With pies taking the spotlight this year as one of the most popular emerging dessert trends in 2011 (see related article), there’s no better way to kick off the new year in Cleveland than to celebrate National Pie Day, designated as January 23 by the American Pie Council!
As part of their annual festivities, the council sponsors a national pie championship — the perfect chance for pie makers from the Cleveland area, as well as from all across the country, to showcase their skills and creativity. This year’s event will take place from April 8-10 in Orlando, Florida, at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center. Amateur, professional, and commercial bakers alike are invited to compete. For more details, click here.
Whether you love making pies, eating pies, or both, here is one pie you won’t be able to resist: Chocolate Raisin Walnut Pie. Submitted by Andrea Spring of Bradenton, Florida, it took first place in the Raisin Category and won “Best in Show” in the Professional Category at last year’s championship.
Now you, too, can enjoy this award-winning dessert — and show your support for National Pie Day! Recipe courtesy of the California Raisin Marketing Board.
CHOCOLATE RAISIN WALNUT PIE
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup California raisins
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
In a small bowl, combine shortening, vinegar, and milk. Add hot water; mix well. In medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, and cornstarch. Add shortening mixture. Mix until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let stand in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Then, roll out dough to fit a 10-inch pie pan. Arrange dough in pie pan and crimp edges. Sprinkle and spread raisins evenly over bottom.
Preheat oven to 400˚F. In large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, butter, and corn syrup until well blended. Add chocolate chips and walnuts; mix well. Carefully pour over raisins in pie crust. Bake at 400˚F for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350˚F and bake until center of pie is set, about 30 minutes.