Of Pies and blogs and friends…

First things first, I have gone on and on about this, but I am beyond happy with my blog redesign. My amazing and amazingly talented husband and robot surprised me with the new blog yesterday. It is BEAUTIFUL!

Meet my husband!

I’ll probably keep gushing about this on FB and Twitter for days and weeks to come, so be warned.

This post may get a bit lengthy, but I just wanted to share.

Every thanksgiving for the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to look up and try different dessert recipes to torture surprise my guinea pigs family with. This year was no different.

After sifting through countless recipes on some of my favorite cooking websites, I settled on 159 2 to try. Since I usually make wildly different pies for both of our families, I usually end up hearing how everyone wanted to try the other pie. So, this year, we did the same thing. Two pecan pies, yes, but one cheesecake and one apple. Very different, different looking and different results.

To make things a little easier, I purchased the pie crusts. Honestly, I felt BAD about this! I love making my own. But, work and life and I get in the way sometimes, so pre made it was. Thankfully, they weren’t bad.

 

First choice? Caramelized Apple and Pecan Pie

 



 

I wanted to make something with fruit, but didn’t want to stray from the Pecan Pie theme. The recipe looked interesting, even if I didn’t much care for the presentation in the picture found on the recipe website. Since I didn’t much care for the quartered apples, I decided to slice the apples and go for a different presentation. If you’d like, go to the original recipe for the crust recipe and pictures of their version…

Here’s the ingredient list and directions:

Apples:

  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 Albemarle Pippin apples or Fuji apples (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds), peeled,quartered, cored

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup coursely chopped pecans, toasted

For apples:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk brown sugar and butter in large ovenproof skillet over medium heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves, and mixture comes to boil. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Arrange apples, rounded side down, in syrup. Bake 15 minutes; turn over. Bake until just tender, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer apples to paper towels to cool slightly. Whisk syrup in skillet until smooth. Cool slightly and reserve. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Mix sugar, flour, and salt in small bowl. Place eggs in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in reserved syrup from apples. Add corn syrup, vanilla, and sugar mixture; whisk until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into crust. Arrange apples, rounded side up, atop filling.

Bake pie until filling is set in center, covering edges with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil and let stand at room temperature.

I added less sugar wherever it was called for. And, since I sliced the apples thinly, I just cooked them for the full amount of time without turning. They let out a LOT of juice and were swimming in the caramel anyway.
Verdict: It tasted good. It looked weird. Weirder yet when you cut into it. I am also not totally sure that the apples and pecans worked perfectly together. I’ll probably never make it again.

Second choice: Pecan Cheesecake Pie from Never enough Thyme

This pie was shared on The Pioneer Woman Blog. If any of you don’t know that blog, go, NOW. I love her. I love her pictures, love her recipes and love her. Of course, most of you probably think I’ve been living under a rock if I didn’t know her before. So, yes, a hand slap to me for not knowing of her for the longest time. But our couple of months old relationship is blossoming. Even if she has NO idea who I am. Ok, so girl-crush time over… Back to the pie.

Click here for the Original Recipe. I really changed nothing.

½ (15 oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

4 large eggs, divided

¾ cup sugar, divided

2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided

¼ tsp. salt

1 ¼ cups chopped pecans

1 cup light corn syrup

Pre-heat oven to 350. Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions. Fold edges under and crimp.

Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and salt at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into pie crust; sprinkle with pecans.

Whisk together corn syrup and remaining 3 eggs, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla; pour mixture over pecans. Place pie on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 on lowest oven rack for 50 to 55 minutes or until pie is set. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

Verdict: YUMMY! I loved this pie. The only thing I did wrong was to NOT use chopped pecans. That was my error, and it made the pie hard to cut into nice tidy pieces. But the taste? Amazing. This one will go on permanent rotation.  It was also VERY easy.

I really think this blog therapy is helping. But, I think the main reason it’s helping is due to good friends, of the RL (real-life) but also, and very importantly of the e- variety. If you’d told me 20 years ago that I’d be a part of a community of friends that met on the internet? I would have laughed at you for HOURS. Now? Those friends save me from myself on a daily basis.

Thank you, all three of you who read my blog. 🙂

I’ll keep writing whether you read or not, since it REALLY is helping.

But, knowing you read, makes my heart very, very happy.

Receive some very cheesy e-hugs from me today. 😀
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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 12:19:03

    So glad you enjoyed the Pecan Cheesecake Pie! Thanks for giving a link to my blog for the recipe 🙂

    Reply

  2. Tereh
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 12:12:19

    Lovely blog, interesting recipes (which I’ll probably never try) due to time issues. But considering the importance of trying new things, and enjoying the good things in life, I might be able to convince my beautiful, intelligent, handy big sister to bake the pie for me!!!

    I Love you and we love you!!
    =0)
    Us 4

    Reply

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