Old Fashioned Fairs and Food

            I love going to food festivals and state and county fairs and seeing what great home cooks both young and adult are doing. One such favorite that I never miss is the Berrien County Youth Fair in Southwest Michigan which always hosts an annual Baked Fruit Pie Contest, an event highlighting the lush and lovely fruit of the region.  The competition JulyAugust 2018 246features JulyAugust 2018 246threecategories—the Adult Division, the Youth Division and Most Eye Appealing which went to   Brianna Anthony for her Peach Blueberry Pie. The winners in the Adult Division were  1st Place:  Sandy Vorrath – Pineapple-Mango Crumb Pie, 2nd Place:  Chris Dohm – Baked Fresh Cherry Pie, 3rd Place:  Michelle Foxworthy – Blueberry Apple Pie, 4th Place:  Ruth Vorrath – Fresh Red Raspberry Crumb Pie and 5th Place:  Joyel Timmreck – Blueberry-Cherry Streusel Pie.

            In the Youth Division  1st Place:  Elise Barber – Strawberry Crumb Pie, 2nd Place:  Brianna Anthony – Peach Blueberry Pie, 3rd Place:  Clara Berry – Blueberry Pie, 4th Place:  Brianna Anthony – Cherry Almond Pie and 5th Place: Adrianne Barber – Cherry Pie.IMG_20180818_221234

            Sponsors were Kilwin’s, Lemon Creek Winery and the Eau Claire Fruit Exchange for donating the prizes for the baked fruit pie contest.IMG_20180818_221234

Sandy Vorrath’s Pineapple-Mango Crumb Pie

Filling Ingredients:

2 cored pineapples, chopped

1 cup chopped mango

1 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup pineapple juice

½ teaspoon lemon juice

3 drops coconut extract

½ cup flaked coconut

Crust Ingredients:

1¼  cups all-purpose flour

½ cup butter flavored shortening

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon. powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

¼ cup iced pineapple juice

Topping Ingredients:

½ cup butter cut into pieces

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup chopped macadamia nuts

¼ cup flaked coconut


Mix together all of the crust dry ingredients.  Cut in the shortening to make little crumbs.  Mix together the egg and pineapple juice.  Add to crust ingredients a  little at a time until the dough holds together.  Roll dough out onto a floured counter top to about 1/8 inch thick and fit into a pie plate.  Trim and flute the crust edges, put pie crust in the freezer until ready to use.IMG_20180818_214707


Mix together the sugar and corn starch in a large cooking pot.  Add the pineapple juice and lemon juice.  Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the pineapple and mango chunks and bring mixture back to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the coconut extract and coconut.  Mix well.  Let the mixture cool.


Mix together the flour, sugars and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter until crumbs form.  Add the macadamia nuts and coconut.  After filling has cooled, pour it in the frozen crust and top pie with crumb topping.  Bake pie at 350⁰ for 40 minutes, or until pie is brown and filling bubbles.

Brianna Anthony’s Peach Blueberry Pie

Crust Ingredients:

¾ cup cake flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons salted butter

5 tablespoons shortening

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoon white vinegar

3 ice cubes

½ cup cold water

Filling Ingredients:

¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls

4 medium-sized peaches, pitted and thinly sliced

1½  cups fresh blueberries

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Lemon zest

1 egg white

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon white sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375⁰

To prepare crust:

Measure butter and shortening on a plate, put in freezer for 20 minutes.

While butter and shortening are in the freezer, measure both flours, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl.  Mix until combined.  Put ½ cold butter and ½ cold shortening in bowl with dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Take remainder of the cold butter and shortening and cut into bowl very briefly, leaving visible pea-sized chunks.  Do not over mix!

In measuring cup, mix egg yolk and vinegar and add ice cubes and water.  Let chill 3- 4 minutes.

Sprinkle approximately 4-5 tablespoons of the egg/water mixture a little at a time and mix gently with fork.  Do not over wet the dough or over mix.  Place dough in plastic bag and chill in refrigerator for a few minutes.  Remove and roll out for pie.


Brush the egg white mixture on the inside of the crust.  Finely grind the tapioca in a food processor for about 1 minute.  Combine the blueberries, peaches, brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest, and tapioca in a large bowl.  Add the mixed ingredients to the bottom crust.  Place a lattice crust on top of the pie.  Brush the top with egg yolk.  Stir together 1 Tbsp. of white sugar and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and sprinkle over the pie.  Bake in a 375⁰preheated oven for 55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

Elise Barber’s Strawberry Crumb Pie

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon shortening

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 – 8 tablespoon ice cold water

2 pounds (about 4-4½ cups) strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup finely ground instant tapioca or tapioca flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

For Crumb Topping:

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon fine salt

5½ – 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Cut shortening into flour and salt, using pastry blender, until particles are size of coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon. at a time, until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl.  Gather pastry into a ball.  Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface.  Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Brown Sugar Crumb Topping:

Put oats in food processor and pulse until oats are texture of coarse cornmeal.  Pour in a bowl and add flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Add melted butter and blend with fork until butter is incorporated and mixture gathers into small clumps (you may not need to add all of the butter).  Place bowl in the refrigerator and chill crumbs before topping pie.


Preheat oven to 375⁰.

In a large bowl, stir strawberries with lemon juice, orange zest and vanilla extract.  Stir well.  Whisk sugar, ground tapioca, and cornstarch together in small bowl.  Combine sugar mixture with strawberries.

Roll out pastry according to size of pie plate.  Pour filling into pastry.  Top pie with , spreading in even layer and covering all fruit.

Place on baking sheet and put in oven.  Bake 25 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350⁰ and baked 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until juice bubbles up through crumb.  Top with foil if overbrowning.

Place baking sheet on wire rack and let pie cool overnight, uncovered at room temperature.

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