Lycoming County Woman Wins 2017 PA Farm Show Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest

Photo provided by the Pa Farm Show.
Winner: Stacy Hart of Muncy

From the Pa State Farm Show:

 In the search for Pennsylvania’s best apple pie, five judges tasted 78 entries. Stacy Hart of Muncy, Lycoming Co., won the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest on Saturday, Jan. 7, at the 2017 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

An eight-year veteran of the apple pie contest, Hart entered an apple-cranberry cheesecake pie made from Honeycrisp, Yellow Delicious and Gala apples. Second place winner Sharon Karlheim of Patton, Cambria Co., entered a traditional apple pie made from Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Pink Lady apples.

“I like to mix the varieties of apples for the different flavors. My pie had a sweet, tart taste with an underlying pear flavor,” explained Karlheim, winner of the Green Township Community Fair, or Cookport Fair.

Karlheim stressed the importance of the appearance of the pies, a criteria evaluated by the judges.

“You eat with your eyes first,” stated Karlheim about her traditional apple pie decorated to appear as a basket of apples. “What is more traditional than a basket of apples?”

In order to qualify to compete in the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest at the Farm Show, exhibitors must win at one of the 109 county and community agricultural fairs statewide. Hart won the Montour-DeLong Community Fair to qualify.

Each year the pies are judged in two separate rounds. Entries are evaluated on five criteria: Flavor (30 points), Filling (25 points), Crust (20 points), Appearance (15 points) and Creativity (10 points). After each judge has evaluated the appearance of the pies, each judge will then sample 15 to 16 pies in the first round.

The top five pies from each judging table then advance to the final round of judging. The top twenty-five pies are then sampled by all five judges who deliberate together to choose the best top five pies.

Judges included Hazel Blaney, Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs (PSACF) certified judge; Kim Fies, a land conservation specialist; Bruce Koppenhauer, PSACF certified judge; Chef Mary Terreson, American Culinary Federation, Inc. member; and Linda Anderson, a retired family and consumer science teacher.

Additional winners:
3rd – Dorothy Martin, York Co., winner of the York Fair
4th – Catherine Ache, Northampton Co., winner of the Blue Valley Farm Show
5th – Lorrie Rauch, Berks Co., winner of the Kutztown Fair

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Recipe:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of butter-flavored Crisco
1/3 cup of whole milk
1 TBS. of white vinegar
½ tsp. of salt

In a mixer, cream the butter Crisco and combine rest of the ingredients. Roll out on a floured surface and put in a 12 inch pie plate. With the extra crust, cut out leaf shapes for the topping decorations. Paint the leaf shapes with colored dye.

Apple Pie Filling:
12 cups of sliced apples (5 Honeycrisp, 3 Fuji, and 3 Yellow delicious)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 ½ stick butter
¼ cup of flour
1 cup of Cranberries
1 TBS. Homemade Apple Pie Spice (1 tsp. cardamom, 4 TBS. cinnamon, 1 TBS. allspice, ½ tsp. ginger, ¼ clove, 1 tsp. nutmeg)

Cook apples with butter, brown sugar and apple pie spice on medium heat for 50 minutes. Add cranberries for the last five minutes and cook together. Turn heat off and add flour to thicken.

Cheesecake Filling:
(3) 8 oz. bars of cream cheese
¾ cup of sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add rest of the ingredients and blend together.

Crumb Topping:
1 cup of flour
½ cup of sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup cold butter

In a food processor, blend flour, sugars and cinnamon. Pulse in cold butter until crumbles are formed.

Spoon apple pie filling into pie crust. Pour cheesecake filling over apple filling. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of cheesecake filling and top crumbs with the leaf cutouts. Put foil around edges of crust to protect from burning. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350°F for an additional 60 minutes.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 7-13 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and January 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from nearby Interstate 81.
For more information about the 2017 show, visit

Photos at

Pa Farm Show Main Page. 

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