I am still awaiting the cooler nights and more temperate days of fall to greet me as I open the door on a new day, each morning. What I find is sweltering heat and the sun stinging my tender skin with burning rays meant only for summer and refreshing dips into swimming pools. It seems Mother Nature has other ideas in spite of the local merchants and their displays of orange and yellow gourds, bushy mums, and enough bags of candy to fill every sweet tooth in the neighborhood. Outside the window from where I write, the privet shrub shows signs of a silvery web spun by spiders awaiting their prey. Still, the temperature gauge on the dashboard of my car reads 121*!
Though it meant an evening tucked into my southwest facing kitchen, I could wait no longer. The crisper drawer of my refrigerator was packed with bright, shiny, Red Delicious apples and they needed a buttery, rolled out pastry, along with the mix of spices reminiscent of multi colored leaves and chilly nights spent bundled up under a cozy, throw along with my dog.
I had already been spending a few days shuffling through the pages of an old recipe book when my eyes rested upon a different take on apple pie. This one was chocked full of pecans lining the bottom of a pie plate, reminding me of days spent at our state’s farmer’s market and the wooden pails of various nuts lining the stalls for customers and their favorite recipes.
This recipe takes a bit of planning and extra steps, but the result is worth it. A pie sweet with the aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, with a crunch of meaty pecans. I hope you will give it a try and enjoy it with a great dollop of vanilla ice cream…even if it is 100* outside!
Apple-Pecan Upside-Down Pie
¼ cup butter or margarine
⅔ cup chopped pecans
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar; set aside ⅓ cup from this cup of brown sugar
(2) 9 inch pastry crusts
5-6 medium sized cooking apples, sliced thin
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. Salt
Spread butter or margarine evenly over the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
Sprinkle pecans over the bottom and sides of buttered pie plate. Press down firmly.
Sprinkle ⅔ cup of 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar over the pecan layer. Press the sugar down firmly.
Place one of the 2 pie pastry crusts over the pecan-sugar layer. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice.
In another bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and the remaining sugar.
Combine the spice mixture to the bowl of apples and lemon juice, tossing together well.
Spoon the apple mixture over the pastry crust. Add the other pastry crust over the apple layer.
Trim edges and seal the pastry edges together and flute the edge of the pastry.
Cut slits into the top of pastry crust to allow for steam to escape.
Bake in a 450* oven for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350* and bake an additional 40-50 minutes.
Remove pie from oven and allow it to cool for 2-5 minutes.
Invert pie onto serving plate.
Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.