For fourth consecutive year, a local woman has competed at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie contest.
Sue Mattis of Harborcreek has won first prize locally in the contest for the past four years in order to advance to the State competition. This year her apple pie bested competitors at the Erie County Fair. Previously she won the blue ribbon at the Warren County, North East Community and Erie County Fairs.
The recipe Mattis follows consists of elements from several cookbooks and the Internet. She said she never strays from her crust recipe and she always uses Cortland apples. She said she tried several combinations of crumb toppings and caramel and nuts before committing to the winning combination. The Cortlands for her 2011 win were purchased from Orton’s Fruit Market in North East.
For this particular contest, the same rules apply for the county fairs as well as the Farm Show. The PA Apple Marketing Program and the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs sponsor the contest.
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To enter, one must be a PA resident and must be the certified first place winner in the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest at an approved PA agricultural fair during the calendar fair season. The pie must contain at least 60% apples and does not need to be a traditional two crusted apple pie and can have a variety of fillings. Pies are judged on Flavor, Filling, Consistency, Doneness, Moistness and Flavor. The crust is judged on Color, Flavor, Texture and Doneness. Appearance and Creativity are also considered. The same recipe must be used for the Farm Show that was used to win the County Fair.
What sets Mattis’s apple pie apart from the competition?
“I believe my pie is different from other “traditional” pies because it does not have a standard complete top crust, It contains a crumb topping in addition to cut out crust pieces on the top and there is a crunchiness because of the toasted pecans and the Heath bits.”
For winning second prize at the state level Mattis won a large red ribbon and a check for $250.00. “And bragging rights, of course,” she said.
“I hope to tweak my current recipe or come up with an entirely new one for next year’s local fairs and keep my fingers crossed.”