11 September, 2009
For the last couple of months I've been making a serious effort to go out and do more things, and when I found out that Omnivore Books (a fantastic shop that specializes in food-oriented books, antique and new) was hosting a pie bake off, I decided I would go check it out. Then about two days before the event, I figured that if I was going to go, I may as well bring a pie. There was no entry fee, and no guidelines, and I really had no idea what to expect. I decided to make a banana cream pie, which I'd never made before (although I had made banana pudding a zillion times, and figured it would be very similar), but I thought might stand out against the many seasonal fruit pies I expected to be my competition.
I didn't start working on my recipe until yesterday (the morning of). My first custard burnt while I was busy making the crust, and I was worried that my second custard might be too runny, so I assembled a pie and brought it up to my friends Richard and David's shop for a tasting around noon. Everyone agreed that the pie was great, but the custard could be more firm, so at 1:30 I raced home (I had to leave my house at 4:30 to get to the bake off in time), whipped up a thicker custard (with extra cornstarch), somehow managed to chill it in time, threw the second pie together, and drove to San Francisco.
When I got to Omnivore, there were only a few entries on display, including a delicious-looking huckleberry-apple pie by the lovely Jessica Appelgren, who won the pie competition at the San Mateo County Fair this summer AND the Mission Pie contest last year! (She was sweet enough to put me on her blog- you can check it out here.) But slowly and surely, more and more pies kept coming in, and a crowd began to form, and soon enough there were 47 pies and well over a hundred tasters eagerly waiting to eat. I stayed outside during the tasting, as the shop became very crowded, so I didn't get to see or hear what people thought of my pie. After all the pies had been devoured, Celia (owner of the shop) came outside to announce the winner... me!!!!!! I was completely shocked, but so proud!
Thank you so much to everyone who voted for my pie!
*Update! You can see me (and my lovely escorts, Erik and Dan) in the Examiner, here!