Cramming for the Pie Contest – Some Tips and Resources

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As the deadline to register your pie for KCRW’s 6th Annual Good Food Pie Contest approaches (don’t forget to enter before Sunday!) I thought I would pitch in with some last minute ideas, resources, and tips.

What pie should you make?
Pick a pie you’re comfortable making or that you’re willing to make at least 5-10 times before contest day, Oct 5.  Do NOT underestimate the power of repetition.  Whatever you choose, it will be better every time you make it.  Pick a pie that will be good at room temperature.  The pie will be waiting for its shot with the judges for a couple of hours so taste yours under the same conditions.

Get Feedback
Each time you practice your competition pie, make sure people who are happy to be critical eat it and are honest with you.  (Maybe ask your mother). Don’t fall in love with your own ability. Be willing to stand back and take a hard look.

Have Fun
Even we L.A. “A” type personalities need to have fun. Look at this experience as a chance to bond with a pie making partner or as a reason to dive into baking. Above all try to have fun. Winning is a bonus. Making is what it’s all about.

Take a Class
There is still time to take a class before the contest.  I’m doing two live and have 2 online.

Sep 25 – Savory Pie at New School of Cooking with me and Chef David LeFevre
I’m making an easy Jam and Cheese Gallette and David is making a New England Clam Pie.  $75- All proceeds go directly to the supporting the pie contest and related events.

Oct 2 at 3pm – Pie Clinic at GourmandiseLA with me and Clemence Gossett
Bring your practice pies for advice, a critique and pats on the back.  Or just brush up by watching a demo. There will be two hours of demonstrations, pie tastings, and advice before the big day. Enter drawings for cookbooks and pie paraphernalia  $35 – All proceeds go directly to the supporting the pie contest and related events.

Anytime Online

Perfecting the Pie Crust (plus some filling tips), my 2 hr class on
Here’s a 50% discount link to the class.  You can ask me questions as you go through the material.  It’s super detailed.

Appetites’ Easy As Pie
My iphone/ipad app with 20 pies and step by step visual instruction


Sep 23 – Watch the documentary Pie Fidelity, pie maker Nicole Rucker’s journey from the Good Food Pie Contest to the American Pie Contest in Florida. Come to the first public screening. There will be pie to eat and a pie raffle. $10

The Good Food Blog is a huge resource for ideas and recipes. Find some of our pie recipes here.