Merry Christmas Eve! Today is my absolute favorite day of the year, ranking right up there, but just above, Christmas Day and my birthday. My family has always celebrated as a huge group on Christmas Eve, so my memories of this day each year are heart-warming and extremely happy. We always wake up bright and early to start preparing for the evening party, and that usually entails baking, baking, and more baking. We’ll have made the coconut cake days ago and it will be chilling nicely in the refrigerator, but there’s any assortment of breads, cookies, or pies that might be making their way towards the oven. This year, by request, I got up before the sun (that part wasn’t by request, that was Eva needing to go out and waking me up in the process…) and started putting together this absolutely amazing pie amalgamation that is the quintessentially perfect blend of two stars of the Christmas pie world – apple pie and pecan pie. It seems so obvious to merge these two delicacies into one, but I’d honestly never seen one of these pies before I first found this recipe in a magazine. The pecan filling is decadent and sweet, but the real star of this dish is the luscious caramelized apples that you put up on top. Delicious! So, this is my Christmas gift to you today – a great recipe that I hope you can share with your family and friends, if not this year, maybe next time around. Merry Christmas Eve!
1 ½ cups golden brown sugar [1080 calories]
1 ½ stick unsalted butter [1200 calories]
3 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and quartered [330 calories]
¾ cup white granulated sugar [540 calories]
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour [56 calories]
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs [280 calories]
¼ cup light corn syrup [180 calories]
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chopped pecans (yield from about 3 cups whole pecans) [2556 calories]
1 pie crust [800 calories] (I sincerely apologize, but I have yet to make my own pie crust from scratch…I’m scared, but I’ll make it one day, I promise. For this recipe, I used the frozen pie crust that you thaw and roll out, but I’ve also made this with the crusts that come in a 9-inch pan. To be honest, I don’t think the 9-inch pan/crust combination is large enough for this pie. I made it this time around in a deep-dish pie pan and it was perfect.)
Deep-dish pie pan
Makes 12 generous slices
Calories: 585 calories per slice
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the ovenproof pan/skillet on the stove over medium heat, then add the butter and allow to fully melt. Once butter is melted, whisk in the golden brown sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow mixture to boil for one minute, then remove from heat. Arrange the quartered apples, rounded side down, in the syrup.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Pour in the reserved syrup you used to roast the apples, and whisk well to combine. One at a time, add the eggs, whisking well in between each addition. Add corn syrup and vanilla extract, combine well. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Once you have your pie crust prepared in the pan (your choice of making it or buying it), pour in the filling. Arrange the apples, rounded side up, in the pecan filling in a circle. You should have enough room to put about three apple quarters in the center of the circle of apples.
Bake pie for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool fully on a rack. Cover with aluminum foil and store at room temperature until ready to serve.
I originally found this recipe in an issue of Food & Wine magazine a few years ago during the holidays, and I can’t seem to find it online anywhere now.