Pie makers face off in Pinecraft

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SARASOTA – If you're looking for a little slice of heaven, look no further than Pinecraft, the home of Sarasota's Amish and Mennonite community, where for the first time this year, Everence Federal Credit Union put on a pie contest.

“The entrants are ladies that would bake the pies or local from our community,” said organizer Kjell Purnell.

A baker's dozen worth of mouthwatering entries were ready for the ultimate test of ‘pie’-fection. “We're going to judge the pies based on their presentation, their taste, and anything special about a pie in three categories,” said Purnell.

The three judging categories were: cream, fruit, and one crust. They were all carefully tasted by 5 judges who know exactly what it takes to be a top bake. “The best pie has a little kick in it, a little spark in the flavor somewhere,” said Sherry Gore of Cooking & Such magazine.

“I look for presentation, a nice full pie, a nice crust, and then I look for flavor that just makes me go wow,” said Henry Detwiler of Detwiler’s Farm Market.

Which described many of the creations. However, behind a good recipe isn't just necessarily the ingredients. Some bakers say it's a family tradition, with a bit of ‘love’ in every bite. “A lot of those memories came back to me and they were just there to help me with my baking,” said contestant Sue Mullett.

And a community coming together to celebrate each other, especially those with the talent of making the perfect pie. “I know she makes the best pies, but I don't know if the judges know it,” said John Troyer, whose wife baked a pie.

And the big winners were:

Fruit Pie

1. Apricot Pie - Pat Stahly

2. Cherry Pie - Sue Mullett

3. Rhubarb Pie - Katie Schmid

Cream Pie

1.Rasberry Cream pie - Pat Stahly

2.Orange Pie - Ada Troyer

3.Lemon Meringue Pie - Fannie Yoder

One Crust Pie

1. Pecan Pie - Pat Stahly

2.Pumpkin Pie - Sue Mullett

3. Lemon Sponge Pie - Thelma Maust