You cannot spell Pinecraft without pie.
Sarasota's Amish and Mennonite community will put that to the test Friday at the second annual Pinecraft Pie Contest when the friendly residents will show off what they can stuff in that crust. The contest takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Everence Federal Credit Union, 3407 Bahia Vista St. Judging begins at 11 a.m.
The event first started last year with the grand opening of Everence, which is a bank and ministry that caters to Mennonite populations across the country.
The folks wanted to figure out how to figure out to have some sort of community gathering, but one thing was constant, said Kjell Purnell, managing director of Everence Federal and its financial advisor firm.
"It seems natural if we were going to have a natural gathering together, someone would want to serve pie," Purnell told Patch.
And so it was born, with community members rising to the challenge faster than a baked apple pie.
"We had hundreds of people show up. We don't know what to expect this year," Purnell said. "Word of mouth got out."
More than 27 pies were entered, he said.
The queen of Sarasota pies Amanda Yoder was a guest judge in 2011, but the legendary baker passed away in 2012.
This year's judges include:
- Todd Emrich, CEO of Yoder's Restaurant and Amish Village
- Sherry Gore, cookbook author and editor and chief of Cooking & Such magazine
- Henry Detwile, owner of Detwiler's Farm Market
- Pie loving Sarasota Patch Editor Charles Schelle
- And a judge to be announced from Der Dutchman Restuarant
Pies will be judged in three categories: cream pies, fruit pies and one crust pies, the the judges will examine and taste the entries looking for the presentation, taste and flavor and overall impression, Purnell said.
For Purnell, he has that sweet tooth for berry pies—raspberry, blue berries, black berries, but all of the pies are world class.
"They were so diverse and so beautiful," Purnell said of last year's entries.
Oh, and don't worry—you won't be staring at people eating all day. All those in attendance will have chili to eat. Good luck getting your hands on some pie. Bakers will bring one for the judges table and the second one for the eating table. Maybe you can sneak a nibble off of someone's slice.
"It's too hard to get 200 people to get the same pie," he said.