Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I Make the Best Pies in Town

I am an undisputed champion! I have now won the Takoma Park Farmer's Market Apple Pie Contest every year that I have entered it (3 times). Woohoo! I think I shall rest on my laurels next year and play the volunteer role to give someone else a shot at a prize. A big thanks to my friends and neighbors who also entered pies or volunteered this year. Your pies were delicious and it was so much fun to have so much company this year! And a huge thanks to my husband. Without him, there is no pie. Because somebody has to watch the kids.

My Plum Lucky Apple Pie won Most Unusual this year. I got a shiny blue ribbon and a fancy new Takoma Park Farmer's Market baseball cap. Thanks Takoma Park! My Cider-Poached Apple Pie did not win a prize this year, but the crowd was very interested in its white fluffy topping (whipped cream) and I think some more tweaking could make it a contender. I won't post that recipe yet, since it requires more testing. Here's the recipe for the big winner:

Plum Lucky Apple Pie (makes one 9.5" pie)

buttery pastry dough for bottom and top crust
5 Gingergold apples (peeled, cored, & thickly sliced)
4 black plums (peeled, pitted, & thickly sliced)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2.5 T. unsalted butter
1/4 c. + 1/8 c. packed brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. apple cider
1/2 T. arrowroot starch
1/4 c. apple-prune puree (Simmer 1 peeled and chopped apple with 4 prunes in 1/4 c. fresh orange juice for 20 min. Cool slightly. Puree.)

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. chopped pecans
6 T. butter, cut into small squares
1/4 t. salt

Roll out dough and place in 9.5" pie dish. Crimp overhang and pierce all over with fork. Freeze while oven preheats to 375F. Line pie shell with pie weights and bake at 375F for 12 min. Remove pie weights and bake an additional 12 min. Cool while filling and topping are prepared. Toss apples with lemon juice. Set plums aside in a separate bowl. Mix apple cider with arrowroot starch in a separate bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet over med heat. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir to blend. Add apples and saute for 4 min. Add plums and saute and additional 1 min more. Add cider-starch mixture and stir vigorously until thickens and bubbles, about 2-3 min more. Remove from heat. Stir in apple-prune puree. Pour into prepared pie crust. Mix topping ingredients together in a large bowl with your fingertips until clumpy. Sprinkle over top of pie. Bake at 350F for 40 min. Enjoy!

Current Pie Tally: 177

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