Classic apple pie wins judges’ favour

 In Community

Jane Giffen is the winner of this year’s apple pie contest, held annually on Thanksgiving weekend. 

Giffen – no relation to the Glen Huron Giffens – is new to Creemore, having recently a house with her partner Jim Morrey.

“I am so thrilled to have won the apple pie contest. I’ve never entered a cooking contest before although I love to cook and bake,” said Giffen. 

She said, she really got into pie-baking after she vowed not to buy any processed or pre-made foods for one year, from Labour Day 2016 to Labour Day 2017.

The Echo asked Giffen if she would share her recipe and she graciously agreed (see top left). 

“I learned to make pastry from my mother (who has dementia and lives at the Stayner Care Centre) who made delicious apple pies,” said Giffen. “Her recipe came from the now out-of-print Five Roses Cookbook. The pie page is the most dog-eared of all the pages in the cookbook. My mother only used lard but my recipe features a combination of lard and vegetable shortening which I think makes a great crust because the fats melt at different rates. I should also mention that I bought the apples for my winning pie from the Morrison Farms stand at the Creemore Farmers’ Market. For this pie, I used Cortlands and Empire but that was because the Spys weren’t available at the market last week. I also used my grandmother’s rolling pin which is my favourite one and I think it brought me luck.

In any case, I am very grateful that Linda Cockton enjoyed my pie. I hear that she is a wonderful baker so it is a great honour to be recognized by her.”

Two-crust apple pie

3 cups sifted unbleached flour

1 tsp salt

½ cup cold lard

½ cup cold vegetable shortening

6-8 tbsp ice cold water

6-8 apples (combination of Cortland, Empire and/or Spy), peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, work the lard and shortening into the flour until it starts to resemble coarse crumbs with some pieces of fat the size of small peas. Sprinkle on half of the water. Using your hand, stir to combine until the dough comes together, adding more water until the dough forms a ball. Divide into two pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge until the filling is ready. 

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Combine apples, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Roll out pastry to line nine-inch pie tin. Fill with apples and any collected juices. Roll out remaining pastry. Place over pie. Seal and crimp edges. 

Bake at 450ºF for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake a further 50-60 minutes until golden brown.

Trina Berlo photo: The winners of Creemore’s annual apple pie contest are: (from left) Jane Giffen, first place; Dean and Vicky Stueck, second; and Carol Dunn, third. The contest is organized by The Creemore Echo and hosted by Creemore Farmers’ Market. Pie samples were available by donation, raising $90 for the charity of the judges’ choice. This year’s proceeds will go to St. Luke’s Anglican Church’s double toonie lunch crew. 

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