Monday, December 23, 2013

entered my first pie contest

I've wanted to enter a pie contest for a few years now and this was the year. Contestants were asked to highlight a seasonal ingredient from the Ferry Building Farmers Market and I decided on plums. That's why I carried home a few pounds about a week earlier. I had a starting recipe and direction I wanted to go, but needing to wake in time for the 10AM Saturday pie entry deadline meant I needed to wake up with the sun to get the crust made, baked, and cooled before filling. I did wake up early and bleary eyed full of excitement and nerves, but too tired to even make coffee. I quickly made the crust and blind baked (first time) it while I prepared the fruit. Again, I was too tired and concerned about time to make coffee so I wasn't really thinking as clearly in the early morning darkness, so still groggy, I found a bruised spot on one of the plums so I cut around it and peeled it which somehow put me on course to peel all of the plums. This was time consuming, tedious, and completely unnecessary which wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't push me right up to the deadline, eep. I charged ahead and baked the..... peeled and halved plums cut side down with fresh grated ginger and a touch of sugar while I whipped up the creme fraiche bottom layer with a touch of honey. After the pie was assembled I realized that I forgot to drizzle it all with the glaze made with the fruit juice left after baking and just had to wrap it up and drive over to the Ferry Building Farmers Market to enter for judging just minutes before it closed, but I did make it. Above it a picture of my pie on the judging table. I snuck this picture and didn't have time to take more pics while making it. I'll keep it short and say that more of my pie was eaten over the others, they said there was a tie for third place, but the had to pick one... and mine wasn't it. My friends are convinced that it was rigged, especially since one of the winning pies didn't highlight a seasonal item. I'll probably enter again next year. It was a fun experience and I learned I'm way more competitive then I'd often like to admit, but I really wanted to win. While most of the pies left at the judging table only had a slice or two taken out and maybe half was gone at best, about a slice and a half was all that remained of my pie. A few friends and I went about the rest of our day until we had to take a pie break and devoured the rest of the pie while sitting on a park bench outside a coffee shop in Noe Valley. This pie was probably the best pie I've ever made, if I do say so myself. I'll make it again for sure, but with a cup of coffee on the table and a little less pressure. 

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