pie experiments

I recently found out about a pie cook-off contest in the city we live in. And as I’ve mentioned before (a few times), I love making pies! So I was really excited, and started experimenting with different crusts and fillings to come up with the perfect pie for the contest!

Unfortunately, they were only taking a very limited number of applicants (is that really the right word? you know what I mean) and all the slots were filled before I could enter! Alas. There’s always next year.

And I got to enjoy making (and sampling) all of these pies anyway!

mini pies

Don’t worry – these aren’t full size pies. I used little glass ramekins so that I could make several different pies with only one dough recipe. And not have to use as much fruit and such if the filling turned out to be less than great. So the pies you see here are a cherry pie (with fresh local cherries from the farmer’s market!), a peach pie, and an apricot pie (with apricots from the tree in our backyard!).

mini peach pie

I experimented a bit with the crust, and decided to try adding some cream cheese. It was good, but not great. It was a bit thicker and denser than I prefer – I like pie crust a bit more light and flaky. The fillings were all pretty good, but the apricot was my least favorite.

Time for some more experimenting.

Since I still had lots of peaches, I decided to try some variations on my peach pie, and a new crust.

mini peach honey pie

This time I used butter (instead of shortening like most recipes call for) and it came out much lighter and flakier than the cream cheese crust, and definitely more flavorful than the typical shortening crust. Winner. And for the filling, I used some honey instead of just sugar, along with cinnamon and nutmeg, and it made for a delicious combination of flavors! Winner! Except that the filling turned out really runny, so I’ll have to work on that and post the recipe once I get it perfected… But the taste was still amazing.

So even though I won’t get to enter the pie contest this year, I found my personal winner for the summer! And maybe next year I’ll have it perfected and enter the contest in time!