Pie has been cited as one of the top food trends for 2011 in a number of national trend forecasts, The Food Channel put pies in its top ten list of foods to watch in the coming year. Next month will be a big month for pies as the National Pie Championships will be contested in Orlando as part of the annual Great American Pie Festival. The competition is open to both professional and amateur pie bakers.
But you need to hurry if you want to enter. Entries must be received by March 17.
This year Crisco has come up with a new category for the competition. Celebrating 100 years of helping bakers achieve sweet success in the kitchen, the shortening brand has unveiled a new “Crisco Innovation” category to challenge pie makers at the prestigious 17th Annual American Pie Council (APC) Crisco National Pie Championships.
The Crisco Innovation category encourages both amateur and professional pie makers to demonstrate their pie prowess by combining creativity with traditional pie baking skill. Bakers participating in the new category are required to use at least 1/2 cup of any variety of Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening as they strive to take time-honored pie making techniques to the next level of taste, creativity and originality.
“Crisco is known for the combination of flavor innovation and traditional baking excellence,” said Maribeth Badertscher, Vice President of Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Company. “As baking has evolved over the past 100 years, Crisco Shortening has remained a key ingredient that bakers trust for the very best in quality, performance and taste. We’re proud to be on the cutting edge of baking by sponsoring the new Innovation category.”
Crisco Innovation category winners will be selected based on their ability to combine creative flavors and techniques with classic pie baking. Innovative pie bakers who claim victory in the amateur and professional divisions will each receive $2,000, a gift basket filled with Crisco baking products and a special trophy. In addition to the first place awards in both divisions, there will be a second and third place in the amateur division and a first place and honorable mention in the professional division.
But bakers must work quickly to be considered. The Crisco Innovation category will be offered only at this year’s APC Crisco National Pie Championships®, which will take place April 8-10, 2011 at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando.
Since 1995, bakers of all ages, skill levels and degrees of training from across the United States have been gathering in Orlando to celebrate a rich tradition of pie making. Prospective APC Crisco National Pie Championships participants can visit www.piecouncil.org for information about the competition, Official Rules and complete entry guidelines. But you better hurry. Entry ends on March 17, 2011. Recipes, trends, membership information and ideas also can be found on the site. And for expert advice, techniques and trend information, pie bakers can call the Crisco Pie Hotline at 1-877-FOR PIE TIPS (877-367-7438).
Pie Lovers can also find Crisco on Facebook or visit www.crisco.com and click on the “Pie Central” tab for recipes, step-by-step instructions and video demonstrations.
Photos courtesy American Pie Council