TRUCKEE/TAHOE — If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then Dr. Chez at Urgent Care should be vacationing in Joshua Tree this time of year.Truckee/Tahoe has been looking like a virtual Garden of Eden before Eve’s fall for the past three months, and now the stores are bursting at the seams with the Forbidden Fruit. After trying to peel one of the local apples in my own yard (called Horse Apples or Crab Apples depending on who you’re talking to) I just about threw in the towel and decide to label them squirrel apples because I would need to block out an entire day in front of a Law and Order marathon to get enough fruit peeled to make one pie, and I don’t do that. Any more. This was, however, before I borrowed Kitty’s Pampered Chef apple peeler/corer and changed my life. Now I am all about anything apple, right off the tree, right off the neighbor’s tree, right out of Safeway and Save Mart. If there is an apple I will peel it and prepare it.I had seen this miracle device at Kitty’s house a number of times and never even bothered to ask what it was. It looks like something out of the Tower of London (maybe a thumb press?) and finally my curiosity was sufficiently peaked to ask, “What in the heck is that?” Now I know and I am never going back to manual apple labor.Seriously, all you do is stick the apple on the pointed end, crank the handle and voila! You get about six feet of peel flying off in ten seconds followed by the core that spits across the room with such velocity your children should be wearing protective eye gear if they are in the vicinity. They are available at pamperedchef.com and, at $32, are worth every penny. They are also known to appear at our local thrift stores on occasion so, if time is not of the essence, this is a good way to go.Now for the recipe: It’s old. It’s scandalous. It’s (to quote my neighbor’s son) “The Bomb.” Given the addition of the Red Hot candies, that’s a pretty accurate descriptor.Deep Dish Red Hot Apple Pie Ingredients:1/3 cup Red Hot candies1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup water6 cups peeled, cored and sliced (about an 1/8 inch thick) apples1/4 cup flour1/2 cup sugar1/2 tsp. nutmeg1/3 tsp. salt1 tbls. lemon juice2 tbls. butter, cut into 1/4 inch squared pieces1 recipe for one pie crust, or use the pre-made rolls available in the cold cases at most supermarketsPreparation:Melt candies and 1/2 cup sugar in the 1/2 cup water, set aside. Combine apples, flour, 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg and salt in large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice to candy mixture, pour over apples and blend until apples are coated. Pour all into a 10” pie pan and dot top with butter. Place crust over apple mixture, trim the edge and seal with a tiny bit of water, gently pressing around the perimeter with a fork. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 350 and return pie to oven to bake for an additional 40-45 minutes or until rust is dark golden brown. Watch the edges o the crust and if they are getting to dark, cover with foil strips until done baking.
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