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Dining In: It’s time to think about pies and cobblers

Now that the best local apples are coming into season it’s time to think about pies, crisps, crumbles, cobblers, brownies, grunts and brown betties.

Giving that idea a boost are two new baking contests to be held at local farmers markets in the coming weeks.

First on the calendar is the first-time pie bake-off at the Wrightstown Farmers Market in Wrightstown on Saturday, Sept. 21. Entrants must pre-register by Friday, Sept. 20, by emailing market manager Cheryl Gilmore at:

Contestants must be amateur home bakers and can bake any kind of pie they choose as long as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It can have one crust or two. Entrants include a copy of their recipe when they drop off the pie by 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Everyone who likes pie can be a judge by paying $1 for a tasting spoon, and prizes will awarded to the makers of the favorites.

Apples must be the primary filling ingredient for the pies and crumbles (also called crisps) entered in the Best Baker Contest Sept. 28 at the Quakertown Farmers Market in Quakertown. Baked goods will be judged on flavor, texture, outside characteristics, originality and process. The winner in each category will receive a prize.

For contest rules see the Quakertown Farmers Market Facebook page. The deadline for registration is Sept. 22.

While pie bakers are competing in the contests, you can use this cobbler recipe from recipe to help enjoy the apples now in season locally. Apple season continues into November, with new varieties debuting weekly at area orchards and farm markets.

Easy Apple Cobbler
6 apples, cored and sliced
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of ½ lemon

For the topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup heavy cream
1 large egg, beaten
Egg wash, for brushing
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice. Let apples macerate for 15 minutes.

2. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Incorporate butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs then stir in heavy cream and egg.

3. Pour apples into a large baking dish and top with dollops of dough. Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 1 hour. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.