McHenry County Historical Museum announces winners at Cider Fest

Judy Link (left) of Marengo made it a clean sweep this year. The Heritage Fair pie-baking champion also claimed the grand prize for her caramel apple pie Oct. 7 at this year’s McHenry County Historical Society Cider Fest. 

As part of the 41st annual Cider Fest Oct. 7, the McHenry County Historical Society hosted its fifth annual Apple Bake-off Contest.

Categories were apple pies, apple cakes and apple squares/bars. Ribbons were awarded for first- second- and third-place contestants in each of the three categories with a special prize going to the grand champion.

In addition to an amateur category, professional pie bakers were invited to enter an apple pie in the inaugural commercial category for an opportunity to be named the “Apple of My Eye” pie in McHenry County.

Serving as judges were Abraham Lincoln (George Buzz) and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (Wayne Issleb).

Cider Fest Bake-off Chairwoman Coral Scranton (from left), Royal Oak Farm president Renee Norton, baker Leah Birdsall and orchard co-owner Sarah Bell holding the winning “Apple of My Eye” trophy. Royal Oaks Farm Orchard of Harvard won the inaugural apple pie contest at 41 annual Cider Fest Oct. 7 at the McHenry County Historical Museum in Union.

Judges (from left) George Buss (Lincoln) of Freeport, Wayne Issleb (Grant) of Wauconda and State Rep. Barb Wheeler of Crystal Lake selected the orchard’s Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Pie as tops in the commercial category.