Indigo’s Contest Winning Apple Pie – Cooking with a Friend Series

Indigo’s Contest Winning Apple Pie – Cooking with a Friend Series

Indigo and I have been friends since our undergraduate years in college. We met online through Craigslist, I posted an ad looking for a roommate and she answered. Craigslist may seem cringe, but in 2010 it was very cutting edge. Indigo and I became fast friends in our lonely college town, quickly bonding over, amongst many things, our love of cooking.

 Indigo and I had many culinary adventures together, both in our college kitchen and as we ate our way through endless vacations. In the summer of 2021, we even made it to the final rounds of a network cooking television casting. Indigo is the baker to my savory cooking, the Dione to my Cher (cue: Clueless reference), and one of my dearest friends. So when I asked her what dish best represents her, the one that everyone requests from her, I knew it would be this Contest Winning Apple Pie. Years ago when Indigo was living in New England she entered this pie into an apple pie contest and sure enough it brought home the winning ribbon! Ever since she’s been know as the go-to girl for the best apple pie.

I have a confession to make. I’ve never made pie dough from scratch, ever. I’ve always purchased it frozen. But in honor of Indigo’s Contest Winning Apple Pie & for today’s edition of Cooking with a Friend, I made her recipe just as instructed, pie dough and all. This apple pie has a decadent, velvety rich filling wrapped with warming notes of vanilla.

So here’s to us, sista from another mista, and to your Contest Winning Apple Pie!


Pie Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Pie Dough Instructions:

  • Mix flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter; pulse until coarse meal forms. Gradually blend in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight.

Pie Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water, minus one tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon to taste (I used 1/8 tsp)
  • 5 Northern Spy apples – peeled, cored and sliced (Northern Spy apples are common in New England, but if you can’t find them locally you can sub any apple commonly used for baking like Granny Smith or Golden Delicious – I used 2 Granny Smith and 3 golden delicious when I made this)

Pie Filling Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. Add in vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  • Roll out the bottom crust and place it in your pan (the dough should be 1/8″ thick and 1″ wider than the pie pan). Fill with apples, mounded slightly.
  • Gently pour sugar-butter mixture evenly over apple mound, reserving a small amount. Cover with a lattice work crust (see this tutorial for help).
  • Brush top crust with reserved sugar-butter mixture.
  • Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.


* Adapted from Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie

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