The Best Apple Pie contest at the Tennessee State Fair has become almost as much of a tradition as the fair itself.
In recent years, entries in the contest have come from virtually all corners of the state and included various concoctions of secret ingredients ranging from a splash of Tennessee whiskey to a dusting of a special spice.
Last year’s winner proved someone didn’t have to be a veteran pie baker to win the contest.
Colleen Krause, a self-proclaimed novice kitchen baker from Hermitage who started dabbling in baking pies only a couple of months before the fair, stunned the entire field of some three dozen or so entries and took home first-place honors.
She claimed, after the results were announced, she thought her edge in winning the contest should probably be attributed more to her pie’s crust than its filling.
Judges look at a number of qualities in determining a winner, including taste, appearance and originality.
According to Kate Lansaw, state fair marketing manager, the contest winner and second and third place finishers each receive cash prizes for their efforts.
However, she added that more rewarding than the cash prizes are the bragging rights that each receives for being listed among the state’s “absolute best” apple pie bakers.
The state fair Best Apple Pie contest will be Sept. 16.
The winner will receive a Tennessee State Fair championship cutting board, a $500 cash prize and will have his or her recipe and personal story publicized in a number of state publications. A $150 prize will be awarded to the runner-up entry and $75 to the third-place finisher.
The Tennessee State Fair opens Sept. 8 and runs for 10 days, closing Sept. 17.
A family tradition for the Volunteer State since 1906, the state fair is held annually in the heart of Nashville at the State Fairgrounds. Providing family entertainment in a welcoming environment, a magnificent midway and fun for all ages, the fair is visited each year by thousands from all across Tennessee and neighboring
For more information about the Best Apple Pie contest, the state fair, including directions and a list of activities and events, visit tnstatefair.org.