This past weekend, we held our first ever Ultimate Apple Pie Bake-Off Contest upstairs in our Cooking Studio. We had a great response with the number of entries. Bakers were asked to submit a pie for judging. Our judging panel took over an hour deliberating, and finally came to an overall decision on the top 3 pies which included a pie from Julie Jones, Kitsa Scaffidi and Carol Wildgoose. These three ladies then took the time to participate in our “bake-off” held on September 21. Their pies were outstanding, making it a very difficult task for our judges to select the winners. We would like to extend a BIG thank you, and a job well done for all who entered! Here are the winners with their awesome pie recipes:FIRST PLACE: Carol Wildgoose Her Pie: Gluten Free Apple Pie FILLING 6 medium apples of choice (# approximate – I like Granny Smith for pies) Cinnamon 1 cup white sugar (plus or minus a little depending on tartness of apples) Slice apples into pie crust. Sprinkle sugar evenly over top, followed by cinnamon to taste. (3 teaspoons should be about right) Cover apples with pie crust. Crimp edges with fingers to seal. Brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle lightly with white sugar. (This step is for appearances only!) Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn back oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes or until bottom of crust is brown and the apples are soft. Cool on rack. Serve with pie server as crust is very tender! Remaining single crust can be frozen if well wrapped with foil and sealed in freezer bag. SECOND PLACE: Julia Jones Her Pie: Grandma’s Apple Pie PASTRY 1 cup Crisco 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups flour 5-6 tbsp cold water FILLING 5-6 apples (3 granny, 1 golden, 2 pink lady) 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 3 tbsp tapioca 1 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp vanilla 1 tbsp butter milk pinch sugar Blend flour and salt in bowl. Cut small cubes of crisco into flour until crisco is in small pea size pieces. Add water gradually until dough holds together. Wrap dough in wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Split dough in two pieces. Roll our first ball into circle and put into pie pan. Slice apples. Add sugars, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and mix with apples. Add mixture to crust, add small chunks of butter and top with second half of rolled out dough. Brush with milk and sprinkle sugar on top of crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to eat. Enjoy! THIRD PLACE: Kitsa Scaffidi Her Pie: Royal Gala Pie
Flaky Pie Dough 2 cups all purpose flour 14 tablespoons cold unsalted butter 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 5 tablespoons cold tap water FILLING 6 Royal Gala apples 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 egg white, lightly beaten optional: coarse sugar for decoration Freeze flour in a bowl for 1/2 hour. Cut cold butter into 1-inch cubes. Combine the vinegar, salt and water in a measuring cup. Set aside. Toss the butter with the flour to coat it. Place mixture in a food processor with metal blade. Pulse until butter becomes size of small peas. Slowly add the ice water/vinegar and process for about 20 seconds or until mixture resemble coarse meal. Remove dough from work bowl and gather together into ball with your hands. Divide dough in half. Form into discs, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Work on well-floured table. Using rolling pin, roll one disc of dough gently from the center to the edges to form a circle slightly larger than the pie plate. Sprinkle with flour as needed. Gently lift the dough and drape into the pan. Press firmly, allowing edges of dough to go 1 inch past edge of pie pan. Refrigerate. Repeat rolling with second disc of dough. Transfer onto paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat oven o 425F. Peel, cut and core apples into large chunks. Toss with sugar, flour and cinnamon. Place apples into bottom pie shell. Cut butter into small pieces and scatter over apples. Place top crust over filling, seal and crimp edges. Or, if desired, cut dough into 1 inch strips with pastry cutter and top pie with lattice pattern. Brush top of pie with egg white and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 425F then reduce heat to 350F for about 1 hour.