Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eyes on the Pies — Do You Have a Winning Recipe?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 5:49 AM

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  • Pillsbury Pet Ritz
Friday is the opening day for the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, this weekend’s best destination for rides and entertainment and — most importantly — food.

I love fair food. Frozen chocolate banana on a stick? Awkward to eat, yes, but quite delicious. Plus, funnel cakes, grilled corn, deep-fried Twinkies … I could go on and on.

But what's probably the best food at the fair won’t be available for sale; it'll be served to the judges of the competitions, including contests for baked goods and chili as well as home-brewed beer and wine. Of the competitions, the most impressive prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Pillsbury Pet Ritz Pie Baking Championship. The winner will not only receive $200 in cash, but is entered in the national contest to win a year’s supply of pie crusts from Pillsbury as well. Second and third place winners also receive generous cash prizes. Along with bragging rights.

The competition requires only that you be an amateur baker over the age of 18 and use a Pillsbury Pet Ritz pie crust for a sweet (not savory) pie. For the full set of rules, however, see their website. The contest (and drop-off) takes place this Saturday, Aug. 18, so get those creative juices flowing. I am personally available this week for pie tastings … as long as the pie has no peanut butter in it (yuck). I won’t be judging the competition, but that doesn’t mean that my opinion won’t be helpful, right?

If you’re in need of some inspiration, the contest organizers have provided a recipe to get you going. Note: if you make this pie, you must save a slice for me.

Cinnamon Streusel Sweet Potato Pie
Serves 8

Crust:
1 Pillsbury® Pet-Ritz® frozen deep dish pie crust

Filling:
1-1/2 cups mashed cooked dark orange sweet potatoes (about 1 lb uncooked)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Streusel:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Topping:
1 cup sweetened whipped cream, if desired

Place cookie sheet on oven rack. Heat oven to 425 degree F. Place sweet potatoes in food processor; cover and process until smooth. In large bowl, mix sweet potatoes and remaining filling ingredients with wire whisk until smooth; pour into frozen pie crust. Bake on cookie sheet 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degree F; bake 20 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix streusel ingredients. Carefully sprinkle streusel over filling. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and streusel is golden brown. Cool completely, about 3 hours. Serve pie with sweetened whipped cream. Store covered in refrigerator.

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