Innovations in Traditional Pies
A new category at the American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships draws innovative bakers in both the amateur and professional divisions.
A slice of My Big Fat Italian Strawberry Basil Wedding Pie, created by Naylet LaRochelle.
courtesy American Pie Council
Orrville, Ohio —
Proving that trusted household brands like Crisco® will continue to be baked
into American culture, two pie makers stood out at this year's 17th Annual
American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships® in the first ever
Crisco Innovation category.
of the brand's 100th anniversary, the Crisco Innovation category challenged
bakers in the amateur and professional divisions to combine creative flavors
and techniques with classic pie baking while using at least ½ cup of any
variety of Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening. The sky was the limit with this
open-ended category, and both winners came up with incredibly imaginative,
from Miami, Florida, took Best of Show honors in the amateur division with My
Big Fat Italian Strawberry Basil Wedding Pie, featuring a crust made with
Crisco Butter-Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening and a filling made with
Smucker's® Strawberry Preserves, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, unflavored
gelatin and chopped fresh basil, topped with a vanilla bean white chocolate
professional division, Linda Hundt, owner of the Sweetie-licious Bakery Café in
DeWitt, Michigan, earned Best of Show with Laura's Sticky Toffee Pudding
Caramel Apple Pie, which featured a Crisco pie crust layered with a sticky
toffee pudding filling and praline pecans, topped with a mixture of cooked
apples, cinnamon, butter and sugar, baked and then smothered with homemade
caramel and more praline pecans.
The Best of Show
winners each took home $2,000 and a gift basket filled with Crisco baking
products as well as a special trophy.
last 100 years, the Crisco brand has earned the trust of bakers, allowing them
to be more innovative in the kitchen," says Maribeth Badertscher, vice president
of Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Co.
"Likewise, the two Crisco Innovation category winners used Crisco
All-Vegetable Shortening to take their pies to the next level of taste and
taking top honors in the Crisco Innovation category in the amateur division was
a tremendous honor. "Sometimes I get too creative for a traditional
contest, so when Crisco announced this new category, it was like the category
that came from above! So I took two of the flavors that I really love,
strawberry and basil, and said, 'How can I make that into a pie?'"
Naylet, a mom of
three who works as a school counselor by day and bakes in the evenings as a
stress reliever, decided to keep her pie crust traditional while incorporating
innovation into her filling and presentation.
can't improve on the Classic Crisco Pie Crust. That was the traditional
part," Naylet says. "So it was about taking the filling to the next
level with the strawberry and basil. I incorporated fondant flowers, which you
would typically see in wedding cakes, made them myself and included them in the
pie. I used ideas from traditional cake decorating – something we don't often
see in pie baking – to make a wedding pie. When you first look at it, it's a
completely white pie. You don't see the gorgeous pink and green until you cut
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