recipe #5: pi(e) day.

okay well it was actually just a happy coincidence that i made pies for pi day, but the realization of the occasion and waiting until 12:01 AM on 3.14 to eat them not only provided enough time for my cinnamon ice cream to harden (i used a different recipe than my own and it was a try new things FAIL) but also gave people time to drink enough before eating them that they tasted amazing (a redeeming WIN!). the real occasion was my good pal sam’s 27th birthday/homecoming/housewarming, who left us for most of 2009 to explore the appalachian trail, drive across the country, build a house in south carolina, attempt to lead bike tours in guatamala, but recently found his way back to us, rightfully so, in NYC.

sam’s dislike of chocolate+my never having made a pie = me making two pies and also ice cream to overcompensate because the first pie looked wonky and i got nervous.

recipe #5: caramel apple pie.
soundtrack: carolina chocolate drops
ingredients: A LOT of these things – crisco, unsalted butter, flour, sugar, macintosh apples, caramel chews, cinnamon, nutmeg, water. oh, and a little salt.

the plan: ugh, i hate baking and making a crust from scratch is  a perfect example of why. so the first time i thought i used too much water, and also i was drinking wine and watching “30 rock” so i was distracted, but in the end the first crust i kind of made up held together much better than the recipe on the inside of the crisco box. so! do this: dump 2 cups of flour into a bowl, then “knive in” 1 1/2 cup of crisco, or use a pastry blender, which i didn’t have, so i just guessed and tore the crisco into little bits and then mixed it together until it was reasonably void of huge clumps. then i added a pinch of salt and tsps of water until it was easy to shape. split into two balls, one a little larger than the other, then rolled the small one out into a circle(ish) and lined a pie pan with it.

next, my favorite and most insanely delicious part. i chopped up about 5 macintosh apples and threw 3 tbsp of unsalted butter into a saucepan on high until it was melted. then, i dumped in the apples until they were coated and covered for about 3 minutes. then i cut up chunks of about 10 caramel chews and threw those in with a cup of sugar and pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg, and covered again for about 5 more minutes. zomg it smells so good. when it’s all melted and mixed, pour out onto a baking sheet until it cools to room temp. then, throw into the pie pan, roll out the other ball of dough, and cover the pie. mark some holes in the top, or if you’re me, carve a big “S” for your friend sam. cook at 350 until middle is boiling, about 30-40mins. i also decided to spread a little butter  and sprinkle cinnamon on the top before sticking it in, apparently you can do egg yolk too but mine were spoiled so, um, i couldn’t.

now, i eat and make a lot of things, but the next day all i could think about was the next time i make this pie. should i try throwing in pecans? or peanuts like a real caramel apple? what do you think? bring it on because i already look forward to testing many, many combinations.

birthday ftw! ignore my big head and focus on sam’s joy, please.

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