NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Montgomery Place Orchards in Annandale-on-Hudson (that’s upstate near Red Hook) grows 60 varieties of antique apples, and this time of year, they like to see which ones bake up best.
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“Last year, we noticed that Jonagold and Northern Spy apples seemed to be the ones that really placed high. We’ve had Macoun place high. It’s all about the apple and what the people do to it with spices. Crust is all about how flaky it is,” said orchard owner Talea Finke.
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She says this year, the judges will be the people who keep the farmstand running – the electrician and the plumber. It’s a switch from years past.
“We had an octogenarian judging and my mother-in-law and a couple of grandmothers we knew. But they had such a sugar high after their judging because we usually have about 30 to 40 pies here that they have to taste that the year after that we went with titans – men over 300 pounds,” she told WCBS 880’s Deborah Rodriguez.
What’s the criteria for the best pie?
“They judge on appearance 1 through 10, 10 being the best, 1 the least. Then they go inside and sit down and we bring in a piece of pie – little piece – for them to taste and then they’ll judge on crust and filling.
The annual contest is Saturday, October 15.
Here’s how the day goes.
The pie drop off is at noon. The judging begins at 1 p.m. Everyone gets to dig into the spoils after that!
If you’re wondering why there is an hour wait between the pie drop off and the actual contest, it’s so nobody gets a hot pie advantage.
“I think apple pie tastes better when it’s hot and I don’t want anyone to have that advantage of good hot apple pie,” Finke said.
You can even get a free batch of apples there if you’re going to enter the contest.
Montgomery Place is located on Route 9G on the left just before you get to Bard College.
What’s your secret for great apple pie? Share it in the comments section below!