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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13 Responses to “Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Upside Down Cake”

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    1
    Sarah — November 24, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    This is the perfect recipe for all of the leftover ingredients I have! Hubby made me buy a 3-pound bag of cranberries because he loves them, but you only use 12 ounces for cranberry sauce so I’ve got about 2 pounds of cranberries left to use, plus lots of pumpkins and pecans. This is definitely being made this weekend!

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    Megan — November 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Oh man. That does sound good. And I know it must be if you’re repeating it because I am the same way. I’m going to make a cranberry maple pecan cake on Friday… but this is really tempting too.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    Stephanie — November 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Oh, man! If I only had more time for Thanksgiving dessert table – this is certainly one I would try.

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    We Are Not Martha — November 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Oooh this cake looks so ooey gooey and delicious! I wish there weren’t already so many desserts coming to my Thanksgiving table because I’d totally make this!

    Sues

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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — November 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    This looks super delicious and your photos look great too! Happy Thanksgiving to you and hubby!

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    Shannon — November 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    ooooh, my, i must try this 🙂 happy thanksgiving!!

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    Nutmeg Nanny — November 28, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    What a fabulous recipe! All the flavors sound delicious to me.

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    Shandra — November 29, 2010 at 4:45 am

    This looks amazing! It looks so moisty yum, I should try to make this sometime, Love your blog! this is my first comment for you so I thought I’d show some appreciation for your blog, because I’ve been drooling over all your recipes for a while
    Shandra-http://shandrita.tumblr.com/

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    "pup" — November 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! The pictures I took of the actual cake didn’t look to appealing, the photos I took of the bite sized cake bites looked pretty though lol
    Good job!!

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    freefoodboston — December 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    What a great recipe! You totally had me at caramel/pecan/cranberry topping.

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    Sophie — January 1, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Just finally made this cake and it is astoundingly good! Truly the best dessert I’ve had in…oh, a very long time. Thank you for your post!

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    Nancy Blume-Watson — November 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I tried to be good, I really did! This cake was so delicious, I not only had seconds, I had a piece for breakfast the next day and for a snack later that day. This one goes on my Christmas menu!

    • beantownbaker — December 1st, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

      I doubled the recipe this time and you’ll remember the middle didn’t quite bake through. It also spilled over a bit, so next time, I’ll put a pan under the cake in the oven.

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