No soggy bottoms allowed at this year's apple pie contest

6 October 2017

Slice up your apples, roll out the pastry and get your pie dishes at the ready! It’s time for this year’s Greater Manchester Apple Pie Contest in honour of Apple Day, the annual celebration of Britain’s rich apple-growing heritage

Organised by Helping Britain Blossom1, the UK’s largest co-ordinated community orchard project, with support from City of Trees, this year’s apple pie-making contest will take place at Ordsall Hall on Sunday 22nd October.

The annual Apple Day celebration will also feature a range of family-fun apple activities including local and heritage variety tastings, a ‘longest peel’ competition, pushbike apple juicing and fruit fun and games.

For the first time, the pie contest will be open to junior bakers, who can now go spatula to spatula with other under 18 pie-makers looking for a chance to win the £100 star prize. There’s a separate category and prize fund for grown-ups too, so now the whole family can bake.

But the Pie Contest is not just a test of the fruit pie-making skills of the people of Greater Manchester. It also aims to raise awareness of the region’s community orchards, including their social, environmental and enterprising benefits.

Organiser Dan Hasler from Helping Britain Blossom explains: “We’re excited to unveil details of this year’s Bake-off style apple pie competition as part of our annual Apple Day celebrations across Greater Manchester. Everyone loves a home-baked fruit pie and with October being the traditional harvest-time for fruits such as apples and pears, now is the perfect time to find Manchester’s very own champion fruit pie bakers – young and old – without a soggy bottom in sight!

“But our Apple Day celebrations don’t stop there. There’s a host of apple-themed events and activities for the whole family to enjoy in community orchards across the region. By encouraging people to take part, it enables us to highlight the wonderful benefits that community orchards bring; from teaching people about where their food comes from, helping communities to learn new orcharding skills and meet new friends as well as the social enterprise opportunities they can create. We want to show there’s more to community orchards than free fruit.”

Members of the Salford Angels Women’s Institute will be lending their expertise to judge this year’s Apple Pie Contest at Ordsall Hall. Manchester’s fruit lovers and bakers alike are being urged to gather their fruit, don their aprons and pre-register free-of-charge to take part in the contest by visiting eventbrite.

Other Apple Day Celebrations taking place across Greater Manchester include:

  • Apple Festival at Moor Nook Park (12-3pm, Sunday 8th October) - celebrating the planting of the community orchard this winter with storytelling, crafts, cake and more!
  • Hyde Park Community Orchard Celebration (11-3pm, Sunday 8th October) – part of Tameside Scarecrow Festival, includes apple juicing, orchard and allotment tours and produce/preserves swap
  • Apply Day Celebration at Marple Recreation Ground (2-3.30pm, Saturday 21st October) – organised by The Friends of Marple Orchard, the event includes apple activities, apple bobbing and apple-related food and drink
  • Platt Fields Park Apple Day Orchard Fundraiser (From 11am, Sunday 22nd October) - more apple-related activities than you can shake an appley stick at including live cider pressing, scavenger hunt, craft fair and produce market

In addition, Helping Britain Blossom has created a free downloadable interactive guide to Apple Day 2017 with ideas on fun activities you can do to celebrate British apple growing and community orchards in October. To download the guide visit: http://helpingbritainblossom.org.uk/whats-new/

And there’s a list of Apple Day events happening nationally on Helping Britain Blossom’s Facebook page which is being updated regularly: https://www.facebook.com/HelpingBritainBlossom