Apple Pie Bake-Off.

My friend Ashley invited me to her friend’s Apple Pie Bake-Off party on Saturday night. The rules were very simple:

1). Must be a whole pie!  Presentation counts!
2). Apples are the only ingredient.  No raisins, nuts, or other fruits
allowed, this is apple town! (Cheddar cheese is allowed on the crust)
3).  Must be your own homemade pie crust

Since we had this mound of apples leftover from the orchard and the Tuesday With Dorie baked good of the week was an apple pie, Mom and I each made a pie to take to the party. {Well, I picked out the recipes and made both crusts, but Mom helped.} The first pie was from the baking group project was Dorie’s All-American, All Delicious Apple Pie which had a crust and filling recipe. The second pie was a mish-mash of Cook’s Illustrated Cook’s Illustrated Fool-Proof Pie Dough and a filling adapted from

The Crusts:

The day before I made both of the pie crusts because they needed to chill before assembling the pies. First I made Dorie’s crust. Now, I don’t make a lot of pies because I’m more of a cookie/cake/brownie gal, and I had no idea how much butter were in pie crusts. Yowza. I tried to make sure all of the ingredients were very cold and not overwork the crust – two things Dorie talked about in her cookbook.

dorie's crust

The second pie crust, Cook’s Illustrated Fool-Proof Pie Dough, called for Vodka in the crust. Yes, the alcohol supposedly allows for a wetter pie dough without producing a tough crust. The vodka burns off when cooking, yielding a flakey pie crust for the finished product. It was very crumbly to work with and I finished wondering if I did everything right. {Later, I discovered some tips for working with this famous dough on The Kitchn.}


The fillings:

We used the same apples for both pies: a variety of Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Jonagold, and Granny Smith apples.

Some interesting differences:

We added cinnamon, lemon, and nutmeg to both pies. The filling recipe from (which I made) had you cook this flour/sugar/butter/cinnamon mixture and add to the chopped apples.

While Dorie’s recipe called for breadcrumbs to be placed on the bottom of the pie crust. This was supposed to prevent the bottom of the crust from becoming soggy.

The pies:

I found the Cook’s Illustrated pie dough to be hard to work with. It was like trying to make a pie out of sugar cookie dough. It was fragile and prone to breaking. Dorie’s crust was much easier to work with.

They both baked up nicely though. (Cook’s Illustrated on the left; Dorie’s on the right.)

The party:

We took our pies to the party and lined them up next to the many other pies on the table. {This was an early pic, there ended up being 12 pies in all!}

We each got a scoring sheet that judged the pies on presentation, crust, filling, and overall score.

Then we went at it.



The scores were tallied.

Winners announced.

The verdict?

First off, they all tasted a little different and each person had a different favorite pie too. {I just think that everyone has different tastes when it comes to apple pie.} Dorie’s pie was pretty darn good though and came in first runner-up. The Cook’s Illustrated scored somewhere in the middle. I think the filling needed more spices.

Dorie’s All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie is pretty amazing. For the full recipe, please visit Sandmuffin’s site, or look for it on pages 300-302 in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Also, check out the other Tuesday with Dorie members for their pie concoctions here.

About Sarah

Always thinking about my next meal.
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12 Responses to Apple Pie Bake-Off.

  1. Linda says:

    So, dying to know what apple pie recipe beat Dorie’s. What a fun post… that is a taste off that I would happily participate in!

  2. Jessica says:

    I wanna see who won too! I can’t imagine anything beating Dorie’s pie b/c it’s sooo freakin’ good! PS: I’m totally stealing this party idea :)

  3. Tia says:

    that is awesome! what a great time that must have been :)

  4. rachel says:

    what an awesome party idea! i brought dorie’s pie into the office and one coworker told me it was the best pie she’s ever had–this recipe is definitely a keeper! now you have me wanting to try out the vodka crust too, though…

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  6. Flourchild says:

    How fun! I love this idea of having a pie bake off! Of course I would want to be a taster! Congrats to getting first runner up!

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