Pie Therapy

Our columnist suggests therapy in two forms—checking into the Funny Farm and pie.

by Jean Hecker

With all that’s been going on, I knew that sooner or later that I’d end up at the funny farm—and end up there I did!

“The Funny Farm” is a very real place and anybody can check in for some therapy. The therapy comes in the form of chickens, goats, dogs, cats, and horses. It’s a magical little farm just outside of Richland in Mizpah and I guarantee if you spend a little time there you’ll leave feeling great.

Their main function is animal rescue and it’s amazing that the whole cacophony of critters all get along. Adults and kids are free to roam around the grounds petting any animal that takes their fancy, or you can just sit on a bench and take it all in. What a wonderful experience. Go online to funnyfarmrescue.org for details and be sure to make it a point to “check yourself in.”

Without a doubt fall is absolutely my favorite time of year and here is another kind of therapy that I call “pie therapy.”

Caramel Apple Pie

4 lbs total of assorted apples like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Crispin, etc, cored and peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Mix the following with apples in large bowl and set aside:

2tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the caramel sauce:

1 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp flaked sea salt

Use your favorite two-crust pie crust recipe or store-bought variety.

To make the caramel sauce cook the sugar with 1/4 cup water in a deep saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan butter but not stirring until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add butter and cream, stir until smooth. (If you wish to use a prepared caramel sauce that’s okay, too.)

Assemble pie crust in pan, top with apples and 1 cup of caramel sauce on top of apples, then put on top crust and seal as usual. Make a few slits on top.

Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for additional 40 minutes until crust is browned. Let cool and serve.

I like it ala mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Jean Hecker has a BA in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.

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Food for Thought