Food Festival Spotlights National Pie Championships

Toffee pie takes best of show honors at National Pie Championships sponsored by American Pie Council and Crisco, all part of a food festival in Orlando, Florida.

| June 8, 2012

The heat was on and the oven mitts were off, figuratively speaking of course, among professional bakers this year at the 18th Annual APC/Crisco® National Pie Championships held April 27-29 in Orlando, Florida. Pie makers fought for bragging rights and prize money in 12 pie categories. Of the 801 total pie entries in Commercial, Professional, Amateur and Junior Chef divisions, 115 were from professional bakers. The pies were judged by 195 pre-qualified volunteer chefs, bakers and assorted pie aficionados.

The 12 Professional division categories included: Apple, Cherry, Crisco® Classic Chocolate Cream, Citrus, Cream, Fruit/Berry, Crisco® Innovation, Mini Pies, Nut, Open, Peanut Butter and Raisin (sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board).

Susan Boyle, of DeBary, Florida, took Best of Show for her open category entry, Coffee Toffee Crunch a Bunch Pie, first place in the Innovation category for Going Bananas Pie and first place in the Crisco® Classic Chocolate Cream category for her Chocolate Trifecta Pie. She has won 15 first place awards in the National Pie Championships since 2007, but this is her first Best of Show award. The Best of Show winner in each division is selected among first place winners in each flavor category.

Boyle created her Best of Show pie in honor of her father, a coffee shop owner who passed away two years ago. "Coffee Toffee" was one of the shop's signature drinks, and her father had always asked her to create a pie with the same flavor. She entered a version last year but it didn't place, so she revamped the recipe for this year's contest, making the toffee from scratch and revising the crust. She entered the new-and-improved pie saying, "This one's for you, Dad!"

"Hearing the stories behind the creation and evolution of each pie, particularly those in our Professional division, is just as fun and rewarding as tasting and judging them," says Linda Hoskins, APC's executive director. "Each pie is so unique and comes to us with such a unique history and often incredibly fun and clever names, it makes this competition new and exciting each year."

First place winners in the Professional division include:

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