Andrea Springs, owner of the Sign of the Mermaid Restaurant, Bradenton, Fla., won Best of Show in the professional division of the 16th Annual American Pie Council® (APC)/Crisco® 2010 National Pie Championships for her chocolate walnut raisin pie. Her award-winning formula can be found at www.piecouncil.org.
This year was the first the raisin category was available to professional division bakers and the first time a pie in the raisin category won Best in Show in the competition. The raisin category is sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and is offered in the amateur, professional and commercial level pie competitions.
“When I saw that raisin was a new category in the professional division, I really wanted to tackle it because I like the challenge of the new and unusual,” Spring said. “I love raisins, but I considered that a ‘straight-out’ raisin pie may not appeal to the masses. Pairing it with favorites like milk chocolate and walnuts enhances the raisins and creates a very appealing pie.”
Spring also took first place in the cream category for her Hula Hula pineapple cream pie with fried crust. She previously won Best of Show in 2007 for her Gold Coast Key lime pie and first place for her Chocolate Espresso Explosion pie.
The APC/Crisco National Pie Championships were held April 23-25 in Orlando, Fla. in conjunction with the APC Great American Pie Festival, sponsored by Crisco. Bakers from across the United States competed.
This year’s professional competition consisted of 170 pies in nine categories: apple, Crisco classic cherry, Crisco classic chocolate, citrus, cream, fruit & berry, nut, open and raisin. First place pies were chosen in each of the nine categories, with Best of Show selected from among the first place winners.
The commercial division attracted 417 different pies entered in 130 categories based on wholesale cost, size of the pie and flavor, including apple, blueberry, fruit & berry, cream, citrus, open, nut & chocolate and raisin, again sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board. Independent bakers with $1 million or less in annual pie sales were placed in their own category within the commercial bakers’ competition. Twenty different bakeries were awarded top honors in each of the categories, with Bakers Square Restaurants garnering 38 wins, up from the 34 wins it earned last year.
Best in Show–Andrea Spring, Bradenton, Fla., chocolate raisin walnut pie
Apple–Phyllis Bartholomew, Columbus, Neb., sweet cider apple pie
Crisco classic cherry–Linda Hundt, DeWitt, Mich., Grandpa Ferrell’s cherry peach blackberry pie
Crisco classic chocolate cream–Diane Selich, Vassar, Mich., Three Blind Mice chocolate cream
Citrus–Michele Albano, Norwalk, Conn., Twisted Citrus blackberry pie
Cream–Andrea Spring, Hula Hula pineapple cream pie with fried crust
Fruit & berry–Valarie Enters, Altamonte Springs, Fla., glazed strawberry cheesecake pie
Nut–Lisa Sparks, Atlanta, Iowa, caramel chocolate pecan
Open–Michele Albano, classic Italian tiramisu pie
Raisin–Andrea Spring, chocolate raisin walnut pie
Number of category wins for each commercial bakery:
Bakers Square Restaurants–38
Bonert’s Slice of Pie–20
J. Horner’s Pies–11
Rocky Mountain Pies–8
Cyrus O’Leary’s Pies–7
Michele’s Pies –7
Lisa’s Pie Shop–4
Jessie Lord Bakery–2
Sweetie-Licious Bakery Café–2
Achatz Handmade Pie Co.–1
Publix Super Markets Inc. –1
Wayne’s Family Restaurant–1
Winn Dixie Inc.–1