Last weekend, as a certain miffed segment of Facebook users is aware, we spent a long weekend in Vermont. While there we picked apples at an orchard surrounded by mountains at just-past-peak foliage color, and I made sure to get some Cortlands, my favorite (although they don't keep very well).
This is also the time of year when my parents send me a box of apples, also Cortlands, from upstate New York. The first box appeared to have met with a terrible fate, as the apples arrived in a replacement box, jammed in with their original packing material, with none intact. Fortunately, a second box arrived this week without incident, and the stage was set for Apple Pie Throwdown! Finally the age-old question would be answered: How many times can one listen to the soundtrack to "The Music Man" while driving up and down the East Coast? No, wait, that was answered last weekend: Oh God I lost count.
No, I decided to see which pie would be better, Vermont or New York, assuming relatively similar conditions for both.
So today I made two pies following my mother's time-honored recipies for the pie and crust. Conditions strayed somewhat as I found it necessary to add a bit more water to the Vermont pie dough to get it to proper consistency, and those who know me and my frequent resorting to "Frankencrust" methods know not to set the aesthetic bar too high, but both pies came out looking and smelling pretty good.
The winner? Both were very tasty, but I have to give the edge to the New York pie. This may be because the Vermont pie crust did not seem to vent as much steam during baking. As a result, there was about a third of an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pie dish, making it a bit difficult to serve. It's also possible that the Vermont apples were a bit juicier. The New York crust, meanwhile, was the best I have ever made, meaning that it can just see Mom's crust from its relatively lofty vantage point.
Testing will continue over the next several days, and our temporary family motto is "For God's sake have an apple."
What's that you say? Pictures? Sadly our camera died right at the start of our Vermont sojourn. And I thought I didn't need a cellphone with a camera...
Update 10/17: Fraud at the polls! By a 3-2 vote the Vermont pie won the three-generation taste test this evening. Bryan voted with me but then declared he doesn't like pie, which is almost on the same level as Fiona telling me she doesn't like steam trains.