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.


| May 13, 2011



A slice of My Big Fat Italian Strawberry Basil Wedding Pie, created by Naylet LaRochelle.

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.

In celebration 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, tasty pies.

Naylet LaRochelle 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 mousse. 

In the 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. 

"Over the 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 originality."





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