The battle for the best apple pie recipe in the South Okanagan-Similkameen will take place at the Heritage Fall Fair on Sept. 22.
“It’s an ideal time for a pie-making contest because several excellent pie-making apples are now on the market,” said Lee McFadyen, who is helping organize the event.
The contest is open to anyone who wants to enter from any location but they have to follow six simple rules, she said.
No commercial mixes may be used and the pies must be submitted in clear, new plastic or Ziploc-style bags or other protective covering. The recipes must also be submitted and the name of the pie-maker should be written on the bottom of the pie plate. Entries must be delivered to the Grist Mill and Gardens no later than 1 p.m. on Sept. 22.
Each year, the number of entries has varied but McFadyen said on a good year they get up to 15 entries.
“Entries have been as far afield as Princeton and Penticton, but it would be nice to have people from further,” she added.
According to McFadyen, the apple pie contest is a perfect complement to the different apple breeds on display during the fair. Each year, there is a call-out for different apple varieties, including Heritage apples, she said.
“Heritage apples can be very difficult to find and they might be on a tree in someone’s yard in Vernon or in Oliver,” she said. “If they are, we would love them to bring some down and display them.”
Apple varieties are good for breeding and can play a role in food security, she continued.
“Genetic diversity in food is rapidly disappearing so it’s very important to keep as many varieties as possible if not for direct sales but for breeding,” she said.
“Some of them are important because they have qualities that should be continued. They have a good flavour. An old apple called the Winesap had extraordinary keeping qualities in root cellars before the days of modern refrigeration. So in a breeding program, something like the Winsap would be important because of its keeping quality.”
After the judging is complete, the pies will be cut up and sold by the piece. If people want to buy a whole pie, they can do that too.
Winners will receive prizes from local businesses and all the money raised goes to the Grist Mill Foundation volunteer group.
More information is available here.
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