America's Best Pies 2014-2015: Nearly 200 Recipes You'll Love (2014)

APPLE

Apple-Praline Pie

County Fair Apple Rhubarb Pie

Caramel Apple Pie

French Apple Pie

Nana’s Crumb Dutch Apple Pie

Terrific Topsy-Turvy Apple Pecan Pie

The Apple of My Eye

Full Moon Apple Pie

Mama Flipped It and I Helped Apple Pecan Pie

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Streusel Apple Pie

Gjelina’s Apple Pie

Cheddar Crusted Cran-Apple Pie

Caramel Apple Apple Pie

Comstock Apple Raisin Streusel Custard Pie

Smokey Mountain Apple Pie

Lattice-Topped Apple Pie

APPLE-PRALINE PIE

Raquel Hammond, St. Cloud, FL
2005 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Apple

CRUST

2 cups unbleached flour

1 cup cake flour

1½ tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter, cut up

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons frozen shortening, cut up

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 large egg yolk

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water, or as needed

1 large egg white with 1 tablespoon water added

¼ cup crushed cornflakes

FILLING

5 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

4 cups Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

½ cup apple cider

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up

PRALINE TOPPING

½ cup chopped pecans

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons heavy cream

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl. Add the butter and shortening. Using a pastry blender, cut in fat until mixture resembles dry rice. Add egg yolk, vinegar, and a minimum amount of water. Lightly toss until mixture just begins to clump together. If dough looks too dry, sprinkle on a little more water. Dough should cling together and feel pliable, but not sticky. Form dough into a cohesive ball on a piece of waxed paper by lifting opposite corners and pressing them together. Flatten into a 6-inch disk for single shell, or divide dough in half and make two disks for two-crust pie. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or even overnight (the longer the better). Soften dough at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out. Roll out bottom crust and line 9-inch pie plate. Roll out top crust and refrigerate both for 15 minutes. Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water together. Brush on the bottom crust. Carefully spread ¼ cup of crushed cornflakes on the bottom shell over the egg wash.

For the Filling: Combine apples and cider in large pot. Bring to boil, cover, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Drain apples, reserving juice. Transfer juice to small saucepan and reduce to ¼ cup over medium-high heat. Stir into apples and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir into apple cider mixture. Pour filling into pie shell and dot with butter. Attach top crust and flute edge. Poke several steam vents in top with fork or paring knife. Bake for 15 minutes in lower third of oven. Raise rack to center and bake an additional 45 to 50 minutes. Check halfway through baking and cover pastry with foil if browning too quickly. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool.

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Apple-Praline Pie

For the Topping: Melt butter in small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and heavy cream. Bring slowly to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans. Spread evenly over cooled pie and broil until topping bubbles and turns golden brown.

Transfer pie, once again, to wire rack and cool for at least 2 hours. Slice and serve. Cover leftovers with loosely tented foil and refrigerate.

COUNTY FAIR APPLE RHUBARB PIE

Evette Rahman, Orlando, FL
2011 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
2nd Place Apple

CRUST

3 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1½ teaspoons salt

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup shortening

½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cubed

½ cup heavy cream

1½ tablespoons vinegar

1½ tablespoons oil

1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Sugar for sprinkling

FILLING

5½ cups cooking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ⅛-inch thick slices

1½ cups cut-up rhubarb (weighing 7.5 ounces while frozen), thawed completely

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

⅓ cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

For the Crust: Mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening and butter. Stir together oil, vinegar, and cream. Add by tossing with flour. Knead briefly. Form dough into 2 disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix together apples, rhubarb, and lime juice. Add melted butter. Mix together sugar, cornstarch, and spices. Add to fruit and coat thoroughly. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and place in a deep dish pie plate. Add filling. Roll out remaining disk of dough to make a full top crust or cut into strips for a lattice design. Cover filling with dough and crimp edges. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cover pie edges with pie shield or aluminum foil during baking to prevent excess browning. Cool completely on wire rack before serving.

County Fair Apple Rhubarb Pie

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CARAMEL APPLE PIE

Marles Riessland, Riverdale, NE
2003 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Apple

CRUST

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter-flavored shortening, chilled

⅓ cup ice water

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 egg, beaten

FILLING

6 cups Jonathan or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup sugar

¼ cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons heavy cream

4 tablespoons butter

STREUSEL TOPPING

½ cup flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon butter

2 toffee bars or 3 ounces chocolate covered peanut or pecan brittle

Egg white and sugar for brushing and sprinkling on pie

For the Crust: Chill all ingredients, including the flour and vinegar. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles cornmeal. In another bowl, mix water and vinegar with the beaten egg. Add the liquid mixture, one tablespoon at a time, to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork to form a soft dough. Form dough into a ball and divide in two. Roll out half the dough and place in a 9-inch pie dish. Roll out the remaining half for top crust and set aside.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle apples with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook approximately 8 minutes to soften apples. Turn into pie shell.

For the Topping: Combine the flour and sugar. Mix in butter with fork until coarse crumbs form. Crumble toffee bars and add to crumbs. Sprinkle over pie. Add top crust. Seal, flute edge, and vent top. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake 45 minutes longer. Let cool before serving.

FRENCH APPLE PIE

Linda Pater, Coloma, MI
2005 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Apple

CRUST

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup Crisco

¼ cup cold water

FILLING

4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

3 cups Braeburn or Jonagold apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

TOPPING

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

For the Crust: In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut Crisco into flour and salt mixture until mixture looks like small pebbles. Mix in cold water. Form dough into 2 balls. Roll out one ball on floured surface until evenly thin. Place the crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Save the remaining ball of dough for another pie.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Add apples and mix lightly. Place apples in a heap in the prepared pie crust.

For the Topping: Using a pastry cutter, mix all ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of apples in pie crust before baking. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

French Apple Pie

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NANA’S CRUMB DUTCH APPLE PIE

Mary Foley, Stanfordville, NY
2007 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Apple

CRUST

½ cup butter

8 teaspoons granulated sugar

⅔ cup Crisco shortening

3⅓ cups sifted flour

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup cold water

FILLING

6 or 7 Granny Smith apples

3 tablespoons butter

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

STREUSEL TOPPING

1⅛ cups flour

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup butter

For the Crust: Blend butter with sugar using a fork. Blend in shortening. Combine flour to the fats with a fork. Blend mixture into lumps, leaving sides of the bowl clean. Add water and use hands to bring together. Roll out dough when ready and place in 9-inch pie plate. Makes three crusts per batch. Use one crust for this recipe.

For the Filling: Peel, core, and quarter apples. Cut each quarter into 4 slices lengthwise. Melt butter in saucepan, add apples, and toss until coated. Mix cinnamon with sugar and add to apples. Toss to distribute. Arrange apples compactly in unbaked pie crust, heaping slightly in center.

For the Topping: Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Cut in butter using two knives or pastry blender. Mix using fingers until particles are the size of rice grains. Sprinkle mixture over apples before baking. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F and continue baking for 30 minutes or until apples are tender when tested with a fork.

Nana’s Crumb Dutch Apple Pie

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TERRIFIC TOPSY-TURVY APPLE PECAN PIE

Shirley J. Myrsiades, Pinellas Park, FL
2005 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Apple

CRUST

3 cups all-purpose flour

9 tablespoons unsalted butter

9 tablespoons Crisco butter-flavored shortening

9 tablespoons ice water

1 teaspoon salt

CARAMEL BASE

2 pounds light brown sugar

½ cup honey

½ cup butter

1 ounce water

3 tablespoons Crisco butter-flavored shortening

1 package pecan halves

1 egg white

FILLING

5 to 6 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and sliced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground allspice

5 tablespoons flour

5 tablespoons cubed butter

For the Crust: Pre-chill a mixing bowl, cubed butter, cubed shortening, salt, and pastry cutter. Cut in fats with cutter until they resemble small peas. Drizzle water 1 tablespoon at a time and blend with a fork; continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms a ball. Do not overhandle dough. Split dough in half and press into two 6-inch disks. Chill and let rest for 1 hour.

For the Caramel Base: Beat together all ingredients except the pecan halves and the egg white. Use a thin layer of shortening to coat a 9½-inch deep-style glass pie pan. Use about 1½ cups of base on bottom and sides of pie pan, making a nice thick layer. Carefully arrange pecan halves with the flat side facing you in three circles on the bottom and sides of pie pan. Chop remaining pecans and place them in the center of pie pan. Press in slightly. Roll out first crust and carefully place over nuts. Leave 1-inch overhang. Brush inside of shell with egg white.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients except the butter. Arrange the apples neatly inside the shell. Level the top of the filling and dot with butter. Roll out second dough disk and place on top of pie. Trim to fit over pie, leaving no overhang. Dampen edge with water, bring up overhang and fold over edge and seal. Prick several times with a fork to vent steam. Put the pie on a foil-lined cookie sheet and place in center of oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes and then place serving platter over pie and carefully invert. Be very careful, as hot sugar burns very badly. Remove pie pan and rearrange any pecans that have stuck to the pan. Do not cover until completely cooled. Best if served the same day baked.

Terrific Topsy-Turvy Apple Pecan Pie

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THE APPLE OF MY EYE

John Sunvold, Orlando, FL
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Apple

CRUST

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons butter, melted

FILLING

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup powdered sugar

8 ounces Cool Whip

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

APPLE TOPPING

4 cups apple slices

3 tablespoons butter

5 tablespoons brown sugar

1 to 1½ tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup apple juice

2 tablespoons apple butter

GARNISH

Whipped cream, simple nut granola (without fruit), caramel sauce

For the Crust: Mix all ingredients together and press mixture into pie plate. Chill for 10 minutes. Bake in a 375°F oven for 10 minutes, or until brown. Allow to cool down to room temperature before filling.

For the Filling: Beat vanilla, cream cheese, and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in the Cool whip. Gently spread into crust and chill.

For the Topping: Mix apple juice and cornstarch and set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and cook on the stove over medium heat until apples are appropriately tender. Once apples are tender, add the apple juice mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. When cool, generously top the pie with the apple topping, leaving some room for your favorite whipped topping.

Garnish with whipped cream, nut granola, or caramel sauce.

Drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired. Chill.

The Apple of My Pie

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FULL MOON APPLE PIE

Michael Mochizuki, Chicago, IL
2013 Pie Town Chicago 1st Place

CRUST

2 cups flour

½ tablespoon sugar

1 egg

½ tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

11 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons lard

3 tablespoons cold vodka (if desired)

5 ginger snap cookies (ground)

FILLING

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch salt

5 Braeburn apples, cored, peeled and sliced

1 cup of toasted pecans

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix flour, sugar, and salt, and cut in butter and lard. Add the egg, vinegar, and vodka and mix until it comes together (may be slightly sticky). Roll into 2 balls and wrap with plastic wrap, flatten, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Pound out on floured surface then roll out bottom crust. Place in pie dish. Distribute crushed ginger snap cookies on bottom of pie crust.

For the Filling: Toss together the sugars, spices, and salt. Add sliced apples and cornstarch. Pour filling over gingersnaps. Place top crust over filling on pie.

Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, lower to 350°F for 50 minutes, and raise to 400°F for last 10 minutes.

MAMA FLIPPED IT AND I HELPED APPLE PECAN PIE

Francine Bryson, Pickens, SC
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division, 2nd Place Apple

CRUST

4 cups flour

1¾ cups butter-flavored shortening (chilled)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 egg

½ cup water

PECAN CRUST

½ stick butter (softened)

2⅓ cups pecan halves

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

APPLE FILLING

4½ cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

2 tablespoons cinnamon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¾ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix flour, shortening, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. In separate dish, beat egg and water. Combine the mixtures, stirring with a fork. Roll to combine, split into 2 balls, and wrap in wax paper. Chill 30 minutes while you make the pecan crust.

For the Pecan Crust: Grease a deep dish pie dish with butter until completely covered. Cover the bottom and sides of the dish with pecans and then sprinkle the brown sugar over the pecans. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the brown sugar and then press one rolled out pie crust firmly to cover the nuts.

For the Filling: Mix all ingredients except apples in bowl, combining thoroughly. Add apples and stir until all apples are covered. Pour apples into pie shell, making sure to mound apples up in the middle. Cover with second rolled out pie crust, and press sides to crimp and seal edges. Poke holes with fork to vent steam.

Bake in 450°F oven for 10 minutes, then drop temperature to 350°F. Bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let sit 10 minutes to cool. Place serving plate over pie and flip over. Remove dish while pie is still hot, and serve.

Mama Flipped It And I Helped Apple Pecan Pie

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CRUNCHY CARAMEL APPLE PIE

Sarah Spaugh, Winston Salem, NC
2002 American Pie Council National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Apple

CRUST

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup Crisco shortening

5 tablespoons cold water

FILLING

6 medium (6 cups) cooking apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

½ cup white sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon salt

CRUMB TOPPING

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup quick cooking rolled oats

½ cup chilled butter

GARNISH

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Caramel ice cream topping

For the Crust: Spoon flour into measuring cup and level. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in Crisco using pastry blender until flour is blended to form pea-size chunks. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fork until dough forms a ball. Roll out pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry; set aside.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated. Transfer the apple mixture into the pastry-lined plate.

For the Crumb Topping: Stir sugar, flour, and rolled oats together in medium mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in chilled butter until the topping mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of the apple mixture in the pastry lined plate. To prevent over browning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from oven.

For the Garnish: Sprinkle with ½ cup chopped toasted pecans and drizzle caramel ice cream topping over the pecans

STREUSEL APPLE PIE

Dave Hulett, Richfield, MN
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division 1st Place Apple

CRUST

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening, cold

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white sugar

¼ to ½ cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vinegar

FILLING

6 to 8 cups (6 to 8 apples) tart apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 egg white, lightly beaten

¼ cup butter

STREUSEL TOPPING

1 cup flour

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ pound butter (1 stick)

½ cup walnuts

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar in mixing bowl. Add Crisco butter (must be cold) and cut into crumb size bits using a pastry fork or by using 2 butter knives working in a crisscross motion. Add vinegar to whipping cream, then add to flour mixture. Mix until you have a nice sticky clay substance. Roll out pastry for bottom crust and line a 9-inch pie plate.

For the Filling: Peel apples and thinly slice. In a large bowl, combine apple slices, ¾ cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch; stir. Allow to stand for 15 minutes. Mix in lemon juice. Brush inside of bottom crust with egg white to moisture-proof crust. Arrange apple slices in pie shell in flat, snug layers. Create a higher mound of apple slices in center because apples cook down as they bake. Pour juices from bowl over apples; dot with butter.

For the Streusel Topping: In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, brown sugar, and walnuts, mixing well. Finally, add butter (make sure it is 100 percent real butter) and incorporate until you have a coarse meal mixture. It should resemble small peas. Pour this crumb mixture over the apple filling. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove foil and bake for another 45 to 50 minutes.

Streusel Apple Pie

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GJELINA’S APPLE PIE

Nicole Mournian, Los Angeles, CA
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division 1st Place Perfect Apple Pie

PINK LADY COOKED APPLES

5 cups raw Pink Lady apples, peeled

½ cup white sugar

¼ to ½ cup water

Juice of one lemon

GJELINA’S PIE DOUGH

1 pound cold unsalted butter (I prefer Strauss European Style or Plugrá) cut into 1-inch cubes

1 pound plus 7½ ounces all-purpose flour (King Arthur is my preferred brand)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2½ ounces hot water

2½ ounces ice

3½ ounces granulated sugar

½ ounce white vinegar

FILLING

6 medium-large Black Arkansas or Honey Crisp apples

3 cups cooked Pink Lady apples (see recipe above)

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

4 tablespoons flour

Pinch of salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tablespoon ginger syrup

1 tablespoon butter, chilled

¼ cup heavy cream, reserved for the crust

For the Pink Lady Apples: To make three cups of cooked Pink Lady apples, place the Pink Lady apples, sugar, lemon juice, and ¼ cup water in a large pot and bring to a simmer over lowmedium heat. Cook for about 45 minutes, adding more water if necessary, until the apples are transparent and shiny and appear to be candied. Cool before using in pie.

For the Crust: First make sure everything is cold, then preheat oven to 375°F. Mix the hot water, vinegar, and sugar into a syrup then add the ice and stir until ice has melted. Pulse the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor until it is the size of medium peas. Dump this fatty flour out onto a work surface and gather it into a pile.

Add half of the sugar syrup to the flour and butter dough and mix it all together gently; this is messy work. Squeeze the dough together and lightly rub the butter peas into the syrup. Use the palm of your hand and press against the table gently and smear/rub the dough together.

Sprinkle on more of the syrup, keep squeezing and rubbing. Try to work quickly so that the butter does not melt. When the dough comes together in a shaggy ball, wrap the whole thing in plastic and let it chill in the fridge for an hour. Portion the dough into two 14 ounce balls and roll them out, usually very thick, depending on the pie, roughly ⅛ of an inch. Lay the dough into your desired pie plate and chill (do not freeze) it for half an hour while you mix your filling.

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Gjelina’s Apple Pie

For the Filling: Mix all ingredients except for the cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar together and place into your bottom crust. Paint the edges of the crust with the heavy cream.

Lay the top crust on a floured board and slice into 1-inch thick strips. Lattice them on top of the apples. Brush the lattice generously with heavy cream. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Crimp with your fingers or seal with a fork, your choice. Place the whole pie in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 325°F for another 30 to 45 minutes. You know it’s done when it’s golden brown and a little thickened juice bubbles through the lattice. Cool for at least two hours before cutting.

CHEDDAR CRUSTED CRAN-APPLE PIE

Catherine Colombo, Chicago, IL
2013 Pie Town Chicago 3rd Place

CRUST

3 cups flour, sifted

5 tablespoons salted butter, very cold

8 tablespoons Crisco, very cold

4 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated and very cold

1 teaspoon salt

½ to ¾ cup ice water

FILLING

6 cups Granny Smith apples cut into 1-inch pieces (cut each apple into 8 wedges and each wedge into 4 pieces) plus ½ apple chopped into small pieces.

¾ to 1 cup granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of the apples

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup Craisins

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons Instant Clearjel. (source: King Arthur Flour)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Sift flour into food processor fitted with a regular blade. Sift salt in with the flour. Add butter cut into small pieces and pulse 12 to 15 times. Repeat with Crisco and cheddar cheese. While pulsing, add water and pulse until dough comes together in a ball. Turn out on floured counter and divide in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Roll chilled dough into an 11-inch circle between ¼ and ⅛ inch thick for a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Place dough in pie plate and trim, leaving about ½ inch all around. Refrigerate until ready to fill. Roll out top crust in the same manner. Refrigerate on parchment covered baking sheet if not ready to fill pie immediately.

For the Filling: Toss apples, sugar, and lemon juice. Let apples sit for at least an hour to begin to release their juice. Add Craisins, cinnamon, and Clearjel. Mix well.

Add apple mixture to prepared pie crust. Dot apples with butter. Top with top crust, fold edges over, and crimp. Cut steam vents. Place pie on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 60 to 75 minutes until golden brown. Cover edges with pie crust shields or foil about half way through baking to prevent them from over browning.

Allow to cool before serving.

CARAMEL APPLE APPLE PIE

Grace Thatcher, Delta, OH
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Apple

CRUST

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons shortening

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

CARAMEL

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1¼ cups sugar

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING

3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

⅔ cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

¼ teaspoon vanilla

TOPPING

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup quick rolled oats

2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

⅓ cup butter

¼ cup chopped pecans

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 425°F. Into a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add all of the shortening. Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry blender until the mixture develops a coarse texture. Sprinkle the water over the mixture one spoonful at a time and toss until the dough begins to cohere. Gather the dough into a ball and press together with your hands, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour before using.

Prepare pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan and prebake for 10 to 15 minutes at 425°F.

For the Caramel: Measure cream and set aside. Combine the water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan, pour the sugar into the saucepan, making sure not to splash any sugar crystals onto the sides of the saucepan. Gently stir to thoroughly moisten the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook without stirring until sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear. Continue to cook without stirring, but gently swirl the saucepan occasionally until the caramel is a pale golden color. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the caramel is light amber colored and registers 360°F with a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and with great care, pour the cream into the center of the pan; the mixture will steam and bubble vigorously. Mix gently with a whisk until bubbling subsides and then stir in butter and vanilla. Cool until able to handle and then pour ½ cup of the caramel onto the prebaked crust.

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Caramel Apple Apple Pie

For the Filling: In a saucepan on medium heat, cook apples with sugar, butter, and lemon juice until apples are softened and have lost volume. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with water to a smooth consistency and then add mixture to the apples and cook while stirring for 2 minutes until thickened. Then add the cinnamon and vanilla. Let the filling cool while preparing streusel topping.

For the Topping: Mix all ingredients except butter and pecans together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Crumble in the butter with a pastry blender. Once blended, add chopped pecans and toss well.

Turn pie filling into pie shell on top of caramel layer. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, turn heat down to 350°F, and continue baking 20 minutes. Add streusel to top and bake a final 15 to 20 minutes. Cover edges with foil if crust browns too quickly. Drizzle finished pie with remainder of caramel once pie has cooled.

COMSTOCK APPLE RAISIN STREUSEL CUSTARD PIE

Carol Socier, Bay City, MI
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Comstock Apple and Best of Comstock

CRUST

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening, cold

¼ cup unsalted butter, cold

1 egg yolk

3 to 4 tablespoons cold milk

FILLING

1 can Comstock Apple Pie Filling

1 cup golden raisins

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup hot water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

TOPPING

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

½ cup all-purpose flour

⅛ teaspoon salt

¼ cup butter

½ cup chopped pecans

GARNISH

½ cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 teaspoons apple juice

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. In medium-sized bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold shortening and butter, cutting with pastry blender until coarse pieces form. Beat egg yolk, then add to cold milk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture small amounts at a time until dough holds. Shape into a disk. Roll to fit a 9-inch pie pan.

For the Filling: Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Gently spoon mixture into prepared pie crust.

For the Streusel Topping: Mix all streusel ingredients except pecans in bowl until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle mixture over filling. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown in 375°F oven. Cool on wire rack.

For the Garnish: Whisk powdered sugar with apple juice and drizzle over cooled pie. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Comstock Apple Raisin Streusel Pie

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SMOKEY MOUNTAIN APPLE PIE

Andrea Spring, Braeden, FL
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division Honorable Mention Apple

CRUST

½ cup ground pecans

1½ cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup Crisco

4 tablespoons water

FILLING

7 large Braeburn apples

¼ cup apple juice

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon cinnamon

TOPPING

½ cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup ground pecans

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons butter flavored Crisco

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut Crisco into flour, salt, sugar, and nuts. Mix in water and form dough into a ball. Chill dough for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough and place in 10-inch deep dish pie plate. Chill crust while you prepare apples.

For the Filling: Peel, core, and slice apples, and then mix with juice, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Place in pie crust.

For the Topping: Mix topping ingredients until crumbly and top pie. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 325°F and bake for 1 hour or until apples are tender. Cover with foil if pie browns too quickly.

Smokey Mountain Apple Pie

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LATTICE-TOPPED APPLE PIE

Linda Schiessl, Fond du Lac, WI
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division Honorable Mention Perfect Apple Pie

CRUST

2½ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ tablespoon sugar

1 cup Crisco, chilled

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon vinegar

Water

FILLING

1 cup sugar

⅓ cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Dash salt

8 cups apples, peeled, pared, sliced

2 tablespoon maple syrup

3 tablespoon butter

FOR THE TOP CRUST

Egg wash

1 tablespoon sugar

Freshly grated nutmeg

For the Crust: Sift together flour, sugar and salt. With pastry cutter, cut in chilled Crisco until particles are pea-sized. Beat egg and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add enough water to egg mixture to measure ⅓ cup liquid. Pour egg mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine. Divide dough into two balls. Flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes. On lightly floured board, roll out bottom pastry. Spray 10-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray. Place bottom pastry into pie plate. Trim bottom crust to ¼-inch edge of pie plate.

For the Filling: Whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss apple slices with sugar mixture. Drizzle with maple syrup. Pour mixture into prepared bottom pie crust. Top with butter. Fill bottom crust with apple filling. Top with lattice work. Brush with egg wash; sprinkle with sugar and freshly grated nutmeg. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour until golden brown and bubbly.

Lattice Topped Apple Pie