Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Use a slow cooker to make the filling for Candy Apple and Peach Pie Tarts.

Through years of trying and consuming a number of recipes, it’s become apparent to me how much we are influenced by our formative years, not only what we eat, but the emotional feelings certain foods bring out in each of us.

I’ve heard from readers who have talked about the family pot roast at Sunday dinners, the holiday treats they remember from their childhoods, or the foods they eat only when they are saddened by life events.

In that spirit, I remember the Candy Apple Pie my mother would often bake. It’s something I had not thought of in years until I tasted an apple dumpling cobbler that had a similar taste and the memories came flooding back.

I also remember having to chop up fresh apples so she could make said pie. That wasn’t the fun part of the memory because she was often a perfectionist in making sure the apples had no peel anywhere in sight. While I often encourage parents to include their children in kitchen duties, allow for the fact that an occasional peel won’t damage the pie.

Better yet, for convenience, buy pie filling for the recipe below and save the time of peeling the apples. Add some peaches for good measure and enjoy the lagniappe.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at