“As American as apple pie.”There’s a reason why that’s such a well-loved phrase. Our affection for our country isn’t represented by cake, or cobbler, or pudding, or cookies (though we do love our cookies).The dessert that crosses all party lines and political affiliations is pie.It’s right up there with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — something we hope we can help you find through the pursuit of the best pie in Clark County.Many slices of pie were consumed in order to bring you this information; but really, it was simply our patriotic duty.Prepare to dig in.Smitty’s Original Coney Island Hot DogsThe first place on our pie-eating agenda was Smitty’s Original Coney Island Hot Dogs (formerly Smokehouse Provisions) at 8058 E. Mill Plain Blvd., in a Vancouver retail development known as The Mill. I visited on a weekday afternoon with food blogger and photographer Sue “Birgerbird” O’Bryan and Rachel Pinsky, The Columbian’s Food & Drink columnist, who had recommended the caramel apple pie to me via text message — “This pie is ON FIYAH,” she wrote, with a tiny fire emoji.She was right: As far as caramel apple pies go, this one was tops, with tender slices of cinnamon-laced apple enveloped in a blanket of shiny caramel topping. It came adorned with a fluffy poof of whipped cream and a sprinkle of crunchy peanut tidbits.“This pie tastes like my favorite soft caramel apple,” noted Sue, “but off its stick. Should we order another slice?”The underlying crust was soft and almost cakey but robust enough to support the filling. The portion size was exactly what you’d need after eating a couple of sauce-slathered coney dogs and cheesy fries — modest, but enough to gratify the desire to end a savory meal on a sweet note.