|Decorated with the shape of a green chile, this apple pie boasts the addition of green chile and piñon nuts|
My childhood friend lives in Pie Town, NM, population 60, and I now know at least 12 of the welcoming residents of this community. The last time Penny and I saw each other, in the early 1980s, both of our husbands were in the military. If you’d told me that years later I’d find her at the Pie Town RV Park, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m sure she was just as surprised to hear that I’m living in Poland. We had a great visit catching up on our lives and our extended families. My timing was off a bit. I just missed the annual Pie Festival. I understand that on the second Saturday in September, the town of sixty can grow to 1,000 as people come from all over to participate in some small town, Americana fun – a pie baking contest, a pie eating contest, games, music, and BBQ.
The famous Pie-O-Neer Cafe is so busy baking pies to prepare for the event that they close for two weeks after. Lucky for me, Penny had saved a pie for me in her freezer and pulled it out of the oven just after I arrived; now that’s a good friend.
The pie, a New Mexican Apple Pie, incorporates green chile and piñon nuts with the usual ingredients in apple pie filling. If you’re a fan of chile, and I am, you will love this southwestern variety. The heat of the chile cuts through the sweetness making this pie seem perfect, even as an entree. Yes, that’s what I call it when I have pie and only pie for a meal. If you want something different in your apple pie, give this a try.
While I was surprised by this flavor combination, I really must rave the pie’s most memorable feature – the crust. It was light, flaky, and tender – almost like a puff pastry. I aspire to make a crust like this.
Curious about Pie Town? They’re along the Continental Divide and see a lot of bike and foot traffic along that path. It was a strange sensation not to be surrounded by towering mountains as we are in Tucson, the view is different from the top! The area was originally home to many dry pinto bean farmers, but droughts took most of the residents elsewhere. Today, you’ll find a starry night sky, lots of wildlife, a museum that includes an array of windmills, as well as amazing pie.