What are the secrets to making a prize-winning apple pie?
With fall being fair and festival season, and many people making apple pies for the holidays, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned from judging a number of apple pie contests.
1) Use a glass pie plate. Glass heats up very quickly, which is important for coaxing flakiness in your crust, and getting it to crisp up in order to avoid any sogginess.
2) Add a sprinkle of oats. After you’ve rolled out your bottom crust and lined your pie plate, sprinkle about 2 tbsp. of rolled oats around the bottom of the pastry before adding your apples. The oats will absorb some of the apple juices as the pie bakes, preventing your crust from getting soggy, and because they absorb the juices and fluff up, you won’t even know they’re there.
3) Use a mix of apples. I’ve found that the prize-winning pies always have at least two, but most often three apple varieties. To get the ideal blend, consider a starchy apple (such as Russet or Crispin/Mutsu), a tart apple (such as Spy, Spartan or Granny Smith) and a sweet apple (such as Gala, Honey Crisp or even Macintosh).
4) Cool completely before slicing. It may be tempting to slice into your pie warm from the oven, but it’s best to let it cool completely to room temperature before slicing. If you’d like to serve your apple pie warm, re-warm it in a 300° F oven for 15-20 minutes after it’s had a chance to cool.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Visit our Recipe Gallery to find an apple pie–inspired recipe from the community, like member JoHanna’s Cream Cheese Caramel Apple Pie pictured above.
Happy apple pie baking and have a wonderful weekend! See you Monday for the kick off of our Groceries for a Year sweepstakes!