2019 Collingswood Farmers' Market Apple Pie Contest

15 Pies (14 actual pies, 1 cheesecake) were presented for our consumption and judging.
On a perfectly gorgeous Saturday, October 12th morning, the 19th Annual Apple Pie Contest was held at the Collingswood Farmers' Market.  Cool temperatures and clear skies brought out 15 talented bakers with apple pies and 1 apple-topped cheese cake to enter into the Fall baking competition.  Not a bad pie (or cake) in the bunch!  Our guest panel of judges, hailing from Market Farmers, Collingswood locals, and food bloggers, gamely ate our way through all 15 entries to crown this year's winners in three categories:  Best Presentation; Classic Apple; Anything Goes.  There were too many 3 and 4-way ties for third places but in the end, the judges got through our task of awarding our bakers their prizes for their gallant efforts.
Our 8 Winners: Judy Griffin (who took home prizes for classic and presentation!); Cindy Curtis; Alysa Drennan;
Jennifer Ravelli; Michelle Higgins; Molly Handler; Sharon Martinez, Olivia Leuters.
While we had thought we were going to have 24 pies to taste, we were charged with only 15 entries.  Easier on our stomachs, but not so easy on the people who wanted to enter their blue ribbon best.  We had several returning friends - Judy Griffin, Molly Haendler; Linda Sauerwine (always a winner in my book - her homey creations are a taste stand-out to me!) and Emily Thomas, are all folks who's faces I recognize and talents I admire. With some newcomers in the mix this year, it was a tough call for the judges as evidenced by our multiple ties for wins in 2nd and 3rd places for each category.
Presentation Winners

1st Place - Pie # 1 LAST BLOOM, baked by Alysa Drennan, Blackwood, NJ.  Gorgeous use of cut-out flowers further embellished with royal icing.  The pie had looks, design, and taste!

2nd Place - Pie # 5 WEDDING PIE by Judy Griffin, Cherry Hill, NJ.  Judy's handiwork with her lattice, flowers, and hand-tinted adornments go a long way to make her pies stand out. Judy's pies have looks, great tender crust and perfectly textured apples.

3rd Place - Pie # 8 CLASSIC APPLE CRUMB by Jennifer Ravelli, Haddon Township, NJ.  This pie was the tie-breaking winner of our votes. Jennifer's pie had a lovely crumb and beautiful apple rosettes with a slight caramel glaze. The rosettes definitely made the presentation difference for a crumb-topped pie.

Anything Goes Apple Pie Winners

1st Place - Pie # 21 THE CRAN-APPLE CONFECTION by Michelle Higgins, Collingswood, NJ.  Wonderfully flaky crust, with great apple texture, plus cranberries, it was neither too firm nor too mushy, Michelle's pie was a lovely home-made apple pie.

2nd Place - Pie # 22  MOLLY'S CARAMEL APPLE PIE by Molly Haendler, Philadelphia, PA.  Molly is a returning contestant, having entered the Peach Pie Contest this summer.  Coming across the bridge from Philadelphia, Molly brought a pie that was tart, sweet, with a good crust that held up well to our scrutiny.  Her cut-out apples in her top crust stood out well too, as she hand-coloured the cut out apples and applied them to the crust.

3rd Place - Pie # 24 SHAY'S APPLE PIE by Sharon Martinez, Palmyra, NJ.  Sharon's pie had tart apples underneath its lattice topping.  Toothsome texture with hints of nutmeg and apple pie spices edged out this pie from it's fourth place rival, the apple topped cheesecake.

When going for classic apple, the judges stuck to the letter of the "apple pie contest law".  Otherwise, the cheesecake entry might have just edged out a win if we were feeling the daring.  Interestingly enough, we had only 4 entrants for the Classic Category.  I'll give honorable mention to Robert Pandola, from Williamstown, NJ.  His was called,  CREAMY CARAMEL APPLE. He too entered the Peach contest this past summer, where we awarded him prizes for his peachy creamy cheesecake "pie".  His work was a good as it looked.

Classic Apple Pie Winners
1st Place - Pie # 1 WEDDING PIE baked by Judy Griffin, Cherry Hill, NJ.  As you can see, Judy does beautiful work.  She took home a presentation prize as well as 1st place for Classic Apple.  

2nd Place - Pie # 9 NOT MY MOM'S APPLE PIE baked by Cindy Curtis, Moorestown, NJ.  This one may look homey but she really baked a fantastic pie.  Great crust with apples that had the perfect texture.  I would have liked to take the rest of this pie home to eat, warmed with either a hunk of aged cheddar cheese or a nice scoop of ice cream!

3rd Place - Pie # 11 APPLE OF MY PIE baked by Olivia Leuters, Bellmawr, NJ.  Oliva's pie edged out 3 others that had tied for 3rd place.  We actually had to have 2 run-offs for this category, the pies kept tying for 3rd place.  This pretty pie with its golden gilded sugar and leaf topped braided lattice was truly lovely.  I enjoyed how tender it was and not too sweet.  When you taste 15 desserts, things too sweet or too tart really can test your taste buds!

Another year in the books.  Next year, I'm hoping we will have a contest that not only has new-comers, but that we also do a bake-off of returning champions.  Stay tuned and keep up the good work to all of our bakers!


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  2. Wish I could be there this year but alas I have moved to Florida!!!!
    I tried but could not get off of work.
    Congrats to ALL the contestants!!!
    Maybe next year???
    Charlie DeFranco

  3. Charlie! We missed you! One day you'll come back up and join us again!


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