Faster Than Your Couch!
I am planning on participating in a pie baking contest at our company's picnic in early August.
Big question is: Which pie(s) shall I bring to the table?
One option is a peanut butter cream pie (graham cracker crust, peanut butter crumbs, vanilla cream with peanut butter swirls, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel drizzle, and chopped peanuts), another one is a pumpkin pie (single crust), or a blackberry cheesecake pie (blackberries in a single chocolate-coconut crust, cheesecake topping, whipped cream).
Any other suggestions? Recipes or short description, so that I can go about and try it?
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Hmmm... I'm thinking go with the peanut butter cream pie as it's pretty unique. Pumpkin is too Thanksgiving-y. The blackberry one sounds delish as well though (and it's probably a tad more summery). But coconut seems to be one of those ingredients a lot of people don't care for (those people are WRONG, btw), so that's why I'm leaning toward the peanut butter one.
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I used to be one of those people...then I saw the light! Now I am a coconut lover!
The blackberry one sounds best to me, but PB might be more universally liked.
Huh, I have a blog?
I think the first question you want to ask yourself is: Do you want a cold pie or a hot pie. Once you've figured that out, the next question is: Do you want a fruit pie, or a candy pie (chocolate, cheesecake, PB, etc.) The easiest to make are cold fruit pies. This time of year, there are plenty of great fruits to choose from as well. I like to get whatever berry is fresh, mix it with sliced bananas, and then add in some whipped cream (just whip some heavy cream & some sugar until it is thick) and a touch of jam. I then put this into a graham cracker or cookie crust, and then add a bit more whipped cream to the top. Place it in the refrigerator to chill, and you are ready to serve. It is simple, and the freshness of the fruit & cream will carry the pie.
Of course, however, there is always pecan pie, which is more challenging, but oh so very delicious.
But out of your list, I say go with the blackberry pie. And send me a slice.
Uh oh... now what?
Since we spent most of yesterday's run on the trails with the most blackberry thickets
checking for ripeness... the blackberry cheesecake pie, although most of the berries we
pick wind up in cobblers. There will be a good crop this year, starting about a week from
Le professeur de trail
I am really torn between the PB pie and the blackberry cheescake pie. I think both would be a winner. Hmmm...how about you bake all of them, send me some pieces in the mail and I will give you my true feedback.
Saw some blackberries and rasberries on my run this morning. I should have picked some for you.
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I heard contest right?
Keys to winning work-place cook offs by Jamezilla
1. Pick a crowd pleaser - what do people eat in your office? Are they chocoholics? Fruit eaters? Will PB go over well?
2. Don't try to do too much - I've seen many a disaster where somebody tried too hard (extra sauces, drizzles, swirls, etc. can turn into too much real quick, especially if you don't make a test batch).
3. Get the best ingredients - Again, I've seen quality dishes short-changed by the ingredients used (I never thought I'd say "these truffles are horrible")
4. Execution, Execution, Execution - have you made any of those pies before? Your family and I recommend baking a test pie or 2 a couple days out just so that you tweak it if necessary.
5. Transportation - have a good plan for getting the pie to work without destroying it.
6. Presentation - this breaks the tie...don't foresake Martha Stewart...embrace her
7*. (*pie specific) Crust - do you make an amazing pie crust or know someone who does? Store bought crust isn't bad but if competition is steep, it probably won't cut it.
Both my GF and I have won work place cook-off's...we are both pretty competetive about stuff like that. It's also fun to experiment with new recipes and tweak them so that they are juuuuust right (and eat the resulting deliciousness).
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Jamezilla--I will need to personally taste these winning cook-off dishes of yours in order for your stories of culinary glory to have any credibility. What time is dinner?
I'm voting for peanut butter, simply because peanut butter makes everything better!
Might be a good idea to check discreetly if any of the judges are allergic to nuts.
It's a little known secret amongst our friends how well we eat (especially if we are both cooking).
Twice-baked Sweet Potatoes (molassis, cream cheese, and bacon...bacon should be considered cheating though) <---mine...I make this pretty frequently during the winter months, so not a lot of effort went into this one.
Mini-brownie Cupcakes with Chambord/Raspberry butter cream filling/topping <---GF's (I think it took 3 tries before she nailed down how long to bake the brownie cupcakes...I had to eat the rejects...rough couple days)
Runner up: (healthy food only for this one)
Cauliflower crust pizza with caramelized shallots, pears, and gorgonzola <---GF's
We have a family picnic this weekend and I think we are going to try out some new stuff for the GF's next cookoff in mid-August (picnic style).
In order for me to properly advise you on this... please send one of each to me and then I'll get back to you.
(Actually the blackberry cheesecake sounds good to me.)
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Peanut butter pie!
I agree, some people just don't like coconut (me included).
Thank you everyone for your input. Might be a good idea to check on the nut allergy.
The judges are professional chefs, and Management, many of them rather healthy-eating, with a tendency to be seduced by chocolate/rich creams. Presentation and execution will be important with the chefs, too.
Hard thing for me is to tweak the sweetness, as I prefer less sweet creams, whipped cream, etc., but I know most Americans prefer it much sweeter.
I have made all the pies before (the peanut butter cream pie is acutally my own concoction, the way it's made), so I basically know how to make them well, but I'll still do one or two test pies before, to get it nailed down just right. This will be hard on the whole family, I bet!
Will keeping it in a cooler with ice help with keeping it "in shape" until it's time to present it and have it tested? I'm planning on transporting it on my lap, in a well-fitting box, then placing it into the cooler there.
Honestly, I thought you were born in Europe? That comes with a lifelong ban on handling Peanut Butter.
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Chnaiur, you are right. But I have worked hard on adjusting, and I am genetically compromised: in my teen years, I traveled through America a lot with my parents (my dad is an entomologist), so some gene must have switched then and become active.
Actually, I was not able to handle peanuts in any form for more than 10 years, after I had had an overload of peanut butter (on one of the America trips) when I was 15. Then I slowly got back to them, and now I like them again.
An alternative to the peanut butter cream pie that I had thought up was a banana-nutella cream pie, but it is very hard to keep banana looking good for many hours, so I dropped this idea again.
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