It all started many years ago when my mother got tired of spending so much time making so many wonderful pies for Thanksgiving, only to have them go uneaten because we all were too full after our Thanksgiving feast to eat any pie. She didn't want her hard work to go unnoticed (and uneaten), so we started having Pie Night. The night before Thanksgiving, all our immediate and extended family that was around would get together and eat Mom's pies. It expanded year after year from a few pies to a couple dozen, as all the sisters and aunts would make pies too to bring. It has become a true Pie Feast.
We have shared this tradition with our friends the past few years since we are away at medical school and have been unable to travel home for Thanksgiving. It has become a tradition that they too look forward to each year.
The fun part is to see (and taste) all the different varieties of pies that people bring. Every year I make a few different pies for the night, but each year there is one recipe that I always make--one that I was introduced to while on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints down in southern Texas. It is called Crunchy Carmel Apple Pie (recipe from the bhg.com website). I wanted to show you a simple, yet cute technique to dress your pies up using this recipe (minus the pecans--we aren't huge nut fans here).
This pie has a streusel-type top, so I couldn't do any decorating with a pie-crust top, but I decorated the rim of the pie by simply cutting out little leaf shapes from an extra 1/2 batch of pie crust that I made.
Then wrap the edges with tinfoil for the first half of the baking time so they don't get overly browned.
You'll end up with an interesting and decorative edge to your pie. And for those of you with young kids, it is a great way to get them involved in the baking process. My daughter loves to help me cut out the shapes with our cookie cutters.
Don't forget the caramel sauce on top before serving! Maybe a few of you out there will try this tradition next year with your family. I offer one suggestion: cut small slices--then you will have room to try all the yummy kinds of pie.
I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving, full of family, friends, and an outpouring of gratitude for all the blessings we have been given. Have a safe Christmas holiday season, and never forget the true reason for the season--the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.