The Great Ingredient Pie Bake-Off

Before the ink was dry on The Great Ingredient Brownie Bake-Off trophy, someone shouted: “What’s next?”

“Cookies?”

“Nah, we already did chocolate chip.”

“Something savory?”

“The hot dish bake-off was kind of a flop.”

“Plus, we do chili in the fall.”

“Sweets seem to draw more entries…”

“Pie?!”

“YES! PIE!”

We kept the rules loose for the 1st annual Great Ingredient Pie Bake-Off. Sweet or savory. Pie, tart or galette. Baker’s choice.

  • Total entries: 6
  • Sweet: 6
  • Savory: 0
  • Pies: 5
  • Tarts: 0
  • Galettes: 1

 old fashioned blueberry key lime sour cream apple blueberry peach galette

It was a fierce competition, but in the end, Emily Tritabaugh’s Salty Honey was awarded the tarnished-pie-server trophy.

pie bake-off voting trophy salty honey pie

Salty Honey Pie

From Melissa and Emily Elsen of Four & Twenty Blackbirds

The crust

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8-10 tablespoons ice water with cider vinegar, or more as needed (combine 1 cup cold water, 1/8 cup cider vinegar and ice)

Directions:

  • Whisk the dry ingredients together and blend with a hand-held pastry blender the chopped, cold butter, being careful not to overwork during this step. The butter should be in pea-sized chunks, not too big, but not completely incorporated.
  • Slowly add the ice water and vinegar mixture and bring the dough completely together by hand, again being careful not to overwork. Aim to create a marbleized effect, so that the butter is still visible.
  • Divide into 2 discs, wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour or more before use.
  • Roll one disc of crust out to fit a 9-inch pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a buttered pie pan, and crimp the edges as desired. Allow to rest and cool in freezer or fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  • Line the rolled-out crust with tinfoil or unwaxed parchment paper, add pie weights or about a cup of dry beans if you don’t have pie weights. Distribute them evenly.
  • Bake in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before filling with custard.
  • Freeze second disc for another day

The filling

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons flake sea salt for finishing (Maldon is a good choice)

Directions:

  • All of the mixing can be done by hand, or with an electric mixer.
  • Melt butter and combine with the sugar, salt and cornmeal to make a thick paste. Add the honey, vanilla and vinegar and mix together. Fold in the eggs, add the cream and blend.
  • Pour the filling into a pre-baked pie shell and bake at 350 F for 45 to 60 minutes. The filling will puff up like a marshmallow and the center will be just slightly wobbly. Once cooled (at least one hour), finish with a sprinkling of flake sea salt. Slice and serve with freshly whipped cream.


Wise Pies, No. 4

Fact: I love starting clubs.

Current club memberships include: sushi club, brew club and pie club.

Pie club facts
Name: Wise Pies
Established: November 1, 2015
Members: Three
Pies made: Four
No. 1: Spiced Crush Pumpkin Pie
No. 2: Brown Butter Walnut Pie with Sour Whipped Cream
No. 3: Banoffee Tart (In this club, tart = pie.)
No. 4: Deep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie, Winkel Style

No. 4 was selected by Wise Pies member Erin. We recently traveled to Amsterdam with a group of friends and Erin was disappointed that we did not get a slice or four of the famous Winkel 43 apple pie. So, she tracked down a couple versions of the recipe and we made it ourselves.

Deep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie, Winkel Style Cut

Deep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie, Winkel Style
Ingredients:
For the crust:

  • 1 1/3 cups, firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1½ cups  unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
  • 5 cups of all-purpose baking flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

For the filling:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 4 Pink Lady apples
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon apple pie spice
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • Zest of  ½ lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 shot brandy

Directions:
To make the crust:

  • In a stand mixer, mix the butter and brown sugar together until creamed.
  • Sprinkle with the salt and add almost all of the eggs, keeping a tablespoonful [15 ml] to brush over the pie later.
  • Pulse until the eggs are well-incorporated.
  • Add a third of the flour, pulse until well-incorporated.
  • Add another third of the flour, pulse to incorporate, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • At this point, the mixture will still be wet, but it will start gathering together.
  • Add the remaining flour and pulse just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  • Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature while you prepare the filling.
  • Heat oven to 375º F.

To make the filling:

  • Peel and core the apples, then cut them into bite-size pieces.
  • In a very large bowl, mix the apple pieces with the orange and lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, spices, cornstarch and brandy.
  • Set aside.

To assemble the pie:

  • Grease a large, 8.5” springform pan and cover the bottom with a cut out sheet of parchment paper.
  • Reserve ¼ to 1/3 of the crust mixture for the pie’s topping.
  • Pour the rest of the mixture into the pan and firmly press the dough against the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan. The dough will be sticky.
  • Make sure the the bottom and the sides are completely covered, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. Rustic.
  • Add the apple filling and press down to compress the filling and make it as flat as possible on top.
  • Take smaller pieces of dough and roll them into balls, as if you were making cookies. With your fingers, flatten the dough out so you have a little, squarish pieces of dough.
  • Work from the edges of the pie towards the middle, place the flattened squares along the edges of the pie, connecting each piece together and trying to make a seal with the dough and the sides of the pan. Once you have a full circle of connected dough, move inward. Work on the next pieces, connecting those until the entire surface is covered.
  • Brush the top with the remaining egg.
Deep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie, Winkel Style Before OvenDeep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie, Winkel Style In OvenDeep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie, Winkel Style Finished

To bake the pie:

  • Place a pan under your pie to catch any juice.
  • Bake for 75 minutes. Check it at 45 minutes and if the top is to your liking, cover it with foil for the remaining 30 minutes.
  • Both recipes recommended letting the pie cool completely (2-4 hours!) before unhinging the springform pan. We said SCREW IT and dug into it immediately.
  • We also topped it with homemade whipped cream.

Recipe adapted from: