Did you know that there is an entire organization devoted to the preservation and encouragement of America's pie heritage? Did you know that they sponsor a huge national pie contest every year? This is the story of the American Pie Council, and here is the pie that won the Best in Show award at the 2009 competition. We were so interested in this, since we ran our own pie contest last year, and we love all things pie. Read on for the story of this very summery pie, and get the recipe too.
The Best in Show pie was chosen out of 130 other entries at the American Pie Council Pie Championships, and it was baked by Linda Hundt from DeWitt, Michigan. Hundt is the owner of the Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe, a vintage-style bakery where most of the pies are named in honor of her family members. Her prize-winning pie was named for her brother-in-law Tom, who tragically passed away just a week before the competition. You can find out more about Hundt and her bakery here, with stories and photos of all her pies:
• Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe
And more about the Pie Council here, including more photos from this year's contest:
• American Pie Council
Tom's Cheery Cherry Cherry Berry Pie
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer on medium speed swiftly until crust appears “pea like.” Carefully sprinkle ice cold water in crust mix until it just starts to be fully moistened and gathers together. Pat into disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least one half hour. Roll out on floured surface and make and crimp piecrust. Freeze until ready to use.
4 1/2 cups Montmorency tart cherries –frozen
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp real almond extract
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup dried Michigan cherries
1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries
Combine frozen cherries, dried cherries, sugar, cornstarch. Stir constantly on med-hi heat until boiling. Add blueberries. Boil for one minute or until thickened. Add almond extract, lemon juice and zest. Pour blueberries in bottom of pie shell and pour cherry mixture over them.
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter softened
Mix together all crumb topping ingredients by hand or a pastry blender until crumbly.
Cover filling with crumb topping. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until filling is bubbling over crust.
Related: The Kitchn's Best Pie Bakeoff 2008
(Images and recipe: Courtesy of the American Pie Council)