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Fun in the autumn sun at Fallbrook Harvest Faire

The Fallbrook Harvest Faire was held in glorious autumn weather Oct. 16, attracting visitors to downtown and turning Main Avenue into a bustling strip that offered everything from a pumpkin patch and hay rides to vintage cars.

Vendors hawking goods such as pickled veggies, specialty sauces, jellies, gourmet cooking utensils, jewelry, purses, guitars, lotions, soaps, healing products, nutritional supplements, and rugs were interspersed with several Fallbrook non-profits, which had booths promoting their work in the community.

The second annual Harvest Faire Pie Baking Contest was held and it attracted 10 entries. The following eight pies were entered in the sweet category: caramel apple pie marble cheesecake, rustic berry, chocolate pecan with bourbon, Meyer lemon meringue, salted caramel apple, salted caramel, chocolate mint pie, and harvest peach pie. The savory category featured a match race between an Italian pizza chena and a tomato galette.

Five judges voted for their favorite pie in each category based on flavor, texture, overall appearance and creativity. The judges crowned Jenny Montgomery’s Meyer lemon meringue as champion in the sweet category, and Julie Hardesty’s tomato galette as the winner in the savory category.

The Village News asked one of the judges – a person with professional experience as a baker – to describe the winning pies.

“The Meyer lemon meringue was not too tart and not too sweet,” said the judge. “And the meringue was not weeping. When you put meringue on a pie, it tends to weep. And it was warm – that thing was right out of the oven. And the crust was really good.

“The savory pie won because of both presentation and execution,” continued the judge. “It was very tasty, and the crust was good and flaky. It wasn't watery – there were tomatoes on there, and a lot of times that can make a crust watery once they're cooked. I thought it was very flavorful.”

Becky Guithues’ rustic berry pie and Kate Robinson’s harvest peach pie also received rave reviews.

“All the berries in the rustic berry pie tasted fresh,” said the judge. “There were blue berries and black berries, and it was not too sweet and not too tart. And I really liked the crumble crust. The peach pie was also very good. I loved the added ginger. It also had good presentation and outstanding taste.”

The judge commended all the participants.

“I thought they all did a great job,” said the judge. “It was nice to see that they all made their crusts.”

Not far from where the judges were eating pie behind closed doors, many Harvest Faire attendees were giving business to food vendors offering bacon-wrapped hot dogs, giant kielbasas, nachos, kettle corn, Hawaiian shaved ice, lemonade, pizza from The Wood Fire Gourmet, and barbecue from Da Big Show BBQ.

Many people stopped by the Vince Ross Village Square to hear live musical entertainment and enjoy a glass of wine from Beach House Winery or a cold beer from Fallbrook Brewing Company. Barrel Proof Tasting had a spot in the square and was offering 16 different whiskeys to sample.

There were many activities for kids, including pony rides, hay rides, the chance to pick out of pumpkin grown by Fallbrook Ag students, and the opportunity to create art at the Maie Ellis Elementary School booth.

All and all, the Fallbrook Harvest Faire offered a lot of fun in the autumn sun.

 

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