Contest: The pie's the limit

October 31, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

It's time for The Herald-Mail's second annual pie contest.

This year's winner of the pie contest will receive $50.

Dessert pies only -- no pizza pies or potpies. Entries must be a pie-shaped dessert with crust. While Webster's New World College Dictionary includes layer cakes in the definition of pies, we're not accepting layer cakes nor are we accepting cheesecakes. One pie will be accepted per person.

Pies will be judged on taste, appearance, originality of the recipe and overall quality. The submitted pie should be a regular-sized pie so there is enough pie for the judges to sample.

Contest entries will be accepted at The Herald-Mail, 100 Summit Ave., in Hagerstown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, only. We have a refrigerator if pies need to be kept cold though fridge space can fill up fast. If your pie requires refrigeration, you might want to bring it later in the day, just to be safe. The judges will convene that evening to taste the entries.


With the pie, bakers must submit a copy of the pie recipe on a 3-inch-by-5-inch index card. Also include name, hometown, daytime and evening phone numbers.

Include the source of the recipe, whether it was an original creation or from a cookbook, magazine or an Internet site. If you used a recipe from a publication and you can't remember which one, or you altered the recipe to make it your own, let us know.

Contestants also must be available Thursday, Nov. 13, or Friday, Nov. 14, to be photographed with a newly baked version of the submitted pie if they win.

The recipes for the best pies will be published Wednesday, Nov. 19, in the Food section of The Herald-Mail.

Please use disposable pie containers when possible. We understand some pies might require a sturdier pan in which case please tape your name and phone number to the bottom of the pan.

For more information, call Lifestyle Editor Chris Copley at 301-733-5131, ext. 2343, or e-mail

Contestants must live in Washington or Frederick counties in Maryland; Franklin or Fulton counties in Pennsylvania; or Berkeley, Jefferson or Morgan counties in West Virginia.

Herald-Mail employees and their relatives are not eligible to win.

Sour Cherry Pie

For the crust:

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening, divided
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

4 cups sour cherries, (if frozen, thaw)
2 2/3 tablespoons quick or minute tapioca
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

To make the crust:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Cut in 1/3 cup of the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in another 1/3 cup of shortening until the particles are the size of large peas. One tablespoon at a time, sprinkle 4 to 5 tablespoons of cold water over the dough and mix lightly with a fork until the dough holds together. Roll half of the dough for the bottom crust and half for the top crust. Lay the bottom crust in the pie pan and trim off the excess crust.

To make the filling:

In a large bowl, toss the sour cherries with the tapioca, sugar and lemon juice. Let stand about 10 minutes.

Continue with the pie:

Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and dot the filling with bits of butter. Cover the pie with the top crust and seal the edges. Vent the top crust by making a few short slits in it. Swain vented and decorated the crust by using a hard plastic sheet with raised hearts on it (see photo). She laid the top crust on the sheet and rolled it with a rolling pin, cutting out heart shapes. Then she placed the heart shapes atop the crust.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes.

Cook's note: In June, Swain picks, pits and freezes cherries.

-- Courtesy of Debra Swain of the Leitersburg area. Crust recipe is from "Ann Pillsbury's Baking Book," 1950

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