America's Best Pies 2014-2015: Nearly 200 Recipes You'll Love (2014)

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SPECIAL CATEGORIES

Each year at the American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships we have a new category that we add in. Sometimes they are holiday oriented, date oriented, or just plain fun. The recipes in this chapter are from those categories.

Blueberry Pomegranate Cheese Pie

Boston Cream Pie???

Pilgrim Apple Mincemeat Pie

Red Velvet Cream Pie

Strawberry Napoleon

Lizzy’s Lemon Pie

Cranberry-Ribbon Apple Pie

Raspberry Jalapeño Cream Cheese Pie

Strawberry Kiwi Green Tea Pie

Birthday Cake Surprise

Going Bananas Pie

Avocado Dream Pie

BLUEBERRY POMEGRANATE CHEESE PIE

Evette Rahman, Orlando, FL
2011 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Crisco Innovation

CRUST

2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs

½ cup flaked coconut

¼ cup finely chopped almonds

3 tablespoons sugar

½ cup Crisco shortening, melted

FILLING

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

8 ounces extra creamy whipped topping

TOPPING

1 cup pure pomegranate juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup fresh blueberries

Sweetened whipped cream

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together crumbs, coconut, almonds, and sugar. Add in shortening and combine well. Press in bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Filling: In large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped topping and spread in prepared pie shell. Chill for 1 hour.

For the Topping: In saucepan over medium heat, whisk together juices, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook until thickened and starch taste is gone. Cool until slightly warm. Stir in blueberries. Chill in refrigerator. Spread over pie. Pipe on sweetened whipped cream.

Garnish if desired with any of the following: shaved white chocolate, fresh berries, toasted sliced almonds, and mint leaves.

Blueberry Pomegranate Cheese Pie

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BOSTON CREAM PIE???

Kathryn Hanson, Orlando, FL
2011 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division 3rd Honorable Mention Crisco Innovation

CRUST

1 cup pastry flour (sifted)

½ cup all-purpose flour (sifted)

½ teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons cocoa powder

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

½ cup Crisco shortening (cold)

3 to 4 tablespoons water (ice cold)

BAVARIAN CREAM

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 vanilla bean pod, scraped,

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin, dissolved in ¼ cup water

6 eggs yolks

⅔ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

CAKE LAYER

1 cup cake flour, sifted

⅔ cup sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

¼ cup Crisco cooking oil

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup 45 percent chocolate

For the Crust: Combine the flours, salt, cocoa powder, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold shortening into the flour mixture. The mixture should have the appearance of tiny, irregular flakes and bits. Sprinkle the cold water over the mixture a tablespoon at a time, using just enough to form the dough into a ball. Pat the dough into small disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill.

On floured, dusted surface, roll the dough until it is about ⅛-inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter.

For the Filling: Slit vanilla bean pod and scrape out the insides; discard seeds. In small saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean pod, salt, and granulated sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove the vanilla bean pod. Soften the gelatin in ice-cold water and add to the cream mixture. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in separate bowl. Temper the egg yolks and cornstarch with the cream mixture. Return to heat and cook until thickened. Remove from heat; add the unsalted butter, mixing well. Strain the cream mixture through a china cap strainer, removing any possible lumps. Set aside to cool. Pour 1½ cups of the filling into the crust. Reserve the rest of filling.

For the Cake Layer: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla. Beat on medium low speed until combined, then on high for 3 minutes. In separate mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Pour batter into an 8-inch prepared cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Invert onto a wire rack. Cool completely. Slice into 2 layers. Only half of the cake will be used in the pie. Place 1 layer on top of the Bavarian cream filling. Pour the rest of the Bavarian cream filling (approximately 1½ cups) on top of cake layer.

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Boston Cream Pie???

For the Chocolate Ganache: Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in small bowl. Warm the heavy cream, making sure not to scald it. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and whisk quickly. Pour the ganache over the top of the pie.

Chill until ready to serve.

PILGRIM APPLE MINCEMEAT PIE

Marles Riessland, Riverdale, NE
2006 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Favorite Thanksgiving Pie

CRUST

1 cup pastry flour

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon Crisco butter flavored shortening, chilled

⅓ cup water (ice cold)

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 egg, beaten

1 egg white, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

APPLE LAYER

4 cups apples (Rome or Jonathan)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon tapioca

½ teaspoon cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon heavy cream

MINCEMEAT LAYER

27-ounce jar mincemeat (None Such brand Classic Original)

GARNISH (OPTIONAL)

Pastry cut-outs or dollops of whipped topping

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 450°F. In large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles cornmeal. In small bowl, mix water and vinegar with the beaten egg. Add the liquid mixture, one tablespoon at a time, to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork to form a soft dough. Shape into three disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator. Use two disks when making this pie. Freeze remaining dough for later use. Roll out one pastry and place into a 9-inch pie dish for bottom crust. Mix egg white and sugar and use as an egg wash for top crust.

For the Apple Layer: Preheat oven to 450°F. Peel and slice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice. In heavy skillet, sauté apples and butter together over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Cool slightly. In medium bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add slightly cooled apples and mix well. Stir in vanilla and cream. Place apple mixture into bottom of pie crust, spreading evenly.

For the Mincemeat Layer: Spread the mincemeat on top of apple filling. Adjust top crust, seal, flute edge and vent top. Bake 15 minutes at 450°F. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until golden.

Garnish is optional. Top pie with baked pastry cut outs or whipped topping, if desired.

RED VELVET CREAM PIE

Patricia Lapiezo, La Mesa, CA
2011 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Crisco Innovation

CRUST

1½ cups all-purpose flour

⅓ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening

3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Melted white chocolate

FILLING

9-inch layer of a red velvet cake (either a mix or homemade)

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

6 ounces white chocolate

¼ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons white chocolate coffee syrup

¼ teaspoon cream cheese flavoring or vanilla extract

1½ cups heavy whipping cream, stiffly beaten

GARNISH

Sweetened whipped cream

Red velvet cake crumbs

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour, powdered sugar, finely chopped pecans, and salt; cut in shortening until flour is blended to form pea-size chunks. Sprinkle mixture with water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fork until dough forms a ball. Form a disk. Roll and press crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Flute edges. Prick bottom and sides with a fork and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown. Lightly brush bottom and sides of crust with melted white chocolate. Cool while preparing filling.

For the Filling: Divide the cake layer into 2 layers. Trim one layer to fit into the bottom of the pie crust. Measure the top of the pie dish and trim the remaining layer to fit the top of the pie dish (reserve crumbs). Set aside the top piece. Place the smaller cake on the bottom of pie crust.

Heat ¼ cup heavy cream and the white chocolate until just melted. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy and well blended. Blend in melted chocolate mixture. Blend in coffee syrup and flavoring. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over cake. Top with second cake layer.

Top pie with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle center of pie with reserved cake crumbs. Garnish edge of pie with chopped pecans. Chill 2 hours to set.

Red Velvet Cream Pie

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STRAWBERRY NAPOLEON

Michele Stuart, Norwalk, CT
2011 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division 2nd Runner Up Crisco Innovation

CRUST

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons salt

½ cup Crisco

10 tablespoons ice water

CREAM FILLING

3 egg yolks, beaten

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup flour

1⅓ cups whole milk

¾ cup water

1 vanilla bean

15 medium strawberries, thinly sliced

STRAWBERRY GLACÉ

1 cup fresh strawberries, mashed

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup water

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine ingredients until dough begins to form. Use about enough dough to prepare a single crust in a 9-inch ceramic deep dish. Brush edge of crust with cream. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside and cool completely. With the remaining dough, on a floured surface, thinly roll out pie dough to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. With a sharp knife, using the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, trace the circle so you have a circular disk. Repeat two more times so you have 3 circular disks. Place on a baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream and bake for 10 minutes at 375°F or until golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

For the Cream Filling: Combine the sugar, salt, and flour in a medium-sized saucepan and whisk them together. Add the milk and water to the whisked dry ingredients and heat the saucepan over medium heat, constantly whisking and scraping the sides of the pan. Monitor the mixture carefully; when it begins to simmer and becomes thick and bubbly after approximately 4 minutes, let it cook for 1 more minute. Mix 2 tablespoons of the heated mixture into the egg yolks (this will temper the egg yolks and prepare them so they cook properly in the cream). Pour the egg yolks into the cream in the saucepan and let the cream simmer for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping the sides constantly to prevent burning. Scrape vanilla bean and mix into saucepan. Pour ¾ cup cream mixture on the bottom of the pie shell. Place a layer of the thinly sliced strawberries on top of the cream.

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Strawberry Napoleon Pie

For the Glacé: Combine the mashed strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and water in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat. Stir while the ingredients heat, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture attains a thick consistency. Let the glacé cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator prior to use. Spread a layer of strawberry glacé on the bottom of one of the pie dough disks. Place the dough disks with the glacé facing down on top of the strawberries. Repeat this layering three times until you have a disk on top. Refrigerate the pie overnight.

Spread a layer of whipped cream over the top disk. Garnish with the chocolate napoleon lines and strawberries.

LIZZY’S LEMON PIE

Johnna Poulson, Celebration, FL
2003 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Celebration

CRUST

1⅓ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup shortening

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

FILLING

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup water

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon fresh grated lemon peel

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

6 ounces chopped white chocolate baking bar

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

ALMOND TOPPING

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 475°F. Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in cold water one tablespoon at a time. Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Shape into a ball and chill. Roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place in pie plate, trim off excess pastry along edges. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool.

For the Filling: In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Gradually add water until mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Lower heat and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir ¼ cup of hot mixture into egg yolks. Add egg yolk mixture to the other mixture in the saucepan. Cook over low heat until the mixture boils. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Transfer third of the hot lemon filling to a smaller saucepan. Add chopped white chocolate baking bar. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Cool remaining lemon mixture 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add melted white chocolate mixture. Beat until well blended. Spread over bottom of cooled baked pie shell. Spoon lemon mixture over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 2 hours until set or overnight.

For the Almond Topping: In a small bowl, beat whipping cream. Add sugar and extract. Beat until cream forms soft peaks. Pipe over pie and garnish with toasted almonds.

CRANBERRY-RIBBON APPLE PIE

Christine Montalvo, Windsor Heights, IA
2007 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Holiday Pie

CRUST

2½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ cups chilled butter, cut into pieces

¼ cup chilled butter-flavored Crisco, cut into pieces

3 to 6 tablespoons (or more) iced water

FILLING

1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

1 cup frozen 100 percent cranberry juice, thawed

2 (8-ounce) packages frozen cranberries

2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1¾ pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

EGG WASH

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

For the Crust: In food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add butter and Crisco pieces. Pulse until the flour mixture looks like coarse meal. Add about 3 tablespoons of the ice water and blend just until moist clumps form. Add additional water if needed. Do not over work. Remove dough and divide into 2 equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour before using. Roll out one dough disk on a floured surface into a 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep dish glass pie dish. Trim edges to 1 inch evenly around edge of pie plate.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium saucepan, stir in ¾ cup of sugar and cranberry juice and cook over medium high-heat. Add frozen cranberries and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until almost all the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. In a small bowl, blend cinnamon, flour, and remaining ¾ cup sugar together. Place sliced apples into a large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice. Toss with cinnamon-sugar mixture so apples are evenly covered. Spread half of the cranberry mixture evenly on pie crust. Spread half of the apples over the cranberry filling; spread remaining cranberry mixture over apple layer. Finally, spread remaining apples over the cranberry layer.

Roll out remaining disk of dough on a floured surface into a 12-inch round. Carefully place it over the filled pie dish. Trim edges and press crust edges and decoratively crimp the edges. Vent top with a sharp knife. Roll out remaining dough scraps and cut 5 large poinsettia petal shapes. Mix egg white and water together in small bowl. With a pastry brush, gently brush the back of each petal with the egg wash and arrange on top and center of the pie so that it looks like a poinsettia flower. Brush rest of top crust with egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon that have been mix together.

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Cranberry-Ribbon Apple Pie

Bake pie 15 minutes at 400°F. Reduce temperature to 375°F and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.

RASPBERRY JALAPEÑO CREAM CHEESE PIE

Tammi Carlock, Chickamauga, GA
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Crisco Innovation

CRUST

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

⅔ cup Crisco

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

FILLING

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1⅔ cups sugar

2 eggs

¼ cup cornstarch

3 teaspoons vanilla

¾ cup heavy cream

TOPPING

1 cup raspberries

1 cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeños (without seeds)

½ cup water

GARNISH

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Fresh raspberries

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until you have pea-sized crumbs. Slowly add water, fluffing with a fork until dough holds together. Form ball and flatten to a disk. Roll out onto floured surface and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp edges. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights and continue baking an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool on wire rack.

For the Filling: In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until very creamy. Add in the sugar and cornstarch gradually while beating at medium speed. Add eggs one at a time until completely mixed in. Add the vanilla and heavy cream and blend together. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until pie is set (may still jiggle slightly in the middle). Let cool on wire rack.

For the Topping: Crush the raspberries in a small saucepan. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch and add to the raspberries; blend well. Stir in the water and jalapeños. Cook over medium heat until mixture has thickened. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

For the Garnish: Spread top of pie with raspberry mixture. Beat heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla together until stiff peaks form. Pipe whipped cream onto edges of pie and top with raspberries.

Raspberry Jalapeño Cream Cheese Pie

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STRAWBERRY KIWI GREEN TEA PIE

Evette Rahman, Orlando, FL
2012 National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Crisco Innovation

CRUST

2 cups fine vanilla wafer cookie crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening, melted

¼ teaspoon lemon extract

STRAWBERRY KIWI FILLING

2½ cups sliced strawberries, divided

1½ cups diced kiwi

½ cup sugar

½ tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons strawberry flavored gelatin powder

3 tablespoons strawberry jam, melted

3 tablespoons apricot jam, melted

GREEN TEA FILLING

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon green tea powder (Matcha)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup powdered sugar

8-ounce container of extra creamy frozen whipped topping, thawed

TOPPING

Sweetened whipped cream

Mint sprig for optional garnish

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together cookie crumbs and sugar. Stir in melted Crisco shortening and lemon extract. Press in bottom and up sides of a deep dish pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Strawberry Kiwi Filling: In small blender, puree 1 cup of strawberries with 2 tablespoons of water. In small saucepan over medium heat, place pureed strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is very thick. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin powder. Scrape into a medium size bowl. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of sliced strawberries and 1 cup of diced kiwi. Refrigerate. Mix remaining ½ cup of strawberries with melted strawberry jam. Mix remaining ½ cup of kiwi with melted apricot jam. Save for garnish.

For the Green Tea Filling: In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in condensed milk, lemon juice, green tea powder (Matcha), lemon juice, and powdered sugar. Beat until well combined. Fold in whipped topping. Spread green tea filling in prepared pie crust. Top with strawberry kiwi filling.

For the Topping: Garnish pie with remaining strawberry and kiwi mixtures as desired. Top with dolloped or piped sweetened whipped cream. Garnish with mint sprig.

Strawberry Kiwi Green Tea Pie

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BIRTHDAY CAKE SURPRISE

Michele Stuart, Norwalk, CT
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division Honorable Mention Crisco Innovation

CRUST

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup Crisco

5 tablespoons very cold water

Heavy cream to brush on crust

WHITE CAKE LAYER

2½ cups cake flour

1⅔ cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

4 egg whites

1 egg

1 cup milk

3 teaspoons vanilla

VANILLA CREAM LAYER

3 egg yolks, beaten

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup flour

1⅓ cups whole milk

¾ cup water

1 vanilla bean

BUTTERCREAM TOPPING

6 tablespoon butter, room temperature

2½ cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoon milk

¾ teaspoon vanilla

Sprinkles to decorate

For the Crust: Combine flour and salt. Cut Crisco into flour until the consistency resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water over flour mixture one tablespoon at a time until dough forms a ball. Form dough into two disks. Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Roll out 1 disk and place in a 9-inch pan. Brush edge of crust with cream. Blind bake the pie shell at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let crust cool.

For the White Cake Layer: Mix all dry ingredients. Add the soft butter and mix. Add the egg whites and then the whole egg, one egg at a time. Slowly add the milk and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute. Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured 9-inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Once cooled, cut the cake into two equal layers.

For the Vanilla Cream Layer: Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and set them aside. Combine the sugar, salt, and flour in a medium-sized saucepan and whisk them together. Add the milk and water to the whisked dry ingredients and heat the saucepan over medium heat, constantly whisking and scraping the sides of the pan. Monitor the mixture carefully; when it begins to simmer and becomes thick and bubbly, after approximately four minutes, let it cook for one more minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the heated mixture to the egg yolks and mix them together well. Pour the egg yolks into the cream in the saucepan and let the cream simmer for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping the sides constantly to prevent burning. Add the vanilla bean and stir. Let stand to cool. Remove the bean before filling pie. Pour ½ of the vanilla cream into the bottom of the pie shell. Lay one layer of the cake on top of the cream. Then add the remaining cream on top of the cake. Add the second cake layer. Refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours to set.

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Birthday Cake Surprise Pie

For the Buttercream Topping: In a mixing bowl, blend the butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the milk, and the vanilla. Beat at least 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Decorate as you like with buttercream and sprinkles.

GOING BANANAS PIE

Susan Boyle, Debary, FL
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division 1st Place Crisco Innovation

CRUST

3 cups flour

1 egg

1 tablespoon white vinegar

⅛ teaspoon salt

1 cup Crisco (original or butter-flavored)

7 to 9 tablespoons cold water

GANACHE

2 cups chocolate chips

½ tablespoon white corn syrup

2 teaspoons butter, unsalted

1 pint regular whipping cream

WHIPPED TOPPING

2 cups heavy whipping cream

⅓ cup sugar

FILLING

1 bar white Lindt chocolate, melted

½ cup ganache (recipe above)

1 large box banana cream pudding mix

3 cups heavy whipping cream

¼ cup sugar

½ cup pineapple juice

4 large semi-green bananas, sliced thin

GARNISH

8 or 9 vanilla wafers

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large cold bowl, add flour and salt and mix well. Blend in Crisco until it resembles cornmeal. In a separate bowl, whip egg, vinegar, and water. Pour over flour mixture, stirring it with a fork until it forms a ball. Separate dough into two equal halves. Refrigerate one half of dough to use later for another pie. On a floured board, roll out dough 2 inches larger than your pie pan. Place in pie pan and flute the edges. Refrigerate while making the filling. Bake prepared crust at 400°F for 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Place a guard over the edges of the pie to prevent burning. Cool before filling.

For the Ganache: Combine all ingredients except for corn syrup in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat. When mixture reaches 90°F, remove from heat. Strain to remove any large particles from chocolate chips. Add corn syrup and stir slowly trying not to add air bubbles. Refrigerate until firm. Spread ½ cup ganache on bottom of prebaked, cooled crust

For the Filling: Dip sliced bananas in pineapple juice to prevent browning. See aside. Whip 3 cups of heavy whipping cream, melted chocolate, sugar, and pudding mix. Whip until creamy but not stiff. Reserve ½ cup for garnish before adding bananas. Fold in the sliced bananas. Spoon filling onto the ganache. Whip cream and sugar together until firm but creamy. Cover very quickly with whipped topping to seal the banana filling.

Swirl the banana cream around edge of pie and decorate with a vanilla wafer.

Going Bananas Pie

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AVOCADO DREAM PIE

Lois Spruytte, Richland, MI
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Crisco Innovation

CRUST

⅓ cup crushed almonds

1¼ cup flour

⅓ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter-flavored Crisco

2 egg yolks, beaten and divided.

FILLING

2 mashed and pureed avocados

12 ounces softened cream cheese

1 cup sugar

¼ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

4 ounces crème fraîche

TOPING

1 small jar of Smucker’s Strawberry jam

2 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons cornstarch

GARNISH

1 star fruit, cut

2 kiwis, cut

Mandarin oranges

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix all but the Crisco in a medium bowl. Cut the Crisco in with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives. Add more than half of the egg yolks and toss with a fork. Pat down in an Emile Henry pie dish. Dock the crust, then bake it for 18 to 22 minutes. Add about 1 tablespoon of water to the remaining egg yolk. When the crust is done brush the egg yolk mixture all over. Reduce oven to 325°F and bake for 2 minutes longer.

For the Filling: In a mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until nice and fluffy. Add flour and salt. Mix well, scraping the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well. Add the crème fraîche and mix very well. Lastly, add the pureed avocado and bring mixer to a higher speed. Place in crust and bake in the 325°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes.

For the Topping: Add ingredients to a small pot and reduce over medium heat until smooth and thick. Once pie is out of the oven let it cool for about 10 to 20 minutes. Then spread the strawberry jam mixture over the top.

Garnish with cut up fruit. Let cool completely and place in fridge for a few hours before serving.