Friday, August 7, 2009

Flashback and Foodie Friday ~Puyallup Fair

It won't be long before it's fair time here in Western Washington State. The fair grounds in Puyallup are very large and I believe I've read somewhere its one of the top ten fairs in size in the country. Today I'm flashing back to last year's fair.

There are so many fun things to see. The giant pumpkins are always on my list

And the displays done by the the farmers Granges which highlight products that grow in the state

Animal exhibits are a must too..even if I have to hold my nose :-) I captured this cute little cowboy taking a rest with his bovine buddy. Of course I asked his mom's permission first!

I always spend lots of time in the "Home Arts" section studying the beautiful handiwork

Last year I did something I've always wanted to do..I entered a contest in the fair! My friend at works mother is in charge of the food entries and wanted to make sure there were enough entrants for the Berry Pie contest, so she had her daughter drumming up business at work. I decided to take the plunge! I will say from the outset I wasn't a winner, but the experience was priceless. Here is one of the guest judges, Debbie Macomber who is a local bestselling author that some of you may recognize. She didn't get to taste my judge is the somber looking lady in green in the background. She actually ended up being very nice and scored me quite high. She gave me lots of tips too.

My crust was too thick (which I happen to like). But the standards are to have a thin one. It was also a little brown, but surprisingly that is not one of the things they count off for!

You could take your pie home with you afterwards or have it displayed...of course I opted for the display! I want my few minutes of fame (NOT!).

Here is the recipe I used. The judge really loved the crust..just not the thickness and she said to try again next year with the same crust and it might be a winner. I'm not sure if I will, but I've been thinking about it......

Double Crusted Blueberry Pie
From: Baking: From My Home To Yours, written by Dorie Greenspan.


Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough for Double Crust , chilled (below)
2 ½ pints fresh blueberries
1 cup of sugar, or a little more, to taste, plus more for dusting
½ cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Coarsely grated zest of ½ lemon
Squirt of fresh lemon juice, or a little more, to taste
¼ cup dry bread crumbs (you can use packaged unseasoned crumbs)

1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water, for egg wash
Sugar, for dusting

Getting Ready: Butter a 9-inch pie plate (Dorie uses a standard Pyrex pie plate).

Working on a well-floured surface (or between wax paper or plastic wrap), roll out one piece of the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 – inch. Fit the dough onto the buttered pie plate and trim the edges to a ½ inch overhang. Roll the other piece of dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover both the circle and the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you pre-heat the oven and prepare the filling.

Getting Ready to Bake: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Put the berries in a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, salt, zest and juice; let sit for about 5 minutes. Taste the filling and add more sugar and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Remove the pie shell and top crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle an even layer of the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the shell. Give the filling a last stir and turn it into the crust.

Using your fingertips, moisten the rim of the bottom crust with a little cold water. Center the top crust over the filling and gently press the top crust against the bottom. Either fold the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the edges attractively or press the top crust against the bottom crust and trim the overhang from both crusts even with the rim of the pie plate. If you’ve pressed and trimmed the crust, use the tines of a fork to press the two crusts together securely. Using a small, sharp knife, cut 4 slits in the top crust crust and cut a circle out of the center, then lift the plate onto the baking sheet. (If you have time, refrigerate the pie for about 30 minutes. The pie can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Glaze and sugar it before you put it in the over and add at least 15 minutes to the baking time).

Brush the top crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle the crust with a little sugar, just to give it sparkle.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the pie for another 30 minutes or so (total baking time is about an hour) or until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the slits. If the crust seems to be browning too quickly, make a loose foil tent for the pie.

Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool and settle for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough

For a 9 inch Double Crust

3 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into tbsp size pieces
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
About ½ cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing- what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 6 tbsps of the water- add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a work surface.

Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling (if your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge).

To Roll Out the Dough: Have a buttered 9 inch pie plate at hand.

You can roll the dough out onto a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. If you’re working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to life the paper, plastic, or cover frequently so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases.

If you’ve got time, slide the rolled out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.

As a bonus here are the winning recipes

If you have a flashback you want to share put your link below!

Also, please go check out all of the great entries into Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum!

Also I'm participating in another event I just uncovered called What Did you back today over at Welcome to The Krazy Kitchen. Check it out HERE!


Kathleen said...

Suzy, I made it! Strange message from Google though, huh! Must have been something in their system..
I love those fairs...we don't have them here..they look so interesting.
Congrats on your famous pie!
Happy Flashback! Mine will be late, as I couldn't post before, due to Google problem!

Foley said...

Wow - we have a contender in the group!!! lol You should try again - this may be your year!!

Loved all the photos - I haven't been to a fair in years but always did like them.. but I liked to take my time and see everything in one day!!

Kristen said...

What a small world...I have "done the Puyallup" many times. It's been over 3 years since we moved out of WA to points south, but I have many fond memories of that fair. The onion burgers and the scones ~ yum! I have a 30 pound box of scone mix that my hubby bought us last time he visited his mom in King County. I admire your submitting a pie to be judged; you are braver than I!

Cynthia said...

Suzy, what a fantastic flashback! I remember many of your pictures from the Puyallup fair ... great quilt and veggie display.

I did NOT remember that you had entered a pie. I think it's wonderful that you entered ... sounds like a great experience.

Nicole Feliciano said...

Wow that is a pumpkin! I hope you have time this weekend to post over at Momtrends. Here is the link for Friday Feasts:

Dishesdone said...

Nice pie, it looks great! No fairs here, wish we did, lots of fun! We a strawberry festival though! You should definitely try your pie again, you are DARING after all :) Go for it! When is the fair again?

Kate said...

Your pie sounds delicious! I struggle making pies...yours is beautiful!

Hoosier Homemade said...

We had our County Fair a couple wks ago, we love the fair too! I entered the Open Class with a few bake goods and took 2 Second Places this yr. I was happy with that, I didn't put alot of effort into it.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Merci-Notes said...

YUM! love blueberry pie!!!
I hope that you enter this year also!

With Kindness,

darnold23 said...

I hope you will come to Crock Pot Wednesdays at this week. Mr. Linky is up and waiting for your entry

darnold23 said...

I hope you will come to Crock Pot Wednesdays at this week. Mr. Linky is up and waiting for your entry

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

You should absolutely try again. Sounds like the judge wished you could win, she just couldn't award your pie because of the technicality for the thickness of the pie. Go for it next year!

Cathy said...

Hi Suzy - Hurrah for you for entering a pie. It should be the grand prize winner. I love events like this and look forward to them every year.

Marsha said...

How fun - I think you should try it again this year. I'm not a pie baker but my sister is and she always enters her county fairs since her kids enter 4H stuff. This could be your year and if not you would have more fun just experiencing it all again. Great flashback ;)

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