Pie Contest Entries

Lineup of Pie Contest Entries

Last Saturday morning, the air was crisp and the sky bright blue, just right for a celebration of fall’s bounty baked into pies.  Our judges were ready, with forks poised as eight gorgeous pies were sliced and served up for evaluation.  The spread of pies was enough to make any mouth water.

A fine showing of local ingredients included butternut squash, New England pie pumpkins from Wind Song Farm, pecans, blueberries (frozen from summertime), apples, pastured eggs and more.

All the entries to The Onancock Market Pie Baking Contest looked enticing. The judges declared that their job of choosing a winner was difficult because every pie was so good! This was not surprising since all of the bakers had gone to great lengths to use fresh local ingredients and create pies that were as pleasing to the eye as to the palate.

Winner Tim Croke

Winner of the Blue Ribbon — Tim Croke!

In the end, the blue ribbon was pinned on contest winner Tim Croke, awarded for his Candy Apple Tart.  In addition to his blue ribbon, Tim won an Onancock Market Gift Certificate, and a load of pie baking supplies, including an “I Made The Pie” apron.

Mr. Croke arrived at the market bell opening at 8 am that morning, on a mission to find local apples for his pie and he purchased an assortment from vendor Lou Madison of Sea Side Farm.  Then he rushed home, prepared the dessert and had it back to the Market by the 10 am deadline for judging.

The judges were undoubtedly qualified as expert bakers.  We were lucky to have Rebecca Eskridge owner of Becca’s Cakes and More (you must taste her incredible Smith Island Cakes!), as well as Lori Canales owner of The Yellow Duck Bakery & Cafe (the most amazing muffins!), and Annie Powell of Annie’s Restaurant in Parksley (her Pound Cake is out of this world!).  They considered each, awarding scores for appearance, flavor and use of local ingredients.

Thanks to all of our bakers, our judges and everyone who came out to taste the pies.  Don’t forget that the Market will be open through the end of October, and we will also host Holiday Markets where you can find fresh foods for your holiday celebrations as well as gifts, decorations and crafts for the holiday season.

Pie Recipes:

Candy Apple Tart (winning pie)

Candy Apple Tart — by Tim Croke

Sweet Pie Dough

*1 ½ cups all purpose flour

*½ cup plain bleached cake flour

*1 ½ sticks unsalted butter

*2 Tablespoons sugar

*¼ teaspoon salt

*½ cup iced Eastern Shore well water

*2 Tablespoons shortening

Combine, in processor with metal blade, both flours, butter, sugar, shortening and salt. Using on-off technique lasting ½ second, add butter and pulse 7-8 times to break up butter. Then, with water poised over machine, turn it on and pour in all but 1 Tablespoon of the iced water. Process in spurts, on and off, just until dough begins to mass together but is still rough. Turn it out onto floured work surface and knead together rapidly. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll out and place in 12” tart pan. Weight bottom of crust and par-bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes, or till lightly browned.


*5-6 Crispin apples (from Seaside Farms)

*2 Tablespoons sugar

*Ground cinnamon to taste

Peel and core apples. Quarter and slice thinly for uniform pieces. Toss in cinnamon and sugar and let sit for 30 minutes.

Caramel Sauce

*1 cup sugar

*1/3 cup Eastern Shore well water

*1 cup heavy cream

*2 teaspoons vanilla

Bring sugar and water to boil, swirling pan. Cover tightly and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and watch for sugar water to brown. When brown, add warmed cream and vanilla. Stirring over low heat. Sauce will clump but keep stirring over low heat until clumps dissipate.


1.Arrange apple slices in circles, placing them from outside moving in to center.

2.Drizzle caramel sauce over apples til all crevices are filled. You may have extra caramel sauce left over.

3.Sprinkle chopped peanuts over tart. Final Preparation Return to 400° oven for about 15 minutes, til crust is browned and apples are ready.

Apple Blueberry Pie

Apple Blueberry Pie – Darlene VanWerkhoven

6 or 7 Granny Apples (Mason Beach Fruit Farm)

¾ cup sugar

2 Tbs all purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

dash nutmeg & dash salt

2 cups blueberries (from Belle Haven vW garden)

2 Tbs butter

Pie Crust Ingredients (Sister’s recipe, Dorothy Seastrand)

2 c flour

1 c shortening

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp sugar

1/3 cup milk

2 Tbs white vinegar

Chill before rolling out. Bake at 400°, 50 minutes or so.

Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie – Sarah Barban

adapted from David Lebovitz’s Room for Dessert

makes one 10-inch pie

2 pounds butternut squash (for about 2 cups puree)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

4 eggs (Julie Head’s homegrown eggs)

¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

pinch salt

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp brandy

one 10-inch prebaked pie crust

1.Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment and rub generously with butter.

2.Slice the squash in half lengthwise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and fibers from the cavity. Place the halves cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, under tender and fully cooked.

3.While the squash is baking, mix together the cream, milk, eggs, sugar, spices, salt, vanilla and brandy.

4.When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and turn the oven down to 375° F. Scoop out the squash pulp and add to the other ingredients. Mix smooth in a food processor or blender.

5.Pour the warm filling into the pre-baked pie shell and bake for 30-35 minutes, until just barley set in the center. (I poured the filling through a strainer.)

Country Apple Pie

Country Apple Pie – Caz Salvador


2 ¼ cups flour

1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¾ cup butter, cold

5 Tbsp ice water

2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten


About 3 pounds apple (from the Onancock Farmer’s Market)

3 Tbsp lemon juice

¾ cup brown sugar

2/3 cup regular sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 Tbsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

Pour over filling:

1/3 cup apple cider mixed with 1 TB melted butter

Brush top with cream and sprinkle on sugar. Bake for 20 mins at 425° lower to 375° for another 40 mins. Cool for 2 hours.

French Crumb Crust Apple Pie

French Crumb Crust Apple Pie – Mariellen Harris
1 – 10 inch pie crust

1 ½ cup flour

½ tsp salt

½ cup unsalted butter

3-4 Tbsp cold water


1 cup sugar

1/3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

dash salt

8 cups (tart) local or granny smith apples

French Crumb Crust

1 cup flour (all purpose)

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup butter, unsalted

Pumpkin-Pecan Pie

Pumpkin-Pecan Pie – Susan Pawlus

2 cups fresh cooked pumpkin (I use a Wind Song Farm Pumpkin)

¾ cup honey

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

4 eggs

2/3 cup half and half

½ cup milk

¾ cup corn syrup

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup sugar

¼ cup melted butter

2 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1 cup pecans

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Pour into a prepared uncooked pie crust. Bake 400° for 30 minutes. Turn oven to 350° and bake for 30 minutes or until the center of pie is set.

Roasted Pumpkin Pie

Roasted Pumpkin Pie – Mark Lierow

Preheat oven to 350° F


In a Cuisinart (metal blade) blend the cream cheese, butter, sugar and salt. Blend well between each addition.

Add 1-1/2 cups of pumpkin.

Add the egg and yolks one at a time.

Add spice mix (below) and vanilla.

Add half-and-half slowly.

Add ½ cup of pumpkin (pulse once).

Add filling on top of marzipan crust (below). Cook 60 minute, until center does not giggle. Cool and enjoy.

Marzipan Graham cracker crust

6 graham crackers (crushed)

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup of ground almonds (use a coffee grinder)

pinch of spice mix

4 Tbls unsalted butter (warm)

In a bowl add graham crackers, sugar, almonds and spice. Mix well.

Slowly whisk and drizzle in butter. Pack down in a pie pan.

Pumpkin Spice mix

4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh)

1 ½ tsp ground allspice

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