There were 15 entries, and many of them were really great. So it took quite a while to come up with a winner.
Here are photos of some of the other pies to give an idea of the tough competition.
For me, there are some traditional elements for a great apple pie.
The crust should be flaky, not doughy.I gave higher points to those to contestants who made their own crust. That’s a huge part of the challenge, as opposed to buying a graham-cracker or a pre-made crust.
The apples should be tender — not raw-crisp, or too mushy.
The filling shouldn’t be too runny or too dry.
The flavor should have a good balance of tart and sweet, with a hint of spice to make it interesting.
The contest gives points for creativity. Unfortunately a couple of the creative approaches didn’t really work — for instance, using flour tortillas for the crust or a package of Lime Jell-O in the filling.
One creative idea that I gave high marks used cheese in the crust. Cheddar is a perfect pairing with apple pie. Made by Carol Bartholomew, it took second place.
The topsy-turvy idea was also pretty creative, where you bake the pie and then invert it, similar to an upside down cake. I think you’d have to be careful to cool it before turning it, to avoid cracks or breakage.
Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons shortening
5-7 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening and butter until crumbly. Add orange juice a little at a time, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide into two balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Stir all three ingredients together and spread onto bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out 1 pie crust and fit over walnut mixture in pie plate.
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 cups thinly sliced tart apples
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine filling ingredients and pour into pie crust. Roll out and place remaining pie crust over filling. Press both crusts together and trim to pie plate., then crimp edges.
Cut 6 1/2-inch slits in top pie crust. Bake at 375 degrees on lower oven rack for 1 hour, until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Use aluminum shield if necessary to keep crust edge from burning. Cool for 10 minutes.
Place a plate on top of the pie and invert onto plate. Drizzle with glaze.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
Combine and drizzle over pie