Pie Perfection: 15th annual National Pie Championships: Judges liked cherry, berry, peanut butter best

Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Earlier this month, the American Pie Council announced the names of the winners of the 15th annual APC/Crisco National Pie Championships.

Photo By Sue Ade
Photo By Sue Ade
This year, 138 bakers entered close to 900 pies in the American Pie Council/Crisco National Pie Championships, with 465 commercial, 130 professional and 266 amateur pies. "Best in show" was awarded to the professional division's Linda Hundt for "Tom's Cheery Cherry Cherry Berry Pie," and to Phyllis Szymanek, from the amateur division, for her "Category Five Peanut Butter Pie."

Held on April 24-26, in Celebration, Fla., professional and amateur bakers from the United States and Canada, gathered to compete for the "best in show" award, which included winnings of $5,000, a new Sears Kenmore range and a Crisco gift basket.

Young chefs, ages 14 to 17, were also invited to compete in the junior chef division, with the top contender being presented with a $1,000 gift certificate to Chef Depot (a gourmet kitchenware store), as well as a Crisco gift basket.

In addition, first place ribbons were awarded to winners in the commercial pie division.

By way of 138 bakers and more than 170 judges, close to 900 pies were evaluated in categories such as apple, cherry, fruit/berry, citrus, chocolate, nut, cream, cream cheese, peanut butter, sweet potato, pumpkin and others.

Best in show, in the amateur division, went to Toledo, Ohio's Phyllis Szymanek for her "Category Five Peanut Butter Pie," a rich and creamy confection made with smooth peanut butter, peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups, while "Tom's Cheery Cherry Cherry Berry Pie," created by Linda Hundt, owner of Sweetie-licious Pie Pantry, in DeWitt, Mich., was chosen as best in show in the professional division.

Carmela Crutcher, of Orlando, Fla., won best of show in the junior chef division for her "Tropical Italian Pie," which also took the "best appearance" award in the same division.

Last year's amateur division best of show pie baker, John Sunvold, who won for his "U. S. Route 1 Pie: Florida Key Lime with Maine Blueberries," not surprisingly, won several first place awards in this year's competition.

To see Sunvold's recipes and many more, as well as a listing of other winners and additional information about the pie championships, visit the American Pie Council's website at www.piecouncil.org.

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