Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Apple Carmel Nut Pie

Chances are you have a family recipe for pumpkin pie. Or you have a favorite premade pumpkin pie. Or if you’re like me, you don’t really care for pumkin pie. I don’t hate the stuff. But, if given the choice during the holidays, I often pick an Apple Carmel Nut Pie. I have nothing against pumpkins. I love to grow them every year in our garden, which I’m proud to boast that we get about 9 to 10 of the buggers each year with 4 of them of pretty good size. My wife loves to bake them down and then puree’ them up so she can make various pumpkins recipes. She has become quite the accomplished baker. But, when the holidays come, we head for the pie section at our local stores and see if there is any “Apple Carmel Nut Pie”.

With the Thanksgiving feast on the way, I have been debating what kind of recipes I wanted to kick off the holiday cooking extravaganza. There still are a few weeks to go for experimenting and trying out a few new items for the Feasting table. I thought I would pick “Apple Carmel Nut Pie” if you didn’t pick up the overtone in the first paragraph. (Insert heavy sarcasm here)

I’ll be honest with you. When I first had “Apple Carmel Nut Pie” it was a frozen store bought Sara lee pie. Oh the horror of it all! How could I, you ask. Well, simply, I forgot to make pies for a thanksgiving dinner years ago. You may be wondering how I could forget such a staple of the thanksgiving table. Well, I got consumed with the damned Turkey. I had focused so much on making the perfect turkey that I forgot all about the second most important item. PIE!!!! It is funny how events often turn out. Not all things tragic have silver linings, but this shortcoming turned out for the best.
So every year, including this one, I hit the stores looking to see if my mistress of the pies, Sara Lee, has blessed me with the “Apple Carmel Nut Pie” as a selection. Sadly I have not seen them for the past several years, so I have had to make them at home. I’m hoping that a certain locally own grocery store, that I spent a few years working for will bring back my sweet temptress of the holiday diet buster, Sara Lee's “Apple Carmel Nut Pie”.

This may be a little obsessive to say the least, but I think those of you who have that favorite holiday item that you are sorely disappointed if missed each year, would agree with me when I say that some things are just a “must have” over others when it comes to the Thanksgiving table.

Apple Carmel Nut Pie

*you can make your own if you want but I find this just as tasty and less timely*
2 store-bought 9-inch deep-dish piecrusts

6-1/2 cups (about 5 or 6) Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

The How To's:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place one of the piecrusts in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, letting it drape over the edges.

Combine the pie filling ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. Spoon the pie filling into the crust.

Using a pastry brush and a small amount of water, moisten the edge of the bottom crust. Add the top crust, pressing them together to seal, and mold the edge to stand upright. Poke several fork holes in the top crust. Bake the pie on a baking sheet in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, loosely cover the pie with aluminum foil, and continue baking for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cream and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil, then boil for 15 seconds more. Remove the mixture from the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla extract, and set it aside.

Remove the pie from the oven and increase the temperature to 425 degrees. With a paring knife, poke several holes just inside the edge of the crust. Spoon the caramel sauce over the pie, spreading the sauce with the back of the spoon. (Some of the sauce will run down the crust and into the holes.) Sprinkle the nuts on top, then return the pie to the oven and bake for 7 minutes more, until the caramel bubbles. Allow the pie to cool for at least 1 hour before serving

In Closing:
I’ll try and convey this as gently and with as much compassion as possible. If given the option to make this pie versus buying the frozen one, I will almost always, buy the frozen one. You see, sometimes, having a real Twinkie, is much better than a dolled up, high costing, high end Twinkie look-a-like. It just won’t replace the original. Happy Holiday my friends!



Anonymous said...

Goodness, does that look scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

The school kids that sell pies sell an apple carmel nut pie by a different brand but the back of the box states from the Sara Lee kitchen.

§~John~§ said...

Oh MAN! And I had at lest 6 kids coming around and selling them!

Anonymous said...

Chef Pierre by Sara Lee is what you're looking for. The previous comment about it being a school fundraiser is correct. My wife's school gets them through Maria's Fundraising.