Have you made a pie lately? If you the answer is no, Saturday might be the perfect day to do so. That’s because it’s National Pie Day.
But if you’re unsure that you can do it, the American Pie Council (www.piecouncil.org) offers tips, award-winning recipes and discount coupons on its Web site that can help anyone bake a homemade pie.
The APC, an organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage (it offers personal, professional and commercial memberships) even suggests sharing a a homemade pie with a friend, a soldier or loved one as a way of saying thanks.
And if you really want to get serious about pies, there’s the three-day APC/Crisco 2010 National Pie Championships on April 23 to 25 in Orlando, Fla. Last year, more than 170 judges graded pies created by 138 bakers who entered 465 commercial, 130 professional and 266 amateur pies.
Emile Henry USA, makers of the finest quality ceramic bakeware and gourmet cooking products, has returned for as the "Official Pie Dish" of the National Pie Championships. Each junior, amateur and professional competitor receives an Emile Henry ceramic pie dish, valued at $45 each. Best of Show winners in the amateur and professional divisions will each win $5,000, a new Sears Kenmore range and a Crisco gift basket, while the top winner in the Junior Chef division receive a $2,000 Crisco college scholarship and a Crisco gift basket. First-place ribbons and bragging rights will be awarded to Commercial Division winners.
To enter, APC members pay $15 per pie entry for amateurs and $20 per pie entry for professionals. Nonmembers pay $35 per pie entry for either category. Junior entries are free.
For more details, to become a member of the APC or to register for the National Pie Championships, go to APC’s Web site.
Here is a recipe that was an amateur Best of Show winner.
Peanut Butter Pie
1 1/3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1/3 cup melted butter (unsalted)
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until blended; pour into a 9-inch pie dish sprayed with Crisco cooking spray. Press into the bottom and sides; bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.
PEANUT BUTTER FILLING:
¾ cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup Jiff creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons softened butter (unsalted)
¼ cup chopped peanuts (save small amount for garnish)
Mix first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Spread into the bottom of cooled pie shell and sprinkle with peanuts.
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon Pillsbury All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
¾ cup Jiff Peanut Butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
6 small (0.55 ounces) frozen Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt over medium heat. Gradually stir in milk until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in 1 cup of hot filling into the beaten egg yolks. Return all to saucepan, stirring constantly. Return to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and peanut butter. Let cool, fold in 5 chopped peanut butter cups. Pour into cooled pie shell. Garnish with whipped topping and remaining chopped peanut butter cups and remaining chopped peanuts.
TOM’S CHEERY CHERRY CHERRY BERRY PIE
One and one-half cups of flour
One-quarter tsp baking powder
One-half tsp salt
One tsp sugar
One-half cup Crisco shortening
Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer on medium speed swiftly until crust appears “pea like.” Carefully sprinkle ice cold water in crust mix until it just starts to be fully moistened and gathers together. Pat into disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least one half hour. Roll out on floured surface and make and crimp piecrust. Freeze until ready to use.
Four and one-half cups Montmorency tart cherries –frozen
One cup sugar
One-quarter cup cornstarch
One-half tsp real almond extract
One tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
One-half tsp orange zest
One-half cup dried Michigan cherries
One and one-half cups of frozen blueberries
Combine frozen cherries, dried cherries, sugar, cornstarch. Stir constantly on med-hi heat until boiling. Add blueberries. Boil for one minute or until thickened. Add almond extract, lemon juice and zest. Pour blueberries in bottom of pie shell and pour cherry mixture over them.
One cup sugar
One cup all purpose flour
One-quarter tsp salt
One stick butter softened
Mix together all crumb topping ingredients by hand or a pastry blender until crumbly.
Cover filling with crumb topping. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until filling is bubbling over crust.