By Rosanna Bauman
At our place, Thanksgiving has already arrived, but it’s not over yet either. Some folks like to stretch out Christmas, but our family does it with Thanksgiving — for the entire month of November. Since the first of the month we have been busy dressing turkeys. I’ve not even bothered to count how many we’ve processed for ourselves and other people, but we did do some 40 turkeys for one customer. They are bigger than an oven! Guess they'll just have to pit-barbeque those bruisers! Our extended family even celebrated Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago. We always contribute the turkey, but this year we raised the bar and hickory-smoked it in our new smoke house. The taste was amazing, but I was equally impressed with how much simpler it was to prepare the turkey when it was already fully cooked in the smokehouse. The turkey spent much less time in the oven at a time when oven space is already at a premium. While Mom likes to make her Cranberry Jello Salad, I most enjoy the turkey and , of course, the pies! This year I am excited to add a new one to our Thanksgiving table: Apple Pecan Pie. It’s amazing, combining the best of both pies. I like pecan pies for the nuts, but they are so rich that the sweetness often overpowers the nice nutty flavors. I actually admit that I even tried a slice of a chocolate pecan pie in hopes that the pecan flavor would overshadow the chocolate. Even though it wasn’t quite as sweet as a traditional pecan, I just couldn’t take all that chocolate. So I was thrilled when I spotted a chopped apple and pecan pie at a church dinner in Missouri. It was as good as it looked: The sweetness of apple pie, the nuttiness of pecans, and no super-sugar fighting for the limelight. You just tasted real apples and real pecans. I set about to track down the baker and recipe. It wasn’t hard. I already was familiar with a few of the locals’ pie crusts, so I knew it wasn’t any of those. I asked my friend if it was hers. No, it wasn’t, but it sure looked like something Aunt Martha would bake. Sure enough, it was a new recipe from Martha. She is probably way more “Martha-ish" than even Martha Stewart: her yard is a profusion of flowers, her house well-accented, and her recipes both simple and creative. True to form, Martha gave me a word of advice with the recipe: “I used Jonathan apples because they are the best baking apple that we have in Kansas and Missouri. But the folks back East, their Jonathans are totally different and not suitable at all for baking. So if you have to buy your apples you look and see just where those apples are coming from.” Editor's Note: The "Best Ever" Pie crust Rosanna refers to the in the recipe below can be found here.
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 /4 cup honey
- 1 /4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1 /2 cups apples
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Combine all of the above ingredients well and pour into an unbaked 9” “Best-Ever’ pie crust.
- Bake at 375 for 40 --45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.