Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Caramel Apple-Pecan Pie (5 stars)

Caramel Apple-Pecan Pie

Well, its hard to believe we have reached the end of 52 pies. I think the family is pretty sick of pies but they were good to humor me since last June. We learned many things along the way: I think our crusts have improved; we have a double boiler; we learned to use the bottom rack in the oven; and we have discovered some good taste combinations and some that we really don't like.

We were stumped when it came to the last pie. We considered many recipes, asked for suggestions, but in the end we turned to the "Pie" recipe book by Ken Haedrich that Nathan and Nicole gave me a couple of years ago. It has 300 recipes! And one Caramel - Apple - Pecan Recipe.

I heard somewhere that the king of candy used to be caramel until Milton Hershey developed a cheaper way to make milk chocolate for mass-production. After this recipe however, we might need to reconsider caramel. It really is a good combination.

Thanks to Kerry for putting up with my crazy idea and for tasting every single pie.  From now on we can make our favorite pies when we feel like it. Hopefully we will try a new recipe now and then.

Thanks for reading the blog everyone.

Cutting apples
Kerry cutting apples

Crust: Buttermilk Bottom Crust

Kerry and Reed
10 Caramels cut into quarters
7 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Golden Delicious apples
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pecan Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup pecan halves
Pie 52
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Caramel and Garnish
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon water
30 caramels
Large handful of pecan halves
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Prepare bottom crust and sprinkle 10 quartered caramels in the pie shell, put into freezer until ready to use. Combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice in a bowl, mix well. Mix add granulated sugar and cornstarch together. Mix into apples, add cinnamon and vanilla then mix.Pour into pie shell and bake in preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Make crumb topping by combining flour, pecan halves, granulated sugar, salt and pulse in a food processor. Add chopped butter and pulse again. Remove pie from oven, reduce temperature to 375 F and add crumb topping. Tamp down lightly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tent with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning. Cool for one hour

Prepare caramel by placing 30 caramels, water, and butter in a double boiler, melt and stir together. drizzle over cooled pie sprinkle chopped pecans and pecan halves on top of the drizzled pie. Let cool for another hour.

Last Pie

Natalie, Spencer and Pie: 5 days before the wedding

Nicole, Katie, and Nathan

Monday, June 18, 2012

Caramel Apple Pie (5 stars)

Caramel Apple Pie

Jim slicing apples

In the oven

In the Oven

 After a year and a half of planning we held the stake Aaronic Priesthood Encampment down at Escalante, Utah. It went really well. We had activities: Zip Line (ask about the rubber chickens), Canoeing, Challenge Course, Frisbee Golf, Iron Man, Top Shot, and Man Skills. We had hikes: Egypt 1, Egypt 2 (300 foot rappel), Pine Box/Death Hollow, etc. Some of us went down early on Friday and Saturday to get ready for the event that started on Tuesday. Saturday night we made a pie in a dutch oven. We have done it once before, we use a 14 inch oven and put a pie tin upside down on the bottom and then the pie on top of the inverted tin. We made the crust at home and carried it in a cooler but the top crust cracked so much we just crumbled it on top. In this recipe we used Granny Smith apples and then drizzled Caramel topping on top of each slice. It worked very well.

Jim, Reed, and Nate
Reed and pie

Out of the oven

Crust: Double Buttermillk Crust


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1./2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 Granny Smith apples
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cream

Topping: Smuckers caramel topping.

Prepare crust and keep in the refrigerator until ready to fill. Peel and core apples, cut into chunks. Mix dry ingredients then mix with apples and vanilla. Pour into prepared shell, cover with top crust. Cook at 375 F for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes then drizzle topping over warm pie.

Slice of Pie
Well set-up

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2 More Pies

Only two more pies to go. I've decided that number 51 will be baked in a dutch oven, outdoors, over hot coals, but I'm at a loss as to what to make for the last pie, number 52. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Remember it must be unique from the other 51 pies.

Thanks, Reed

Monday, June 4, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie (5 stars)

Coconut Cream Pie

We were home teaching Sarah and she mentioned that her favorite pie is Coconut Cream. I thought we had made a coconut pie already but after reviewing the posts, I guess not. It is a Lion House recipe and I really like their pudding - it beats the jello pudding, cooked or instant that we used to make. We doubled the amount of coconut from the recipe because it sounded kind of skimpy. The recipe is for two pies so we can give one to Sarah. It was her idea after all. We exceeded the maximum capacity of the double boiler trying to make two pies, so for the last stage we sent to a medium pan directly on the stove at a lower temperature and it seemed to work. Here's our modified recipe.

Paula Dean Double Boiler

Crust: 2 Buttermilk bottom crusts

4 cups whole milk, divided
2 cups half-and-half
2 Tablespoons butter
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 egg yolks, discard the whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
Adding garnish
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups coconut
Whipped cream and toasted coconut for garnish

Place 3 cups whole milk, half-and-half, butter and 3/4 cup sugar in double boiler and stir. Heat over medium high heat until butter is melted.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Slowly add egg mixture to hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for 15 - 20  minutes stirring frequently.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup whole milk, and cornstarch then add slowly to hot mixture, stirring constantly. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes and then stir frequently for 15 - 20 minutes. When pudding is thick, stir in vanilla and coconut. Allow to chill in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
Coconut Cream Pie

Joslyn, Dante, and Jordan