American PiesI was honored to be one of several judges for a pie contest held on May 19th. I want to thank the Church of the Holy Spirit (COHS) community in Harleysville, Pennsylvania for their hospitality; they made me feel right at home.

Pie is such an enjoyable dessert; cherry pie is my favorite. On Saturday, I was happy to report there were three of them (I tasted all three). I tasted a new pie, one I have never heard of before, called Funeral Pie. Of course with a name like that, I had to do a little culinary sleuthing. It’s also known as raisin pie; it comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch. It was explained to me that this is the traditional pie presented to bereaving families; because it is easy to make and does not have to be refrigerated. It was luscious with plump raisins and a lattice crust.

I want to congratulate all the contestants who entered the contest, especially the youth division. Their pies were particularly impressive, especially the one made by 7-year old, Camille. Although there were many entries, I must admit that if both the youth and adult categories were judged together, Camille would have walked away with the whole contest. Not to take anything away from the adults, but Camille was the best contender for her tender years.

She is a pastry chef in the making! I was also awestruck by the appearance of a pie made by Lauren. She had an amazing ability to make pies which look consistently beautiful. Each contestant had to make three pies – one for the judges, one for the auction, and one for display. All three of Lauren’s were perfectly executed which is no easy task. In my opinion, you’ll be seeing more of these two future pastry chefs.

The winner of the contest was a beautiful, luscious lemon meringue pie. It tasted scrumptious and presented beautifully with its mile-high meringue. I look to get invited back to be a judge for next year’s COHS pie event!

If you’re in the mood to make pie, call Chef Jacquie at (610) 506-6120 to schedule a time to meet at the Bryn Mawr Farmers’ Market and pick out some fruit together.