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It’s always a little bittersweet, baking pies for auction. I imagine it must feel like when painters sell their art; there is consolation in knowing that someone else will enjoy your creative work, but isn’t that joy sometimes mixed with the sentiment, “but…but…I want to keep it!”?

I’ll be honest, it’s borderline maddening when you’ve made your whole house smell like apples and caramel and cinnamon and know you aren’t getting a single bite.

It’s okay though. Really, it is. Not only did someone else (my super-fun 3rd grade student Sam’s uncle, Jeff) have the kindness to place the highest bid on this pie and support a wonderful school in the process, I got to bake it. And if that sounds like a paltry comfort, let me put it this way; if the only part of the pie-making process I cared about was the eating, I would have given up on this whole thing a long time ago. Baking and sharing are at least two-thirds the fun.

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Jeff requested an apple pie, and since he was open to a few tweaks on the old classic, I decided to start with a recipe I’d done once before in 2011 (it’s #56 in the gallery)…Liz Reiter’s All-Granny Slug-O-Bourbon Spiced Apple Pie. To that, I made a few more changes: a pink lady apple mixed in with the grannies, a pecan crumb topping, and a little bourbon pecan caramel sauce on top of THAT! (Caramel sauce made by the lovely Carmel, who you’ll meet in a post in the very near future.)

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I have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more of this beautiful craftsman cutting board that we recently bought from Karveware, our good friend Jamil’s company. All of their boards are fully made from end-grain wood pieces (scratch-resistant, as they’re self-healing), fitted together to create what almost looks like a wooden mosaic. I’m loving having enough space to chop everything I need for pie/dinner/etc. on my extra-large board. If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, scroll down to the bottom of the page and send me an email, and I’d be happy to get you more details. (Mental note: maybe I’ll post a Karve giveaway someday when I’m a full-time blogger and have more time to generate interest and amass followers and that sort of thing…)

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Here’s the finished product, and as I alluded to before, the smell coming out of the oven towards the end of the hour it baked was just mean. Cruel. 

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I heard tell that this boozy pie may have been destined for Jeff’s bachelor party (he’s getting married soon!) Here’s hoping it was a big hit. And thanks again, Jeff, for supporting a great group of kids.

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