Berrien fair pie winners announcedPublished 5:38pm Sunday, August 19, 2012
BERRIEN SPRINGS — Jan Kuhl of Buchanan on Saturday won the 17th annual Berrien County Youth Fair Baked Fruit Pie Contest.
“This is the third time I’ve won out of four years, and I can’t believe I won two,” Kuhl said. “I’ve been baking for a lot of years.”
The blue-ribbon pie was an apple crunch, with third place awarded to her fresh peach from 23 adult entries.
The 70-year-old grandmother is a retired manufacturing manager.
Kaylene Carrigan, also of Buchanan, took fourth place with her brown-sugar peach.
This was her third year of participation in the annual contest.
“I took second one year and didn’t place the other two.”
Carrigan’s daughter, Alexis, 12, with a blueberry, strawberry and peach pie, captured fourth.
“We worked on them until 3 in the morning,” Kaylene said. “We spent all day at the fair yesterday.”
Renee Binns of Berrien Center entered peach nectarine. This was her fifth year. Her husband suggested the ingredients that won second place.
Josh Hopson, 13, of Berrien Springs, won the blue ribbon for overall eye appeal, beating adults and youths alike.
Josh, who attends Jefferson Middle School in Fort Wayne, Ind., carefully constructed the crust of his second-place plum pie like a stained-glass window, but despite its complexity, he said he accomplished it in 20 minutes.
His sister won most eye-appealing a few years ago.
Brianna Anthony, 15, will be a freshman at Watervliet High School. Her third year she won twice with triple-berry (blackberries, raspberries and blueberries) peach and apple pies. Triple-berry was third, apple fifth.
“Last year, I did a charcoal-grilled pie,” she said. “My grandpa does pies on the grill all the time.”
Brianna, who also shows crafts at the fair, conceded the grilled pies tend not to grade well in appearance because they look burned.
The pie contest promotes southwest Michigan’s fruit industry, according to Chairwoman Tiffany Rydwelski.
Recipes cannot include mixes, cream filling or whipped topping. Crust must be made from scratch. Commercial bakers cannot enter. Each contestant is limited to entering two pies. Six judges consider whether the dominant flavor is fruit and is not too tart or sweet, filling consistency and flaky and tender crust that complements the fruit.
Sponsors include Eau Claire Fruit Exchange, East Main Gardens of Niles, Harding’s Friendly Market, Kilwins, Leader Publications and Martin’s Supermarkets.