Sugar-free blueberry pie wins fair contest

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Randy Rhue with the Clovis Lions Club takes notes on one of three pies entered in the pie baking contest Wednesday at the Curry County Fair.

Liliana Castillo

At the age of 13, Rebecca McDaniel says she’s been baking “a really long time.”

The Clovis native’s experience and attention to detail is what garnered her first place in the first pie baking contest Wednesday at the Curry County Fair.

Her sugar-free, blueberry pie, made with fresh blueberries, included a decorated top crust.

“I’m better than anything else at banana bread but I thought it would be fun,” she said.

One of three judges, Randy Rhue with the Lions Club, said the blueberry pie was ‘wonderful,’ even though he said he has a penchant for pie in general.

“Pie is the best dessert there is,” he said. “And that being a diabetic pie and I couldn’t tell, it was very good.”

Jan Riley, event coordinator, said the fair staff decided to add the contest this year in the interest of adding something new, drawing more interest. She said pie baking fits with the rural area and even with three entries this year, Riley is excited about the contest.

“We’ve already had someone come in for an entry form for next year,” she said. “You’ve got to start somewhere.”

Riley said new events at the fair often start slow. For example, Riley said the Little Buckaroo Rodeo began at the fair with five or six entrants and are now at over 60.

McDaniel entered a jar of cookies, a chicken and several drawings into contests at the fair as well as the pie.

Her great grandmother, Lorraine Wright, said McDaniel usually enters more in the fair.

“I can’t stick with the same thing,” McDaniel said. “But I like baking. It’s fun. It’s a good way to spend your time.”

Riley said first place was a $100 gift card, second $75 and third $25.