When KCRW understood that it would be impossible to conduct our annual Good Food Pie Contest in person, we had to think of an alternative. We still wanted bakers to use the competition to gather with friends, collaborate and/or challenge themselves to do something new.
The idea of a Pie Pageant — based on looks alone — was floated and we immediately pounced.
Then I thought about what we can do via social media that we don’t do for the yearly contest. And it came to me: We should allow bakers to tell their stories. If we can’t taste the pies, at least we can learn more about the maker and that age old question of “why pie?”
We are thrilled that more than 100 people participated. And boy, was it hard to choose the winners. I had help from Clemence Gossett of
and Valerie Gordon of
and the Good Food team.
Best Story winner:
Evin Spain's story about his great grandmother Ruth’s Chocolate Meringue Pie has it all. He weaves a tale of family history, tradition and social history with a serving of food criticism.
Prettiest Pie winner:
Seville Orange Marmalade Pie
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Update: "Prettiest Pie" Winner!My official entry to the @KCRWGoodFood #KCRWPie Pageant! 🥧 Meet my SEVILLE ORANGE MARMALADE PIE with toasted French meringue and salty cardamom crust. This pie is a twist on a classic Lemon Meringue. The sour orange curd tastes just like an orange creamsicle and it’s topped with a homemade marmalade layer. Seville oranges make the most heavenly marmalade with a slightly bittersweet flavor. The inspiration for this pie is from finding more creative ways to use sour oranges from my tree — Part 2 of The Great Sour Orange Debacle. MY PIE STORY: When I was 12-years-old, my first boyfriend brought a Marie Callender’s Lemon Meringue Pie over to my house when meeting my parents for the first time. He wasn’t a great boyfriend and we broke up a couple months later, but it was love at first bite between me and that pie. Thus began a lifelong love affair. 🤤 I’ve made many attempts to recreate that Lemon Meringue, with many failures and many successes. Over the years, I always told myself (like many people do) that I’m not a good baker. I’m a better cook than a baker because I’m not precise enough, I don’t like to measure, and that I’m not patient enough to make beautiful pastries. What I love about pie is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Pie can be rustic, there’s room for improvisation, and mistakes are rendered invisible with a big scoop of ice cream. I love baking because every time a baking project goes wonderfully right or horribly wrong, I learn from my mistakes along the way. Baking reminds me to push past the fear of failure and just do. It’s okay to make mistakes because learning is infinitely more valuable. This life lesson from baking saved me from a sea of self-doubt in my professional career, and gave me the confidence I needed to march to my own weirdly wonderful beat and create Baking With Chickens. Bok-bok-BAKE! 🏻 Blog post on how to make this pie-beast now on BakingWithChickens.com. I list the mistakes I made along the way and what I learned from them! There were many.