Laurie Aswegan likes to bake pies, but she has never entered them in competition – until now.
At the urging of her sister, the Coon Rapids woman entered the apple pie category of the creative activities competition at the Minnesota State Fair this year.
And she won a first-place blue ribbon.
“My sister likes the apple pies so much, she told me I should enter one,” Aswegan said.
Aswegan found out she had won the top prize when she went on the Minnesota State Fair website to check the competition winners on the first day of the fair, Aug. 22.
She was “shocked” when she saw that she had won first place, Aswegan said. “I was very excited,” she said.
That evening Aswegan and her husband, Roger, traveled to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and went into the Creative Activities Building to see her winning entry.
“It was so cool seeing my pie on display,” Aswegan said. “And my family was all excited.”
The apple pie with the blue ribbon will remain on display at the fair until the 2013 state fair ends Sept. 4.
According to Aswegan, she has been baking, particularly apple pies, for some 20 years but only for family and friends.
Aswegan always makes her apple pies from scratch, even the pie crust, she said. “I never use a store-bought crust,” Aswegan said.
And Aswegan always make a thin crust on her apple pies, which contain four types of apples, not just one, she said.
Under Minnesota State Fair rules, the pie had to fit into a regular pie plate. The pie was big enough for six to eight servings, Aswegan said.
Aswegan baked the pie the Sunday before the fair started because it had to be delivered to the state fairgrounds well in advance of the start date of the fair, Aug. 22, for judging purposes.
With the success of her apple pie at the Minnesota State Fair, Aswegan said she has had family and friends contact her to make some pies for them right away, she said.
In fact, she was planning on baking two apple pies this past weekend, Aswegan said.
Aswegan is not sure whether she will enter the Minnesota State Fair apple pie contest again, since she has already won first place at her first attempt, she said.
But she might enter something else she likes the bake, like zucchini baked bread or cookies, and see how her apple pie fares with the Anoka County Fair judges, Aswegan said.
The Aswegans have lived in Coon Rapids for 15 years and Laurie has been active in the Coon Rapids VFW Ladies Auxiliary for many years. She has served as junior vice president on two occasions and has also chaired auxiliary committees.
Aswegan has been employed at the Toro Company in Bloomington for the past 14 years.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]