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Number of Entries Increase From 67 to 72 This Year
HARRISBURG – Lorrie Rauch of New Tripoli, Pa., tells her teenage children that hard work will pay off in any situation. Rauch proved her words of advice Saturday, Jan. 10 at the 21st Annual Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest, held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Joining her in the winners’ circle was her sister, Jennifer Klinger of Hamburg, Pa., who placed second. The dynamic duo has been baking and competing for many years. At last year’s contest, Rauch received second place and Klinger took home third.

 “I’ve been working to win this blue ribbon for a while,” Rauch said. “It’s such an honor to have the best pie in the state. Victory is sweet, isn’t it?”

Rauch took home a $160 cash prize, and Klinger received $100. Both plan to use the prize money to purchase more baking supplies.

Demerie Sherwood of Elk County received third place and a $70 prize. Fourth place and $40 went to Michelle Callihan of Somerset County. Heidi Givler of Berks County earned fifth place and $35 with her German Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie.

Judges for the contest were Barbara Gross, Ena Bieber, Phoebe Bitler, Betsy Huber and Barry Crumlich. They evaluated the 72 entries based on appearance, texture, flavor and moistness. 

Kevin Bieber, organizer of the Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contest and a director of the Pennsylvania Fair Association, says participation is up from last year.

“This is the most entries we’ve ever had,” Bieber said. “The county and community fairs are pushing this contest more, and we’ve had a lot more first-time entrants.” 

The contest is sponsored by the Apple Marketing Board and the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs.
Winning Recipe:
Country Favorite Apple Pie
Serves: 8 people

First, peel and slice 6-8 cups of Baking Apples (Courtland preferred)
Pie Crust:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon. vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups lard (buttered Crisco)
In large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix together egg, vinegar, and water. Add to flour mixture. Mix until dough is moistened enough so it holds together. When it is chilled, roll dough on a lightly floured surface. You may form a lattice over top of pie if desired.
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup pie enhancer
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup boiled apple cider
Mix together sugar, enhancer, apple cider, and cinnamon. Gently toss apples until coated. Pour into unbaked pie shell, then dot with butter.
Crumb topping:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup oatmeal
- ½ roasted chopped pecans
Mix together brown sugar, oatmeal, flour and pecans. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apple mixture. Bake 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Cover 25 minutes with foil then remove foil an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack. Drizzle with caramel apple dip. Dust the top with 10X sugar. Enjoy!

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