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Apple pie is the winner at this year’s KCRW Good Food Pie Contest

Blue-ribbon winner
Baker Sharon Graves with her blue ribbon in Saturday’s pie contest at LACMA.
(Russ Parsons / L.A. Times)

Is there anything better than apple pie? Apparently not, at least according to the panel of judges at KCRW radio host Evan Kleiman’s fifth-annual Good Food Pie Contest. At least when it’s baked the way Sharon Graves does it.

Graves’ seemingly basic apple pie wowed the judges, which included some of Southern California’s best chefs and pastry chefs, winning her not only the prize for best fruit pie, but also the best overall and the best crust.

Graves, who describes herself as a hobbyist baker who learned how to bake from her mom, made her pie with tart Honeycrisp apples, tossed with brown butter and enriched with a little sour cream before baking. The crust was butter, with apple cider replacing the usual water.

More than 250 pies were entered in this year’s event, held on the grounds at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Other winners included Joel Blum for savory pie, Ross Falls for nut pie, Evelyn Devalos for vegan pie, Shyamala Reddy for cream pie and Laurel Randolph in the special LACMA pie category, which was for a pie based on one of the museum’s works of art (she did a nectarine and berry pie based on the Matisse ceramic “La Gerbe”).

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