I had 4 days home during the first 23 days of October, so I thought it’d be a good idea to paint the guest bathroom and an accent wall AND enter an apple pie competition #NBD #whynot.
I don’t actually like apple pie, or most pies for that matter, but when you enter the Montgomery Place Orchards (MPO) apple pie competition you get a free 1/2 peck of apples…soooo this is my second year entering. Last year I was in NYC for work, so I left Sarah’s apple crisp recipe (which is AMAZING when properly executed) in the hands of a 12 year old and hoped for the best. While I’m sure it was delicious, we didn’t win. This year I thought I’d do what I do best when facing a competition or hosting a houseful of dinner guests: try a new recipe #duh.
Pioneer Woman is my hero when it comes to classic americana dishes, particularly pie crusts, so I broke out my A Year of Holidays cookbook for a recipe and found my kind of recipe: crumb topped apple pie. Here’s how it went down:
Friday after work I stopped by the MPO farm stand to pick up my apples. I went with Jonacrisps, Stayman Winesaps, and Swiss Goumets because t
he Internet said to I’m an apple expert.
Saturday was a whirlwind of making pie crust, peeling apples (my new peeler/corer/slicer is AMAZING (we struggled with a PIA one for the last 4 years)), making topping and filling, and assembling the pies.
**Because we’ve been eating paleo, I haven’t cooked with flour, sugar, or brown sugar in a year, so my supplies were low. I had to make my own brown sugar by combining sugar and molasses and was low on pecans. At this point, you’re thinking “you don’t like pies and you don’t eat flour or sugar or fruit, so why the hell are you entering a pie competition??” I’m still not sure, but I did.**
I threw the pie in the oven and resumed painting our accent wall. Then, my FIL’s dog got out of her harness, took herself on a jaunt down our road, across a major road, and towards the highway. With the pie in the oven and the roller thrown in the tray, I went running down the road looking WT-hippie-chic in my white tank top, Carhartt overalls, Birkenstock clogs, and crazy hair. Sadie has a mind of her own and gleefully looked back at me chasing her as she ran into a busy intersection. It.was.terrifying. Finally, a friendly driver helped me catch her and I CARRIED her a 1/4 mile down the road back to our house, just in time to get the pie out of the oven and finish painting before dropping the pie off at noon #wheresthewine. This is the look of a dog who knows she’s in the proverbial doghouse.
After standing around for 2 hours in the cold, the winners were revealed!
Aaaand, I wasn’t one of them. But, on closer review, I came in 4th place! Which, I am totally satisfied with. I ranked at, or near, the top in taste and crust, so just need to work on my appearance (see that runny topping below?) for next year and I will totally be bringing home the bacon. I’m sure of it.
This recipe almost won me a competition. I didn’t add the caramel because I didn’t have any, but the filling, crust, and topping were awesome! And, my
internet-directed expert choice of apples turned out to be a great combination. I will definitely use this recipe next year and already have secret plans for sourcing a great local caramel.