EGG HARBOR CITY – Hallee Adelman of Longport and her daughter Sage, 14, were the winners of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council’s statewide Perfect Peach Pie contest for amateur bakers. The Adelmans were also the winners of the Margate Community Farmers Market’s sixth annual contest held in July 19 at Steve & Cookies By The Bay, which qualified them to compete in the state contest. It was the third time the Adelmans entered the Margate contest, perfecting their recipe over the years.
According to the council, competition was “fierce” this year. Their entry was one of two grand prize winners judged by professional chefs and held at Joseph’s Restaurant at Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City and Boulevard Five72 in Kenilworth.
Each champion baker received a grand prize of $300 cash.
Chef Katrina Guerrier of Joseph’s declared the Adelmans’ peach pie the best, citing its splash of bourbon and pinch of cayenne as adding a “little spice to the sweet.”
“The recipe evolved over the last three years,” Hallee Adelman said after the Margate contest. “We talked to everyone we knew about what makes the best recipes, and each year, we tweaked it.”
Sage Adelman said it took five hours to make the pie the day before the Margate contest.
“We were trying to be very careful. This year we added a bit of cayenne and some bourbon,” she said.
The Adelmans are donating their winnings to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey Southern Branch.
At Boulevard Five72, Chef Geoff Mockbeer selected Ramsey Farmers Market finalist Sosy Shishmanian as his first-place selection, highlighting Shishmanian’s pie for its “small lattice top crust and just-right texture of peaches.”
Pies were judged on overall appearance, aroma, consistency, amount of fruit in the pie and taste, or “overall yumminess.”
“The peach pie contests are good vehicles for raising awareness of and demand for peaches grown in our state,” NJ Peach Promotion Council Chairman Santo John Maccherone said. “When you taste a Jersey peach pie, you are struck by its strong peach flavor and sweetness, that you only get when peaches are grown in local orchards.”
After the judging, finalists and their guests enjoyed some American haute cuisine, followed by desserts of samplings from all the pies.
The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State, preserving farmers and farmland; and providing the highest quality and best tasting fresh peaches for consumers. New Jersey is the third largest peach producing state in the country, with approximately 80 orchards on 4,700 acres.
For further information, go to www.jerseypeahes.com.
New Jersey Peach Pie
Sage and Hallee Adelman of Longport
2 ½ cups flour (Nitty Gritty®)
1 tsp. salt
8 T. sugar
19 T. butter (Icelandic® or Kerry Gold®) freeze in tablespoon slices
2 egg yolks (save whites)
3 T. ice water
1/8 C. sour cream
Put all flour, salt, sugar in food processor. Pulse twice. Add frozen butter and process until “pebbly.” Add egg yolk and process 4 seconds. Add ice water and pulse 4 times. Add sour cream and process. (If sticky, add additional flour until smooth.)
Form into 2 balls and refrigerate in plastic wrap overnight.
Roll bottom crust between layers if floured plastic wrap. Fold and place in pie dish (remove plastic wrap). Brush with saved egg white. Place in freezer 20-30 mins while making filling.
Roll out top crust and use NJ Cookie Cutters to make designs. Paint with egg and sugar. Bake cookie designs separately at 350 degrees until golden.
Add filling to the bottom crust and convection bake at 350 degrees. Cover the edges with foil (or silicone cover) to prevent burning.
5 lbs. Fresh New Jersey Peaches
2 T. brown sugar
1 C. cane sugar
½ C. flour
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. lime juice
2 generous pinches of organic cayenne (1 for reduction)
1 pinch salt
2 splashes (approx. 2 T. Jefferson’s Reserve® bourbon whiskey for reduction)
2 pinches cinnamon
1/8 tsp. vanilla
Peel and slice peaches. Put half the cane sugar and salt on peaches and let them sit for 20 minutes. Strain juice in sauce pan, mix with vanilla, bourbon, cayenne and reduce. Let cool.
Take strained peaches and mix in dry mix of blended flour, cane and brown sugar, cornstarch. Toss and add cayenne and cinnamon. Add lemon and lime juices. Mix in reduction.
Pour filling over pie crust. Convection bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until bubbly and reduced.