placed sliced apples in crust and poured the mixture over the top.

This is how it looks like before you put the top crust on.  Note: you can choose to let it cool and place a lattice crust over it.  Which I should’ve done but I was lazy.  Instead, I put an entire pie crust over the top and pinched the edges with my thumb to seal.

My daughter practiced her mad paint brushing skills and brushed egg whites on the crust.

Now my sons turn to sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  I couldn’t ask for better helpers! Let me tell ya.

I cut about six slits in the pie to vent and keep from exploding.  This makes a pretty star when finished.   Baked for an hour on an aluminum lined baking sheet to catch any drippings and boom!!!  Winner, winner-chicken dinner!!


1 frozen pie shell

1 refrigerated pie dough top

3 Granny smith apples cored, peeled and cut into thin slices

3 empire apples cored, peeled and cut into thin slices

1 stick butter

1/4 cup water

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of all spice

2 Tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 egg white

For the topping on the crust: mix 1 tsp.  sugar and 1/4 tsp before baking, sprinkle

Peel, core and cut into thin slices both empire and Granny smith apples and place in a mixing bowl.   Toss with cornstarch, cinnamon and all spice.  Set aside.  Meanwhile, brush frozen pie shell with egg white and bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 5 minutes and then turn it down to 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  Take out of oven and set aside.  In a small sauce pan, melt butter on medium low. Then add flour.  Stir to incorporate for 1 or two minutes.  Turn heat to simmer and add white sugar, brown sugar, water and vanilla.  Let melt all together until it becomes a caramel consistency.  Keep on low to keep mixture viscous.  Pour sliced apples into pie shell and then pour mixture on top of apples.  Place refrigerated pie dough on top. or you can place a lattice crust on.  Seal edges with thumb and Brush entire pie with egg white wash.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake at 35o degrees for 1 hr on an aluminum wrapped cookie sheet to catch any spills.  This makes for easy clean up in the end.  If crust starts to brown too much then place aluminum foil around edges to prevent burning.