The action was fast and furious at the third annual Sharbot Lake Farmers Market Butter Tart Challenge but when the smoke cleared, former Parham and now Sydenham resident Shelley Brooks took home the top prize of $50 for her Almost Famous Tart.
Kim Perry of Food Less Travelled won second (a big jug of Conboy maple syrup) for her Salt of the Earth and third place (a rolling pin) went to Pat Jamison for her Mom’s Tart.
“I like trying new recipes,” said Brooks, a 40-veteran of baking contests including the Kingston Fair. “This year, I used a convection oven and had only two tasters.
“It was lard over shortening for this recipe.”
Brooks said she honed her baking skills by trying to beat her mother at the Parham Fair. The family baking rivalry continues with her sisters and daughter, Haley Rose.
“I did not expect to win this year because there are so many good bakers here,” she said.
Brooks said she’ll be back to defend her title and will probably have more time since she has just retired as a counsellor at Sydenham High School.
“I was all prepared for a lovely bottle of wine on the deck for the first day of school this year,” she said. “But they called me back so it will have to wait.”
This year’s judges were Erik Zierer, Martha Merrill, Thade Maklin, Sean Dineen and Marion Ratzinger.