Italian Dessert

It’s Columbus Day and there is nothing more American than Apple Pie!


It is habitually stated that in 1492 Christopher Columbus, sailed the oceans blue and discovered America.  In reality what Columbus did do was to introduce America to Western Europe during his four voyages to the region between 1492 and 1502. In doing that he paved the way for the massive influx of western Europeans that would eventually form several new nations such as Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

It has been voiced that people from Asia probably were the first people to set foot on this land as early as 15,000 years ago. And then, of course, in school we all learned about Amerigo Vespucci the Italian merchant and navigator from whose name the term “America” came from. And let’s not forget Leif Erikson the Norse explorer who is widely held to have been the first European to have reached the shores of North America somewhere around 1,000AD. That was also drilled into the heads of those of us who were schooled in the 40’s and 50’s.

But with all that, and probably much more, Christopher Columbus still gets the credit!
It became a national holiday in 1937.

And Americans still get the day off!


So how about an Upside-Down Apple Pie to celebrate!


1 CUP PECANS OR WALNUTS – your choice, chopped

¼ CUP SUGAR – granulated


½ CUP LIGHT BROWN SUGAR – lightly packed

1 – 2 TSP CINNAMON – or to taste

1 TSP NUTMEG – or to taste

1/3 CUP BUTTER – melted


1 (15 oz) PACKAGE PIECRUST – divided or 2 homemade piecrusts, your favorite

6-7 APPLES – good baking apples – sliced to your taste, Granny Smith, Jonagold or Honeycrisp





  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Stir together chopped nuts, ½ cp light brown sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter.  Spread evenly onto the bottom of a 9-inch-deep dish pie plate.  Fit one piecrust over the nut mixture in the pie plate and allow excess crust to hang over the sides of the plate.
  3. Stir together apples, and ¼ cup sugar, 2 tbs flour, cinnamon, to taste, nutmeg to taste, pinch of salt and mix well.  Spoon mixture into crust, packing tightly and mounding in the center.  Place remaining crust over the filling and press both crusts together.  Fold edge under and crimp.
  4. Place pie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Cut few slits in the top of the pie crust and place on lower rack of the oven. Bake pie for 1 hour or 1 hour and 15 minutes.  If edges start to get too browned, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  5. When top is nicely browned and pie is done, remove from oven and place on wire rack for ten minutes. Place a large serving plate over the top of the pie and invert onto the plate.  Remove plate and replace any nuts remaining in the pie plate over the top of the pie.  Let cool completely.

NOTE: when using a store-bought crust, I usually roll the crust out a little on a lightly floured surface to get a better overlap on the pie plate. Also, before overturing the pie onto the serving plate, I carefully try to loosen the crust a little being careful not to crack it. This pie can also be made with peaches when they are in season.  Just increase the flour a little as peaches tend to be more juicy than apples.

Serve with a side of ice cream and what could be a better dessert!





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