Meet Oliver Kaplan, the first grade blue ribbon winner at KCRW's PieFest

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Oliver Kaplan used his great grandmother's recipe to bake a winning blueberry pie. Photo by Erin Kaplan.

This year, bakers entered more than 500 pies in KCRW's Good Food PieFest & Contest. 26 of the city's best pastry chefs and bakers judged nine categories. Christine Moore of Little Flower and Clemence Gossett of The Gourmandise School focused on the Kids category and were particularly impressed by the golden and flaky crust of a certain blueberry pie. It was made by first grader Oliver Kaplan.

Inspired by the Netflix show "Bake Squad," he started making his own pies when he was six years old. Kaplan says he always knew he wanted to enter a blueberry pie "because you don't have to slice up anything." His crust involved Crisco and salt, while his filling consisted of cinnamon, sugar, blueberries, and lemon. Although he admits his great grandmother wasn't known for her cooking, her recipe helped him earn a blue ribbon.

What does it take to make a winning pie? Kaplan advises that you start with "love and care" then put your pie in the oven for 35-45 minutes.

Blueberry Pie Recipe


  • Crisco
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Cup of ice water
  • 2 pints of blueberries
  • Lemon
  • Butter
  • Milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Make dough for pie crust.
  2. Put 3/4 cup of Crisco in a large bowl. Put 2 cups of flour in the bowl. Put a ¾ tsp of salt in the bowl. 
  3. Mix it together with the pastry cutter until pieces are small like a pea. 
  4. Make a well. Put 6-8 Tbsp. of ice water in the well. 
  5. Mix dough with fork and hands. 
  6. Make a ball. Put the ball on a plate and cover with the bowl. 
  7. Make the Filling. Get a small bowl. 
  8. Put ½ cup of sugar in the bowl. Put 1/3 cup of flour in the bowl. Put ½ tsp cinnamon in the bowl. 
  9. Mix together with a fork. Get a large bowl. 
  10. Wash 2 pints of blueberries and pick the flower off. 
  11. Put the blueberries in the large bowl. 
  12. Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze half the lemon juice into a cup and remove seeds.
  13. Put the sugar and spice mixture and lemon juice in the big bowl with the blueberries. Mix and set aside. 
  14. Roll out the dough for the crust. 
  15. Clear your workspace. Put flour on the counter. 
  16. Cut the dough ball in half. Take the bigger half and press down to make it flat. 
  17. Roll the dough into a circle. It must be big enough to fill the pan. 
  18. Fold in quarters to transfer to the pan. 
  19. Unfold and press it down. Use ice water to fix rips. 
  20. Roll out the second half of the dough for the top. 
  21. Pour the blueberries into the bottom crust. 
  22. Cut some butter (~2 Tbsp) and put it around the top of the blueberries. 
  23. Use fingers to put ice water around the edge of the bottom crust. 
  24. Fold the top crust into quarters and place on top of the blueberries. 
  25. Crimp the edges of the crust together. 
  26. Cut a couple holes in the top of the crust. 
  27. Put a little milk in a small bowl and brush it on top of the crust. Sprinkle the top crust with sugar.  
  28. Put the pie pan on top of a cookie sheet. Place the pan in the preheated oven. 
  29. Bake for 35-45min. Set timer for 35min to check if it is brown and bubbly. 
  30. Remove pie from the oven. Place on a trivet to let it cool. 

Oliver Kaplan, flanked by judges Christine Moore and Clémence Gossett as well as his fellow winners, Calvin George and Mirra Storc, receives his first place ribbon in the Kids category from Good Food host Evan Kleiman at KCRW's Good Food PieFest & Contest. Photo by Larry Hirshowitz.