Apple Pie-Off

Mike’s been talking smack for weeks about the Apple Pie-Off, a rivalry between coworkers for Total Dessert Domination. Apparently, it is a Really Big Deal.

This is a competitive bunch. They battle weekly to see who can name the Top 10 in a variety of categories (Can you name the 10 largest land mammals? Or the 10 countries that order the most takeout? How about the top 10 body parts most often bitten by a shark?). On top of that, they work at a food company.  Add to that the pressure of a definitional American recipe like apple pie, and it becomes clear that the stakes are high in this seemingly harmless diversion.

Our first task was recipe selection. We chose 2:

1. Apple Pie by Grandma Ople – How could 4800+ people be wrong that this is a 5-star recipe?

2. Apple Pie from the Hearne Family Cookbook. (Yes – the Hearnes have their own cookbook, which will undoubtedly be the subject of future posts.)

Next, we peeled (and peeled and peeled). We chopped. We mixed and stirred. In the process of making the pies, I not only learned what “lattice work” is, but I successfully executed it thanks to this video.

Finally, we awaited the results from the judging committee. Drum-roll please….

The Hearne family recipe took 2nd place! Not bad considering the winning pie came from a stay at home mom and was covered in pounds of cinnamon sugar. We also won the “Best Filling” category.


Apple Pie from the Hearne Family Cookbook

1                       Pillsbury pie crust

¾ cup            Sugar

¼ cup            All-purpose flour

¼ t                  Ground nutmeg

¼ t                  ground cinnamon

Dash              salt

6 cups           thinly sliced pared tart apples (about 6 medium)

2 T                  butter

Milk, half & half,  or cream


Heat oven to 425 F.

Line pie plate with pie crust.

Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apples.

Pour mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust that has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Brush top with milk, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, 40 to 50 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of baking, cover the pastry edges with 2” to 3” of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.

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