The Pie Notes

A celebration of life with a touch of sweetness

Tag: dancing

Take a Vacation with Caramel Pecan Apple Pie

I spent last week in Auburn for an almost-end-of-the-summer vacation.

For the second time, Matthew and I went bowling with his roommate, Christian, and his girlfriend, Emily. They’re my favorites.

And for the second time, the girls lost to the boys. I didn’t mind too much since I finally got a strike.

With victorious grins, they requested that their prize be a homemade dinner.

Emily and I were on board with that! We went grocery shopping on Thursday and picked up ingredients to make chicken pesto paninis: sourdough bread, mozzarella, tomatoes, and chicken. Matthew had lots of basil from his gardening class, so we whipped that up in the food processor with some pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan.

We sauteed a few thin chicken breasts, sliced them up, and built the sandwiches. Luckily we both had George Foreman grills, so it went pretty quickly.

We wanted a light side dish, so Emily thought of making a fruit salad, which is now one of my favorite snacks in the world. Diced Granny Smith apples, bananas, grapes, and strawberries = perfection.

And for dessert…you guessed it.

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Caramel Pecan Apple Pie.

Mhmmm.

It’s such an interesting pie that you won’t get tired of eating! (I warned you.)

As much as I love traditional pecan pie and apple pie, it can get a little boring sometimes.

This one has a gooey filling with caramel, pecans, and tender slices of apples. IMG_20160718_172601210

And according to Matthew, it is now his favorite pie.

The good news is it’s one of the easiest to make!

You blind bake the crust using pie weights, rice, or dry beans for a few minutes, like this…

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…and then bake it with the filling for a little while. It will transform into something magical and sweet.

In the midst of this sweltering hot summer, take a vacation to the crisp days of fall with all of the wonderful feelings and aromas that this pie provides. No harm in that, right?

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Unfortunately this is my last week to make pies for Copper Kettle Tea Bar since the summer is coming to a close and I’ll be returning to Auburn, but it has definitely been a rewarding and educational experience! They are so supportive of “locals with dreams” and it has truly been an honor baking pies for them. They are top-notch in every way…I couldn’t recommend them enough!

Recipe adapted from Aimee Broussard

Picnics, Dancing, and Jazzy Key Lime Pie!

What a weekend.

Between all of the pie recipe testing, grocery shopping, and preparation for some of my family coming in for the weekend, I decided it was high time for a picnic.

Matthew came home from Auburn this weekend so in addition to pies, I whipped up some picnic favorites. Roast beef sandwiches, pasta salad with every veggie known to man, deviled eggs, fresh fruit salad, banana bread, fruity water, and rhubarb spritzer iced tea from Copper Kettle Tea Bar made for a perfect afternoon meal in the Foley Heritage Park.

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It brought me back to when I was a kid. That folded picnic blanket was made by my mom, and probably explains why I am obsessed with gingham. My sisters and I spent many an afternoon under the sycamores with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on that blanket.

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Ah, the memories…

We spotted an Airstream trailer parking near some festivities in the park, so we strolled over to discover that it served coffee! I ordered my typical hazelnut latté and Matthew enjoyed a café au lait. Talking with the owners was just as much of a treat as the coffee.

Before we knew it, it was time to go DANCING!

Seaside Stomp, a swing dancing workshop in Pensacola, FL, was kicking off the weekend with a dance complete with a live band.

We had a blast seeing all of our friends from Auburn and scenes from across the south.

Speaking of swing music, I can’t think of a better way to describe this week’s pie at Copper Kettle Tea Bar: Jazzy Key Lime Pie.

This one is rich, thick, and zesty! The almond graham cracker crust is inspired by my trip to Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House in Savannah, GA almost 6 years ago. It adds a little extra flavor and texture to the creamy, refreshing pie.

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When I spend time baking I enjoy listening to music that reflects my mood, the food that I’m preparing, or even the weather. More often than not, that music ends up being jazz.

I’m convinced that the sweet sounds of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet alongside Ella Fitzgerald’s vocals make any pie taste better.

It’s funny how so many swing-era songs have desserts in the title–everything from “Banana Split for my Baby” and “Shoo Fly Pie” to my all-time favorite, “I Like Pie, I Like Cake.”

There’s one thing that may be better than listening to this music…that’s dancing to it!

This video pretty much encompasses everything I find to be joyful and perfect about swing dancing. Watch it if you like to smile.

And this may be part of the reason I’m growing my hair out again 🙂

Here’s to summer, jazz, dancing, and dessert!

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Filling recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

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