A New Idea in FundraisingHow about an Apple Pie Bake?
That's right, tempt them with the all time American favorite - Apple Pie, just like Mom used to make. People can purchase brownies, cookies and candy anywhere. A unique and different product that customers can't obtain elsewhere will keep them coming back to your fundraiser - especially when the product is so delicious!
One positive aspect of offering apple pie, besides being the popular choice of the masses, is that the ingredients are inexpensive, easy to obtain, and don't spoil quickly. Apples can even be peeled, cored and sliced slightly ahead of time and ready to be used when the pies are assembled.
So how to go about arranging such a fundraiser?
First, call a meeting. Although you may hate meetings you must sell your idea to your group because you are going to need their help. After they have all heartily jumped in to support your idea, start organizing. Here are some pointers to help:
1. You need to decide on a time-proven, basic apple pie recipe that can be easily mass-produced. Don't get fancy with a lattice crust or a crumb topping. This pie has to freeze well and then bake; a two-crust pie is best. Always use the same recipe, unless you have found a stumbling block with an ingredient, so that customers will know from year to year what exactly their pie will look and taste like.
2. Figure the best time and place for the group to gather to assemble the pies. You may want to set aside a couple of evenings, depending on the amount of pies you plan to sell. You'll want to set this date and keep it firm so you can inform the customers when they can pick up their pies. Try to arrange that most of the pies will be picked up the same night that you prepare them, thus cutting down on storage.
3. Set a price. Find out the current market price of apple pies from the bakery, deli or pie shop. Don't undercut too much, remember this is fundraiser and people understand that you want to raise money for a worthy cause, not offer them a deal.
4. Start taking orders. Advertise your fundraiser as you have in the past and have 1-2 people as contacts for people to call or mail-in their order. Other details such as required prepayment is up to your group. If advertising funds are limited, word-of-mouth through churches, workplaces and schools or flyers posted on public bulletin boards work well.
5. Preparation work will include purchasing ingredients: apples, flour, shortening, salt, sugar, butter - whatever is called for in the recipe. You will also need to purchase aluminum pie tins, aluminum foil and zippered storage bags for freezing.
6. On assembly day you will need 6-8 workers (depending on pie sales) to accomplish the following tasks: Mixing piecrust, rolling out piecrust, transferring crust to pie pan, peeling and slicing apples, mixing filling, sealing and fluting edges of pie and bagging the pies for freezing. Each crewmember will have their own particular job they prefer but maybe someone will want to learn from the masters the art of making and rolling piecrust. The crew can bring their own favorite pie making equipment such as pastry blender, pastry cloths, a pastry wheel, etc.
7. For faster assembly, you may have a prep crew core and peel the apples that afternoon and have them waiting in cold water along with a fruit preserver or lemon juice. Apple processors like the Applemate 3 can be a real help in this area of intense labor. Be sure to choose apples with more of a tart flavor for baking. Varieties that do well for apple pies include: Winesap, Granny Smith, and Braeburn. Stay away from Macintosh as they break down during baking.
8. Cover the finished pies with aluminum foil and place in zippered freezer bag. Along with your organizations name and address, include printed instructions for thawing and baking. Make sure you have ample space for freezing pies that will not be picked up on the day of assembly with the air circulating freely around the entire pie for faster freezing. Use some sort of stackable partitions for best quality.
Some side benefits with this fundraiser are the fun you have working with friends and fellow club members. You may also learn some baking hints and tricks from others to take back to use in your own kitchen. With such an innovative fundraiser, profits could be greater than anticipated. If you have space to make a few extra, you may want to have a few readily available for when the word gets out and people were disappointed they didn't sign up. If successful, you can branch out to peach, rhubarb or cherry! The list is endless!