Okay--here's the lowdown on the professional pie competition which took place on Sunday morning. I was assigned to judge the "Open" category, which is a catchall for any kind of pie to compete against other random ones. Bakers can choose to enter something in "Open" that might actually fit into a different category, but they prefer to take their chances here.
First up, we had a delicious pumpkin pie with a crunchy streusel type topping. Sorry the pic is so blurry.
The following pie, which I was concerned might be over-the-top with peppermint, was actually really lovely and won the Open category.
This next pie had the flavors of Black Forest Cake, and I really enjoyed it. Its appearance was not as garish in person as it is in this photo. For some reason, iPhone cameras often do a strange job with red.
Our table was very excited at the appearance of this pie:
It didn't quite live up to our expectations, however.
And this was, by far, the weirdest pie I tasted all day, if not the entire three days. It was a Frito and chocolate cream pie:
No one at my table appreciated this pie. One crazy thing about it was the strong, lingering flavor of Fritos in the "finish." Honestly, I wanted salsa.
This was a rhubarb-pineapple (or vice versa) pie:
And a unique take on a turtle pie. For anyone who might consider putting sticks in a pie, please don't--they can splinter...
Another unusual pie was this apple-creme brulee pie, which had very nice flavor.
This concludes my coverage of the 2013 National Pie Championships.
Next post will begin the road trip from central Florida to the DC metro area, by way of the NC coast. Bye for now!