Image courtesy of American Pie Council
Earlier this year in the spirit of excitement over the Royal Wedding, the American Pie Council opened a Royal Wedding Pie category at the 2018 National Pie Championships. This one-time category was created to commemorate the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Chef Kathy Hanson’s “I Love a Great Love Pie” reigned supreme.
“The Royal Wedding Pie category was a huge hit,” says Linda Hoskins, executive director of the American Pie Council. “Brides serving pie instead of cake at their weddings has been an increasing trend for years.”
Chef Hanson from the Ritz Carlton Orlando won first place in the Royal Wedding Pie category and ultimately the professional best of show out of 107 pies. Titled “I Love a Great Love Pie,” Hanson’s best of show pie featured bananas foster with vanilla bean and Marcona almond honey cookie crust and sprinkled on top with “Markle Sparkles.”
“Bananas foster was a favorite dessert of my parents, who had their own great love story,” Hanson says. “I Love a Great Love Pie is a testament to their love for one another and the celebration of the beginning of another great love story.”
Hanson has been the culinary training cook at the Ritz Carlton Orlando for the past eight years and has participated at the National Pie Council since 2007. Hanson earned second place in 2008 in the custard category and has either placed or received honorable mention in six APC competitions since. She entered 13 pies in 2018. In addition to best of show, she placed first four times and received one honorable mention. Hanson’s advice to those who strive to bake that great recipe is “Bake with love. Bake with your passion. Use your integrity with your ingredients — the freshest you can find.”