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

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CREAM CHEESE

Heavenly Hawaiian Cheese Pie

Ruth’s Raspberry Cheesy Pie

Meyer Lemon Cheese Pie

Surprise Cherry Cheese Pie

Caramel Macaroon Pie

Splitsville Summer Sundae Pie

Razzle Dazzle Raspberry Cheese Pie

Blueberry Buckle Pie

Up, Up, and Away

Drop Dead Gorgeous Strawberry Pie

HEAVENLY HAWAIIAN CHEESE PIE

Patricia Lapiezo, La Mesa, CA
2010 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Cream Cheese

CRUST

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

FILLING

4-ounce bar Lindt white coconut chocolate, melted

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

PINEAPPLE TOPPING

20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, reserving juice

¼ teaspoon piña colada flavor or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons cornstarch

GARNISH

Whipped cream

Toasted coconut

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine the crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool while preparing filling.

For the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in cooled chocolate. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well after each. Stir in whipping cream and piña colada or vanilla extract. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Sprinkle macadamia nuts over the cream cheese layer.

For the Topping: Stir together the pineapple and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Combine the pineapple juice and cornstarch and stir into the pineapple. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the flavoring and butter. Cool slightly and spread over top of pie. Chill pie 2 to 4 hours. Garnish with a border of sweetened whipped cream and toasted coconut.

RUTH’S RASPBERRY CHEESY PIE

Mary Weihman, Orlando FL
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Cream Cheese

CRUST

1½ cups crushed graham crackers

6 tablespoons stick margarine or butter, melted

3 tablespoons sugar

FILLING

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

⅓ cup raspberry chips

⅓ cup white chocolate chips

1 can Comstock Wilderness Raspberry Pie Filling, divided

GARNISH

Whipped cream

Fresh raspberries

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with Crisco. Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press mixture firmly against bottom and sides of pie plate. Chill in refrigerator while preparing filling.

For the Filling: Blend softened cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time until just blended. Remove 1 cup of mixture from the bowl. Melt the raspberry chips in the microwave and stir into the removed 1 cup of cream cheese mixture until well blended. Pour into prepared crust. Top with a portion of the raspberry pie filling, as much as you desire, but save some for garnish. Melt the white chocolate chips and add to the remainder of the cream cheese mixture. Pour on top of pie. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until center is done. Cool and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Garnish with whipped cream, the remainder of the pie filling, or some fresh raspberries.

Ruth’s Raspberry Cheesy Pie

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MEYER LEMON CHEESE PIE

Patricia Lapiezo, La Mesa, CA
2009 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Cream Cheese

CRUST

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1¼ cups Crisco shortening

5 tablespoons ice water

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 egg, lightly beaten

¾ cup finely ground vanilla cream-filled cookies

1 tablespoon melted butter

¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

LEMON CHEESECAKE FILLING

4 ounces white chocolate, melted

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

½ teaspoon vanilla

MEYER LEMON CURD

4 large egg yolks

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 ounces fresh Meyer lemon juice

¼ cup unsalted butter

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

GARNISH

Whipped cream

White chocolate, shaved

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening. In a small bowl, combine the water, vinegar, and egg. Stir into flour mixture until dough comes together. Shape dough into two disks and refrigerate 1 hour. Use 1 disk for a 10-inch pie dish. Roll out crust on lightly floured work surface. Transfer to pie pan, flute edges. Prick bottom and sides of crust. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven. Combine cookie crumbs, butter, and lemon peel in a small bowl. Press firmly over bottom of crust and bake an additional 8 minutes. Remove from oven and turn oven down to 350°F. Prepare cheesecake filling.

For the Lemon Cheesecake Filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in cooled chocolate. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well after each. Stir in whipping cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon peel. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Prepare lemon curd.

For the Lemon Curd: In a large saucepan, beat the yolks and sugar together until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and resembling a thin hollandaise sauce. Do not bring to a boil. When thickened, pour at once into a strainer. Discard residue. Pour over prepared pie. Refrigerate until well chilled.

For the Garnish: Garnish edge of pie with sweetened whipped cream and shaved white chocolate, if desired.

SURPRISE CHERRY CHEESE PIE

Karen Hall, Elm Creek, NE
2008 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Cream Cheese

CRUST

3 cups unbleached flour

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter-flavored Crisco, cold

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon ice cold water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

CHERRY FILLING

2 (14.5-ounce) cans sour pitted cherries, drained and reserving ¾ cup cherry juice

1¼ cups sugar

1 tablespoon tapioca

2 tablespoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon almond flavoring

¼ teaspoon red food coloring

2 tablespoons butter

BOTTOM CREAM CHEESE LAYER

8-ounce package Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

2 egg whites

½ teaspoon almond flavoring

3 sheets of frozen phyllo (filo) dough, thawed

GLAZE

1 egg white, beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

For the Crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. With a pastry blender, cut in Crisco until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, beat egg, water, and vinegar together. Add egg mixture slowly to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until mixture is moistened. Do not over mix. Divide dough and shape into 2 balls, flatten each to form a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. Makes enough pastry for one double crust 10-inch deep dish pie.

For the Cherry Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, tapioca, and cornstarch. Add reserved cherry juice, almond flavoring, red food coloring, and butter; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles and begins to thicken. Stir in cherries, simmer for 5 minutes. Refrigerate until completely cooled or overnight.

For the Bottom Cream Cheese Layer: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg whites, and almond flavoring until smooth. Set aside.

To Assemble: Roll out bottom crust and line a 10-inch deep dish pie pan. Spread cream cheese filling into bottom of pie shell. Cut a 10-inch circle from phyllo dough, place on top of cream cheese layer, and gently press down. Spoon chilled cherry pie filling over phyllo dough. Roll out top crust, make pretty pie vents, place onto top of pie, adjust, trim, and flute edge. Brush top with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar for the glaze. Protect edge of pie with foil. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°F and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden.

Surprise Cherry Cheese Pie

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CARAMEL MACAROON PIE

Tammi Carlock, Chickamauga, GA
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Cream Cheese

CRUST

2 cups shortbread cookies, crushed fine

1 cup coconut

5 tablespoons butter, melted

MACAROON TOPPING ONE

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups coconut

½ cup sliced almonds

CARAMEL TOPPING TWO

20 caramels

2 tablespoons half-and-half

FILLING

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups heavy cream, whipped

GARNISH

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

For the Crust: Mix together the cookie crumbs with the coconut and butter and press into a 10-inch pie plate. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

For the Macaroon Topping One: Place the 4 tablespoons butter into small bowl and microwave until melted. Toss with coconut and almonds to coat. Place on cookie sheet and toast in 350°F oven until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

For the Caramel Topping Two: Unwrap the caramels and put in a small bowl with the half-and-half and microwave until melted, stopping and stirring often.

For the Filling: Mix the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk with an electric mixer until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream. Divide in half. Place half of the cream cheese mixture in the pie plate and then drizzle the caramel mixture on top, saving some for the top of the pie. Pour the remaining cream cheese mixture on top and sprinkle the macaroon mixture over top of pie.

For the Garnish: Whip the heavy cream with sugar and vanilla and pipe onto top of pie. Drizzle with remaining caramel. Refrigerate.

Caramel Macaroon Pie

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SPLITSVILLE SUMMER SUNDAE PIE

Carol Socier, Bay City, MI
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Cream Cheese

CRUST

2 cups finely ground vanilla wafers

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon pineapple extract

¼ cup white chocolate chips

2 teaspoons light cream

FILLING

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in its own juice

2 bananas

8 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

1½ cups pineapple sherbet, softened

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped and divided

TOPPING

½ cup Maraschino cherries

⅓ cup pineapple sundae topping

Chocolate sundae topping

Caramel sundae topping

Chopped macadamia nuts

Whipped Cream

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine crumbs, sugar, butter, and pineapple extract in bowl, stirring until crumbs are moist. Press evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in preheated oven 6 to 8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool. Melt chips and cream. Brush bottom and sides of cooled crust.

For the Filling: Drain pineapple, reserving juice. In a small bowl, combine sliced bananas with reserved juice. Let set for 5 minutes. Drain bananas. Arrange over bottom of crust.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and leftover pineapple juice. Beat in pineapple sherbet and vanilla. Gradually beat in pudding mix until well blended. Fold in drained crushed pineapple and half of whipped cream. Spread mixture evenly over banana slices. Cover and refrigerate until set.

For the Topping: Remove pie from refrigerator. Chop all but one of the cherries into quarters. Arrange chopped cherries around edge of pie. Drizzle with chocolate, pineapple, and caramel topping. Place large dollop whipped cream onto center of pie. Sprinkle with nuts. Top with remaining cherry. Drizzle with syrups. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Splitsville Summer Sundae Pie

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RAZZLE DAZZLE RASPBERRY CHEESE PIE

Evette Rahman, Orlando, FL
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division 1st Place Fruit/Berry

CRUST

2 cups coconut cookie crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

FILLING ONE

3 cups fresh raspberries, divided

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

FILLING TWO

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

8-ounce container of frozen whipped topping, thawed

GARNISH

Sweetened whipped cream

Fresh raspberries

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together crust ingredients and press into bottom and sides of deep dish pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool.

For the Filling One: In saucepan over medium heat mix 1 cup of raspberries, ½ cup sugar, cornstarch, and water. Cook until very thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 cups of raspberries. Cool in refrigerator.

For the Filling Two: Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lime juice until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread half of cheese mixture into pie shell. Spread half of raspberry mixture on top. Repeat with remaining fillings.

For the Garnish: Garnish pie with whipped cream and raspberries.

Razzle Dazzle Raspberry Cheese Pie

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BLUEBERRY BUCKLE PIE

Matt Zagorski, Arlington Heights, IL
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division Honorable Mention Fruit/Berry

CRUST

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cake flour

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter-flavored Crisco, cold

½ cup whole butter, salted, cold

¼ cup sour cream

½ cup water

FILLING

16 ounces cream cheese

2 packages of Wilde Thyme Food’s Blueberry Buckle Dip mix

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup Cool Whip

TOPPING

4 tablespoon sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

½ cup water

2 cups blueberries

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

GARNISH

2 cups whipping cream

5 tablespoons sugar

For the Crust: Cut the Crisco and butter into ¼-inch pieces. Once cut, place them in the freezer to harden. Combine the flours, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor and combine for about 30 seconds. Once the dry ingredients are combined, scatter the very cold Crisco and butter pieces over the flour mixture and process thoroughly using 10 one-second pulses on the food processor. Make sure the mixture has no fat bits larger than small peas. If so, pulse one or two more times. Remove to a large bowl. Combine the sour cream and water in a glass or bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the sour cream mixture over the flour mixture and with a fork use a folding motion to incorporate. Add enough additional water so that the dough just comes together. It should be slightly damp, cold, and hold together when squeezed. Divide the dough into 2 piles, shape into balls and flatten each into a 6 to 8-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours—best if overnight. Before rolling out, let the dough come to just below room temperature. This should take 6 to 7 minutes. The dough should be slightly cool to the touch. Roll to desired thickness and place in pie pan. Place the pan with the rolled out dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 40 minutes. After 40 minutes in the refrigerator, place the dough and pie pan in the freezer for 20 minutes. While the dough is in the freezer, pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

After 20 minutes in the freezer, take the dough and pie pan out of the freezer, line the bottom of the pie shell with a parchment circle, and then add about 1 to 1.5 pounds of ceramic pie weights. Place the pie shell on a cookie sheet and bake on the floor of the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the weights and parchment paper. Dock or prick the dough with a fork to let air escape, and return the shell to the middle rack of the oven to cook for another 6 to 8 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is golden brown. If the crust starts to bubble, prick it again with a fork. When the pie crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

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Blueberry Buckle Pie

For the Filling: Place the first 3 ingredients in a stand mixer and combine. Fold in the Cool Whip and blueberries. Fill the cooled pie crust with blueberry cream cheese filling. Smooth over with an offset spatula and set aside.

For the Topping: In a small saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, water, blueberries, and lemon juice. Cook and stir until thickened. Cool down in an ice bath. Spread over the blueberry cream cheese filling.

For the Garnish: In a stand mixer, whip the whipping cream and sugar to stiff peaks. Pipe around edges of pie. Chill 2 hours.

UP, UP, AND AWAY

Raine Gottess, Coconut Creek, FL
2013 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Professional Division Honorable Mention Open

CRUST

2 (8.8-ounce) packages Lotus Biscoff cookies,* (airline cookies found at Publix)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

½ cup plus up to 3 tablespoons butter, melted

FILLING ONE

3 ounces melted Lindt Milk Hazelnut Grandeur chocolate, melted

8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

1½ cups powdered sugar

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla

1 tablespoon milk

6 ounces Cool Whip

FILLING TWO

8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

1¼ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1 cup Lotus Biscoff crunchy spread, (found in Publix)

6 ounces Cool Whip

GARNISH

8 ounces Cool Whip

For the Crust: Process cookies with graham crumbs in a food processor until fine. Place into a bowl and toss with melted butter until moist. Press into a 10-inch deep dish pie pan to form a crust. Freeze.

For Filling One: In a mixing bowl, beat well cream cheese with melted chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and milk. Add in Cool Whip and blend well. Spread over crust and freeze.

For Filling Two: In a mixing bowl beat well cream cheese with sugar, vanilla and Biscoff spread. Add in Cool Whip and blend well. Spread over filling one.

For the Garnish: Pipe with the Cool Whip and refrigerate overnight.

Up, Up, and Away Pie

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*Biscoff is the official airline cookie. I dedicate this pie to my son Tye who will be an officer with the Air Force in the Drones 2013.

DROP DEAD GORGEOUS STRAWBERRY PIE

Grace Thatcher, Delta, OH
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Cream Cheese

STRAWBERRY GLAZE

Note: Start glaze 1 day before making pie!

1 pound (3 cups) frozen strawberries

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon Clearjel (available from King Arthur’s baking catalog)

CRUST

10 tablespoons butter

2 cups all-purpose flour (available from King Arthur’s baking catalog)

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

6 to 7 tablespoons ice water

3 ounces white chocolate

WHITE CHOCOLATE FILLING

3 ounces white chocolate

4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

2 tablespoons sour cream

STRAWBERRY LAYER

20 to 25 fresh strawberries, washed, dried, and stemmed

WHIPPED CREAM FILLING

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup heavy cream

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

3 ounces white chocolate

1¼ cups heavy cream

For the Crust: Cut butter into ¾-inch cubes and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. In a food processor with a metal blade, mix flour, salt, and sugar for a few seconds then add ⅓ of the butter and pulse for 10 seconds. The mixture should look like coarse meal. Add the remaining butter and pulse until butter is the size of peas, then add six tablespoons of water and pulse 5 to 7 times. Pinch some dough together, and if it doesn’t hold together, pulse in the last tablespoon of water. Take dough out of processor, press into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 to 40 minutes. Take dough out of plastic and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 14-inch round. Ease into a deep dish pie pan and flute edges decoratively. Bake in a 425°F oven until browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool about 20 minutes. Melt 3 ounces of white chocolate in the microwave and brush over bottom and sides of pie shell.

For the Glaze: Pour frozen strawberries into a bowl. Cut larger berries in half. Pour ½ cup sugar over berries and stir the mixture. This mixture can be left out to thaw for around 5 hours, then must be placed in the refrigerator overnight. Remove bowl from refrigerator when ready to make glaze. Pour the strawberry mixture through a colander lined with cheese cloth, reserving juice. This should yield ¾ cup of intensely flavored, clear ruby red juice. Do not press berries against colander; it will cause the juice to become cloudy. Pour the liquid into a saucier, reserving ¼ cup of juice. In a small bowl, make a slurry with Clear-Jel and ¼ cup of reserved juice. Add this to the saucier and cook, stirring over medium heat until the glaze comes to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes to cook ClearJel completely, and set aside to cool.

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Drop Dead Gorgeous Strawberry Pie

For the White Chocolate Filling: In a small bowl, melt 3 ounces white chocolate in microwave and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese at high speed with hand mixer until light and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in lightly cooled white chocolate and beat for another minute. Add the sour cream and beat until well blended. Transfer mixture to pie shell and spread evenly.

For the Strawberry Layer: To make strawberry layer, arrange strawberries with points facing up on top of white chocolate mixture.

For the Whipped Cream Filling: Place 8 ounces of cream cheese in medium bowl and beat on high speed with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and white chocolate to the whipped cream cheese and whip again. In a second bowl, whip heavy cream to soft peaks, then stir ⅓ of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Place ⅔ of this mixture into pie shell covering strawberries and level the surface. Place leftover ⅓ of mixture in a pastry bag; reserve. Pour strawberry glaze over pie and carefully pipe remaining ⅓ cream cheese mixture over glaze. Refrigerate until ready to serve.