Capture a favorite fall flavor with apple pie

Winning entries in Port’s Harvest at the Market contest use a variety of methods to create autumn treats

DISPLAYING THEIR WINNING pies and ribbons from the Harvest at the Market apple pie contest Saturday were winner Marie Strauss (center), who was flanked by runner up Cathy Ferguson and Olivia Weiland, who won third place. Photo by Sam Arendt


There are few things better than warm pie, a dessert that can be filled with virtually any type of fruit. But in fall, the premier pie may be an apple pie.

To celebrate that, Port Main Street Inc. held an apple pie contest during its annual Harvest at the Market Saturday, Oct. 27.

Judges Linda Gottlieb and Janet Trzecinski had a hard time deciding which pie was the best, organizer Cathy Wilger said.

“They went back three times before they were able to pick the winner,” Wilger said. “All six pies were very good. There was a lot of discussion.”

The decision came down to technical issues, such as whether they listed the ingredients for their pie or specified the type of apples used, Wilger said.

In the end, Marie Strauss took first place with a pie that the judges said was “a perfectly simple apple pie,” Wilger reported. “It just melted in your mouth. They said the apples were soft and tender, and the crust was very tender.”

Runner-up Cathy Ferguson, who actually submitted two entries, was lauded for her caramel apple pie, Wilger said.

“They said the crust was tender and the pie was very flavorful,” she said.

Olivia Weiland took third place with her crumb-topped apple pie.

 “The judges liked the crumb topping and said the crust was tender,” Wilger said. “They said the recipe had great flavor.”

Other entries were made by Patricia Loose and RJ Macha.  

Strauss earned a $50 Main Street gift certificate for her pie, with Ferguson receiving a $30 gift certificate and Weiland earning a $20 certificate.

After the contest, the pies were cut up and served to the crowd.

“Within a minute, all the pieces were gone,” Wilger said.

Here are a few tips for making an apple pie. To add complexity to a pie, use a number of different type of apples. Just remember that there are some apples that are best suited to baking — think Jonathans and Courtlands — others for cooking, including golden delicious, and still others for eating in hand, such as Honeycrisp.

Look for variations on the standard pie such as a Dutch apple pie, French apple pie or combinations like rhubarb and apple or cranberry-raisin-apple pie.

Mound plenty of apples in the crust, even if that means you have to stretch the crust over the top. That mountain of apple will shrink as it bakes, so unless you use plenty of fruit you could end up looking like an apple miser.

Before baking, don’t forget to dot the apple slices with butter and vent the crust.

Following are apple pie recipes from the contest.



Apple Pie
1st place, Marie Strauss

For crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
4 tablespoons water
For filling:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
About 4 cups MacIntosh apples

    To make crust, mix flour and salt, then work in shortening. Add water and form into a ball. Roll out and cut out two crusts. Place in bottom of pie pan.
    For filling, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
    Peel apples. Core apples, then slice and place on crust. Add dry ingredients, then sprinkle butter pieces on top. Cover with second crust.
    Bake in a 400-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

Caramel Apple Pie
2nd place, Cathy Ferguson

2 pie crusts
For apple filling:
6 to 8 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1-1/3 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
For cream cheese:
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup evaporated lowfat milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
For streusel topping:
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
For caramel drizzle:
20 caramels
2 tablespoons lowfat evaporated milk

    Place pie crusts in a 9-inch or deep-dish pice pan with high, fluted edge.
     To make filling, combine apples, sugar and flour in large saucepan. Toss to coat apples. Add water and butter, then cook, stirring, until comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
    In a bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Gradually add evaporated milk and beat until smooth. Stir in sugars. Add vanilla and blend again. Divide between the two pie shells, then cover with apple filling and bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes.
    Combine oats, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, flour and butter in a medium bowl. Cut with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
    Remove pies from oven and sprinkle with streusel. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 40 minutes, until apples are tender and crust and toppings are golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
    Combine caramels and evaporated milk in microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Stir until caramels are liquid, then drizzle over cooled pies.
    Serve at room temperature or refrigerate.

Crumb Topped Apple Pie
3rd place, Olivia Weiland

For crust:
1-1/2 cups shortening
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons ice cold water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
For pie:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
3 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Combine crust ingredients. Take one-third of the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it creates an 11-inch round. Place in pie pan.
    Combine butter, brown sugar and 1 cup flour in a medium mixing bowl. Pinch with fingers until large crumbs form. Place in freezer.
    Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set on a lower rack in a 350-degree oven.
    In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and 1/4 cup flour. Toss to coat, then let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
    Place filling in crust, arranging apples as compactly as possible.
    Set pie on a baking sheet and bake 35 minutes. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples and bake 40 to 50 minutes longer, until topping is golden. Let cool on wire rack.


Simply Delicious Pie
 Patricia Loose
For crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup well chilled butter-flavored shortening
4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
For filling:
7 medium Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour

    To make crust, blend flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Using a fork, stir in enough water to form a dough that holds together. Divide dough in half and form into a 1/2-inch thick disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
    Roll each dish into a round two inches larger than your pie plate. Line plate with dough.
    Combine sugar, cinnamon and flour, then toss with apples to coat the fruit. Top crust with apples, then top with second pie crust. Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake in a 375-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

Apple Pie
RJ Macha

For dough:
12-1/2 ounces flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
6 to 8 ounces ice water
For filling:
2-1/2 pounds apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons flour

    For crust, place flour into a food processor, then add sugar and salt. Pulse to combine.
    Add butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle 6 ounces ice water on top, then gently fold using a rubber spatula. Add more water, if needed, until a shaggy dough forms.
    Turn dough onto work surface and form into a disc. Liberally  dust with flour, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate two hours.
    Place a baking sheet into oven and heat to 500 degrees.
    Place dough on work surface, dust with flour and lightly pound with rolling pin. Split dough into two equal pieces. Gently roll into two rounds about four inches wider than pie plate. Use rolling pin to transfer dough to pie plate, then press corners in.
    Take second pie of dough and roll out, then cut into 10 one-inch strips. Set aside.
    Combine apples, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger. Add flour and toss to coat apples. Fill bottom pie crust with apples and press down gently.
    Place five strips of dough in one direction across the top of the apples. Weave the remaining strips of dough across the top of the pie. Trim the excess dough and tuck the edges under the rim. Crimp the crust every inch or so.
    Brush crust with beaten egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar. Place on baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
    Remove from oven and let cool for four hours before serving.



Raspberry Apple Brie Pie
Cathy Ferguson

2 pie crusts
4 cups sliced apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup raspberries
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Wheel of brie
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup chopped, roasted peanuts

    Mix sugar and cinnamon with apples and place into two unbaked pie shells.
    Split wheel of brie into two pieces, then break into small pieces. Place small pieces over each pie. Place 1/2 cup raspberries atop each pie.
    Mix brown sugar, flour, butter, oatmeal and peanuts. Cut into a crumble and sprinkle over pieces.
    Bake in 375-degree oven for about an hour.






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