The results have been eaten and the ballots cast!  It is time to declare the winner of the first ever for-honor-glory-and-the-love-of-pie Pie Competition.  But before I go into all of that, I just wanted to talk a bit more about the fun afternoon I had making pies with Brian.

Between the two of us, it took destroying a kitchen, patience and an entire afternoon to bake three pies.  I was just baking one, but Brian had opted for entering both competitions, Most Original and Best Pie Maker.  It was so interesting to watch all of his little tricks and learn first-hand (for the fourth time!) from a master pie maker.

Like, for example, tossing the apples and spices in the same bowl as he had just made the pie dough in.  There were lots of little flour-y butter bits at the bottom of the bowl, so I don’t think it would have ever occurred to me that it would be acceptable to throw my apples in there too.  But it’s true, butter and flour *is* something you add to the apples to make that ever important apple pie filling.  Great trick, I have now saved myself from that extra bowl to clean in the future and I hope I saved you too!

Also, Brian is actually quite patient when it comes to rolling out the dough.  As his disc of dough (yeah, you like that awesome word action?) is slowly forming, he will thoughtfully look at it, gauging the perfect place to start his next roll and the angle at which to do it.  This is the exact opposite of my approach, which is to generally think, “Shit! Everything needs to be cold for optimal pie rolling and now it is all getting warm and my pie crust is going to be shot to pieces if I do not roll it out whenow.”  Unsurprisingly, stressed out pie rollers do not make very good pie crusts.  🙂

And finally, his dough was very dry.  Looking at it before baking, I would have guessed it was too dry.  But no, it did bake up very well in the oven.

Brian is such an apple pie pro, he is able to make an apple pie without any recipe references.  He just added what he thought would be enough of sugar, flour and spices and tossed it all together.  This was also so radically different from a few years ago, when he lectured me most severely about the importance of measuring and leveling properly when baking.  Amy would be so proud she is rubbing off on him!

Another thing is, he refused to commit to “just one apple” and had a variety of apples representin’: gala, granny smith, roma, etc.  Hedging his bets, as it were, so one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch … girl. Ah, sorry about that.  Didn’t mean to channel Donny Osmond.

So there you have it.  My afternoon of observing Brian make pie, culminating into these little tips for me to follow.  Check out his beautiful pie before baking:

I was trying to show how nicely, beautifully domed his pie was, but I think I failed.

And after baking:

Now you think this would be where I would show you my pie, but embarrassingly, I didn’t even take one picture of it.  So instead, I will leave you with some other images of our pie-baking afternoon.

After all was said and done, Brian rolled out the remaining scraps of pie dough and cut them into strips, then sprinkled them with a delicious cinnamon sugar combination.  This is him pulling it out of the oven:

Sharp eyes may notice something awry immediately.

And here’s Brian showing off the finished product:

The story is, Brian put the pie strips into the second oven.  When it started burning, we kept smelling it but kept looking at the pie and not the pie strips. We didn’t make the connection until I suddenly asked what he had done with the pie strips.  But by then, it was just too late.

This post became longer than I wanted, so I will discuss results next time.  DUN DUN DUN!