Cambrian: Opinion

From pecans to peaches, the season for pie is here

Shelley Hurt delivered her juicy apple pies in baskets, and revealed only that her ingredients included light and brown sugar and boiled apple cider, and a mix of Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, and Jonagold apples.
Shelley Hurt delivered her juicy apple pies in baskets, and revealed only that her ingredients included light and brown sugar and boiled apple cider, and a mix of Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, and Jonagold apples.

Just in time for your holiday baking, we present two special recipes that were submitted to me. Pat Williams had hers in hand when she entered our Harvest Festival Pie Contest, and several people have already asked about her People’s Choice First Place Award winner!

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 unbaked 8 or 9-inch pie shell

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks

1 1/2 cup pecans

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 tblsp. whiskey, optional

Spread chocolate chips in the pie shell; sprinkle pecans on the top. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients, and pour over the nuts. Cover the edges of the crust with foil; and place on a cookie sheet (or piece of foil) in case it runs over.

Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 425-degree oven, then remove the foil edge. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 to 35 minutes more, until the pie is set but slightly wobbly in the center. Cool completely before slicing to serve.

Good friend and former Cambria resident Linda Tonkinson sent us this goodie last summer, and I froze the right amount of peaches at their peak to thaw when ready to mix for this:

Arkansas (or whatever state you’re from) Fresh Peach Pie

Peel and slice about 8 ripe juicy peaches into a large bowl, and allow to macerate one hour with

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

Combine in a saucepan:

3 tblsp. corn starch

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. salt

Drain the peaches and stir their juices into the saucepan. Put the peaches back in the bowl.

Cook and stir the liquid until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tblsp. butter

Gently fold the sauce over the peaches to cover and mix thoroughly. Pour the peaches into a prepared favorite pie crust (I use Pillsbury). Add a lattice top. Place the pie on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely before serving. Great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This summer, I made a concerted effort to compare farmers market produce to judge which ones were better than others, to use as side dishes for Thanksgiving. They are outstanding on your barbecue, but since I have given up mine, will invest in a stovetop grill like my good friend and neighbor, Joyce Backhaus.

Grilled nectarine slices are better than peaches, and hold up better. I prefer grilled yellow squash to zucchini. Asian eggplants cut in half lengthwise are more tender than the globes cut in rounds, and you can eat the skin. Romaine lettuce is amazing…do not use iceberg. Lemons and limes cut in half will be nice to use as garnish, or for a squeeze of juice on grilled fish. Asparagus, mushrooms and onions are incomparable. Try supermarket pineapple in wedges, and bananas still in their skins. Enjoy!

Consuelo Macedo’s column is special to The Cambrian. Submit recipes and ideas to her at The Cambrian, 2068 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428, or email her at cambrian@thetribune news.com.

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