The inspiration for her pie came accidentally.
“Earlier in the week, I made some ‘Fig Newtons,’” Ross said. “The filling tasted so good that I decided I could use it as a pie filling with some modifications.”
Second place was awarded to Horace Pahl for his blueberry walnut crunch pie, and third place was awarded to Alex Vernachio for his buttermilk pie.
Each pie had to contain an ingredient that was locally available, Farm Bureau volunteer Liz Porter said in an earlier report.
While the pies did not have to contain a homemade crust, Porter also noted that extra points were given to contestants who did make their own crust.
The contestants were judged by Chef Brian Jones of the Atlanta Grill at Ritz Carlton Atlanta, Chef Todd Annis of Bold American Catering and Chef Justin Balmes, known for his appearances of “The Next Food Network Star” and “Chopped.”
A pie-eating contest followed shortly after the judging of the pie-baking contest.
According to Porter, cherry pies were baked by volunteers specifically for the contest.
Ross will compete again at Cherokee Fresh Market on Aug. 25, facing the winners of the July 7 pie-baking contest held at the Woodstock Farmers Market and the July 26 contest at the Waleska Farmers Market.
“I will have to freeze some figs so that I will have some for the August bake-off,” Ross said. “We may still have another crop of figs then, but who knows with this crazy weather we are having.”
To find out more about the events or participating in the market, contact the Cherokee County Farm Bureau Office at (770) 479-1481.
4 cups peeled chopped fresh figs
2 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water (may not take a whole cup of water; depends on how juicy your figs are)
2 heaping teaspoons grated lemon zest (rind)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
8 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch
Your favorite 2 crust pie recipe
Put all the ingredients except the cornstarch in a large sauce pan. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes until thick, stirring quite often.
When thickened, take some of the mixture in a separate container and temper in the cornstarch, then add back into the saucepan and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes longer so the mixture is very thick.
Pour mixture into the bottom pie crust. Cover with the top crust folding the edges under all the way around the pie.
Cut some vent holes in the top of the pie — any design you like. Bake at 350 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes (after about 15 minutes, cover the edges with aluminum foil to keep them from getting too done).
Cool completely before slicing. Garnish with fresh fig or lemon slices.
— Jeannie Ross
½ cup melted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Unbaked pie shell
Break eggs in a dish with melted butter. Mix. Add sugar. Sift flour, add. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour in pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.
— Alex Vernachio