Reluctant entrant wins apple pie contest

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By Scott Akanewich

One day recently, Cindy Salome was approached by her boss, who had a question for her.

“Can you bake an apple pie?”

Upon an affirmative answer, her superior followed up with a bombshell of the baking variety.

“Good, because I just entered you in a contest.”

The event was the Homemade Apple Pie Contest at the annual Liberty Hill Independence Day Spectacular and Salome suddenly found herself with a task at hand – although it certainly wasn’t one she wasn’t already familiar with.

“He also entered me in the last one (in 2019),” said Salome. “I finished second.”

However, this time around, Salome was right on the money with her recipe and captured first place, winning a blue ribbon and $100 for her victory.

According to Salome, the entire affair is quite humorous due to the conditions under which it all took place.

“The whole experience is just really funny to me,” said Salome. “After all, he (boss Jason Tuggle of 360 Press Solutions), has never even tasted it.”

Salome won with a variety called “Apple Pie So Good You’ll Slap Yo Mama,” a recipe that included some ingredients not found in your average apple pie.

“It’s a hometown recipe,” said Salome, who originally hails from El Paso. “There’s actually sour cream on the inside, which makes that part taste more like cheesecake.

“The topping is more like you’ll find on a cobbler,” she said, of the layer that features chopped pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. “This is definitely not your mom’s apple pie.”

Ironically, Salome said many friends and acquaintances over the years have made light of the fact she supposedly can’t cook or bake.

Not the case and quite the contrary, she said.

“People have made fun of me because they think I don’t know how,” said Salome. “But, when all our employees would bring something homemade for our customer appreciation event, I would always make chile con queso and it was always a big hit.”

Now, she’s a local pie-baking champion, but said she’s not necessarily looking to defend her title next year – unless a certain someone decides to once again intervene.

“I could just gracefully hand it over to someone else,” said Salome. “Unless Jason enters me again.”

Second place went to Kandy Chimento with “Dutch Apple Pie,” third was Cecelia Gonzalez with “Cecelia’s Crazy Good Apple Pie” and Best Presentation went to Seann Pridmore with “Bebe’s Recipe.”

Apple Pie So Good
You’ll Slap Yo Mama

Crust:
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 T salt
1/2 cup plus 2 T butter
1/4 water or apple juice
Filling:
8 small apples
1 2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 egg
2 T vanilla
1/2 T salt
Topping:
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 T cinnamon
pinch of salt

Directions
Crust:
Combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl, cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal, add water or apple juice, toss with fork and form into a ball and press into 10-inch pie plate.
Filling:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, combine apples, sour cream, sugar, flour, egg, vanilla and salt into a bowl and mix well, spoon into crust, bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower to 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Topping:
Combine nuts, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt and mix well, blend in butter until crumbly, spoon over pie and bake 15 more minutes.

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