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

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.

Chocolate Raisin Walnut Pie Recipe

National Pie Day is coming on January 23rd. Are you ready? In the following days we’ll be featuring a few award-winning pie recipes courtesy of the American Pie Council®.

Chocolate Raisin Walnut Pie
Best of Show Professional Division, 2010
1st Place Raisin
Andrea Spring, Bradenton, FL

photo courtesy of the American Pie Council
CRUST
1-1/2 cups Crisco shortening
1 tsp white vinegar
2 T milk
½ cup hot water
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 T cornstarch

Combine shortening, vinegar and milk.  Pour in hot water.  Mix well.  In separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and cornstarch.  Combine flour mixture with shortening mixture until dough forms.  Separate into four equal balls.  Wrap in film wrap and refrigerate 1 portion and freeze remainder for future use.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.

FILLING
3 eggs
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup dark corn syrup
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup dark raisins
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Mix eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, butter and corn syrup until well blended.  Add chocolate chips and walnuts, mix well.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Roll out one portion of pie dough.  Place in 10” pie pan.  Sprinkle raisins over bottom of pie shell.  Carefully pour filling over raisins.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F.  Lower temperature to 350°F for 30 minutes or until center of pie is just set.

National Pie Day

The American Pie Council (APC) is excited to roll out National Pie Day this January 23.

This year, the APC is encouraging pie lovers to show their “pie-triotism” by sharing a pie with a hero in their life. Whether it’s baking or buying a pie for a member of the military or their family, the local fireman, teacher or your parent, the gift of pie is a sincere gesture of kindness. APC members are also offering coupons on to make buying or making a pie more affordable, as well as offering their own special pie day activities. For details, go to www.piecouncil.org or friend them on Facebook.

pie
photo courtesy of ralph and jenny
The act of sharing America’s quintessential dessert brings with it an extraordinary heritage. In many homes family recipes go back for decades and, quite often, special kitchen utensils have been passed down over generations. As with family reunions and special get-togethers, what takes place in the kitchen also brings families together as children and parents and husbands and wives experience the pleasure of working together and creating something special for someone else.

This year’s championships are April 23-25 at the Omni Championsgate Hotel in Celebration, Fla. Commercial, Professional, Amateur and Junior Chef pie makers will compete throughout the weekend. The Great American Pie Festival sponsored by Crisco® is held in conjunction with the championships, April 24 and 25 at Lakeside Park in Celebration and is free and open to the public.