How to Judge a Pie-Baking Contest

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to Judge a Pie-Baking Contest
Homemade pies make a delicious dessert. (sweet apple-pie image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

County and state fairs often hold pie-baking contests, as do other local festivals. Those who love to bake enjoy the reward and acknowledgement that goes along with entering a pie-baking contest, even if they don't win. Contest judges sample and analyse each pie according to a set of predetermined factors. Judging a pie-baking contest is simple and enjoyable as long as you know the criteria to use.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Word processing program
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Judging criteria sheet
  • Clipboard
  • Pen
  • Knife
  • Fork
  • Pie server
  • Paper plate

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Instructions

    Create a Judging Criteria Sheet

  1. 1

    Open up a new document in your computer's word processing program to create a judging criteria sheet. This sheet will provide you and other judges with direction on how to judge the pies. The criteria sheet also lets bakers know what judges will be looking for.

    How to Judge a Pie-Baking Contest
    Use a computer to create a criteria sheet. (Computer image by Altmann from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Put the name of your event at the top of your word processing document.

  3. 3

    Add judging criteria in the following manner:

    Overall Appearance: Before slicing Texture and consistency of crust or topping Inside texture--runny, firm or juicy

    Taste: Flavour strength and balance of ingredients Mouthfeel Taste of crust Aftertaste

    Overall Impression: Memorableness of pie Is the pie impressive?

    Level of Creativity

  4. 4

    Assign point values to each category, then break the point values down in the subcategories.

  5. 5

    Print your judging criteria sheet for use while judging.

    Judging the Pies

  1. 1

    Examine the overall appearance of the pie. Look at the crust and the edge to check for even baking. Use a fork to check for crust flakiness. Slice a piece of pie with your knife, remove the slice of pie to your plate using a pie server, then check the appearance of the inside of the pie. Make notes, if needed, and assign points for overall appearance.

    How to Judge a Pie-Baking Contest
    Look at overall appearance first. (apple pie slice image by Xavier MARCHANT from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Taste one small bite of pie. Chew it slowly and allow it to sit in your mouth so you can get the full flavour and assess "mouthfeel." Taste a small piece of crust only, then follow with another small bite of pie. Assign points in the "Taste" category.

  3. 3

    Consider your overall impression of the pie. Write down how memorable it was and what was memorable about it. Decide whether or not you were impressed with the pie and why. Assign appropriate points for this category.

  4. 4

    Judge the creativity of the pie. Consider what made it unique and what made it stand out from the rest. Assign appropriate points.

  5. 5

    Total the points on your criteria sheet. Write down the pie's entry number and set the sheet aside.

  6. 6

    Repeat all the steps in the "Judging the Pie" section for each pie in the contest. Compare scores to determine your first-, second- and third-place ribbons.

Tips and warnings

  • Move through each criteria sheet as quickly, yet thoroughly, as possible. If there are a lot of pies to judge, you will want to be efficient with your time.
  • Avoid trying more than a few bites of each pie. No matter how delicious they are, you will eventually become sated, which will affect your ability to judge the remaining pies.

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