Pillsbury Bake-Off Prizewinner: Spicy Apple Twists

Dec 13, 2015

Spicy Apple Twists

This recipe won the Grand Prize and $25,000 for Dorothy De Vault in 1958, at the 10th Pillsbury Bake-Off, the same Bake-Off that included 19-year-old contestant, Greg Patent. It’s a simple recipe of pastry strips wound around apple wedges and baked.

Melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and water create a sauce as the apples bake. Mrs. De Vault uses shortening in her pastry. Feel free to substitute a stick of unsalted butter.


1 1/2 cups of sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
8 tablespoons of vegetable shortening, chilled
4 to 5 tablespoons of ice water
2 tablespoons of softened butter to spread on rolled pastry


Apples and Sauce

2 large tart apples (such as Granny Smith), quartered, cored, peeled, each quarter cut into 2 wedges making a total of 16 wedges
1/3 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup of water

Spicy Apple Twists, Grand Prizewinner of the 10th Pillsbury Bake-Off.

1. For the pastry, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Cut the shortening into pieces and add to the flour. Use a pastry blender to cut in the shortening until particles resemble small peas. Sprinkle water gradually over the dry ingredients while tossing with a fork. Add water to driest particles, pushing lumps to side, until dough is just moist enough to hold together. Form the dough into a square, enclose in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Have an unbuttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan ready.

3. Roll the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. Spread with the soft butter. Fold in thirds like a business letter and roll the dough into a 16 x 10-inch rectangle. Cut into sixteen 10 x 1-inch strips.

4. Wrap one strip around each apple wedge. Arrange in the baking pan, making sure the sides don't touch. Brush with all of the melted butter. Combine sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the wedges. Pour the water into the pan around the wedges, not over them.

5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown and apples are cooked through. Serve warm or cold, plain or with whipped cream.

Makes 16 apple twists, 2 to a serving.


(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 12/13/15 and 12/17/15. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays and again at 4:54 p.m. Thursdays, or via podcast.)