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Blueberries for Champion Pie

Monday, 17 June 2019 23:41
"I'm So Blueberry" -- 2019 APC National Pie Championships First Place "I'm So Blueberry" -- 2019 APC National Pie Championships First Place

TASTE News Service, June 18, 2019 -- Editor’s note: When starting this publication a few years ago I spent some time in the Tri-Cities area, arguably the center of Washington’s wine country.

Red Mountain and the Yakima Valley grew wonderful grapes to the west of me. The great vineyards of the Walla Walla AVA were to the east. But all around my house in the rural suburb of Burbank, there were blueberries. It’s with great memories that we bring you this story of blueberry pies from the American Pie Council---


Blueberries are in season right now and it's a great time to try your hand at making an award-winning blueberry pie, using a recipe that was recognized as the nation's best at the 2019 APC National Pie Championships in April.

The 25th annual competition, hosted by the American Pie Council, brought together amateur, professional and commercial bakers from all over the country and Canada. They pulled fresh ingredients together in their own unique ways in hopes of being judged above the rest.

The "I'm So Blueberry" pie recipe submitted by Rhonda Hull certainly didn't make the amateur baker "blue" at the competition. The Little Rock, Ark., resident placed first in the blueberry category, one of six amateur awards she earned this year, including Best of Show.

Her award-winning recipe is a cheesecake base with blueberry filling and topped with a choice of whipped cream or pre-baked pie crust cutouts. The full recipe can be found at https://www.piecouncil.org/2019Amateur?entry=25004 

Hull said her legacy of pie making is being carried on through her sons and grandchildren. "All of my children help their children learn to bake," she said.

Home bakers who are up for another level of challenge can look to the award-winning recipe created by Lisa Sparks, of Lisa's Pie Shop in Indiana. Her "Razzle up Your Blue Ball" pie recipe came out on top of those submitted in the Professionals division.

Sparks wasn't a pie lover when she opened her shop and, rather than taste them herself, she prefers to take her lead from customers as to how to change a recipe. But this baker, who has earned awards at the NPC for many years, definitely knows her way around a pie crust.

Her blueberry pie recipe is cheesecake based and consists of layers that includes raspberry compote, chocolate and almonds, blueberry cream cheese and blueberry jam, and the whole thing is topped with fresh blueberries. The recipe can be found at https://www.piecouncil.org/2019professional?entry=25135 

The 2020 National Pie Championship event is scheduled for April 23-25, at the Renaissance SeaWorld Orlando hotel in Orlando. If you are inspired to submit your own recipe to be judged with the best in the country, registration will open this fall at PieCouncil.org.


Five Things You May Not Know about Blueberries

1. Blueberries can protect against memory loss.

2. Maine produces more blueberries than anywhere else in the world (according to Maine).

3. Blueberries can be used as a natural food dye. And early American colonists made grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk.

4. The perfect blueberry should be dusty in color. But don't wash that "dust" off until you're ready to use them!

5. The blueberry is the official berry of Nova Scotia and in 1991, Maine designated the Wild Blueberry as the official state berry.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:09


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