ORLANDO, FLA. — Top commercial, professional, amateur and junior bakers will gather April 8-10 in Orlando to compete at the 17th Annual A.P.C./Crisco National Pie Championships. Presented by the American Pie Council with event sponsor Crisco, the competition will be held in conjunction with the 2011 Great American Pie Festival, set for April 9-10.

In 2010, pie bakers turned out in record numbers, with 417 commercial, 170 professional, 321 amateur and 7 junior bakers taking part in the festival.

New for 2011 are three categories created to reflect the changing times. “Gluten-free” requires a pie that is gluten-free in all aspects, including crust, filling and toppings. “Innovation” requires a blend of classic and contemporary innovative pie making technique and pie flavor selections. Crisco will sponsor the category in honor of the brand’s 100th anniversary this year. “Royal Wedding,” the third category, is for pies deemed suitable for a soon-to-be married Prince William and Kate Middleton.

For more information, visit www.piecouncil.org.