Pecan Pie

One of my earliest memories of the south is visiting my relatives in Montgomery and filling a paper bag full of pecans. We were at the college where my Uncle worked (I think) and the pecans had fallen to the ground so we walked around and gathered them up. Thinking back, I really didn’t appreciate the full value of this little adventure. Especially since I am paying about 6 or 8 dollars for a bag of pecans.

I also remember being impressed with the red dirt and how everyone’s home is of bricks. My cousins told me that once my grandmother came down to visit from New York and made them grits and they didn’t like grits. That always makes me laugh a bit.

We don’t really have a lot of pecan trees here in North Carolina so I am not as fortunate to just wander through the park or yard and pick up pecans. I wonder if they can still do that in Montgomery?

Pecan pie happens to be Jim’s favorite. I love it, too, especially around Thanksgiving. So, when it was just us this year, I knew this would be our dessert. I realized on Wednesday that I had no corn syrup, so I wanted to find a recipe without it. When I came across this pecan pie on Allrecipes.com, I knew it would be perfect.

I used the perfect pie crust from Simply Recipes and it turned out perfect again. I am not sure if it is just that I am getting used to making the crust or that this particular dough is so easy to work with, but I am not messing with a good thing:-). It’s really yummy, too.

I loved this pie and let me tell you one thing. It is chock full of pecans. It’s almost like eating a pie crust full of candied pecans. The brown sugar and butter filling turns into a wonderful caramel and it tastes like the real deal.   You can actually see some of the caramel oozing out of the pie in the picture.  I do like the versions with the corn syrup, but this is definitely a nice and different alternative.

I added some fresh whipped cream on top as well. It might be nice spiked with a touch of Bourbon, but since I knew little ones would be eating a lot of the cream, I thought that was probably not the best idea.

Enjoy!

Pecan Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl beat eggs until pale and fluffy. Stir in melted butter.
  3. Add the sugars and flour and mix until combined. Lastly, add the milk, vanilla and nuts.
  4. Pour this mixture into an unbaked 9 inch pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce to 350 and bake an additional 30-40 minutes until done.

 

Crumb-Topped Apple Pie

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day here in North Carolina. Granted, the leaves are just past their peak, but the temps were glorious and the sun was shining. You can’t ask for much more. We threw some Chili Lime Chicken Burgers from Trader Joe’s (definitely try these the next time you are there) on the grill at lunch and topped them with some avocado and sriracha cilantro mayonnaise. Epic. For dinner we baked a ham and Jim made his mac and cheese. This pie was dessert.

By the way, the word dessert has two s’s and you can remember that because Strawberry Shortcake is a dessert. Nice, huh?

After lunch we did one of my favorite things and went for a long walk in the park.  We went over to one of our local parks that has a two-mile path around a lake.  You can also walk along some unpaved paths and that is what we did for about half of our walk today.  We went right down to the lake and let Bailey, our dog, go in the water.  She actually didn’t go in very far because she was on leash, but she at least got to get her paws wet.

We probably walked about 1.5 miles total.  Ella was a bit tired as she had a sleepover last night, otherwise we would have walked further.  Jim and I agreed that it was so beautiful we could have kept walking all day.  Taylor was a trooper today and kept ahead of us the entire walk.  I think she likes to be independent so walking ahead gives her that sense of freedom.

These are some pictures I snapped on our walk.  I haven’t taken many outdoor pictures with my new camera, so these are some of my first attempts.  It took me a while to get my settings correct, but I once I did they turned out pretty well.  We usually see lots of turtles at this park, but they weren’t out today.

Ella told me to snap this photo looking up at the trees.

We crossed this stream on a little bridge.  I thought it would make a nice shot because the stream leads your eye to the lake.

When we got home I baked this apple pie.  We couldn’t have a day like today and not have some type of fall dessert, now could we?

This is a great pie and we all liked the crumb topping a lot.  The filling cooks up to a caramel-like consistency which would really be wonderful all by itself.  I used the crust from Simply Recipes and it was great and very easy to work with (or maybe I am getting better at making pie crusts?)  It is an all butter crust.  I saved half of the dough for my pecan pie that I will make for Thanksgiving.  I used Golden Delicious apples for this pie.

Enjoy!

Crumb-Topped Apple Pie
 
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • 1 recipe pie dough
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 recipe pie dough
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Roll out your pie dough into an 11 inch circle and place in a 9 inch pie plate. Trim edges and then fold over to make a thick crust and then crimp. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Combine apples, ¼ cup flour, white sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Combine and let sit for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour into pie shell and press down into the crust.
  4. For the crumb topping combine remaining 1 cup of flour, brown sugar and butter with fingers until combined thoroughly. Set aside. DO NOT TOP the PIE with this until after the first 35 minutes of baking.
  5. Place pie in the oven on top of a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes and then add the crumb topping. Bake for another 40-45 minutes or until topping is nicely browned.

 

 

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