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

Baking Tips: Angel Food, Chiffon and Sponge Cake

When you are looking for a lighter, fluffier sweet treat to make at home, you may want to direct your attention to the beauty of angel food-, chiffon-, and sponge cake recipes. While not everyone will enjoy the lightness or texture of this dessert, there are many different ways to enhance the taste by experimenting with spices, nuts, and flavored glazes.

What’s the Difference?

Angel Food Cake – This sponge cake is described as delicate, light and airy. Since egg whites are used instead of the entire egg, the dessert is low-calorie and virtually fat-free. The typical one-ounce piece of angel food is a little over 72 calories.

Chiffon Cake – Vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and flavorings are used to make a rather light cake. A high oil and egg content produces a very moist cake.

Sponge Cake – A combination of flour, sugar, eggs and sometimes baking powder creates a firm, yet well aerated baked good.

Baking Tips

When making a light and airy dessert, most of your success will come when beating the eggs and mixing all the ingredients in the right manner. A few baking tips when making chiffon cake, angel food cake, and sponge cake include:

  • If your cake shows poor volume, you may not have beaten the egg whites long enough. You should beat the egg whites until they stand in straight peaks. When the beaters are removed, your egg white should look moist and glossy.
  • Do not overmix your cake batter when you add the flour – make sure to gently fold in the ingredients and combine well until the batter is just smooth.
  • Heavy frosting on your angel food cake will compromise the light texture and flavor of the cake. Instead, opt for a flavored glaze, such as lemon, orange or chocolate.
  • A chiffon cake with yellow streaks means that you added the yolks directly to the dry ingredients without making a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients. Oil should be added first – followed by the egg yolks.
  • Over-beaten or under-beaten egg whites will cause a layer to form in your chiffon cake. Only beat the egg whites until they are stiff and have a moist, glossy appearance.
  • Sponge cake that forms layers means that you did not beat the egg yolks long enough – remember that you should beat the yolks until they are thick and lemon-colored.
  • Blend your ingredients only until they are mixed or you run the risk of producing a tough cake from overmixing the batter when the dry ingredients are added.
  • Cakes that shrink or fall are a sign that the egg whites were beaten too long.

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

Seasonal Ice Cream for Fall/Winter 2011

Edy’s ice cream offers an assortment of holiday-inspired flavors for the fall and winter season, including the creamy flavor of Eggnog and the refreshing cool of Peppermint. The holiday flavors are also offered in Edy’s line of Slow Churned ice creams, which are made with fewer calories and less fat content. To enhance the use of the holiday ice creams, Edy’s also offers a range of easy recipes – perfect for people that like to incorporate ice cream into their sweet treat recipes.

Edy’s Limited Edition Peppermint

The Edy’s Peppermint flavor is made with creamy peppermint ice cream with crushed pieces of peppermint candy that oozes a colorful sweetness. There is a bit of a crunch with the candy, which increases the versatility of the flavor. To use the peppermint ice cream to make a dessert for the holidays, consider serving the following treats for Christmas:

  • The Peppermint Pie has a crust of crushed chocolate cookies.
  • Upside Down Peppermint Ice Cream Cake requires a box of chocolate cake mix and chocolate frosting to make.
  • Peppermint Espresso creates a tasty drink – ideal for entertaining adults during the holiday season. This drink recipe also calls for brewed espresso, and Kahlua or Amaretto that is topped with whipped cream.

This flavor is available until December.

Edy’s Limited Edition Eggnog

Why sip your eggnog when you can enjoy a frozen, melt-in-your-mouth treat with Edy’s Limited Edition Eggnog ice cream? The flavor of this ice cream mimics the popular seasonal beverage. Drop a scoop for a holiday Root Beer Float or consider one of Edy’s recipe suggestions.

Put your jelly roll pan to good use by making Buche de Noel with eggnog-flavored ice cream and a chocolate cake base. The surrounding layer is made with heavy cream and dusted off with cocoa.

This flavor is only offered for the months of November and December.

Edy’s Limited Edition Pumpkin

There’s still time to grab the last of the holiday Pumpkin flavor, which was offered until October. The Pumpkin flavor of ice cream tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie with the distinct taste of cinnamon and nutmeg. The added ginger also offers a welcomed flavor. The flavor is perfect to cap off a delicious Thanksgiving spread – served in dessert bowls topped with whipped cream or used as a sweet side for a slice of pie.

Ideas for Pineapple Desserts

Whether you’re planning a luau party or feeling a little tropical, the pineapple is an ideal fruit choice for dessert. With a great deal of juiciness, pineapples provide a flavorful balance of sweetness and tartness. Pineapples are available all year round in the grocery store, but the peak season runs from March through June. To enjoy a tropical sweet treat, you can start by adding pineapple topping to a banana split or consider one of the following ideas for pineapple desserts.

Pineapple Cakes

A favorite cake for pineapple lovers is the Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which is made in a pan with a curved bottom. After cooking, the cake is turned over and left to set, where it is later eaten in an upside-down position. Typical ingredients include butter, brown sugar, yellow cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, and of course, sliced pineapple. Some people will drizzle on a caramel sauce afterwards, sprinkle on brown sugar, or decorate with maraschino cherries. Pineapple and coconut often make an ideal combination for desserts, including cake. One approach is to use a can of coconut frosting to top a cake baked with crushed pineapple.

Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream

Preheat your over to 350 degrees and have a greased baking dish on hand. In a saucepan, combine two tablespoons of margarine, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir the ingredients over low heat until the mixture starts to boil. Add one 8-ounce can of drained pineapple chucks and ½ cup of coconut. Stir until coated, and then pour into the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for five minutes. Spoon the mixture into bowls and place a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a topping.

Image credit: gravityx9
Syrupy Pineapple Slices

Drizzle maple syrup over pineapple slices, and broil until they start to brown. You can eat as is or in addition to a cup of yogurt.

Pineapple Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a popular dessert in the United States that comes in an array of unique flavors. To make pineapple cheesecake, you may drain crushed pineapple and add to the cream cheese mixture before transferring to the crust. Some people will decorate the finished product with sliced pineapple rings.

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled pineapple is a dessert on its own. Some people dip grilled pineapple rings in chocolate or add to a fruit kebob with grapes, peaches, strawberries, cherries, and apple slices. You can brush the fruit with honey during the last few minutes of grilling to enhance the sweetness.

5 Very Cherry Dessert Ideas

Cherries aren’t just for topping ice cream sundaes – the colorful burst of red that the fruit delivers can create deliciously eye-catching desserts. Yes, cherry desserts go beyond the vibrant hue that peeks through a slice of cherry pie, as you will see with the following dessert ideas for cherries.

1. Cherry Clafoutis

Bring the taste of the French country to your table with cherry clafoutis (or clafouti). Tradition calls for the first cherries of the season with fruit that is left unpitted. This way, the natural almond flavor is released when baking. Today, using pitted cherries makes it easier to bake and eat the dessert. Clafoutis is a pudding dessert with sweet cherries that are covered by a thin batter (similar to pancakes) that is baked in the oven. When the batter sets, the edges become slightly puffed and browned. When serving the dessert, dust with confectioner’s (powdered or icing) sugar.

2. Cherry Turnover

Turnovers are the fruit-filled pastries you often see at the local bakery. Cherry is one of the most popular flavors for this dessert. You can make a quick version with one (8-ounce) package of refrigerated crescent rolls, one cup of cherry pie filling, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, and one tablespoon of milk. Unroll the dough and separate into eight triangles. Create four squares by pressing the seams of two triangles together and rolling into shape. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spoon ¼ cup of pie filling in one corner of each square, and then fold to make triangles. Pinch to seal. Bake the dough at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes (or until they turn a golden color). Mix the sugar and milk together, and drizzle over turnover once they are out of the oven. Serve warm.

3. Cherry Tart

The Joy of Baking offers a recipe for a Cherry Tart made with frangipane (almond cream) that combines granulated white sugar, unsalted butter, egg, pure vanilla extract, and almond meal (flour). The creamy combination of sugar, butter, eggs, and almond meal creates a tasty flavor with the cherries that is placed in a crisp yet crumbly pastry crust. The recipe calls for pitted sweet Bing cherries. When buying the fruit, seek out plump, shiny fruit with a deep red (almost black) color. Stems should still be attached and the fruit needs firmness with no soft spots.

4. Sour Cherry Soup

For a cherry dessert with European flair, you may combine sour cream (or sweet cream), sugar, and whole fresh sour cherries to create a sweet soup. Served chilled, usually people make this sweet treat during the summertime when cherries are ripe. There are also variations that include different wine or sherry.

5. Cherries Jubilee

Liqueur is used to make this cherry dessert that is traditionally flambéed (set afire), and then served as a sauce over vanilla ice cream.

Other cherry desserts:

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Everything Pumpkin

The season of fall rolls in and pumpkin treats are number one on the list. From the typical pumpkin pies, spiced teas, and even a muffin surprise.

PUMPKIN PIES

Pumpkin pies are always in the grocery stores and especially bakeries. These pies are soft and sweet. Warming it up in the oven makes it seem like it was just freshly baked in your very own kitchen. Of course, you can add a few semi homemade touches. Add a a sprinkling of cinnamon, melted marshmallows, and a scoop of whip cream. This makes a good dessert fantastic!

SPICED PUMPKIN TEAS

A warm cup of spiced pumpkin tea near the fire place, curled up with a good book is a peaceful evening. Starbucks has a great tasting pumpkin spice latte. This signature espresso blended with the unmistakable spices of fall such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove with smooth steamed milk, topped with delectably sweetened whipped cream.

Whether fall is your favorite season or just a passage towards it, sweet and spicy pumpkin is sure to please.

PUMPKIN MUFFINS

Now, for a completely homemade recipe that will be a real treat. All of the ingredients include a can of fresh, puree pumpkin; an entire, diced banana; almond milk; brown rice flour, and lastly salt with baking soda.

HAVE A SIP OR A SLICE

So have a muffin at breakfast and then, for dessert cut a piece of pie with a mug of tea.

Homemade Gluten Free Coffee Cake

When you hear coffee cake, the first image that probably enters your mind is Drakes coffee cakes. Well, there are a variety of ways to make this cake and this is not the typical one though. You will use actual coffee or Endangered Species Coffee Candy in this recipe. To make it gluten free white or brown rice flour is usually the best bet for baking.

COFFEE

The first step of course, is to brew the coffee. It can be any flavor that you desire: from vanilla, mocha, french vanilla, espresso, to anything else. If you rather just use the candy all you have to do is melt it down in the microwave or in a glass bowl (within a large pot of course) over the stove top. When, one or the other is done it can be added into your flour mix.

FLOURS

As it was stated early, brown or white rice flour would be the preferable choice to use besides wheat flour because it is naturally sticky and will hold together better much better than any other gluten free flour. If you’d rather use wheat, of course, you are welcome, too. The gluten will keep the cake together.

FIRST BITE

When, you take your first bite into this delectable, sweet treat you will be glad you tried this version. Since you already have your coffee, grad a tall glass of milk, chocolate milk, or even a cup of tea and dig right on in.