Survey Gives a Taste of Country’s Relationship With an All-American Dessert Celebrated on National Pie Day, Jan. 23

When movie-goers see Paramount Pictures’ “Labor Day,” which opens later this month, they’re likely to emerge from theaters craving a slice of good ol’ American pie. Not surprisingly, their preferred choice of pie most likely will be apple.

Both assumptions are based on findings in a recent independent survey commissioned by the American Pie Council, whose National Pie Day holiday on January 23 is being sponsored by “Labor Day.” Premiering on January 31, the movie, starring Kate Winslet, in a Golden Globe-nominated role, and Josh Brolin and directed by Jason Reitman, includes a salient scene that shares the APC’s message of passing down pie-making skills from generation to generation.

LaborDayPoster
photo courtesy of American Pie Council

Conducted by Nielsen, the survey polled 1,000 respondents from across the country, asking them about their pie-eating habits and their lifetime relationship with the dessert. The survey revealed that pie is a preferred dessert even on special occasions other than Thanksgiving, with 70% favoring it on Christmas and 67% considering it a staple of family gatherings. And, it’s not just an after-dinner treat. Pie is a great late-night snack, too, 58% of the respondents said. Quite a few of those surveyed—26%—even admitted to hiding a piece of piece to save it for themselves!

What are Americans’ favorite pies? Apple takes, ah, the cake, but perhaps surprisingly chocolate pie tied with pumpkin in the No. 2 spot, while cherry placed third, according to the survey.

The survey also buttressed the APC’s view of pie as a slice of Americana, and not just as a menu item for special occasions either. Pie recipes and pie-making skills hold a dear place in a family’s heritage, a theme that “Labor Day” seizes upon with subtle effectiveness.

“Labor Day” will be distinctively tied to National Pie Day through social and traditional media promotional campaigns, pie recipes and more, and will be showcased in marketing materials supporting the holiday. On January 13, the APC launched on its Facebook page a ticket-giveaway promotion. One lucky person will receive a private viewing party of “Labor Day” with 50 guests in the winner’s town.

“Labor Day” centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.

The American Pie Council® is the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie. The APC offers personal, professional and commercial memberships. For more information, please visit www.piecouncil.org or follow the American Pie Council on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter at FYPie.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group

How to Match Wines with Desserts

A full course meal ends with a delectable dessert that’s why it is important to serve something that will leave the palate satisfied. Usually, the dessert is paired with a glass of wine because they compliment each other. No wonder many people go to Walt Disney World between September and November so they can satisfy their sweet cravings. This is the time that the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is held – where people can indulge in a superb selection of desserts paired with the perfect wine. However, after this event there are some people who are often left clueless when it comes to wine and dessert pairing. You don’t need to be a sommelier like the award-winning wine critic Robert Parker to know what kind of wine to match the dessert. Just read below for some tips on how you can do that:

photo courtesy of Tobias Lindman

Matching the Color

The color of the wine usually matches the color of the dessert. If you’re having red fruits as the main ingredients of your dessert, then it is advisable to choose red wines like the Cupcake Red Velvet 2011. The Bordeaux Merlot 2010, on the other hand, matches strawberry shortcake topped with berries. White wines don’t go well with citrus, tropical, and berry-flavored desserts so avoid purchasing that when throwing a tropical-themed party.

Read the Wine Description

When choosing a wine, make sure to read the ingredients or description to give you a clue as to what kind of desserts will match it. For example, M&S described Moscatel de Valencia 2012 as “a really refreshing sweet wine – pale lemon with the scent of green grapes and peaches and a luscious, ripe flavor.” Just by reading its description, you will get an idea that the Moscatel will go well with fruit desserts. Actually this sweet wine was commended at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2013.

These are just some basic tips on how you can get that perfect dessert and wine combination. Just remember to try out different wines to see what works for you best.

The American Pie Council Presents Pies, Pies and More Pies In New Book Featuring 18 Years of Award-Winning Recipes

Since 1995, amateur, commercial, and professional bakers have competed in the American Pie Council (APC)/Crisco National Pie Championships to determine who makes the best pies in America.  America’s Best Pies: Nearly 200 Recipes You’ll Love (Skyhorse Publishing, October 2012, SRP $24.95) by the American Pie Council with Linda Hoskins is a collection of 200 delicious recipes that have won awards over the 18 years of the championship competition.  The book will be available for sale this October on www.piecouncil.org and through select national booksellers and online book retailers.

From the unusual like My Big Fat Italian Strawberry Basil Wedding Pie to classic Apple (America’s Number One flavor preference (Perishable News, 2012 Pie Survey), every recipe has been reviewed by judges and determined to be an award-winning pie.  The selections in America’s Best Pies are the best of the best from amateur and professional bakers from across the country.  Recipes include:

  • Silky, Rich & Smooth Chocolate Pie
  • Lemon Raspberry Twist
  • Island Breeze Pineapple-Blueberry Cream Pie
  • Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chunk Pie
  • Deep-Dish Deluxe Banana Split Pie
  • Oreo Peanut Butter Mousse Pie
  • Pumpkin
  • Californese Raisin and Nut Pie
  • Holiday Cranberry Mince Pie
  • White-Bottomed Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie
  • Vanilla Bean Brûlée Pie

America’s Best Pies showcases an abundance of color pie photographs, many of which are the actual pies entered in the competition.  Packed with clear and concise recipes, the book is for expert and future expert pie makers alike.  Whether it’s apple, custard, strawberry or raisin, there’s a pie for every taste bud.

The APC/Crisco National Pie Championships is a four-day event held annually in Central Florida drawing the nation’s top commercial, professional, amateur and junior pie bakers.  Bakers win prizes, but compete for bragging rights. Next year’s competition is scheduled for April 26-28, 2013 at the Caribe Royal Orlando.  For more information, visit www.piecouncil.org.

The American Pie Council® is the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie. The APC offers personal, professional, and commercial memberships and leads the nation in celebrating National Pie Day every January 23.  For more information, please visit www.piecouncil.org

About the Author

Linda Hoskins has served as the executive director of the American Pie Council since 2000.  Along with a strong board of directors, Linda has been responsible for organizing all aspects of the pie industry for the National Pie Championships, the Great American Pie Festival, and the Pie Industry Seminar. Linda has been a judge for the Food Network and the Travel Channel, and has been named to Baking Management’s Influential 20 in both 2009 and 2011.  Linda and her husband, Richard, have two children and three grandchildren and reside in Lake Forest, Illinois.

America’s Best Pies
Nearly 200 Recipes You’ll Love
By American Pie Council
With Linda Hoskins
Skyhorse Publishing hardcover, also available as an ebook
Available at select retailers nationwide and through www.piecouncil.org
On Sale: October 2012
ISBN: 978-1-62087-165-2
Price: $24.95

In the Spotlight: Homestead Favorites

Today, I’d like to introduce you to “Homestead Favorites”, a ranch with a long history, going back almost 150 years and 6 generations!

In 1849, John Carsten Grupe, embarked on a sailing vessel which brought him on the long voyage around Cape Horn to California. The young man had been attracted to the coast by gold prospects, later turned his attention to freighting to the mine fields from Stockton to Mokelume Hill. After a few years, he began a very successful agricultural career in the Linden area. This pioneering family established a diverse and very successful farm raising fruits, vegetables, grains, and cattle.

“Homestead Favorites” is in the Spotlight today for their cherry orchard and yummy cherry jellies!

Since 1960, when it was planted by Karl Potter Grupe, this orchard has continued to produce the finest cherries in the Linden area. Many of the original trees still bear pounds of fruit through the May to June harvest. The Bing cherries are shipped around the world as first class fresh market cherries.

Courtesy of Homestead Favorites, here are a few recipes:

Cherry Almond Focaccia Recipe (Awarded 1st place at Linden Cherry Festival)
Ingredients:
– 1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
– 1/2 c. cherry jelly
– 1/4 c. sliced almonds
– 1/2 c. granola, grape nuts or any crunchy cereal

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375° F;
2. Cut each roll into 4 pieces, arrange 1/2″ apart in greased pan. Gently press pieces together to form a crust.
3. Spoon cherry jelly over crust and top with almonds & granola.
4. Bake for 18-20 minutes & drizzle with icing.

Chutney Chicken Summer Salad
Ingredients:
– 1/2cup mayonnaise
– 1/2 cup cherry chutney
– 1 tsp. curry(?)
– 2t. lemon zest
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
– 1/2 t. salt
– 4 cup diced cooked chicken in cubes

Directions:
1. Mix dressing, add chicken, add 1 chopped apple or pear, 3/4 almonds or pecans & 1/2 c. raisins or cranberries.
2. Set on a bed of lettuce

The Grupe homestead is one of the last surviving family ranches in the Linden area and they even received an honorary award from the California Chamber of Commerce!

Their cherry jellies can be found at a few wineries in Northern California. If you’d like to buy some of their cherry jelly, please visit them at www.homesteadfavorites.com and contact them through their contact page.

Chocolate Brulees Dessert Recipe

Recipe and image courtesy of our friends at Pillsbury.com.

INGREDIENTS:
2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Thick & Creamy French vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons fat-free half-and-half
6 raspberries

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spoon 1 container yogurt into each of two 6-oz brulee dishes or small custard cups.

2. Place chocolate chips and half-and-half in small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High 15 to 20 seconds; stir until smooth. Spread over top of each dish of yogurt in thin layer.

3. Refrigerate brulees until chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes. Top with raspberries.

Photo courtesy of Pillsbury.com

National Pie Day and Laura’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Apple Pie Recipe

Throwing a pie baking – and pie tasting – party for friends or coworkers, or to raise money for a favorite charity, are all delicious ways to celebrate National Pie Day on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Why is National Pie Day celebrated on Jan. 23 or 1/23? Because celebrating the wholesome goodness of pie is as easy as 1-2-3!

Bakers of all skill levels are invited to enter the 18th Annual APC/Crisco® National Pie Championships® to be held April 27-29, 2012 in Orlando. Entry forms will be posted soon at www.piecouncil.org. Those who prefer to appreciate the nuances of pie without all the work won’t want to miss the APC Great American Pie Festival sponsored by Crisco®, featuring the Never Ending Pie Buffet, held April 28-29, 2012 in nearby Celebration, Fla.

Here is a winning recipe from last year, courtesy of The American Pie Council.

Laura’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Apple Pie
Linda Hundt, DeWitt, Mich.
Crisco® Innovation Best of Show
Professional
2011 American Pie Council Crisco® National Pie Championships


Pie Crust
1 ½ cups of flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup cold butter cut in small pieces
½ cup of refrigerated Crisco® shortening

Mix all above ingredients in Kitchenaid style mixer on medium speed swiftly until crust appears “pea-like.” Carefully sprinkle water in crust mix until it starts to become moistened and gathers together. Pat into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least one half hour. Roll out on to floured surface and make and crimp crust. Freeze until ready to use.

Apple Filling
Five medium to large Michigan Cortland, Ida Red Apples, peeled, thinly sliced, diced
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Cook above ingredients in large pan on medium heat until cooked halfway. Stir in 3/4 cup homemade caramel until melted.

Homemade caramel – recipe below
Praline pecans – recipe below

Sticky Toffee Pudding Filling
½ cup praline pecans
1 stick of butter softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 T heavy cream
1 T lemon juice
1 egg – beaten
½ cup self-rising flour
Mix above ingredients just until blended.

Crumb topping
¾ cup of flour
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter softened

Mix all together all crumb topping ingredients by hand or a pastry blender until fine and crumbly.

Directions:
Spread sticky toffee pudding mixture on bottom of crust. Put apple mixture over pudding mixture. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for one hour or until knife easily slides into center of pie with no resistance. If pie becomes too brown before done, turn down oven to 350 degrees to finish baking and cover with foil completely.

Top with a generous amount of homemade caramel and praline pecans.

Homemade Caramel
1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ stick butter
1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract

In heavy 3 quart saucepan, combine all ingredients, but vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, covering all parts of bottom of pan with wire whisk to avoid scorching. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, constantly stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until caramel reaches 244F on a candy thermometer or firm-ball stage. Pour in glass container. Cool to use.

Praline Pecans
1 cup of chopped pecans
2 T butter
2 T brown sugar
Melt butter in small pan on medium –low heat until melted. Add pecans and sugar and stir ingredients until you start smelling the nuts roasting. Take off heat and cool. Crumble.

***

The American Pie Council® (APC), the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, offers pie lovers plenty of reasons and ways to celebrate. The APC offers recipes on its website www.piecouncil.org and many APC members offer activities, specials and more in celebration of the special day. The APC is comprised of amateur, professional and commercial pie manufacturer members. Any amateur pie maker or pie lover can join for just $40 for a lifetime membership.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 container (16 oz) chocolate creamy frosting
Candy corn
Orange decorating icing
Black decorating gel
Miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies as directed on roll. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
2. Spoon chocolate frosting into resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut small hole in bottom corner of bag. On each cookie, pipe frosting on outer edge of half of cookie. Arrange candy corn over frosting for feathers.
3. Pipe orange icing onto each cookie to resemble turkey face and feet. Use orange icing to attach baking bits to turkey face for eyes. Pipe black gel on baking bits for centers of eyes.

This recipe is courtesy of Pillsbury.com.

photo courtesy of Pillsbury.com

Poppin’ Fresh Citrus-Glaze Crullers Recipe

This recipe is courtesy of Pillsbury.com.
INGREDIENTS
Rolls
1/4 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated bread sticks
Glaze
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place melted butter in shallow dish. Place granulated sugar in another shallow dish.
2. Unroll dough; separate into breadsticks. Dip both sides of each breadstick in butter; coat with sugar. Twist each breadstick; place on cookie sheet. Press down ends firmly.
3. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix glaze ingredients. Remove rolls from oven. Immediately drizzle glaze over rolls. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.