Pie Trials

I just have to share this experience. I signed up for a Pie-Off at work. It’s taking place on Monday. All week I’ve been obsessing over what pies I am going to enter. The rules are quite simple. We can only enter 2 pies and they have to be in a pie pan. Other than that, it’s whatever we want.

The judging categories are: Best Overall, Most Colorful, Most Creative, Best Traditional, Best Combo (ie with ice cream). Keep in mind I’m not really a pie girl. I made these lemon meringue cup-pies, but other than that, I stick with other baked goods. But I do love a challenge, so here I am…

Tonight I wanted to make some trial pies. But Hubby and I don’t need two pies in the house. And I don’t want to send a pie to work with a piece or two cut out of it. I have actually never eaten a pear (shocking, I know!) but this pear-cranberry pie from Katie looked so festive and I thought I might have a shot at Most Colorful with it. The other pie I wanted to try is from Dorie Greenspans “Baking From My Home to Yours” as made famous by the TWD group. (BTW, I grabbed the cookbook at TJMaxx for $24 and man it’s HEAVY! I didn’t realize it was so big!). So the other pie is called Depths-of-Fall Butternut Squash Pie. It has butternut squash, pears, dried cranberries and walnuts in it. And the squash isn’t pureed like a pumpkin pie, it’s left in chunks. This intrigued me.

So back to tonight. I wanted to make 2 pies without having 2 pies at the end of the night. Then I got this crazy idea to make them both in the same pan. Yep, you read right. In the same pan. The squash pie needed a double crust and the pear pie is open on the top. So I used two crusts and just folded one in half for the squash pie and then cut the other crust in half for the pear pie. The pictures show it better…

This is the filling for the Dorie Pie. Let me tell you – I wanted to eat this with a spoon. But I decided I should bake the pie as planned. 

This is the pear filling. Quite simple and tasty. I couldn’t get it all to fit in the 1/2 pie pan so I ate the rest. Mmmm. I had no idea I liked pears so much. 

Here’s the Dorie pie in it’s crust. As you can see, it’s one pie crust (yes, I used store bought for tonight – I’ll be making homemade for Monday). I just folded the top over the filling and crimped with a fork.

Here’s the pie after I crimped the edge of the Dorie pie. I left enough pie for the pear pie to have crust on all sides so the juices wouldn’t get mixed into the Dorie pie.

Here’s the other half of the pear pie crust. I used some mini leaf cookie cutters to cut out the decorations just like Katie.

This is the pie as it looked before it went in the oven. As you can see, the pear half of the pie is quite full. One difficult thing about this project is the cooking time/temp. One said 400 and one said 375. I heated my oven to about 385 and threw it in. The pear pie required being loosely covered with foil. 

The two-pies-in-one-pie-pan masterpiece is in the oven right now. I’ll post the results from this little experiment tomorrow.
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6 Responses to “Caramel Almond Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. #
    fearlesskitchen — August 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    This is a really interesting recipe. I haven’t seen dulce de leche combined with chocolate very often. I can see where you wanted to have the color contrast with the ganache, but I personally think it looks great as it is.

  2. #
    ~ Kristie — August 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    They look amazing! If you don’t want to wait 3 hours for dulce de leche you can use the microwave method found at http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/255/Dulce-de-Leche.

  3. #
    Ingrid — August 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I’m not a fan of chocolate but they are a pretty cupcake and I DO like caramel and dulce de leche!

  4. #
    lifeoftheparty — August 20, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    That looks decadent! Choc-a-holics rejoice =D

  5. #
    nutmegnanny — August 21, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Your cupcakes are some of the cutest I have seen!

  6. #
    Julie — August 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Those look mouthwatering good!

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