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The Greatest Pie in Central Oregon 

The Source hosts its first ever PIE OFF

On Wednesday, the Source concluded its first ever Pie Off. Over the previous three weeks, we gathered recipes from our readers. We narrowed those to five—and asked each to bring a piping-hot pie to our monthly Media Salon at Broken Top Bottle Shop.

There, we were pleased to have three esteemed judges—Lisa Glickman, food critic and COCC instructor; Beth-Lynn Rider, chef at Broken Top Bottle Shop; and, Elise Hurley, co-owner of Fearless Baking.

Four pies were presented to the judges, including head-to-head competition in the pecan pie category, with each pie coming from very a different philosophy: One dialed back the "sin'ness" of pies, including replacing butter with coconut oil in its crust, a clever workaround that created a lighter, but very tasty crust; while the competitor embraced wholesale gluttony with her Bad Day Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie.

We are proud to present this year's Pie Off winner, Wendy Merideth who explained, "this recipe was passed to me from the great granddaughter of the original Pabst brewing family. She was my roommate in veterinary college. It has often been a crowd pleaser." The pie was presented with beautiful leaf cut-outs embellishing the top crust.

The Pabst Apple Pie

Preheat oven 375°F

The filling:

2 tablespoons flour

Enough Granny Smith apples to fill a pie, peeled and sliced thickish

1/2-3/4 cup sugar, depending on your sweet tooth

zest of lemon

1 1/2 teaspoons cinammon

1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

pinch of cloves

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

1 large egg. 

Combine apples, butter, and egg. Mix dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients.  Fill crust. Bake for 1 hour. Eat with ice cream for obvious reasons. Wah-lah!

And, with a highly un-scientific method of voting by applause, we also had the audience to select their favorite.All attending audience members had an opportunity to taste four pies.

While the judges selected the most traditional pie, the audience was wowed by a more postmodern take on apple pie, which replaced the traditional complement of cheddar cheese by mixing Gorgonzola cheese into the filling.

Audience favorite, submitted by Michelle Roats: 

Sweet & Savory Apple Pie

- 3 large cooking apples, thinly sliced (usually Granny Smith work the best)

- 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans

- 1/4 cups crumbled quality Gorgonzola cheese

- 2 tablespoons maple syrup

- 4 tablespoons sugar

- 3/4 teaspoons. ground cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoons salt

- 1/8 teaspoons. ground nutmeg (optional)

- 1 egg white + 1 teaspoon to create egg wash

1 pie crust:

- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

- 1 tablespoon sugar

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

- 6 to 7 tablespoons ice cold water

Pie crust instructions:

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Add the shortening and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water and let sit one minute. Either using a fork or your hands, carefully press the mixture together to form a soft ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Pie filling instructions:

Slice apples thinly. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to water bowl and place apple slices in bowl—this will keep the apples from turning brown. Next, chop walnuts or pecans to desired size. Typically, a 1/4-inch size works well. Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg together in bowl. Drain water from apple slices bowl and pat excess water off apples. Toss apples with maple syrup and sugar mixture until well mixed. Next, add nuts and Gorgonzola crumbles. Mix lightly.

Assembly instructions:

Roll out two pie crusts and place one in buttered pan. Fill with apple mixture. May overflow a bit. Cut the other pie crust into strips. Assemble lattice pie crust. Next, brush egg wash on crust. Cover crust with strips of foil to prevent burning.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until crust is brown and juices begin to bubble. Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm with quality vanilla ice cream.

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