I promised you a few surprise guest bloggers while I am visiting family in London and today is one of those special days. Karen is one of those friends whose reputation as a fine cook preceded me getting to meet her. Friends of mine who knew that I had a passion for cooking, would tell me, "You HAVE to meet Karen, she is an awesome hostess and chef. You will love her!" When I finally had the opportunity to not only meet Karen but to dine at her "fine establishment" I was not disappointed. She is not only a very special and fun friend but has extraordinary cooking skills. Without further ado.... meet my friend Karen!
When my sweet friend Chris asked me to do a guest blog on Café Sucré Farine, I immediately tried to think of a fabulous recipe that would really wow her readers, look beautiful in a photo and of course be delicious! Then I began thinking about my love of cooking and how it has developed over such a long time. Where would I be without the basics that started it all?
That of course led me to think of my grandmother, “GG” Gardner. She was such a wonderful cook and famous for her pies, especially her coconut cream. She always took pride in making our favorites growing up. She even took the time to show my husband how to make her perfect pie crust after we got married so he could make my favorite, apple pie. Come to think of it, I love everything apple. Her apple stuffed pork chops are still the traditional Christmas meal for all of my family. Yum!
GG was the traditional Southern cook that added a pinch of this and a “skosh” of that. It was often hard to pin her down for a written recipe. I learned so much from her and find I often cook in the same way. When friends ask me for recipes I have to go back and update the ingredients and measurements or sometimes even have to put it on paper for the first time. “GG” went to be with the Lord in January of 1996 but she will always be in our hearts and our recipes!
Below is GG’s very simple but delicious apple cheese pie she passed along to me. Then only thing I have changed in her classic pie is to make it in a tart pan. Some things you just can’t improve on - a grandmother’s love and a southern pie!
Apple Cream Cheese Pie
One 9 inch pie crust - unbaked (store bought, your own favorite recipe or GG's recipe, below)
1- 8 ounce cream cheese - softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon peel
½ cup sugar
Add eggs to the cheese one at a time in your mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add sugar and lemon peel. Blend well. Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
2 medium apples - sliced thin (I leave the peel on for color-use whatever type of apple you prefer)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup apple jelly
Toss apples in sugar and cinnamon to generously coat. Arrange on top of the cheese filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool.
Melt (place in microwave for 20-30 seconds) the apple jelly and brush it on top for a nice glaze.
GG’s Pie Crust
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening (solid)
4 to 5 tablespoons ice cold water
Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Using a fork, work the shortening into the flour until crumbly. Do not over work the dough. Add water one tablespoon at a time and work it into the dough with your hands until it is the right consistency for rolling out. Flour surface and roll out the dough to one inch bigger than the pie plate. Transfer to the plate wrapped around your roller. Crimp edges. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or use unbaked as directed.