Christina Buchowski loves to bake apple pies, and her spouse and son love to eat them.
She generally mentioned that someday, she preferred to enter her pie in the Lawrence County Reasonable. This calendar year, she did for the first time, and she gained the blue ribbon.
“This was the to start with 12 months I ever entered anything at all in the good,” explained the 48-calendar year-old Hickory Township female, who lives in just two miles of the fairgrounds. Simply because her job as a field supervisor for Hilco Service provider Resources will involve recurrent vacation to distinctive states, she has not experienced time in the past to bake just before the truthful. This yr, she observed herself at residence and jumped at the option.
“My partner has cherished my apple pie, and we normally joked around about my entering it in the good,” she explained. “I made the decision to take a likelihood.”
Whilst the judges seemed at crust, filling, creative imagination and other elements, she opted to bake her standard apple pie, a recipe she’s experienced for a long time that she tweaked to turn into her possess recipe.
“My crust is fantastic because it’s flaky,” she reported. “I really do not like soggy crust.”
Her mystery? “I use lard. Lard is the key. I 1st tried using it about 5 a long time in the past. A relative mentioned it and claimed her grandmother applied it.
“I’ve employed lard at any time considering that,” she mentioned. She buys it commercially from the baking aisle of area grocery merchants.
For the filling, she utilizes apples from the Apple Castle, which sponsored the pie contest.
“ I go there and talk to what is the ideal pie apple they have, and I take what they suggest,” she reported. She makes use of the apple pie spice from the Con Yeager spice business.
She bought it 1 calendar year from the Boy Scouts fundraiser and now makes use of it in spot of nutmeg and cinnamon.
“I’m more of a cook than a baker,” she mentioned. Her specialities are zucchini bread, cinnamon rolls, caramel corn, “or no matter what my kids want.”
Buchowski’s pie was a single of eight entries in the contest, according to Deb Houston, residence economics director at the good. The judges narrowed the options to five, then examined the overall look of the crust and the inside of the pie, Houston claimed. “The crust should not be far too thick, nor should really the pie be runny.”
The judges then tasted just about every pie. Recipes are submitted by the bakers for each individual pie in case the judges are unable to determine a seriously various ingredient like cinnamon, nutmeg, rum, raisin, or a unique berry if a person is additional.
The field was ultimately narrowed to three with the winner being picked out for the reason that it was the “quintessential apple pie, very conventional in style and visual appeal,” Houston mentioned. The next place pie was an apple walnut raisin.
The judges have been Sandy and Lyle Johnston, entrepreneurs of the Apple Castle, and Kristin Trask. “They agreed, it was a incredibly shut contest this calendar year. The pie they selected was the greatest ‘traditional’ pie they’ve seen or tasted in yrs,” Houston said.
Buchkowski and her partner, Jeff, have a daughter, Chloe, who is a freshman, and a son, Matthew, a senior, equally at Laurel Higher School.
Baking is a person of her hobbies for rest, Buchowski claimed. “I bear in mind sitting at the desk seeing my good-grandmother and my grandmother baking. My grandmother was an great baker, but she died when Buchowski was young, “so I”m pretty significantly self-taught.
The kitchen’s my favored, it is where all the family members fulfills.
Houston purchased Buchowski’s 50 %-eaten pie from the truthful bake sale that followed all of the meals judging.
When she uncovered out she won, “I was really fired up, Buchowski reported. “I was a minimal stunned. I saw all these very little bakers with quite pies in line at the rear of me. Mine was a primary apple pie.”
She also entered a zucchini bread, and her daughter entered the Georgia peach pound bake as the exclusive baking contest.
The blue ribbon winner of the county truthful apple pie contest is eligible to enter the point out apple pie contest in January at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show.
“If I’m house from function, I’m truly going to attempt,” she stated.