This last week I had the most amazing time going to our county fair. I shared with you last week about why I have come to love The Fair. In that post I mentioned my intentions of possibly entering in a baking contest.
Welp, I got the courage and entered.
I didn’t tell a single sole (besides my husband) and grabbed a rule book and went to work.
Every year they do a bake contest with categories and a special ingredient. This year it was cherries.
I don’t bake with cherries often and so I wanted to come up with something pretty simple. I didn’t want to try and compete in the pie category because I felt like there would be lots of veteran bakers. Therefore, I thought I’d go a little easier route and do a “special dessert” and make a crisp.
The morning of the contest I made a Cherry Apple Crisp.
My amazing husband took some time off during the day to come watch and take care of the little guy. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was, but they had two professionals LIVE judging!
Of course my category was last and I was the second to last dish to be judged. My husband, little guy & I stood at the way back of the auditorium while I hopped around waiting for the judge to talk about my dish. Yikes!
She loved it! (Phew!)
They loved it so much I actually won my category and was second overall!
I had so much fun and felt I contributed to the fair and connected with part of the community. I plan to participate next year and years to follow. Maybe next time I will tell one more person and I won’t be as nervous.
Here’s the recipe and what you will need: Flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, salt, butter, slivered almonds, frozen cherries, granny smith apple, cornstarch, & almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the crisp topping:
Mix together 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, & 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cut 1 & 1/4 sticks butter into small pieces and slowly cut into the mixture, you can use a pastry cutter or slowly mix with a paddle attachment and add the pieces of butter slowly
Finally fold in 1 cup of slivered almonds
For the filling:
Mix together one bag of frozen cherries (DO NOT THAW), 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons of almond extract
Peel and cut one granny smith apple into small chunks
Toss apples with cherry filling mixture
I use a 3 qt. glass dish because it makes thicker slices.
Dump all the filling into the bottom and generously pile on the crisp topping
Bake for 45 minutes and DIG IN
Don’t forget to have a slice with a big scoop (or two) of ice cream on top!
Hope you all enjoy and get inspired to participate in something fun at your local fair!
Next year the special ingredient is ORANGE! Do you have any ideas for something with orange? What would be your dream ingredient to bake with?