Earlier this month, my friend Becky, of Becky Bakes, suggested we enter an apple pie competition together and I loved the idea. My first collaboration with this blog! She is a fantastic baker and I’ve had her amazing sweet treats many times so I knew she would be a great partner. We entered the 1st Annual Adams Morgan Apple Pie Competition this past weekend and (spoiler alert!) we are award winners!
Leading up to the event, we picked a recipe she found from Martha Stewart and Becky handled the crust while I took care of the filling and then we assembled together. We needed to make three pies (one for judging and two to sell by the slice for charity), plus we needed to have a little reward for ourselves so we made two additional mini pies. I’m glad we entered as a team, since it was quite a lot of work!
We made some modifications to the original recipe, which as written, makes 6 mini pies. Instead of the all butter crust, Becky substituted 1 cup Crisco and a 1/2 cup unsalted butter and I upped the number of apples, while keeping the remaining ingredients the same as the mix was tasting too sweet to me when I was scaling the recipe up. The recipe also called for a pecan streusel topping before the top crust was added. I added this, but found that when it baked, the very floury topping didn’t incorporate all that well (although it tasted great all together!) so on future iterations of this pie, I’ll test out adding this streusel between two layers of the apple filling or adding less flour to the topping.
Becky had found a photo of a pie that had a gorgeous braid along the edge of the pie so she recreated the braid (made in three sections then seamlessly incorporated together on the pie) and I added the egg wash and some beautiful sparkling finishing sugar to the pies before we baked them. We also did some fall leaf cutouts on the middle of the pie to make it more seasonal.
The competition was judged by a Washington Post food critic, local NBC news anchor and several Adams Morgan restaurant owners. The awards were for best filling, best crust, best appearance and best overall pie. There were 20 competitors, ranging from an executive chef to local home bakers.
And the award for best appearance went to…(drum roll, please!)…US! I’m so proud of us as we were both first time food competitors and, very importantly, I really love how our pie turned out. It was so beautiful and, after overhearing some of the judges comments, I believe it ranked fairly high on taste as well. The crust was flaky and delicious and the perfect complement to the delicious cinnamon apple filling.
In the future, I’d like to make this pie again to get the proportions right for both the crust and the filling in order to make just one pie, so look for that in a future post.
And I hope we’ll see another Becky Bakes with Half Pint Garden collaboration in the future!