Monday, September 15th, 2008

Saturday was the 9th annual Piefest. Despite three straight days of rain and area flooding, we still had a decent turnout, some brilliant concoctions, and the obligatory corpulence.

The winning pies:

Best Fruit Pie: “Love And Apple Pie” – Dan
There were some amazing fruit pies this year, but a really well-made apple pie is hard to beat. I loved Henry and Sam’s “Blue Velvet,” a peach and blueberry pie with a perfectly made buttery crust. John and Shanna’s “Red Wine Poached Pear Pie” was fabulous as well. It came with a red wine reduction sauce. Accoutrements equals votes. Joanie and Jon’s “Humble Pie” wasn’t so humble in the end. Despite Joanie’s anxiety that skipping the “bake crust before adding filling” step would result in tragedy, the lemon meringue pie turned out pretty dang tasty.

Best Cream Pie: “Little Davey’s Oatmeal Cream Pie Pie” – Jen and Dave
The weirdest thing about this pie is that Matt, who didn’t make it to Piefest this year, talked to me about making this same pie a few weeks ago. It’s a good thing he didn’t come. Can you imagine two giant oatmeal cream pies? Amazingly, the filling tasted exactly right. I made my grandmother’s chocolate fudge pie with a cream cheese crust, which tied for second place along with a late-arriving (but wonderful) chocolate-peanut-butter cream pie.

Best Savory Pie: “Leekie Pie” – Ruth
The savory category is often the most unpredictable. We only had four savory entries this year and they were all pretty yummy. I love how everyone at Piefest grabs a plate and says, “I think I’ll start with the savory pies.” Of course, there could be only one winner, and Ruth’s leek pie took home the prize.

Best Miscellaneous Pie: “Blueberry Pancake with Maple-Bacon Syrup” – Devon and Beth
When this pie walked through the door it was love at first sight. Blueberry pies are my favorite, and then you add a pancake crust?! Are you kidding me? I didn’t even have the maple-bacon syrup and it was still fantastic. Max and Kate’s mysterious “Buttermilk Pie” came in at the last minute and nearly stole the trophy, but fell a couple votes short. Steve and Virginia’s mind-blowing spicy “Mayan Truffle Pie” took this year’s “Don’t Take Too Big A Slice or You’ll Die” award.

Best Crust: “Chocolate Truffle Banana” – Jody
The Best Crust category can go two ways: beauty or taste. I usually vote for the tastiest crust (I picked “Blue Velvet”) but this year the prettiest crust was the overwhelming favorite, featuring dozens of hand-crafted pie-crust leaves.

Best Presentation: “Little Davey’s Oatmeal Cream Pie Pie” – Jen and Dave
Ever since Nick used his Dremel tool to carve a design into a pumpkin and then served a pumpkin pie inside of it, there’s always someone who goes overboard with presentation. This year it was Jen and Dave, whose giant Oatmeal Cream Pie came in its own box with its own logo. As a final touch, it was also individually wrapped. Nice. Shama’s Ridiculous “Cereal Killer” was a distant second, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Most Original: “Cereal Killer” – Shama
This was another runaway category. Shama’s “Cereal Killer” pie was a sight to behold and an endeavor to eat. I think a lot of folks didn’t really know what to do with it. A Rice Krispie treat crust topped with Golden Grahams followed by a layer of banana cream finished with a fruit and cereal melange and served with milk. Jody actually poured the milk over his slice. Why not?

Most Ambitious Pie: “Blueberry Pancake with Maple-Bacon Syrup” – Devon and Beth
This award usually honors conceptual brilliance but lackluster execution — otherwise known as the “Miserable Failure” award. My cantaloupe pie debacle often comes to mind. This year, however, it went to an ambitious pie concept that was actually a success.

Best In Show: “Love And Apple Pie” – Dan
I think one of the honorable mention nominations said it best: “Apple is a hard category to win — basic but good.” But it was better than good. The apples were sliced so perfectly and, well, it was the best pie of the day.

Honorable Mentions:
Every year there is space on the ballot for people to write in honerable mentions. Here are a couple”

  • “Blueberry Pancake Pie because you get to pour syrup on a pie.”
  • “Best See-Food Pie? Natasha for showing us all the pie in her mouth.”
  • “Real Deal Southern Pecan Pie because it was outstanding but I had to vote for my own pie in this category.”
  • “The Artichoke Spinach Pie has a lot of heart.” [ed- ugh.]

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