I find the queen of pie making right here in Sarasota.
My life is based on simple truths, including this one: Where there is great pie, there is eternal happiness. Until now, the lifeline to this mantra existed in the kitchen of my friend, Martha Graham (a former employee from up North), as well as at Mom’s Apple Pie, a small pie stand in Sonoma County. That was until Debbie Appleseed danced into my life. Good pal Matt Orr called one day to exclaim my pie search was over, for he had found THE PIE(S) for me right here in Sarasota. Of course, being the self-branded “pie aficionado,” I was a bit leery. Nonetheless, I got out my best pie utensils and put Miss Debbie Appleseed to the test.
My hero, Debbie Appleseed.
Since our dear friend Dan was relocating to Nashville and his favorite dessert (Dutch apple) happens to be the signature pie of Debbie Appleseed, we decided to have our own pie-tasting contest in Dan’s honor. After Googling “criteria for pie baking contests,” my husband and I (his qualifications coming from being a good eater) came up with the judging categories and rating system. The following pies were presented to our panel of unsophisticated but dedicated pie-eating guests:
Ø Double Crusted Mango
Ø Double Crusted Blueberry
Ø Key Lime with Pecan Crust
Ø Double Crusted Raspberry
Ø Dutch Apple (a guest of honor special!)
Pies were judged on Flavor (highest point value), Filling (consistency, doneness, moistness and flavor), Crust (color, flavor, texture and doneness) and Overall Appearance. With over 20 ballots tallied by our Price Waterhouse Associates wanabees, I am beyond pleased to announce that I am spearheading a committee to erect a statue at the Bayfront in Debbie Appleseed’s honor.
Are they really from Price Waterhouse?
The pies were absolutely AMAZING –clearly “Amish style pies with a gourmet flare” fits the description of each fabulous bite. Nearly across the board the pecan pie won perfect scores, with blueberry as well as raspberry a close second. Deanne Nelson is after my job with her descriptive copy, declaring “the crust not overwhelming the flavors of the filling.” Darby Larkin described the Key lime as “best ever” and Connie Swikle, raised in Mississippi and thus the self proclaimed “grits girl,” declared the pecan pie as the “best I have ever tasted—bar none!” And, seven-year-old Jordan Means was most prolific in her description of the mango pie crust being: “Perfect!” Personally, I will dream about the raspberry for days to come. Clearly, the winners here? Anyone who orders pies from Debbie Appleseed! (941-713-7300)
On a rather pathetic note, the ballots from someone falsely claiming to be Mrs. Smith and The Pillsbury Dough Boy were disqualified!
Do you have a favorite pie recipe? Let me know by posting your comment below.