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Jasper Forrester's ricotta pumpkin pie takes top honors

Joanne Jewell puts the specially made winner
Joanne Jewell puts the specially made winner's apron on Jasper Forrester after she was named this year's winner of the annual pumpkin pie contest. The apron was made two years ago by Rebecca Wittman, after she won the contest. Forrester will keep it for a year, until next year's winner is named.
— image credit: Ralph Moore photo

Jasper Forrester, owner of Green Man Farm, was this year's winner of the Vashon Island Growers Association's Pumpkin Pie Contest, now in its third year.

Forrester, a consummate cook, wowed the judges at the contest Saturday, Nov. 22, with her rich pumpkin custard (note the fresh ricotta cheese in her recipe) and a crust made of gingersnap cookies and pecans.

Second place went to Mike Masi and third place was awarded to Tom Conway.

The judges — Daralyn Anderson of The Beachcomber, Telly Christianis of Sea Breeze Farm's Boucherie, Hester Kremer from the Vashon Library and Rob Peterson, last year's winner — focused first on taste when judging the 14 pies entered in the annual contest, said Joanne Jewell, manager of the Saturday Farmers Market. Once they narrowed it down to the best-tasting pies, they selected winners based on those with the most local ingredients, she said.

In Forrester's case, she used ricotta cheese, made with milk from her cow, Hazel, fresh cream, fresh eggs and a pumpkin grown on her farm. Masi also used a locally grown pumpkin and local milk and cream. Conway used a homegrown pumpkin and Island cream.

After the contest, which was held at the Saturday Farmers Market in the Village Green, slices of pie — with dollops of whip cream — were sold to the public in a fundraiser for the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank. More than $200 was raised.

And just in time for Thanksgiving, here's Forrester's winning pie recipe.

Green Man Farm Ricotta Pumpkin Pie

 

Filling

2 large, local eggs

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

3/4 cup fresh cream

2 Tbsp real maple syrup

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp fresh ground ginger

1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

2 cups roasted, pureed pumpkin

Beat the eggs until fluffy, then add remaining ingredients. Blend well. Spoon into the crust and bake 50 to 60 minutes at 325 degrees or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Chill, then serve with whipped cream.

If you want to make the crust from scratch, prepare the pie filling while the crust is baking.

Pecan - Gingersnap Pie Crust

20 gingershap cookies

1/2 cup pecans

2 Tbsp sugar

5 Tbsp butter, melted

 

Grind the gingersnap cookies and pecans in a food processor until fine. Add melted butter and sugar; mix until well blended. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan (glass is best for this recipe).  Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

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