Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition

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love2bake
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2013/05/26 08:32:33 (permalink)

Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition

In April I made my cross-country trek to Orlando, FL, to judge pies at the National Pie Championships.  This year I flew instead of driving the whole way, but I did some road tripping from Orlando to the Washington, DC area, so I'll have some nice tidbits to share from that (not that pies themselves wouldn't be enough!).
 
Here are a few pics to get the topic started, and I'll write more updates soon.
 
First up, some of the commercial pies on display.  I did not judge these pies; however, I did taste as many as I could handle once the judging was over.

 

 
Beautiful.  It looks home made--from a smaller producer out of L.A., Bonert's Slice of Pie

 
So was this gorgeous chocolate cream pie, and it was also delicious:

 
From the bakers at Norske Nook:

 
This unusual looking pie was also from Norske Nook.  I meant to try it, but never did.

 
Here are pies from a few other producers.  This one looked luscious:

 
As did this one.  Both of these pies had plump, voluptuous berries.

 
This one looked as though no human hands had anything to do with it.   It might have tasted great, but the visual appeal wasn't there for me.

 
This looked hand crafted and so very chocolately:

And this entry from Publix had lovely piping and looked like a great pie:

 
I have more pics of commercial pies if anyone is interested.  I didn't want to inundate readers with every single photo I took!  My next planned post will be about amateur pies.
post edited by love2bake - 2013/05/26 08:38:15
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/26 08:47:08 (permalink)
    I think you just gave Buffetbuster a coronary
    All of those pies look magnificent
    #2
    myterry2
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/26 08:52:29 (permalink)
    Wow...loved all the pictures..they all looked so good...wish mine turned out looking like those. 
    #3
    lleechef
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/26 12:26:34 (permalink)
    wanderingjew

    I think you just gave Buffetbuster a coronary
    All of those pies look magnificent

    I was thinking the same thing!! 

    #4
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/26 12:54:12 (permalink)
    You should have knocked on that big dome to see if anything knocked back atcha.

    The chocolate pearls are pretty on that chocolate pie!
    #5
    mar52
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/26 14:14:08 (permalink)
    WOW!  I like the look of the chocolate topped with the piped, blood orange colored flowers around the edge.  I really didn't know how to describe it.
     
    That lemon, poppyseed pie shouts pass me by and I love lemon.
     
    I'm always surprised by the aluminum pie pans but I guess that way you don't have to stand around to retrieve your dish... or...  everyone is just judged on the pie, itself.
     
     
    #6
    agnesrob
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/26 18:48:05 (permalink)
    Wow!, I think that about describes it!
    #7
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/27 08:53:33 (permalink)
    Not a dud in the bunch...great photos!  That's a great meal...pie for every course!
    #8
    ChicagoIrish
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/27 11:10:02 (permalink)
    Now that is definitely a roadfood trip!  Would love to be a judge/spectator/pie devourer at the NPC...how long does the event last L2B?
    #9
    love2bake
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/27 12:49:51 (permalink)
    Thanks! This is such a fun thing--my favorite thing to do all year.
     
    CC - Yes--I loved those pearls on that chocolate cream pie.  It was really a beauty, and to have it taste good, too, was a treat.  Bet if I took your suggestion and knocked on the meringue pie I'd hear, "Lemon outta here!!" 
     
    Mar - I was more curious, than attracted to that lemon pie (with poppyseeds??)  That combo is fine with cakes and muffins, but pie?  So I wanted to know, but once I was in the fridge with all those pies it was hard to remember what to look for, plus it was COLD!!
     
    Myterry - I wish mine did, too!  We'll get to the amateur pies on the next post.  (The pies above are from commercial producers.)

    Wandering - BB is considering going to this event next year, so could see and taste it for himself! 
     
     
    Chicago - the National Pie Championships run three days, Friday - Sunday.  On Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend, in the nearby town of Celebration, the Great American Pie Festival is a great event for the public, too.  Find info on both here: 
    http://www.piecouncil.org
    post edited by love2bake - 2013/05/27 16:46:48
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    CCinNJ
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/27 13:06:59 (permalink)
    I was looking at the Norske Nook chocolate pie last night. At first it looks really dramatic...but after a minute or so...it looks like eyes looking back inside the swirls!
    #11
    love2bake
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/27 13:21:01 (permalink)
    LOL.  Have you been hitting the absinthe?? 
    However, being a "child of the 60s," I am now looking at it again and totally see your point.  Yikes, that's really weird! 
    #12
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/27 13:32:39 (permalink)


    I'm votin for ya! Leave me alone!
    #13
    mar52
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/27 14:53:02 (permalink)
    "Lemon outta here!!"
     
    #14
    billyboy
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/05/28 07:12:50 (permalink)
    Love the pics, L2B!!  The presentation on some of those cream pies was amazing.  I've baked in a few contests before but have never been a judge.  Maybe...  Keep those great pics and that top notch narrative comin'!
    #15
    CajunKing
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/01 15:40:44 (permalink)
    billyboy

    Love the pics, L2B!!  The presentation on some of those cream pies was amazing.  I've baked in a few contests before but have never been a judge.  Maybe...  Keep those great pics and that top notch narrative comin'!

    Hey Billyboy
     
    Looks like you got some ideas for your next pie contest!!
    #16
    CajunKing
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/01 15:43:52 (permalink)
    L2B
    Again you are killing us with these wonderful pies.  I think NovoNordisk should be the main sponsor of this event, either them or Onglyza.
     
    I look forward to the regular people pies too.
    #17
    love2bake
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/01 20:49:52 (permalink)
    Thank you!  I hope you will like this installment.
     
    Saturday was the day for the amateur bakers to enter their pies, and there was a fine selection.  Here are a few pics before judging began:

     
    Here's a beautiful pie:

     
    And another very fun entry:

     
    I'd never seen anything like this before:

     
    Or this:

     
    My judging assignment was for raisin pies.  Here are a few examples of the slices we tasted.  The first one was my favorite; however, it did not win first place for the category.

     
    This one, which looks a lot like the above one, did win first place in the raisin category.

     
    A take-off on a rocky road flavor combination, this pie was absolutely delicious, but it was kind of a stretch to perceive it as a raisin pie:

     
    Here's a photo of my table of judges.  Two members on the panel were from the California Raisin Board.

     
    In the afternoon I judged Best of Show--the first place winners of all of the amateur categories.  This pie had layers of raspberry and cream cheese:

     
    A lovely cherry crumb pie:

     
    This was a light chocolate and peanut butter mousse pie, with a chocolate marshmallow rice krispie crust.

     
    And this was a more intense peanut butter and chocolate layered pie:

     
    In the innovation category, this pie had a raspberry and jalapeno topping over a cream cheese filling.  It was very good!

     
    So, do you think I was done???
     
    No. Once the judging was done I had access to the room where the pies awaited the bakers who'd be returning later to pick up their dishes.  There were six racks like this in the room:

     
    What would you do???
     
    Here are a few that I tried:
     
    Blueberry and lemon cream cheese - I loved the look of this pie, and it was delicious:

     
    In the innovation category, a beet pie! 

     
    Another innovation entry - avocado pie.  Seriously, it was very good!

     
    And here was a wild combination - chocolate covered potato chip:

     
     
    Volunteering at this event entitles me to attend the Never Ending Pie Buffet at the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, FL that concurrently runs over the weekend, but I've not taken advantage of it. 

     
    However, I very much enjoy attending the festival and watching the awards ceremony and seeing the bakers' excitement when their names are called!  It means so much to them--they've put so much effort and love into their pies.
     
    Here's the amateur Best of Show for 2013 (and 1st place citrus) - a luscious key lime pie with cream cheese and a bit of cream of coconut in it:


    And the winning baker:
     
     
    So, now do you think I was done??
     
    Nope!
     
    On the shuttle bus back to the hotel/conference center I was chatting with the bakers who were returning to pick up their pie dishes, and was invited into that room again to try more pies!  Yes, this is NUTS, but it's once a year and I adore it.
     
    Next installment will highlight the professional pie judging on Sunday.
    post edited by love2bake - 2013/06/01 21:31:38
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    CCinNJ
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/01 21:06:36 (permalink)
    Amazing! Kudos to you for being a Judge @ such an important event!

    That first pie is a real beauty!

    Booooo @ whoever sliced the pretty avocado pie!
    #19
    love2bake
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/02 20:20:46 (permalink)
    Some pies end up having more taken out because of tie scores, and after judging, when the rest of us get in there, sometimes there's no more slicing--only forking. 
    #20
    mar52
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/02 23:17:26 (permalink)
    Outstanding!
     
    So hard to judge by just looking.
     
    The two flavored lattice is interesting but I find it out of place on a strawberry pie.... but that's just me.
     
    The pineapple pie?  Boo Hiss!
     
    I love the Key Lime, but I love most Key Limes.
     
    My entry would be an apple, green chile pie that I've never made before.  I have combined those flavors in bread pudding and they're  a winner. 
    #21
    EdSails
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/02 23:45:32 (permalink)
    Great report, Love2Bake. Sounds like an awesome trip!
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 09:57:35 (permalink)
    This may be Michael Hoffman's most favorite thread ever.
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 10:18:06 (permalink)
    love2bake-
    You have really outdone yourself with this report.  Most of the pies have me drooling, but the ones from the Norske Nook might be the best looking ones.  They sure better than the versions they sell at their restaurant nowadays.  The double lattice pie is also really interesting.  Is it possible to tell us more about it?  I think I would have enjoyed the chocolate potato chips pie.  Would love to try that sometime.
     
    Where there any sour cream raisin pies entered in the raisin division? 
    #24
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 11:21:35 (permalink)
    Beet pie got forked! No credit given for the innovative use of cavatellli as a pie topping garnish...



    Chocolate potato chip pie should be considered lucky...to get spooned.

    It's a pineapple quicksand pie. These things happen!
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2013/06/03 11:40:31
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    love2bake
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 12:14:55 (permalink)
    Mar - In 2012 there was an apple chile pie that I didn't try.  It looks like Scotch Bonnet peppers on top, which was too scary for me!

     
    BB - There was a buttermilk-raisin pie (see below) which combined two very classic pies, and I had a lot of hope for it, but our table just didn't love it.

     
    On the commerical pie judging day I was volunteering as "table captain" (managing the inventory of pies and presenting them to the judges) for a panel of judges , and there was a sour cream raisin pie.  Apparently it was so bad, they wanted to spit it out.  Seriously!  Of course, my curiosity was piqued and I really wanted to try it for myself, but the group talked me out of it.  I don't know which company made it.   
     
    As far as the double lattice pie is concerned, it was a lovely combination of lemon cream cheese and blueberries, had good texture, etc.  The only reason I can imagine it might not have won was because something else blew away the judges at that table!
     
    And the chocolate potato chip pie had a little trouble keeping the chips crispy, so it was just interesting.  Maybe it would be good in small tartlets rather than a whole slice.
     
    LOL, CC, I love the pineapple quicksand pie!  And the cavatelli. 
    post edited by love2bake - 2013/06/03 12:16:22
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 13:34:30 (permalink)
    Hard to believe there was only one sour cream raisin pie (my favorite) and it was so bad, people couldn't even eat it.  Thanks for the info on those other pies.
    #27
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 13:37:26 (permalink)
    The American Pie Council would be well-served to use the blueberry pie with lattice on one of the National Pie Day posters...



    It didn't win but it has outstanding visual impact. There's also a blueberry missing from the pie on that poster. On the bottom...just an indent remains.

    Scotch Bonnets seem like a quick way to turn the Pillsbury Doughbus into a triage center.

    Fritos are a salty snack that can really stand-up & stay...with chocolate.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2013/06/03 13:48:11
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    love2bake
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 15:40:11 (permalink)
    CC - Are you a soothsayer or did I already tell you about the Frito chocolate cream pie???  It'll be in the next installment.
     
    I cannot believe you spied a missing blueberry!!!  You shoulda been a detective...
    #29
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Mission Im-pie-sible, 2013 Edition 2013/06/03 20:04:51 (permalink)
    You didn't mention the Fritos & there's no mention of it on the American Pie Council site. I'm a little psychic!

    I have to apply my mad skills harder better faster stronger. Remember...I'm an outlaw!

    I noticed that the winning recipe in the apple pie category lists 6 Vitamin C tablets.

    Is that a common thing to do in apple pie making circles? I don't notice any other apple pie recipe this year or years past that included it.
    #30
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