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:
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??
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.
<message edited by love2bake on Sat, 06/1/13 9:31 PM>