The Pie Notes

A celebration of life with a touch of sweetness

Tag: pecan

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.


Caramel Pecan Apple Pie.


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…


…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?



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

Stay Calm. Bake a Pie

Happy (early) Thanksgiving, everyone!

Although Auburn was gorgeous when we left a few days ago…..

I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but home. Spending time with family and friends during my favorite time of the year makes me very thankful. And one of the best parts is baking as much as I please!

Last Saturday was my sweet daddy’s birthday. My sweet daddy loves Coconut Cream Pie. And that is what he received.

coconut cream pie

For some reason, coconut cream pies have never exactly cared for me in the past. But this one loved me. It’s one of the best pies I’ve ever had!

And to be perfectly honest, I always despised coconut. Until I had it in pie-form. The coconut flakes are nice and toasty, which actually takes away a bit of the texture issues for some folks. Including me.

I realize that coconut pies are not on most Thanksgiving tables, but keep this one in your pocket for later on, after the pumpkin craze has subsided. The recipe is at the end of this post.

And now for the Thanksgiving pies!

We always make pecan pie and pumpkin pie. Tradition can’t be beat.

Earlier this fall I tried a recipe from The Back in the Day Cookbook and fell in love.

I fell in love with Bourbon Pecan Pie.

That splash of bourbon adds so much to it. So this pie will be making a splash on our table this year, for sure.

bourbon pecan pie

It took a lot for me to step outside of my comfort zone with this pie.

Martha Stewart’s Pecan Pie with a Pate Brisee crust was the very first pie I ever made by myself during the fall of my freshman year of high school. Pecan was my favorite all through the years, and it still is. Just with a bit o’ bourbon now.

So that’s where it all began.

I even prefer this crust recipe as well. It’s made with a combination of butter (which provides flavor) and shortening (which makes for a flaky crust).

I’ll still always love that Pate Brisee crust, but this old fashioned one is a little more foolproof. It rolls out well, is easy to handle, and bakes to perfection every time. I really encourage you to try it! Don’t be scared.

So, I know it may get a little crazy tonight and tomorrow, but don’t lose sight of why we’re actually eating this yummy food. Don’t just be thankful for what you appreciate in life, but give thanks. Slow down, stay calm, and enjoy every minute you have with the ones you love.

After all, food is just food.

Pie is just pie. (Did I just say that?)

But it’s the people around you that make any time of year special.

Including Sylvester, our 19 pound fresh turkey that my brother, Matt, and his wife, Toni, were so kind to pick up today at The Butcher Shoppe in Pensacola.

We’ve had a Tom, a Fred, and even a Jerry in the past. Sylvester seems to be a fitting name for this big ole bird.

This is the first year we’ve prepared a fresh turkey and used a wet brine, and I think it will be delicious! Between Matt and Mom, it can’t go wrong.

Well, I’m off to prepare some of that pie dough. If any of you have tips, tricks, comments, or thoughts on Thanksgiving and all that comes with it, I’d love to hear them!

I hope you have a truly wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Take care!

And I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this.

Here are the printables:

Coconut Cream Pie

Bourbon Pecan Pie

Old Fashioned Piecrust

A Day on the Trails

Yesterday was a perfect opportunity to visit Chewacla State Park in Auburn.


Beautiful, yes?


Changing leaves just stir something inside of me.


After a bit of walking, we made it to the top! It’s breathtaking up here.


And after quite a bit of hiking and slipping down hills, we made it to the bottom. This awesome waterfall was our reward.

I wanted to get a closer look. The rock hopping began.


Can we talk about how it looks like I’m playing a harmonica?

I’m not…I don’t know what I’m doing, actually. Who knows.


Do you see it? Do you see Sarah soaring?


I tried to soar, too. Right on top of a wet, slippery rock. My knee caught the fall, don’t worry. And my shoe soaked up about a pint of freezing cold water.

Uncontrollable laughter followed. Falling is hilarious, whether it’s me or someone else.


We quickly made our way for dry land. But not before I stepped on a wobbly, insecure log on the edge of the bank.

My other shoe soaked up a pint of water.

It was fun.

Once we got back to civilization, we drove to the top of the mountain and had a picnic.

Granny’s signature turkey sandwiches, grapes, pistachios, and biscotti were on the menu. It was simple, it was rustic, and a wonderful way to end our hike.

Our sweet friend, Rebecca, invited us over to bake a pie yesterday evening.

It was successful.


The whole thing is gluten free and vegan. Super delicious! We were all fighting over the crust leftovers and scraping out the filling in the bowl. I’m talking GOOD.

It has to chill for a few hours, so we had to head back home. After church today we taste tested.It was honestly one of the best pies I’ve ever had. The filling had such a complex pumpkin flavor, and the crust, made out of oats and pecans, complimented it nicely. I would definitely recommend it, even if you’re not on a vegan or gluten free diet.

Rebecca and her husband, Scott, really love the blog Oh She Glows and all of her recipes. That’s where they found this recipe for Sweet and Salty Spiced Pecan Crust and Pumpkin Filling. There’s a few other variations on the page as well.

I had a lovely weekend with some lovely friends. And a VERY lovely new friend.


Her name is Noire. Rebecca and Scott are fostering her for a while.

I’ve never had such a connection with a dog before. She just cuddles without any resistance, gives me hugs, and stares up at me with those big brown eyes. I think she likes me because we both have dark hair. That’s a valid reason to adopt a dog, right?.

Mom…Dad…are you reading this?

I think Joey needs a friend.


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