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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12 Responses to “Caramel (Cup)Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting (Daring Bakers)”

  1. #
    Speedbump Kitchen — November 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Great job! You’ll be hooked into the magic of caramel now!!

  2. #
    Gretchen Noelle — November 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Perfect swirls on top! I am so impressed! Great job!

  3. #
    CB — November 29, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Mmmm… cupcakes and caramel! YUMMY! I totally have to star this one for my baking bucket list!

  4. #
    Gail — November 30, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Congratulations on a successful Db month – these cuppers look delicious!

  5. #
    Joelen — November 30, 2008 at 6:25 am

    I love that you chose to do cupcakes rather than a cake. (I prefer cupcakes and smaller portions anyday!) As for adding the salt – love the idea too! Great job 🙂

  6. #
    Dolores — November 30, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Beautiful cupcakes. Thanks for baking with us this month!

  7. #
    Sheltie Girl — December 1, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Your cup cakes are simply beautiful. I love the swirly frosting on top.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  8. #
    Claire — December 2, 2008 at 3:43 am

    Your swirls are perfect! Great job.

  9. #
    sterling — December 2, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Absolutely fantastic! They look great. Makes me wish I had made cupcakes 🙂

  10. #
    Jen — December 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks everyone. These qere quite tasty. Hubby said they were his favorite cupcake I’ve ever made!!

  11. #
    Allergy Mom — December 2, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    OOh, I love your swirly cuppy cakes! I wish I’d salted my caramal, too…

  12. #
    ~Amber~ — December 5, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Your cupcakes look delicious! Congratulations on a successful challenge.

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