Prize-Winning Pie Scandal Rocks Kentucky State Fair

There's little with quite the same down-home charm as a lineup of prize-winning pies proudly on display at the local state fair. With one slice removed for the judges to consider, these gleaming, golden-crusted goodies seem to offer a glimpse into a simpler time, when people took it slow and baked things from scratch rather than rushing through their recipes with store-bought shortcuts.

At least, that's how it's supposed to be.

This year's Kentucky State Fair, which ran through last week, was hit with a pie scandal after 67-year-old retired factory worker Linda Horton, who took home the blue ribbon in this year's buttermilk pie competition, told the Louisville Courier-Journal she  used a store-bought crust to make her prize-winning pie, rather than baking her own.

“This year, I used a Pillsbury pie crust,” Horton, who won the competition last year as well, reportedly told the paper, adding that she felt the brand-name crust held up better than homemade and was "so buttery."

Horton's alleged admission hasn't sat well with fellow contestants and fairgoers. And fair officials have launched an investigation into whether Horton did, indeed, break the competition's rules, which specifically prohibit the use of commercial pie crusts.

“If we award her a first place ribbon for a pie crust that Pillsbury made, we would have to give the ribbon to Pillsbury," Steve Lee, superintendent of the state fair’s culinary department, told the Courier-Journal.

If the officials do determine that Horton cheated, she'll be stripped of the win. But rather than fretting about having to eat humble pie, the plucky Kentuckian has decided to move on. She told the Associated Press that she plans to pass up the pie baking next year and enter another contest instead.

"My grandmother used to make a buttermilk cream cake," she said. "I think I'm going to try it."

Craving buttermilk pie? Try this Food Network Kitchen recipe.

Do you think Horton should be stripped of her win, if indeed she did use a store-bought pie crust?

Keep Reading

Next Up

Best State Fair Foods of 2011

Check out several of this year’s top fried foods including a fried ice cream burger.

State Fair Food on a Stick

State fairs are in full swing across the country, and they’re serving the tastiest food you can find on a stick.

Dining Out: Fair Food

One of the highlights of my childhood was going with my parents to street fairs and carnivals. My dad made it a point that we try everything from the gyros to Polish sausages to caramel apples. By the time we rolled home, we were all moaning and groaning from stomach aches

Reading List: Top 5 Overrated Food Trends, McDonald's Food Safety & A Dating Site Scandal

In this week’s nutrition news: Healthy People’s Newest Goals, dating site kicks off overweight members, and how small changes can keep diabetes at bay

Sweets from Every State

Candy is always a go-to holiday gift, but a box of candy from a friend's home state is even sweeter. We crossed the country looking for the best local confections. Five months (and many sugar rushes) later, we landed on this great collection.

Hometown Hungers: Kentucky Hot Brown

This signature sandwich of the Bluegrass State comes heaped with hot turkey and drenched in a sumptuous Mornay sauce.

Parties at Stonehenge Rocked

Looking for a totally rad party-theme idea? One word: Stonehenge!