Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Wooden Spoon Cooks Face-off in a Bake-off

Hageman Farm, a nineteenth century farmhouse preserved by The Meadows Foundation, held their first annual Fall Festival today. In keeping with the autumnal theme and heirloom apples that were offered to the public to try, an Apple Pie Tasting Contest was held. The chairperson of the committee that oversees Hageman Farm invited the Wooden Spoon cooks to participate.

We took up the challenge with gusto. Last night saw us in our respective kitchens, furiously peeling and slicing apples and carefully rolling out pastry. Then came the nerve-wracking drive this morning to the site, each of us with one eye on the road and the other on our precious cargo. Both pies made it intact, joining the other entrants in the antique dining room.

We were able to relax for a while before the judging began. We toured the beautiful site, inspecting the careful renovations underway at the farmhouse, carriage house and cowbarn. Photos of Hageman Farm can be seen on Flickr.

Then the eagerly anticipated judging began. Participants were asked to wait outside while their pies were being evaluated on crust, appearance, filling and flavor. We sat on a bench under a tree and pretended to admire the zinnias lining the walk to the porch while making nervous small talk.

After what seemed like an eternity, the judges announced that they had reached their decision and the bakers filed into the dining room. Imagine our excitement to hear that the there had been a virtual tie for the third place between A’s pie and OldRoses’ pie! Since only one award could be given, the judges ruled in favor of OldRoses.

Did they make the right choice? We invite our readers to decide for themselves. Try A’s apple pie recipe and OldRoses’ apple pie recipe. Then leave us a comment to let us know which pie was the winner in your kitchen.

After the contest, the pies were offered to the public to taste. A took the opportunity to try the other entries. She has decided to adjust the spices in her recipe. OldRoses had another event to attend today so she didn’t have a chance to try the other pies. But keeping in mind the judges’ seeming preference for tartness, she is going to change the variety of apples used in her recipe.

Be sure to check back with us next September to see what tweaks we made to our apple pie recipes and how we fared in the Hageman Farm Second Annual Apple Pie Tasting Contest.

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