At our August 19th Mini Jewish Food Festival, our esteemed Rabbi Louchheim faced off against local pastry chef Marianne Banes from Kingfisher in a pie bake-off! Both contestants have shared the recipes for their masterpieces below. (In case you’re wondering, it was a tie … try them at home and let us know which one YOU think is the winner!)

Rabbi Louchheim’s Apple Pie

Photo credit Dan Weisz

Crust Ingredients: This makes one pie crust. Double recipe to make top and bottom crust.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes – place in freezer for at least 20 minutes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons for a sweet recipe)
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water and iced vodka

Pie Filling Ingredients:

4 peeled Granny Smith or other apples, peeled and sliced thin. Set aside sliced apples.
6 oz bourbon
1 tablespoon butter + more for filling
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 to 2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg

First, make the crust. In food processor, combine flour, salt, sugar; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea-size pieces of butter. Add water and vodka 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to glump. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it is ready. If not, add a little water and pulse again.

Shape dough into a disc. Do not over-knead. You should see clumps of butter. Disc should be flakey and hold together. Dust both sides with flour and refrigerate for at least an hour. Can be done a day ahead.

Remove from refrigerator. Let sit for 10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on disc and rolling pin. Roll out to a 12-inch circle. Keep flipping as you roll out and make sure rolling pin does not stick. Place on 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate before placing fruit in the plate.

Preheat oven to 400. In bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir.

In a large sauce pan, place tablespoon of butter, heat, add apples. Add some of mixed dry ingredients over the top. Save remaining for laying in pie dish. Heat and coat apples. Add 6 oz. of bourbon and dip pan to flame it. Flip all the apples. Immediately remove apples from pan to a bowl to cool. The above process takes less than a minute.

Sprinkle to cover bottom of pie crust. Layer with sliced apples. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples. Add another layer of apples. Sprinkle sugar mixture again (I sometimes have three layers of apples).

Dot the filling with butter or margarine. Roll out remaining dough. Cut out four holes (creative shaping is fun). Place crust over pie; trim edges. Fold pastry overhang under then bring up over pie-plate rim. Pinch to form a high edge then choice of decorative edge.

Brush top crust with egg or milk wash. May want to sprinkle crust with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place on lower shelf in oven. Bake another 40 – 50 minutes.


Marianne’s Apple Crumb Tart

Makes one 10-inch tart.

Photo credit Dan Weisz

Sweet Tart Pastry Dough Ingredients:

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Filling Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/8 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 eggs
6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

Streusel Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter

First, make the pastry dough. Cream butter and sugar together in mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat until well combined and fluffy. Combine flour and baking powder and add to butter/egg mixture on low speed, beating until flour is completely mixed in. Remove from mixer, wrap and chill. Dough can be used immediately, but is easier to use when cold.

To make the tart shell, press dough into sides and bottom of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Place crust in freezer for 10 minutes, then bake blind at 350 degrees until golden and crisp.

While the shell is baking, make the filling. Combine all ingredients except apples and whisk smooth. Pour over apples and toss to coat completely. Pour into pre-baked shell and bake until custard is set, about 30 minutes.

During this second baking, make the streusel. Combine all ingredients in mixer or by hand until it forms crumbs. Do not overmix or you will have cookie dough!

Remove tart from oven, top with streusel, and bake again until golden brown and puffed slightly and apples are tender. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.