The Page Farm and Home Museum in Orono held its Apple Fest on Oct. 25, and Gayle Crowly’s apple pie won the most votes in the apple recipes contest. Gayle, who lives in Bangor, added a bit of cream to the filling, and sweetened it with both white and brown sugar. Mary Bird, program coordinator at the museum, said that the rolled oil crust that Gayle adapted from Katherine Musgrave’s recipe “was unusually light and flaky for an oil-based pastry, and had voters oohing and ahhing and wishing they could ask for second helpings.”

Mary said that this was Page Farm and Home Museum’s second annual Apple Fest and recipe contest. “Apple fanciers are encouraged to rummage through their recipe boxes and start looking now for the apple dish that will hold maximum ap-peel for next year’s event!” she said. So you have a whole year to experiment and get ready to enter the 2009 contest.

Hearty congratulations to Gayle for her recipe and many thanks to Mary for passing it on so we can share it here.

It is the right thing to do to have a big appreciative celebration of apples at this time of year. Same thing with pumpkins. The way some food writers work, though, you’d think that apples and pumpkins disappear from the face of the Earth shortly after Thanksgiving. In past times and at our house (and I bet plenty of yours, too,) we put apples and pumpkins into storage for use in the winter. I plan to give you an apple or pumpkin recipe from time to time in January, February and March. So in case you don’t have any of these worthies in storage at your house, now is a good time to go get some while they are fresh and less expensive, and put them away in a cool, dry place for use later. (If you don’t have a good place to store pumpkins, consider cooking some up and freezing it in 1-cup quantities to pull out and use at your convenience.)

Meanwhile, here is a nice version of apple pie to add to your Thanksgiving menu. The crust is from Katherine Musgrave’s recipe and is an oil one that you can use or, if you prefer, use your own standard pastry. I chilled my oil by putting it into the freezer till it thickened up.

Correction: My apologies for leaving the dates out of the ingredients list in the Cherry Winks recipe last week. You need 1 cup of chopped, pitted dates.

Looking for … From my neighbor Ann Whitehouse and a friend of hers in New York, a recipe for Raisin Spice Oaties. “It is a lost cookie recipe,” said Ann. Can anyone find it?

Gayle Crowley’s Winning Apple Pie


2 cups flour

2/3 cup very cold canola oil

¼ cup very cold water


Apples enough to fill an 8-inch pie plate, peeled, cored and sliced

½ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 heaping tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits

2-3 tablespoons cream

Sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the crust by whisking oil and water together until it is white and thick. Add to flour and mix with a fork. Divide in two pieces and roll for bottom and top crusts.

To make the filling, toss the apple slices with sugars, spices and flour, and place in pie shell. Dot with bits of butter. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of cream into center. Add the top crust and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 40-60 minutes until lightly golden and you can see the filling bubbling.

Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...