The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 10.04.03


Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

Everyone knows how to make apple pie. Right? Wrong.

Mothers and grandmothers know how and even the occasional male cook ventures on to the apple pie highway. However, the statement that it's as simple as apple pie is misleading. A good pie, or should I say great pie, is a combination of skill, passion and generational secret techniques. Grandma's apple pie is always the best it seems. Here are a few quotes regarding this delicious autumn comfort giver.

"But I, when I undress me
Each night, upon my knees
Will ask the Lord to bless me
With apple-pie and cheese."
Eugene Field, Apple-Pie and Cheese

"Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed."
Robert Schuller, evangelist

"You cannot sell a blemished apple in the supermarket, but you can sell a tasteless one provided it is shiny, smooth, even, uniform and bright."
Elspeth Huxley

Personally, I like apples that have endured crisp cold nights and that snap as you bite into them. This sometimes means a late fall trip to the orchard after the softer varieties have been at their best. Regardless, an apple pie cooked with the tender loving care it deserves will bring joy to the family and friends.

There are so many great recipes for this classic pie that I thought I'd include an award-winning one here. Everyone knows that Vermont produces some of the best cheddar in the world and what could be better than pairing it with the words favorite dessert?

Blue Ribbon Cheddar Apple Pie
(By the Vermont Apple Marketing Board)

Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie. When making crust include a cup of extra-sharp finely grated cheddar cheese before adding water to the dough.
2/3-cup sugar
2 Tbls. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup Vermont cheddar cheese
6 or 7 Cortland or Northern Spy apples,
peeled, cored & thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line pie plate with half the pastry. Combine sugar, flour, and spices and toss with apples and cheese. Spoon into pie shell, piling apples high in the center. Top with remaining crust. Slit decoratively for steam vents. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 40 to 45 minutes until crust lightly browns.