- Associated Press - Sunday, February 12, 2017

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - There is nothing more American than apple pie, and Carolyn Blakemore has been known to make the best apple pie for years.

Blakemore’s talents were on display again at the 92nd West Virginia State Fair this past August where she took home first place for her apple pie.

“It has become an all-time favorite,” said her daughter, Janet Smith. “She has been perfecting it into an art form.”

She makes her own pie crust and she uses nutmeg, cinnamon, Crisco and golden delicious apples, since that is the state apple.

Blakemore started to experiment in the kitchen when she had a home economics class in high school, and that spurred her interest.

She got into the craft without the help of family members and started picking up recipes from cookbooks.

“I prefer the baking,” Blakemore said. “I like to make fruit pies. That is my favorite. I also like to make peanut butter pies.”

She has participated in contests for 30 years and cooking for even longer.

Blakemore went to the Florida International Pie Competition in Orlando, Florida, where she enters her apple, peach, blueberry and peanut butter pies.

For the past two years her apple pie has won first place.

The first weekend in May she plans to defend her title in Florida.

“I enter them every year,” Blakemore said. “I have several different contests that I enter.”

Blakemore’s talents also stretch into the cooking world where she has entered and won national chicken, beef and chili competitions, among others.

She enters about six chili contests a year.

Last year she won the chili competition at Snowshoe and went on to the world chili competition in Reyno, Arkansas.

“I did not win there, but I did win locally,” Blakemore said. “I have met a lot of people and I have chili friends in a lot of different states.”

Blakemore first discovered the competitions when she was reading Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The competitions enticed Blakemore, motivating her to enter.

Whenever someone wins one of the competitions, they are included in the next Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

“I have like four or five recipes in that magazine,” she said. “I also have recipes in the national pie cookbook. When they have a contest somebody wins. Whenever I won, somebody put me in the magazine or cookbook. The latest cookbook that I have been in is by the American Heart Association.

“They liked my apple pie recipe, and they changed it somewhat to make it more heart healthy,” Blakemore said. “I was the only one in there from West Virginia from this area.”

Blakemore has never been stingy with passing on her talents to her children, either.

“She has a very discriminating talent,” Smith said. “She is very contentious on how she would like her product to be displayed and appreciated.”

Smith also goes with her mom to the competitions and gives her assistance.

With all of the notoriety Blakemore has achieved, one might wonder why she never tried opening her own business.

Smith said that selling products puts Blakemore in a different competition category and she enjoys them as a hobby and interest.

“She keeps her amateur status very defined,” Smith said. “Many have asked her why she did not open a shop or something, but she would be changing one product and not be able to venture in the culinary division of all the different combinations you can put together.”

It is difficult for either Blakemore or Smith to number exactly how many competitions Blakemore has won, but Smith is sure of one thing.

“As far as I am concerned I am her number one fan and they are all first place to me,” Smith said.


Information from: Times West Virginian, https://www.timeswv.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide