A slice of pie equates to A SLICE OF LIFE at the bake-off Conor Knighton went to witness — fork in hand:
This is where diets go to die: A room where there’s always room for dessert.
The 2017 National Pie Championships, held in Orlando, Fla., is a high-stakes, high-calorie competition, as American as Apple Pie. And this year, the best Apple Pie in America was made by a woman from Belleville, Wisconsin.
Knighton first met Beth Campbell in her kitchen — a shrine to pie — as she was testing out this year’s recipes on her friends and family. Key lime? Butterfinger? Pear? Try ’em all!
Campbell entered pies in ten different categories this year. She’s racked up so many ribbons over the decades she’s lost track.
“Last year you got a second and a third; the year before that, you got two firsts and a second,” said her biggest fan, her husband, Charlie. “And the year before that, you got two firsts and a third.”
“I don’t remember,” Beth replied.
And after years of assisting in the kitchen, Charlie has started entering his own pies. The one year he took home a ribbon, the drive home didn’t go so well.
“He won,” Beth recalled.
“Things happen,” Charlie said, helpfully.
“And all the way home, he kept driving along: ‘I don’t know why you didn’t win. I didn’t even try with that pie. And I won. And you didn’t.’ I wanted to push him out in the foothills of the Carolinas!”
That’s right, the Campbells drive the 22 hours to Florida. It’s their only vacation. Each year, they load up the van, meticulously pack up the kitchen, and stuff their coolers with ingredients (like cream) they’re convinced are just better in Wisconsin
They head south, unload it all at a rental house, and spend days baking their way around a new kitchen, which is no cakewalk.
But 30 miles from Orlando, Devin Davis has a bit of a home oven…