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How to jazz up an apple pie...should I add cheddar? caramel? nuts?

Lots of discussions on how to make the perfect apple pie, so thanks to all for that. My husband's family is not crazy for apple pie but I feel that in addition to pumpkin (which they ARE crazy for), this is the only other appropriate pie for Thanksgiving season. Just brain storming, way in advance I know, but any thoughts appreciated. I know if I make it straight, they won't touch it.

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  1. lol. to me, perfect apple pie is just apples. :)

    am not sure why you want to gussy something up that they probably won't eat anyway. what about pecan? pear upside-down cake?

    nutmeg-maple cream pie?

    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/1...

    4 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Ooh - pear upside-down made me think of tarte tatin. I wonder if that would be more appealing for them?

      1. re: davis_sq_pro

        Oh yeah, but they have their pumpkin. I want apple, I want apple, I want apple ;-) Not that I don't love pumpkin too.

        1. re: coll

          Tarte tatin is basically a form of apple pie. Well, depending on how far you carry pie into tart. (I probably just created a religious war.) It's also upside-down and includes caramel. Might be a good way to get 'em into the apple spirit.

          1. re: davis_sq_pro

            I have the pan, but have only used it to serve appetizers so far. It would be nice to use it for its intended purpose for a change.

    2. Ice cream on top?

      Every time I've tried to notch up an apple pie -- caramel, dulce de leche, cajeta, a glaze on the crust, different spice blends, and assorted other efforts -- I've been disappointed. Seems that at least for my taste, apple pie should be a simple affair.

      What would be wrong with, e.g., a blueberry pie? They're still in season somewhere during Thanksgiving season, I'd guess? Pecan pie is also a classic at many Thanksgiving tables. No reason to try to force apple down their throats :-)

      1. Thanks for your thoughts so far. So OK. I love apple pie and I love it plain. I make it every year and end up eating it all myself. Not good! My husband's family is extremely opinionated when it come to food, and after almost 40 years of catering to them, I have learned a few hard lessons. But I have also converted them a few times too. The only other solution would be to JUST make apple pie, I guess then they might try some. Guess pumpkin is more traditional to them, but apple was a given in my family. But it's not really about me I guess. Topic for another thread!

        I'll have whipped cream for the pumpkin, but I'm on a tight budget so not springing for ice cream too, on top of me having to finish it too. It's only the four of us! To me, pie should be seasonal, based on the local farm stands. So, rhubarb is May, strawberry is early June, blueberry is late June, peach is July and so on. Fall is pumpkin and apple. Since I'm in charge of the menu (at least technically!) I like it to be seasonal. Oh and pecans....they don't like nuts in food, only eat them plain. The things we do for our loved ones!

        Maybe if I add some cranberries.....But the maple cream pie would probably go over well if it comes to it. but I'd really miss my apples. I only make pie when I have company so I don't end up eating the whole thing!

        4 Replies
        1. re: coll

          I too end up eating the apple pie all by myself. But I'm not giving it up. A couple years ago, I started making my apple pie in muffin cups. That gave me better portion control. I get 4 - 5 pies out of a single pie crust. I chopped the apples rather than slices them, and packed them in there in a mound. Baked them for about 45 minutes (well brown and knife went thru the apples easily).

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            You're right, if I served it in a different form I could probably trick them into eating it, and realizing it's not half bad!

          2. re: coll

            If they like maple, why not try an apple pie with maple as the sweetener? Or an apple maple cream? Or just maple cream with an apple compote alongside?

            1. re: biondanonima

              I'm a maple syrup addict, so I already made note, that that ingredient will be involved in some way. My family lives upstate NY, the land of maple and apples, so even though they can't be here with me I'll have to admit that's why I'd like to include in my meal. They used to come to my house but things changed, as they tend to do, and I miss them lots.

              Maybe it I tell them I made it out of respect for my family, that's all it would take? Who knows. Honesty is the best policy!

          3. Add raisins, either golden or black; dried currants, or dried cranberry or dried apricots cut in quarters. Soak dried fruit in half cup of brandy before combining
            Line pie shell with almond paste before filling.
            Or crumb/streusal topping with nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds.
            Cheese pastry shell is another option.
            Fall crop apples are wonderful here in NYC.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chasamark

              Almond paste is a perfect idea, they love that ingredient in my Christmas cookies. Maybe even a drop of almond extract in the filling?

              I was also thinking of just adding a bit of cheddar to the shell rather than scattered throughout the apples, would be more intense. And I figure if I call it something else, like Almond Apple Cheddar Pie, they'd go for it. It's not that they're not adventurous eaters, just hard to change their minds sometimes.

            2. maybe with some toasted walnuts and some crunchy crumb on top like coffee cake?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Monica

                That would definitely make a better presentation to them, I'm thinking. As long as the nuts are ground into the topping!