Tag Archives: Hawley

Pie Parade

The Pies!

The Pies!

A note on the judges – there was me, from Plimoth Plantation

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There was Doris Cooper of Clarkson Potter Publishing

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and the third judge was Darra Goldstein    of Williams College and Cured magazine

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I’m pretty much listing  the pies as I found them on the tables…..This is all from my (incomplete) and rather hastily scribbled notes and there are a few smears…..pie judging is not for the dainty or the fainthearted.

I also didn’t write down who made what pie, which I didn’t know until the prizes were being given out. Several people made more then one pie.

There were several not quite pies….

  1. Cherry Claflouti – a batter, not a crust. This is not the actual entry, which was more attractive  …clafouti_august_2008
  2. Medieval Brie Tart – Yes – Medieval Brie , although the recipe was old, the ingredients were fresh. From To the King’s Taste by Lorna Sass.More on this in a later post  kings-taste-sass
  3. Apple Tart – this was a French Apple tart – rectangular and lovely. Crisp golden pastry…
  4. Corn and Zucchini quiche – This had an incredible Autumnal Yankee taste – first impression. I know, zukes and Yankees….but that is what my mouth told me. And now for the Pie Pies:
  5. Maple Walnut Pie – New England’s answer to Pecan Pie…..
  6. Smith Family Chocolate Pie – this was a cream pie with chocolate added. When I first looked at it, I almost thought it was pate – but the smell was wrong, and the label …. a good name makes ALL the difference sometimes!
  7. Chocolate Meringue Nut Surprise  – two chocolate pies! – This had a lovely meringue  and a chocolate custard base, as well as nuts. It wasn’t until the third taste that I found the surprise – BLUEBERRIES -Surprise! –  little tiny wild blueberries between the chocolate and the meringue. This is why you need THREE bites.
  8. Apple Butternut – sliced apples and diced butternut squash . Very traditional. For a long time apple and squash/pumpkin were sliced up together in pies.I’ll probably do another post on the apple/pumpkin connection, too.
  9. Apple Bread Pie – had quite a bit going for it- but a better name might be ‘Ginger Apple Bread Pie’ This was an apple pie with gingerbread spicing….but I was looking for the bready filling…
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    Mardi Smith took these pictures and shared them on Facebook Grandmother’s Old Fashioned Two Crust Lemon pie – great crust and great lemon filling.

     

  10. Grandmother’s Old Fashioned Two Crust Lemon pie – great crust and great lemon filling.

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    Shakers did 2 crust lemon pies….this is not the entry pie. Next contest – take a camera!

  11. Country Rumpkin –  Here are my bite reactions:
            1. This would be a great cocktail!
            2. Why ISN”T this a cocktail – a rum and pumpkin cocktail?
            3. This is one great Pumpkin Pie – and I swear it wasn’t the rum talking. I may put rum into all my pumpkin pie from here on out.Alice Parker thought with the rain there might not be enough pies, so she baked one, and dressed like a gentleman – Alfred Parker  – to abide by the rules. And she played the piano.
               

               

  12. Ginger Apple Moose Pie – The moose, to our great relief , was not the meat within, but the antler shapes cut out on top.
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Will holding his prize winning pie –  golden, gorgeous, every element was above.

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How to Judge a Pie

Notes from a Fan

I try to be open minded in my real life, not judgmental – but when it comes to Pie….well, this is not my first pie judging. And there is a difference between the good, the very good and the sublime. I have yet to have bad homemade pie (commercial pie is a whole ‘nother world), but I am willing to keep tasting to risk it!

Pies have 2 parts – crust and filling. They are evaluated separately and then together.

There were 2 criteria – appearance and taste. I would add name as a criteria….because what you call it raises expectations, but can also be clarifying. And it has to deliver. Promise and delivery – that’s the name of the pie game.

 Appearance:

Appearances Count!

Crust:

Pastry Soapbox time: Pie dough, pie crust – whatever you call it, it should be golden, and browned and beautiful- not pale or wan. It needs to contribute to the whole – otherwise, put the filling in a greased casserole dish and call the whole thing pudding!

To quote Martha Stewart Living  magazine Nov 2016 p. 142

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“With pies, color equals flavor: We can spot a pale, underbaked one a mile away! Look for deep golden-brown top and bottom crusts, and major bubbling action in the center.” *

*Fruit pie have the bubbling center action – other sorts of pie, not so much or not at all!

Without proper browning, the flour is pasty and the fat component is just greasy. Many pie recipes are far too timid  in the baking – start with a hot oven – you can turn it down in 10 or 15 minutes – and really build some color and depth of flavor.

Pale crust says ‘Not sublime’ And now back to judging criteria….

Slice – It doesn’t have to hold be perfect, but it has to hold promise. If it has a sloppy or runny filling, use a spoon to serve so we know that you know what’s going on. Spoons are more traditional!

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1642 – Willem Claeszoon Heda 

 

Taste:

Scent is part of the first taste – what does it promise?

A quick note about names….what you call it sets an expectation, too. And it should deliver. There was a chocolate cream pie that looked rather more like pate …a name label made a HUGE difference on my expectation!

Three tastes are necessary for judgment – the first impression; the second after your mouth knows what’s coming, the middle notes; the third for a lasting impression, the one you take away. Mouth feel, spicing, balance, texture, funny bits…all things to look for in taste.

First impressions are sometimes a surprise. That’s why you need a second taste (and maybe a bottle of water) to get a real grasp of what’s going on.

Memory – 5 minutes later….which are the pies you want to go back to? Was the flavor hit fleeting or lasting?

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Because I was late to the Pie Contest in Hawley, the other judges had already begun. They had moved the tarts, quiche and clafuti into a separate category, so that we were judging pies against pies.

FYI – Every pie had a prize. Because I know how Tinky plans these things, I was pretty sure that there were as many prizes as pies. No one went home empty handed (even the judges got booty bags).

 

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Judgement Day

No, not THAT Judgement day –

PIE Contest judging day!!!!!

THIS Pie contest

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So much talent

Such mighty fine pies

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Pie Parade – I’m bringing up the rear with Alice Parker’s pie, since she – as Alfred Parker, is playing the piano and didn’t have a hand free. Tinky is in the hat, singing like a bird.

Like any good pie, this story has more than one slice…..

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Our car had a roof, so we were dry in the rain. And we had fall foliage. And no Brad Pitt.But we were driving towards PIE!

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice one – This year I did not go alone. Baker Tani wanted to go to taste pies, too. So early in the morning we left, driving out from coastal Plymouth to the Hills of Hawley. Three hours and Fall Foliage and maybe we got a little lost up the mountain later, we get there.There was also rain and Honey Dew coffee and Doughnuts and the Mohawk Trail and  Thelma and Louise-ishness. At least the part about 2 women on a road trip. Neither of us could remember much about the movie, just the image of  two women in a car, one with a scarf. And Brad Pitt.We remembered Brad Pitt.

 

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pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 2 – The judging of pies

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 3 – Ham and Bean Community lunch

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 4 – The entertainment after lunch and before the winners were announced. This including the singing of the town song…..

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There’s a certain Whos of Whoville  vibe about the town song

pie-lemon-merinque-slice Slice 5 – The Winners (there are no losers in PIE!) and the prizes

pie-lemon-merinque-sliceSlice 6 – The PIES

 

To be continued……..

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