here's where @marycray talks about food in fits & starts

Six experimental pies and one month since we started prepping for SF Food Wars, Team Peace o’ Pie has taken home the Judges’ 1st place and the People’s Honorable mention.

A Twist on Shaker Lemon Pie

A Twist on Shaker Lemon Pie -- Team Peace o' Pie

What makes this sweeter than ever is that we bested our last year’s place (Judges’ 2nd).

I mentioned before what participating in an SF Food Wars is like for me (“”To me, SF Food Wars is much like Fernet: at first, a little voice in my head says, “Hell yes, let’s do this,” both make me giddy and willing to talk to strangers, and finally, both leave me feeling hung-over, wondering, “What was I thinking?””).

This year was different for several reasons:

  1. Experimentation: We baked 6 pies and experimented every which way with filling, toppings, levels of sugar in the crust, number of pies in oven, number of slits in the top crust, etc.
  2. Mindful spending: We tried to calculate costs carefully so that we could at least break-even provided we placed. We also were mindful of how we spent our time. Do we bother with little design details like adding “vote for us” tags on each slice? We considered it, but really it wasn’t worth the time to us. We knew up front how much energy we were willing to exert in order to maintain a sense of fun (even if we ‘lost’).
  3. Planning: We budgeted our time, measurements and baking cycles so we had enough time to drop-off items at the event, park, set-up and serve.
  4. Prep-work: We did as much in stages as possible, setting aside about eight hours the day before to prep and bake.
  5. Location: This we had no control over. But happily, it was a sunny day in front of the Ferry Building. This added to the cheery attitude of everyone, really. Even better, we were able to wear short-sleeved dresses without a goose bump in sight.
Things that stay the same at SF Food Wars: meeting new people, like the delightful @thetomatotart and her crew of gals (
I was asked by friends if we’ll compete the next time around. My answer: not sure. Feels kind of good to end on a high note.

Mary (left) and Molly (right)

[P.S. The lovely Angela Rosoff from SF Baking Examiner was the first to report back about this about the competition.  ] Here are her photos.


Comments on: "2011 SF Food Wars Pie or Die: Judges’ 1st & People’s Honorable Mention" (9)

  1. Congratulations, Mary! Hope I’ll get to try your winning pie some day 🙂

  2. Thanks, Oanh! One of these days…

  3. Congratulations on your win; it was well-deserved. Your pie was delightful- nearly as sweet as you. So nice to meet you and I look forward to spending some time together soon.

  4. Yummy lemon pie Mary! I tried making a Shaker lemon pie once and it wasn’t great, so looking forward to seeing your recipe on the Pie or Die site 🙂

    Emily (aka Sweet Emily Pies)

  5. Dear Mary,
    Thanks so much for sharing your award-winning recipe. I have now made the pie for three special occasions and it never disappoints. The only problem I’ve had is with the “dust.” Sprinkled on the completely cooled pie, it doesn’t stick. Any suggestions? (Luckily, the pie is still glorious without it. Really. Perfectly polite adults were all put licking their plates.)

    • Two things to try:
      Sprinkle the dust on immediately when you take the pie out of the oven.
      Sprinkle the dust on per slice as served.

      A more presentational technique would be to serve each slice on a white plate sprinkled with the dust…place a slice atop that.

      Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: