Saturday, March 01, 2008

Easy as Pie

I had quite a fun break from the norm on Thursday night. My friend Emily hosted a little Pie and Movie Girls' Nite (click for more pictures). We each brought our best pie effort to share, and we watched one of those girly movies I wouldn't have seen otherwise. It was delicious.

After the movie we voted on our favorite pies. Emily provided a prize for the winner. I voted for the coconut cream pie because it was quite good, and I have to give props to someone who can pull off a cream pie. Mine always turn out runny or not so great no matter how hard I try. Those custards are hard to do right.

Anyway, I brought a new (for me) creation. It was a caramel pecan apple pie. I combined my friend Pam's delicious apple pie recipe with a caramel nut sauce I found online. I was a little worried taking a pie I'd never tried before, but it turned out better than I'd hoped. It was a decent take on an apple pie, but I couldn't really taste the caramel or nuts. Next time I make it I will use pecan halves instead of chopping them up. Though I couldn't taste the sauce on its own, it really did make all of the flavors meld nicely together.

The original vote was a 3 way tie. We had to vote again on those three, and somehow (to my surprise) I ended up the winner. I won this cute little diddy. Thanks Emily! It was great fun.

Since I forgot to bring my recipe, I figured I'd post it here.

Caramel Pecan Apple Pie

The best (and easiest) homemade Pie Crust recipe I've tried to date:

*This recipie makes enough crust for 3 pies. I freeze the leftover flattened into a disk, wrapped in wax paper and use it later.*

5 cups flour

2 cups shortening

1 TBSP white vinegar

1 cup water

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 tsp. salt (kosher if possible)

Combine flour and shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix together, vinegar, water, and egg then add to flour mixture. Mix until just blended. Roll out between two sheets of waxed paper then place in pie pan. Be sure to poke holes in bottom of crust.

*Note: twice I made this I didn't quite use all of my liquid. Once I used it all. I think it depends on how big the egg is that you use...*

Apple Filling:

4 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together until apple slices are all coated then pour onto pie crust.

Caramel Topping:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted)
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I used milk)
1/2 cup pecan halves ( I probably used about 1 cup, and in my opinion it could have used more)

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, butter and cream. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecan halves. Pour over apples and make sure the pecans are evenly dispersed on top of the pie.

Once it's all together
Loosely cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. Take the foil off and cut a whole in the middle and put it back over the pie. (You want the edges covered but the center not). Bake for another 15 min. or until a nice golden brown.

* If you want it nice and shiny you can mix an egg with a little milk and brush the top crust with a pastry brush before baking.


The Drapers said...

Looks like fun! Did you get a night out by yourself without Dean! Those are the best every once in a while!

Silly Marie said...

Yep. It was fun. I put him down for bed and had a girls' night out.

Emily Loria said...

Glad you could make it Celia! ;)

Enjoy the apron!

Erin said...

What a fun idea! I'm impressed...I'm not much a pie maker.

-Laura- said...

Oh YEA!! Thank you, thank you!

Erin said...

Thanks for posting the recipe! Christian ate the whole piece, pecans and all....for breakfast! It was lots of fun and I'm going to have to make that soon!

Silly Marie said...

Em: I was glad too! Thanks so much for such a cute prize and for the invite.

Erin: I'm glad he liked it.

C & A said...

wow, if you can win with an apple pie, it must really be good. it always seems to be the next to the last pie left on the table at thanksgiving (anything mince/ raisin related being dead last to go).

Silly Marie said...

I love apple pie, especially with good vanilla ice cream on top.

There are a few things I do with my pies that make a difference to me.

1. Peel the apples.
2. Quarter the apples then cut each quarter into thin slices lengthwise.

I don't like chunky apple pies as much. Or goopy pies. I think the flour mixture helps absorb some of the goop.

Lindsay said...

How nice, a girls night out. With award-winning pie to boot? Most excellent. Congrats on winning!