Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Pie Contest in a Box!

Pie Contest in a Box
Everything You Need to Host a Pie Contest
by Gina Hyams

Who says parties have to revolve around cocktails or grilled burgers? Why not host a pie party this summer?
I posed this question to my university-student daughter and her friends and they loved the idea. With box in hand, they hosted the ultimate party - a pie party! They divided into teams of two and baked up (okay, one was bought) some delicious party treats.
Pie Contest in a Box is for farmers' market foodies, retro cocktail party lovers, competitive-cooking-show fans, block partiers, and just about everyone else who shares a hankering for good times and good pie. In the blue-ribbon tradition of county fairs, community cook-offs, and competitive cooking shows such as Iron Chef America, Top Chef, and Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Pie Contest in a Box represents a fun and inexpensive way to entertain.
And students definitely love a fun and inexpensive way to entertain!

Tweet from one of my daughter's friends on baking day:
baking competition. Getting competitive with http://t.co/XOVXTWG. Melody is down.

 The kit features:

    A Pie Contest Handbook, which orients judges to the history of pie, discusses why pie matters, outlines different categories of pie and official judging criteria, and includes prize-winning recipes
    Pie Contest Judge Badges
    Numbered Pie Toppers on Toothpicks
    Pie Contest Scorecards
    Pie Contest Prize Ribbons

Pie Contest in a Box will have guests clamoring for a slice of blueberry or strawberry rhubarb, along with their scorecard and fork.

All the pretty pies, lined up for judging. Since my daughter's pie is in front, I imagine she took this photo.

Time to bake a peach pie!
My daughter used this recipe for her peach pie:

Peach Pie the Old Fashioned Two Crust Way
from allrecipes.com (and using only one crust)


    1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
    1 egg, beaten
    5 cups sliced peeled peaches
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons butter


    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Brush with some of the beaten egg to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.
    Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over the peaches, and mix gently. Pour into the pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under. Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg. Brush the remaining egg over the top crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.
    Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents. If the edges brown to fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool before serving. This tastes better warm than hot.

And this crust:

Butter Flaky Pie Crust
from allrecipes.com


    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
    1/4 cup ice water


    In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
    Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Delicious reason for a party!
Myra's Strawberry Pie:

Strawberry Pie II
from allrecipes.com


    1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
    1 quart fresh strawberries
    1 cup white sugar
    3 tablespoons cornstarch
    3/4 cup water
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


    Arrange half of strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
    In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving. In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

and this crust:

Pie Crust

from Cook Like Your Grandmother

1 1/3 cups flour
1½ tablespoons sugar
¼ pound (one stick, eight tablespoons, ½ cup) butter
1 dash salt
3 tablespoons cold water

Sift the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut the butter into small chunks. Make sure it's nice
and cold or it will stick to your knife. Cut the butter into the flour and sugar until coarse
crumbs form.
Add the cold water and quickly form it into a dough. Transfer it to a one gallon zip-top bag
and put in the refrigerator for at least a half-hour. Remove from the fridge and roll out into a
circle, still in the bag.
Cut the bag open and use immediately, or return to the fridge for two to three days, or freeze
for several weeks.

Very serious judging
Flerida's pie:

    my recipe:
    Metro Grocery Store

    1. Go to Metro
    2. Make your way to the baked goods section and find "Lemon Meringue". (They still haven't taken my suggestion to change the name.)
    4. With "Lemon Meringue" in hand, go to the cashier and buy that award-winning pie!

And a good time was had by all!