I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Friends Forever

Do you have what it takes to be a really good friend?

If a friend trusts you with a secret, can you cross your heart, hope to die, stick a needle in your eye promise not to tell another soul?

Do you always remember their birthdays?

Do you promise not to fight over boys even if one of you has to swallow the bitter pill when Mr. Right chooses her over you?

When a fight breaks out, can your friends count on you to have their back?

When I lived in the Wasteland, one of the (many) things that I struggled with most was the fact that I had no friends. I had close friends located far away, but the Captain and I didn't socially interact with alot of people and while he was honestly one of my best friends, I truly missed having a gossip-filled lunch with my girlfriends or having other friends over for an impromptu dinner. It was a lonely existence and when I found myself back in the Queen City, I made it a point to become acquainted with lots of cool people and also made it a point to keep the fires burning under the friendships formed so long ago.

I made this sinfully delicious Caramel Apple Pie for my friend G., who's birthday was back in....oh, I don't know... November sometime? We tried numerous times to get together so that I could gift him with some good home cooking but I got sick, he had a hot date, the holidays interfered, and before we knew it, it was next year. But being the good friend that I am try to be, I hounded G. until he came for his birthday dinner.

It's hard enough to imagine that this recipe, with all of its decadence, came from a 1999 publication of Cooking Light, but even harder to imagine that it took me this long to find out about it. After the gluttonous holidays, we probably should all be counting our calories but at 277 calories a slice, this isn't too bad of an indulgence and definitely worth an extra mile on the treadmill tomorrow!

Bake the pie, invite some friends over to enjoy, and if you can't decide who's going to get who's back during the fight, just call my friend K. because she's really good at getting your back when it counts!

P.S. I cheated and used a pre-made pie crust because I was pressed for time and I don't think G., in all of his birthday dinner excitment, even noticed.

Caramel Apple Crumb Pie
Cooking Light, November 1999

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon ice water
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Butter-flavored cooking spray

1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 3/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup fat-free caramel sundae syrup
Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare crust, lightly spoon 1 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1 cup flour and salt in a bowl; cut in 2 tablespoons butter and shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle surface with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time; add vinegar. Toss with a fork until moist and crumbly (do not form a ball).

Press mixture gently into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, to a 12-inch circle. Freeze 10 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed.

Remove 1 sheet of plastic wrap; fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Fold edges under; flute. Line bottom of dough with a piece of foil; arrange pie weights (or dried beans) on foil. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until the edge is lightly browned. Remove pie weights and foil; cool on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Add sugar mixture and apples to skillet; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons flour and lemon juice. Spoon into prepared crust.

To prepare topping, lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a bowl; cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Drizzle syrup over apple mixture; sprinkle topping over syrup. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack.

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Sophie said...

What a dessert! I have a feeling if I served this to my college friends they'd do a better job of keeping in touch ;). Looks so yummy!