January 20, 2011

Do you have what it takes to be an apple pie legend?

Pies await judging at last year’s apple pie contest at Mack’s Apples in Londonderry.
This year’s pie contest is scheduled for Jan. 29.
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- It’s as easy as apple pie, as the old saying goes.
Over the years, the community judges for the annual apple pie contest at Mack’s Apple Orchard have judged quite a few pies, indeed. Last year’s con­
test drew a record 88 pies, with bakers from well beyond Londonderry competing for the “Big Apple.” Next week marks the popular event’s 21st season, with the pie contest set for Saturday, Jan. 29. 

Local chefs ages 14 and up are encouraged to bake their best apple confection, with the final showdown taking place at the Mammoth Road farm store at 2 p.m. The ready-to-eat pies, along with the recipes, must be brought in by 1:30 p.m. on that day. 
Pies are being accepted in the following categories: traditional two-crust pies and nontraditional pies. The latter may include other ingredients such as other fruits, nuts and cream, though apples must fill most of the pie. Only one crust is needed. 
The contest is limited to “home cooking,” since pies from restaurants, commercial bakeries or those made by Mack’s employees aren’t eligible for the contest. 
Judging of the pies, under the supervision of Andy Mack Jr., will commence at 2 p.m. 
Mack offered the following tips for those considering the popular pie challenge. 
“Most of our experienced bakers bring their pie warm, so it has the maximum flavor,” Mack said. “This is a family event. The more, the merrier!” 
Lastly, Mack stressed that “one person can enter a pie in each category, but only one pie per category, please.” 
Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners in both categories, with the first-place winners’ names to be displayed on the “Great Apple Pie” plaque inside the farm store for generations to come. 
Winning recipes will also be copied and distributed, so store customers can try baking pies of their own. 
“We ask for recipes so we can share the winning recipe with all our pie bakers, in the interest of giving those bakers a chance to improve their pie-baking methods,” Mack said. “The more expert the pie baker, the more delicious the pie. This is our pie mission.” 
For more information or to register, stop by the farm stand, call 434-7619 or visit www.macksapples.com. 

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