‘No-fail’ crust proves the topper for Janice Murray

A combination of four different apple varieties and grandma’s pie crust turned into the winning entry for Janice Murray at the Shortt Supply 12th Street Pie Baking Contest Saturday.

“I was pretty flabbergasted,” said Murray, who was “flattered” when the 21 judges narrowed the 51 pies entered down to a dozen and hers was included.

“I was just honored to make it that far,” she said. “Then when they made their final decision, you could’ve picked me up off the sidewalk.”

At the suggestion of Terry Draper of Draper’s Farm in Mt. Hood, Murray used a combination of Elstar, McIntosh, Empire and Golden Delicious apples in her winning pie. For the crust, she used a recipe given to her by her grandmother.

“My grandma gave me a recipe box when I graduated from high school,” Murray said. “All these years I’ve used her pie crust recipe. It’s no-fail.”

For her efforts, Murray won $1,000 from Brian and Karen Shortt, owners of Shortt Supply. The pie contest is a fundraiser for Helping Hands Against Violence, with the $10-per-pie entry fees going to the women’s shelter. This year, slices of pie, along with ice cream donated by Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and Providence Brookside Manor, were sold to spectators who gathered in front of Shortt Supply for the event. Those proceeds also will go to Helping Hands.

Murray also must bake five pies in the next few months to auction off at local civic functions, with the proceeds going to the women’s shelter. Last year’s pie contest winner, Pam Regentin, a potter, donated five hand-made pie plates that will go with Murray’s auctioned pies.

Murray, who had never entered the pie contest before, credits Brian and Karen Shortt with their generosity for hosting the event — and providing the prize money.

“Talk about two wonderful people — they’re very civic-minded and enthusiastic,” she said. “I don’t think you can give them enough credit.”

Murray hasn’t decided what she’ll do with the prize money. “My property tax bill came at almost the exact same time, but everyone said, ‘You can’t spend it on that,’” she said. “I still can’t believe I won it.”

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