I can't go into this recipe without shelling out this story . . .
It was a rainy, cold, Sunday morning in Madison, Wisconsin. I had skipped church because of the nasty weather and wasn't planning on going outside at all on this miserable day.
That was about to change.
The phone rang. It was my sister, Priscilla.
"Hey," she said, "There's this apple pie contest being held on the Capital Square today. I made two pies. Would you put your name on one of them and enter it in the contest? All my friends tell me I make THE BEST apple pie. I have got to enter this contest!"
"Oh, man! Have you checked the weather? It's raining out! I'm sure it's been cancelled! And wouldn't I have to make the pie myself in order to qualify?"
My whining went on and on. You get the picture.
As it turns out, the rules were rather vague.
We braved the weather. My name went on one of the apple pies, and we headed down to the "Square." We placed the pies on the judging table and raced back to the car. Chilled to the bone, we sat there and listened to the radio station that was sponsoring the event. When the judging was about to begin, we ventured back outside.
It wasn't long before the results were in:
4th Place . . . somebody
3rd Place . . . Priscilla
2nd Place . . . somebody
1st Place . . . me!
And THEN! Then I was interviewed for a live broadcast by the radio station. Talk about not being prepared!!! The only thing I knew about the recipe was that there were apples in it. APPLES!
In the end, Priscilla got a microwave oven out of the deal, and I learned how to make a magnificent apple pie!
And I am riding on her coattails as I write this recipe:
Priscilla's Prize-Winning Apple Pie
Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees.
Remove a stick of butter from refrigerator for use later. (Please use real butter here.)
Prepare pastry pie crust for 9"pie. (Use what you like for this.)
Apples: Use a combination of apples (approx. 14 apples per pie)
Baking Apples: Cortland (8), McIntosh (4), Granny Smith (2)
Some "eating apples" will work, but use them sparingly along with the baking apples.
Peel, core and slice apples into a large bowl.
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Sprinkle over apples, coating evenly.
Turn apples into pastry-lined pie plate. Mound them high, as they will bake down.
Now for the Dutch topping:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
5 Tbls. butter (semi-hard)
Using a table knife, cut in the butter until mixture is "crumbly." Spread this mixture over the mounded apples. Pat mixture down gently.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Lightly sprinkle sugar on pie crust edges and cover the edge with foil or pie-crust shield.
Place pie on the middle rack in 360 degree oven for 55-60 minutes. Remove the pie crust shield after 45 minutes.
Check to see that the apples are done.
Remove from oven.