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An apple a day can make memories

While growing up, my family and I would visit my grandparents regularly.

There was a game we played during the fall while her apple trees were producing those delicious red apples.

The game was to see how long your life would be by peeling an apple. The longer the unbroken apple peel, the longer your life was destined to be.

I was given an apple and a paring knife, with the objective of peeling as long and thin a strip as possible.

Once I had my apple peel spiral, it was game on again to see how many times I could peel an apple without breaking it.

Grandmother would always bet me that I couldn’t do it, but I always did. And so I’d grab another apple, start peeling and prove that I could peel the apple over and over without breaking the long spiral peel.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I see that it was her sneaky way of making me peel her apples for her.

I recently ran across a recipe for a Caramel Apple Pecan Pie.

The tender slices of juicy cooked apples, topped with a crispy crunchy crust of brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans, truly looked delicious and I decided to make it.

I bought a few nice Granny Smith green, tart apples and I washed them and began to peel the first one. I was brought back to that day at my grandparents’ house.

While I was peeling my apple in a perfect spiral, my oldest daughter, Lizzie, watched in amazement.

I told her I had a lot of practice growing up and shared this same story with her.

After telling me that I was going to live a good long time, she wanted to try her hand at it.

At 7-years-old, I thought I’d give her a few more years before handing over the knife.

Instead, she helped me make the pie, mixing everything together. I told her she could have one of my peels to ensure that she’ll live a good long time too.

Caramel Apple Pecan Pie

7 cups sliced peeled tart apples

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

half cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons sugar

4-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon cornstarch

half cup caramel ice cream topping, room temperature

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Streusel Topping:

half cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans

half cup sugar

6 tablespoons cold butter

half cup caramel ice cream topping, room temperature

Directions:

In a large bowl toss apples with lemon juice and vanilla. Combine the pecans, sugars, cinnamon and cornstarch; add to apple mixture and toss to coat. Pour caramel topping over bottom of pastry shell; top with apple mixture (shell will be full). Drizzle with butter.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, pecans and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 350-degrees for 55-65 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned. Immediately drizzle with caramel topping. Cool on a wire rack.

Tiffany Cannon is the advertising manager of the Demopolis Times and a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine.