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Man's family recipe earns state pie award

Contact: Denise Yockey
(800) 456-2753

(Frankenmuth, Mich.) – Despite being one of only three men in a field of 60 contestants, Fred Burns didn't lose hope that his pie, a family recipe passed on from his father, would fare well in the 3rd Annual Michigan's Best Apple Pie Contest on Wednesday.

The Sparta resident was right. His entry, titled My Father's Apple Pie, earned first place in the pie-baking competition held at Zehnder's in Frankenmuth.

The double-crust pie made with Northern Spy apples was originally created by Burns' father, the youngest of six males in a family of 10, who grew up on a farm in Ionia County in the early part of the 20th century.

Instead of working in the fields, Burns said his father stayed home and helped his mother with the cooking. His deep dish apple pie later became a staple at family gatherings from late summer to Christmas time.

When his father entered a nursing home in the late ‘90s, Burns took over baking the pie for their frequent family gatherings.

“In fact, I still use the original 10-inch Pyrex deep pie dish my father used for many years,” he said.

As winner of the top prize, Burns will receive $500 and a trip for two to Florida where he will compete in the National Pie Championship in April.

Other Michigan apple pie winners were:

  • Amy Jo Bates of Saginaw taking 2nd prize for Best All-American Apple Pie Crumb Topping
  • Carol Socier of Bay City earning 3rd place for Tropical Twist Apple Coconut Crumb Pie
  • Linda Tower of Portland winning 4th place for Slice of Apple Pie

More than 150 recipes were submitted for consideration in the contest. Entries were narrowed down to 60 finalists. The competition took place on National Pie Day, created by the American Pie Council to celebrate pie-eating and pie-making.

Contestants came from around the state from East Tawas to Grosse Pointe Farms.

Other popular Michigan apple varieties for baking pies include Ida Red, Rome, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Gala. Michigan apples can also be found in canned pie filling. Or, if you don't want to do the baking, Michigan apples are also used in many store-bought pies.

The winning recipes will be available at www.MichiganApples.com. The contest is sponsored by MAC, Pioneer Sugar, Zehnder's of Frankenmuth and WSGW Newsradio 790.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world.