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

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

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.

“Put the Lime in the Coconut” Custard Pie Recipe

Another awesome recipe provided by The American Pie Council: “PUT THE LIME IN THE COCONUT” CUSTARD PIE
by Christine Fiedorowicz
2010 Custard Category
Serves 8-10

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
½ cup + 1TBSP shortening
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp water with 1 tsp vinegar

Filling:
1 14oz Can Condensed Milk
9oz cream of coconut
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs beaten

Topping:
4 oz Lime curd
½ cups shredded/flake coconut – sweetened

Put the Lime in the Coconut Pie. Photo courtesy of piecouncil.org

Directions:
Crust:
1. Mix flour and salt, cut shortening into flour mixture then add water/vinegar mixture.  Form into one disk and refrigerate.
2. Roll out into 9 in pie pan. Prebake crust at 425°F for 20 minutes.

Filling:
1. Blend eggs with rest of ingredients and pour into prebaked crust.
2. Bake at 300°F on bottom 3rd rack for about 1 hour

Let cool completely, spread lime curd over top and sprinkle toasted coconut over top. Chill in fridge for 2 hours.

Pie, Oh Pie… It’s the APC Great American Pie Festival!

Love pie? Well, there are two new events coming up in Florida and we’d like to share some information with you. If you are a pie lover, these two are a “must see”!

The Great American Pie Festival

The Prestigious Baking Competition and Family Fun, the APC Great American Pie Festival, Sponsored by Crisco®, is back!

When and Where?

On April 9 and 10, 2011, pie lovers, tasters and bakers will gather in Celebration, Florida, for two very sweet days! Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 9; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 10. The festival will be held at Lakeside Park at 631 Sycamore St. in downtown Celebration, Florida 34747. Admission to the festival is free.

9 Years of Celebration!

Chocolate Raisin Walnut Pie. photo courtesy of the American Pie Council
Now in its 9th year, this pie extravaganza dishes up luscious layers of fun for the young and the young at heart. Whether looking to enjoy some of the most delectable desserts in America or simply partake in one of the many entertainment and baking demonstrations staged along Main Street in one of America’s most charming small towns, attendees are sure to enjoy pure pie perfection.

From top crust to two crust, juicy to sweet, chocolate to custard all matter of flavors and fillings will flow forth for two full days in April to the delight of an anticipated 28,000 pie lovers from around the world.

Festival Events

All festival events will be held both days. Whether bonafide pie lovers or casual nibblers looking for an afternoon of fun, Celebration residents and visitors are invited to stroll through the free-admission festival and enjoy two days of family fun, reminiscent of days gone by. Attendees may opt to dig in and compete or simply sit back and enjoy the show. The events include:

  • The Crisco® Kids Creation Station will give aspiring young bakers an opportunity to create their own pies or enjoy some fun with pie decorating, pie-scaping, Piecasso tin art at the Piecasso stage and many more activities!
  • The Pietopia Demonstration Stage sponsored by Village Inn and Bakers Square Restaurants will feature entertainment and baking demonstrations with chefs from across the country.
  • Of course, the Great American Pie Festival would not be complete without a pie eating contest, sponsored by Private Selection.

The Never Ending Pie Buffet

As the festival favorite for the past nine years, the Never Ending Pie Buffet will once again feature an all you can eat smorgasbord of 83,000 award-winning pie slices – up from 70,000 in 2009 — ice cream, toppings and beverages from local, regional and national commercial bakeries, restaurants and markets, including Bakers Square Restaurants and Pies, Bonert’s Slice of Pie, California Raisin Marketing Board, J. Horner’s Desserts, Kroger’s Private Selection, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rocky Mountain Pies, Smucker’s Toppings, The Folger Coffee Company, Village Inn, Wick’s Pies and Winn-Dixie. This is the only paid event at the festival.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors over 65 and children under 5 to enjoy all they care of eat and drink.

The APC/Crisco National Pie Championships

Lemon Swirl Cream Cheese Pie
Lemon Swirl Cream Cheese Pie. photo courtesy of APC

When and Where?

The 17th Annual American Pie Council® (APC)/ Crisco® 2011 National Pie Championships® returns to Orlando April 8-10, 2011 expecting a record number of entries across all categories, to top last year’s record entries: 417 commercial, 170 professional, 321 amateur and seven junior — totaling an astounding 907 pies!

New Categories

New this year are three categories created to reflect the sign of the times.

  • A “Gluten-free” category requiring a pie that is gluten-free in all aspects including crust, filling and toppings:;
  • Crisco Innovation” category sponsored by Crisco in honor of the brand’s 100th Anniversary this year.  The “Innovation” pie requires a blend of classic and contemporary innovative pie making technique and pie flavor selections.
  • Finally, a “Royal Wedding” pie suitable for a soon-to-be-married Prince William and Kate Middleton rounds out the third new category.   The pie’s the limit with all three of the new categories as well as familiar favorites.

It will take a record number of judges — 200 prequalified volunteer pie aficionados — to eat through almost 1,000 pieces to find the crème de la crème of North American pie bakers. It comes as no surprise that the largest number of entries for a single flavor goes to America’s collective favorite — apple pie — with 39 entries in the amateur category.

Entry forms are available online for junior, amateur, professional and commercial divisions.  Entry costs are free for juniors and $15 for amateurs.  APC members receive discounts on entries.

Hotel Discounts

The host hotel Caribe Royale is offering a special $129 per night room rate for those attending or participating in the Great American Pie Festival or National Pie Championships.  To book this special rate, you must tell the hotel you are with the event.  Call 800-823-8300 to book a room.

More Info

For more information, visit the Front Porch Celebration Community or the American Pie Council®, 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.

Crisco® is a registered trademark of The J. M. Smucker Company.

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.

Chess Pie Recipe

Chess pie is a Southern delicacy. With simple ingredients like butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, and eggs, it is also a simple delicacy. Because of its simple ingredients and delicious flavor, chess pie has become a staple in Southern kitchens. The dessert has humble beginnings in plantation kitchens where ingredients were scarce. Some food historians say that chess pie began as a cheese-less cheesecake. Whatever its beginnings were, this pie is a truly decadent treat that Southerners and Northerners alike can enjoy.

This recipe is a family heirloom of sorts. It has been passed down from great, great-grandmothers and is still as tasty as ever. It is buttery, sweet, and creamy and a perfect addition to any meal. This recipe also makes a great base for add ins like chocolate and lemon to make delicious variations to this classic dessert. Make sure to bake until the center is completely set before removing from the oven. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or serve at room temperature. Chess pie is sure to become your next simple, go-to dessert and this classic Southern recipe will be your favorite. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp milk
1 prepared pie crust

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl.

2. Pour into pie crust and bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until set in the middle.

3. Cool or serve warm from the oven.

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

In a sea of rich chocolate and sugary sweet dessert options, lemon meringue pie stands out as a tart alternative. With its velvety smooth filling and light as air meringue, this pie is unmatched in flavor and texture. It is a staple in summer when lemons are at their peak, but can be enjoyed any time of the year as a special treat.

This recipe is very simple and calls for basic ingredients you may already have in your pantry. Prepare ahead of time to allow to cool and set before serving. This special dessert is a great treat that may not be as sweet as its counterparts, but with a mile high meringue it is sure to please!

Ingredients
1 c white sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tbsp butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 tbsp white sugar

Directions

For pie filling:

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.

2. Stir in lemon juice, zest and water.

3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter.

4. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick.

5. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.

For meringue:

1. In a large glass or metal bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.

2. Add sugar slowly, and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.

3. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.