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Search for state's best apple pie heats up

Contact: Denise Yockey
(800) 456-2753

(Frankenmuth, Mich.) – Apple pie fans are invited to come along as the Michigan Apple Committee goes in search of the best homemade apple pie in the state.

More than 150 recipes were submitted for consideration in the 3rd Annual Michigan's Best Apple Pie Contest. Entries were narrowed down to 60 finalists whose pies will be tasted, scrutinized and rated during the competition on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Zehnder's restaurant in Frankenmuth.

The public is invited to watch as a panel of celebrity judges put the pies to the test. Those in attendance will receive a mini-cookbook containing all the contestants' recipes, as well as a chance to win a Jenn-Air mixer, valued at $350, donated by the Bavarian Maytag Store in Frankenmuth.

“Also, if you stick around long enough – after the winners are announced, the audience will have a chance to sample the award-winning pies,” said Denise Yockey, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “Flaky crust, apples baked to perfection – that's about as good as comfort food gets.”
Contest highlights will also include:

  • Linda Hundt, owner of Sweetie-licious Pie Pantry in DeWitt, will present “Making Delicious Memories.” She plans to make her award-winning Grandma Rosella's Blueberry Raspberry Pie, which earned her the top national award in the 2007 National Pie Championship – Professional Division. In her demonstration, Hundt will give tips on making fabulous pies and discuss ways to create family memories through baking.
  • Bay City resident Carol Socier, who is gaining quite a reputation for her stellar baking abilities, will field questions from the audience. Socier is the winner of the 2006 Michigan's Best Apple Pie Contest and grand prize winner of the 2007 National Pie Championship- Amateur Division.
  • Local entertainers Wild Bill and Linda Lee will perform their popular polka music.

All events take place in a heated tent directly behind Zehnder's. The competition is held on National Pie Day, created by the American Pie Council to celebrate pie-eating and pie-making.

“National Pie Day is another opportunity for people to enjoy apple pie, America's favorite pie and all- American dessert,” said Yockey. “Michigan has several fabulous apple varieties that are superior for baking pies.”

Popular Michigan apple varieties for baking pies include Northern Spy, 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.

Make sure to look for the winning recipes at www.MichiganApples.com. The contest is sponsored by MAC, Pioneer Sugar, Zehnder's of Frankenmuth and WSGW Newsradio 790.

The first-place winner will earn $500 and a trip to Florida to compete in the 2008 National Pie Championships in April.

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.