Making pies has only been in Kristie Price’s cooking repertoire for three years, yet she’s mastered the art of it to become the Best of Show winner this year in the Missouri State Fair First Lady’s Pie Contest.
Price, of Marshall, took first place in the cream pie category with her peanut butter crumble pie, and went on to win Best of Show. Price also took third place in the fruit category with her peach pie.
Keeping it all in the family, her daughter, Lorin Fahrmeier, of Lexington, placed third for her classic lemon meringue pie.
This was Price’s first time to make the peanut butter pie, and she doubted it would win. She saw the pie made on television at an Amish restaurant, and thought it would be a tasty one to re-create.
“You know, that sounded kind of good,” she said.
Made with a peanut butter and powder sugar crumble sprinkled on as a bottom crust, the homemade vanilla filling was topped with whipped cream to make a light but decadent pie full of flavor.
She and her daughter baked together the night before for the contest. Fahrmeier was making the lemon pie and had to make the meringue twice. Price thought with all of the work that Fahrmeier put into her pie, it would be Best of Show.
“We left to come over that day, and you know how you are. You’re your own worst critic,” Price said. “I thought, ‘Oh no, maybe I shouldn’t have done this.’ I think it’s just human nature. I wasn’t sure this peanut butter pie was going to make the trip. It was very surprising!”
They packed the pies in a foam cooler with cool packs, made the trip, and the rest is history.
Price recently received her winning check of $150 for first place and another $150 for Best of Show.
“So, that’s a $300 pie,” she added.
When asked why she thought the pie won, she replied, “You know, I just think it happened to be the judges’ taste. I think it was a gamble because not everyone likes peanut butter.”
Her son, Jason Price, head of the agriculture department and varsity football coach at Marshall High School, had an added suggestion for the winning pie.
“Now Jason thought, on his tasting, he said, ‘You know, Mom, you should put a little chocolate on this.’ Now that might be a variation we might try,” Price added. “You could use crunchy peanut butter, you could make it your own — that just happened to be the winning combination for the day.”
Pie perfection for Price started three years ago through her daughter. Fahrmeier decided to make some extra money by selling pies at the local farmers’ market. Her husband, Bret, had bought a roadside stand with a peach orchard attached. The peaches that didn’t sell were made into pies.
“We were making 20 to 25 pies every Friday night for Saturday’s farmers’ market,” Price said. “So you can imagine, and it’s all done by hand. Practice, practice, practice.”
All of this pie baking allowed Price to perfect her pie crust in which she stands by the use of Crisco shortening and vinegar for flakiness.
“There are some things that I don’t think matter (when cooking), but I do think Crisco does.”
Price and her children all enjoy cooking. Two favorites at the Price home are her apple pie and an open-faced beef sandwich.
“Oh you’ll love that stuff,” said Price’s husband, Larry, about the beef sandwich. “My son, he’s about six-three. I guarantee you, he could eat half of that!”
The sandwich, which is easy to make, is a great way to serve a warm, tasty dinner for busy moms. The meat is cooked in a slow cooker for six to eight hours, and is fork tender when everyone returns home for the day.
Price likes to use Jonathan apples for her pie because she says they have more flavor than the Granny Smith variety. She also doesn’t use as much spice in her version.
When asked if she and her daughter plan to enter the state fair cooking contests next year, she said, “Oh yeah, I think we’ll definitely enter!”
They plan to broaden their prospects by possibly entering the wine competition and the pork and turkey contests.
Price likes to keep her home-cooked family-style meals and desserts basic.
“I’m not about to do something that takes a lot of steps,” she said. “And that’s just how we cook. We don’t eat fancy food or gourmet food.”
Although her cooking sounds simple, there is definitely more to it because Price is on the right track with her delicious, award-winning, $300 peanut butter crumble pie.