Patriotic Pies

Tara O’Sullivan, the winner of the pie contest at the annual Cold Spring Fourth of July celebration on Sunday, July 7, and Penelope Smith, the runner-up, were kind enough to share their recipes with The Current. Matthew Koch won third place for his peach blueberry pie and Emily Gilleo received honorable mention for her peanut-butter pie.


Salted Caramel Apple Pie with Rum Raisins
By Tara O’Sullivan

Adapted from a recipe at

The night before, soak 1 cup of golden raisins in bourbon or rum. (I used Meyer’s Rum.)

Pie Dough

2 cups, minus 4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 sticks chilled butter (unsalted, cut into cubes)
Ice water

Add flour, sugar, salt and butter to food processor. Pulse until you see crumbs. Add a little bit of ice water, a bit at a time, pulsing in between until the crumbs just start to come together. Form into a ball and wrap, refrigerate at least an hour.

Caramel Sauce

1 ½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ cup heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, add sugar, water and lemon juice. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar begins to dissolve. Stir frequently until mixture begins to bubble and turn golden brown. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add cream, stirring constantly until sauce is smooth. Add salt and allow to cool.

Pie filling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Drained raisins
4 pounds of peeled, thin sliced apples (I used a mix of gala and Granny Smith.)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
¾ cup caramel sauce

Line a deep-dish pie pan with dough rolled out to ⅛-inch thick. In a large bowl, combine raisins, apples, lemon juice, pecans, cornstarch and spices and caramel sauce. Toss together and fill pie crust. Cover pie with dough, cut vent holes in crust. Brush crust with a beaten egg and dust with sugar.

Bake pie for 30 minutes at 375. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour more at 375. Remove, cool and enjoy!


Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
By Penelope Smith

Prepare enough pastry for a single crust pie. (I used a cream cheese/butter pastry, but any pastry will do.)

¾ cup sugar
2 cups cooked sweet potatoes peeled and mashed
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
½ ground ginger
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon cloves
2 large eggs

  1. Mix sugar, spices, salt in a small bowl and the zest.
  2. Beat eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in potatoes and spice/sugar mixture.
  4. Gradually stir in sour cream and buttermilk.
  5. Pour into pie shell.

Pecan Layer

¾ cup light corn syrup
½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
3 large eggs , lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
2 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups pecans

In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients. add some bourbon if you want spread the mixture evenly over the potato layer.

Place pie in oven and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 20 to 30 minutes more until the filling has puffed slightly. Cool pie on rack serve with whipped cream with a little bourbon in it.

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