Last year I judged High 5 Pie's inaugural cherry pie bakeoff, an arduous task to be sure. But the best part (yes, even better than sucking down all that pie) was meeting all the insanely talented at-home bakers...and marveling at how attractive their pies are compared with my own sloppy, nonlatticed attempts.

Pie shop owner Dani Cone is making the bakeoff an annual thing; this year's competition will be held July 7 at 1pm, and the registration deadline is July 1. There are separate divisions for home bakers and professionals, and judges will evaluate pies' crust, filling, taste, and appearance, and there's a special category for creativity. The winner (and second- and third-place bakers) win goodie bags full of gifts, pie swag, and a year of unceasing glory and bragging rights (which technically do not come in the bag). Also, you get to taste a lot of other people's pies.

To sign up and bake, email There's no fee to enter. 

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