Pie of Her Eye

When you think of Branson, Mo., what comes to mind?

For me and a number of other people, it’s country music. I know quite a few folks who’ve been there over the years to listen to some of the top names in the field.

Friday and Saturday, food will be on the menu at the Branson Convention Center. Besides featuring Taste of Home Cooking Schools each day, the center will be the site of Branson’s First Great American Pie Show.

Among the 12 finalists from 11 states competing in the show will be Noelle Myers of Grand Forks.  Myers said it’s her first cooking contest. She said her great-grandmother — who she never knew — was a great cook.

“I think I was born with it,” she said. “By the time I was 12, I was doing most of the meals.

Noelle is entering her “Apple Praline Pie.”

“It’s a recipe that’s been around, but I made it my own,” she said. She’s had plenty of people offering to taste-test her pies, she said. “I have more offers than I can fulfill.”

Noelle said she’s not been to Branson before and that she’s excited to meet weatherman Al Roker of NBC’s “Today Show,” who is a celebrity judge.

Only four of the contestants regularly enter cooking contests. The staff at Taste of Home magazine received more than 1,000 entries for the Pie Show.

For more information, visit www.greatamericanpieshow.com or www.explorebranson.com or call the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce at (417) 334-4084 or (800) 214-3661.

I don’t have Noelle’s recipe to share, but here is another one for apple praline pie. Hopefully, we’ll have her’s in the near future.

Apple Praline Pie
Favorite pastry for a double-crust pie
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 cups thinly sliced and peeled cooking apples
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons half-and-half
½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of a 10-inch pie plate with the pastry; set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the apple slices and toss gently until coated. Transfer the apple mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim the pastry to the edge of the pie plate.
Roll the remaining dough into a 12-inch circle. Cut slits to allow the steam to escape. Place on top of the filling; trim ½-inch beyond the edge of the plate. Fold the top pastry under the bottom pastry and crimp or flute edge as desired. To prevent the crust from over browning, cover the edge of the pie with foil.
Bake 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 35 minutes more.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the butter, brown sugar and half-and-half. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
Remove the pie from the oven. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the hot pie. Bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 390 calories (38 percent from fat), 17 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 61 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, 204 milligrams sodium, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 30 mg calcium, 3 grams fiber.

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