Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Great American Pie Festival Winner

Great American Pie Festival Winner
The winner of the tickets to the Never Ending Pie Buffet at this years Great American Pie Festival is Kim!

Remember, this event is going to be held in Celebration, Florida on April 27th and 28th, 2013.  It is a lot of fun for the whole family. 
You can find more information regarding the festival at:


For some great pie recipes check out the ones posted on their site here:


Thank you to all and tune in early next week for some yummy new recipes.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Banana Cream Pie and a Giveaway!

Today I made Banana Cream Pie for the first time and it came out really good.  As I mentioned in the previous post for Empanadas, Latin hand pies, I am making pies in honor of next weeks All American Pie Festival, an event that has been held in Celebration, Florida for the past 12 years.  My family looks forward to this event every year.  It is a lot of fun for the entire family.  You can read my write up on this event here:


You can also check out this official website for more information:


I have been given the opportunity to giveaway a family 4 pack of tickets to the Never Ending Pie Buffet! If you will be in the Orlando area during the Great American Pie Festival (April 27th and 28th, 2013) and would like to win these here's what to do:

Please place a comment on this post telling me what your favorite pie is. One comment per entrant please. Contest ends Monday April 22, 2013 at midnight Eastern Standard Time. The winner will be picked by random number generator on Tuesday April 23, 2013  and will be notified by email.

Banana Cream Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbls cornstarch
2  tbls all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
1 tbls unsalted butter
2 tsp banana extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium bananas thinly sliced
1 recipe Whipped Cream Topping, below

Preheat oven to 425.  Roll out dough and fit into a 9 inch deep dish pie pan.  Crimp edges.  Prick the shell all over with a fork .  Bake shell for 15 minutes until brown and fully cooked.  Set aside while you make filling.

In a saucepan combine sugars, cornstarch, flour and salt.  Whisk in cream and milk.  Heat over medium until the mixture boils and thickens, about 8-9 minutes, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat. 

Beat egg yolks on high with an electric mixer until light.  Beat in 1 cup of the hot mixture.  Stir the egg yolk mixture into the sauce pan.  Return to medium heat and cook 2-3 minutes until thick.  (do not let boil)  Remove from heat and stir in butter and extracts.  Cool for 15 minutes.

Spoon 1/2 the filling into cooked pie shell.  Cover the filling with banana slices.  Spoon remaining filling over the bananas.  Cover pie and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Whipped Cream Topping

1 tsp unflavored gelatin
4 tsp cold water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Dissolve the gelatin in the water.  Heat water in the microwave and stir the gelatin mixture until thoroughly dissolved.  Beat the cream with an electric mixer on high until it starts to thicken.  Beat in the gelatin mixture then the sugar and vanilla.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Spread the whipped topping over the pie. 


Today I made Empanadas, those wonderful Latin hand pies!  I used a traditional Picadillo mixture to fill these with but there are all kinds of wonderful combinations out there from savory to sweet.  This post and my next post will be featuring pie because next weekend is the All American Pie Festival!  This is the 12th year that this festival will be held in Celebration, FL.  I have been to the last four events and plan to be there again next weekend. 

I wrote a post on it last year which you can find here: 


You can also obtain information on this years event at the official website here:


If you are in the Orlando area this is a great event with lots of activities for the entire family.  I have also been given a family four pack of tickets to the Never Ending Pie Buffet to give to one of my readers.  Instructions on how to enter will be on my next post for Banana Cream Pie.  For now though, here is the recipe for the Empanadas....

The dough was super easy to work with.  Make the dough first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Cream Cheese Empanada Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 ounces cream cheese
1 egg yoke, (reserve the white for brushing the empanadas)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
ice water as needed

Mix dry ingredients together.  Cut in butter and cream cheese until course crumbs form.  Blend in egg yoke, lemon juice and enough water to bring the dough together.  (I used about 2-3 tablespoons of the water).  Form mixture into a ball and put into the refrigerator. 

Picadillo Filling

1 LB ground chuck
1 TBLS olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced green pepper
2 coves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup green olives with pimentos, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef and drain off fat.  Set aside.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Add the beef and all the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes and most of the liquid has cooked off.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Pre-heat oven to 400. To assemble the empanadas:  roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut into 3 inch circles.  Place about 1 tablespoon of filling onto each circle.  Bring the edges of the dough together to form a half moon and crimp the edges with a fork to seal.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Brush the empanadas with the reserved egg white.  Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.