May Pie Challenge


Don't blame me. Laura (Bettina) 4paws started it.

First, there was the Halvah Cake; then I found reference to Camp Pies, as yet unexplained. Laura dug around and came up with TA DA -- Pie Camp! Oh, I want to go! If you go to the Pie Camp site & look around, you will be inspired in spite of yourself. And there's oodles of fresh summer fruit just begging for crust & sugar and spices. So, so ahead. Bake a pie.

BTW, among the pix are a "Change the World Pie", a Pie Plant, a ZEN Pie, a Savory Geoduck Pie (not for me, thanks), a Pie Cottage, GF Pies, a table of Wedding Pies and an antique hexagonal pie pan.

Boston Cream Pie doesn't count.

I also found out that today, May 13, is National Apple Pie Day.

badge posted by: frick on May 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm in General discussions
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reply by: --jej on May 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

frick, How much more 'pie-inspired' does one have to get when the rhubarb is in full force and beautiful strawberries are 99¢ a pound at Aldi??? And a big THANKS for the notice that today is National Apple Pie Day! I may be a day late, but maybe that would sound good to the neighbors, too; they just moved in across the street last Halloween, and I could even put a Jack-O-Lantern face on one...

But I'll go look at your suggested website, anyway, if I have time - (with all those other ideas)... And Ira is hankering for a Key Lime Pie. He was there, in the Florida Keys last December, and got too sick to have any there!! So Granny to the rescue!! Yes, I do love to make pie(s), fortunately!! --jej

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on May 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Zen pie! My favorite! And that is my patron boddhisatva, Kwan Yin, watching over the pie.

As for pie camp, at over $3,000, I'm sorry, but for that you ought to be getting about a year's worth of pie making classes! Yipes! Instead you get 3 sessions of actual pie making (I'm guessing not more than 2 or 3 hours each from the rest of the activities scheduled) spread out over 2 days.

WHEW! SO not worth it! Maybe I should start having pie camps - I'm pretty sure all we need is the pre-mixed pie dough recipe and a couple of sessions with some saran-wrapped rolling pins and counter tops to put most folk's pie-anxiety to permanent rest.

It's a pretty site, but I didn't much care for the recipes. 1/2c of flour in your apple pie filling - SRSLY?

Anyway. All nattering-prompted-no-doubt-by-jealousy-of-a-clearly-financially-successful-website aside.

What's our pie challenge going to be?

reply by: Mike Nolan on May 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm
Mike Nolan

Why on earth is National Apple Pie Day in May when the apple season doesn't even begin until mid-August at best?

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on May 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

good point - maybe the association with Mom and Apple Pie? It is the day after Mother's day ....

reply by: frick on May 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I can hardly blame her for holding back in the way of recipes. Not much description either. So it's left to us to wonder, or make up our own, ingredients for the "Change the World Pie". Any suggestions?

reply by: dachshundlady on May 14, 2013 at 6:53 am

My all time favorite pie is lemon meringue. But it always seems like too much work. First making the pastry, then blind baking, then the filling and finally the meringue. Maybe I could get DH to try his hand. Last time he made pies it was out in California for Thanksgiving a few years ago with his sister Tia. He came home and complained that the crusts were tough. Typical rookie mistake!

reply by: 4paws2go on May 14, 2013 at 9:01 am

During the later part of the summer, at the bakery, I used to make what I named 'Summmer Celebration Pie', a mix of summer fruits, from the local orchards...peaches, raspberries, blackberries. I'd make it with a lattice top crust, to show the beautiful colors, of the fruit mixture, or just cut out decorative pastry pieces, and scatter on top. A streusel topping, with some ground almonds, would be nice, too!

My oh my, I love pie! My favorite scene, in the movie 'Michael', is Andie McDowell singing her pie!

Laura ;0)

reply by: bakeraunt on May 14, 2013 at 10:07 am

I am looking forward to blueberry pies this summer. We go to northern Indiana mid-summer, and we go to the "pick your own" place and fill our buckets. Last year, due to a warm March and a late hard freeze, there were no blueberries. I think that the weather has been more cooperative this year. (There will also be blueberry sweet rolls, hot cross buns with blueberries, blue berry muffins, and other goodies.)

In the meantime, I have frozen pumpkin, so maybe it is time for a pumpkin pie....

reply by: swirth on May 14, 2013 at 10:32 am
swirth of our BakingCircle members entered blueberry recipe contests in her area in the Carolinas and she won blue ribbons. She has three of her blueberry treats posted:


reply by: frick on May 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm

There were blueberry plants at our local nursery, one cultivar claiming to only need 150 hours winter chilling (below 45 degrees). Still, I hesitated, especially since it's getting warmer and warmer here each year, and each plant cost $40.00! That will buy a lot of blueberries.

reply by: dachshundlady on May 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Last fall DH helped my sisters with a painting job in one of their houses. As payment they bought him a high bush blueberry bush. He had been trying to find one; we only have the low bush. He liked it so much he had my sister get him another one (from her hometown 2 hours away) At her advice he planted them in their containers in our garden and now its time to find a spot at the new house. We have too many black walnuts here. Any suggestions? I know they like sun but wonder if they need a sheltered spot. We have a couple good sheltered spots but they only get sun to about 1pm.

reply by: PaddyL on May 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Do you pick the black walnuts? If so, is there any way you could send some north? I've been dying to try them and can't find them anywhere here.

reply by: PaddyL on May 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Can someone give me a tried and true recipe for a strawberry rhubarb pie? Sheila wants to try one, and I've never made it before. No clearjel, or whatever it's called, since I don't have any of that.

reply by: swirth on May 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm

My highbush blueberries are planted in full sun and they are doing great...been there for several years. We have 3 regular blueberry bushes also planted in full sun and they thrive there, as well. They are at least 36 years old.

Both get so gorgeous in fall...the leaves are so colorful. I took pics last fall of the highbush and put them on the birding forum.

reply by: swirth on May 14, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Here's one, PaddyL:

PIE - Strawberry-Rhubarb BakingCircle Member Recipe

Submitted by: jej
Category: Pies
Last Updated: 4/24/2004

I could not find a recipe for this (perhaps I didn't look very far), so I looked at one of my favorite cookbooks for pie, and I adapted a Fresh Rhubarb Pie recipe. Here is the resulting recipe:

Pastry for Double-Crust Pie

1-1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flour plus 1 T. cornstarch
3-1/2 c. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch (1 centimeter) pieces
1 lb. fresh strawberries, cut into "smallish" pieces.

Microwave rhubarb. I read somewhere that heating rhubarb sweetens it. It may be an old wives's tale, but I do it anyway. I cook it 'til it softens somewhat, but not to obliterate it.

Combine flour, constarch, and sugar; mix well, and add rhubarb. Microwave a short time more. Add strawberries.

Pour into pastry-lined pie plate. *Dot with butter, if desired. I don't do this. Figure there's enough fat in the crust. Trim and moisten top edge of crust.

Place top crust (lattice-work, if you wish and have time) over the filling. Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing ro seal.

Flute edge to make high standing rim.

Sprinkle lightly with sugar. (Milk first, if desired; I prefer it simply with sugar.)

Bake for 10 minutes at 450 F, then at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes, or 'til done. Crust should be golden brown. Place foil strips (I make a ring) over fluting if it is darkening before the rest is done.

Cool and enjoy.

reply by: dachshundlady on May 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Thanks swirth. Sounds like sun is more important than shelter.

reply by: swirth on May 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I located my Betty Crocker Pie Parade booklet from 1957 and it has the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie my mom and I always used.

For mild flavor, choose early pink rhubarb. Cut into 1" pieces. One pound makes 2 cups. Amt. of sugar depends on tartness of rhubarb. Early rhubarb requires less sugar. Make your pie shallow.

This is for a 9" pie.

Make pastry for 2-crust pie. Line pie pan with bottom crust.

Mix 1 1/3 cup white sugar and 1/3 cup Gold Medal flour.

Mix lightly through 2 cups cut-up rhubarb and 2 cups fresh strawberries cut up.

Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.

Dot with 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter.

Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake until crust is nicely browned and juice begins to bubble thru slits. Serve slightly warm.

Bake at 425F for 40-50 minutes.

reply by: --jej on May 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Paddy, I made one of these two days ago, and it was delicious.

I will mention: The amount of time in the microwave depends on how much 'juice' or liquid there is that the rhubarb (after the first five minutes) makes when combined with the flour/sugar mixture. It didn't take even 3-4 min. in my microwave to use most of the liquid. It worked well, then, because the strawberries were juicy and replaced some of the liquid that had evap. I also don't mind adding a touch of water, if too much seems gone. I do NOT microwave the filling after the strawberries have been added to the rhubarb.

Will probably make another tomorrow... It's rhubarb season! Yay! --jej

reply by: PaddyL on May 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Thanks, swirth! The second one sounds like just the sort of pie my mother would have made.

reply by: puppyfuzz on May 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm


I, too, think sun is more important for blueberries. We have a few bushes that were prolific until a fast growing tree put them in the shade. Output went to nil. Then I hacked the tree down and they've come back to producing....took a year, though, as I *think* they produce fruit on the prior year's canes.

reply by: randyd on May 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

In about three weeks I will have the first of the summer apples which are quite good for pies then peaches but they will go in cobbler.

reply by: dachshundlady on May 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Lucky you, Randy.

reply by: frick on May 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

We have small plums on our tree, a few, but there are also three squirrels. Randy, I'm anti-gun but do you shoot squirrels? If so, come on over.

I'm going to make Joanne Chang's Toaster Tarts, using her pie pastry with an egg, for the May Pie Challenge. Hope to get a decent enough product for a photo. Not exactly a pie, but what the heck . . .

reply by: beabaker on May 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Local rhubarb, strawberries and eggs

I just can't figure out how to post the actual picture in this thread

reply by: swirth on May 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

beabaker...what a gorgeous pie! Absolutely beautiful!

reply by: beabaker on May 22, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Thank you. I'm happy to share the recipe. The dough and filling are both KA recipes.

reply by: dachshundlady on May 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm

reply by: beabaker on May 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm

How did you post it?

reply by: KAF_Keri on May 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

This is such a timely discussion! I just found out we're having a pie contest at work in mid-June. It has to be a dessert pie but cannot be a cream pie (due to limited refrigeration space). So what would you say is the tastiest and/or most impressive pie you've ever eaten? Thanks in advance for your help!

reply by: dachshundlady on May 23, 2013 at 6:52 am

Here is my absolutely favorite. From The California Cookbook, compiled by staff of LA Times(1981)

Glazed Fresh Strawberry Pie

6-8 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled and well drained (I prefer those from the Northeast, not California)
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 Table cornstarch
1/2 cup water
9" baked pie shell, regular, not graham or cookie

Mash 2 cups of the strawberries. Mix sugar and cornstarch in a 3 quart saucepan. Stir in water and mashed berries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Fold remaining berries into cooled mixture. Pile into pastry shell. Chill.
Serve with whipped cream.
Not only is this pie gorgeous but the flavors of the cooked glaze with the raw strawberries combine to perfection. AND easy as pie to make!

reply by: KAF_Keri on May 23, 2013 at 9:31 am


That sounds wonderful! I wonder if I'll be able to use the whipped cream at the contest though. I may have to use "whipped cream from a can" (Cabot makes some good stuff at least). When you fold the remaining strawberries in, are they whole or do you cut them up?


reply by: dachshundlady on May 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Keri, smaller ones I leave whole. Bigger ones I halve Are you allowed to bring a pie in a cooler?

reply by: KAF_Keri on May 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I probably could bring it in a cooler but I don't think it could stay in there throughout the contest or anything. I'm not sure how far in advance they'll be putting the pies out ahead of the tasting.... I might be able to ninja myself down there right before they put them out and smear some whipped cream on it. :)

reply by: dachshundlady on May 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Keri, DH turned 60 today so I made him a "Cottage Pudding" from the Yankee Church Supper Cookbook. It is basically a square one layer cake made with one egg, same as "Dinette Cake" in old Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook. The recipe includes a lemon nutmeg sauce but instead I made the strawberry glaze sauce from the above pie. Soooo good. The strawberries get slightly cooked and the cooked sugar is reminiscent of the taste of candy apple coating sans cinnamon (I like MY candy apples without spice or nuts).

reply by: --jej on May 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

Keri -- a few thoughts from here,
I think you cannot beat Strawberry Rhubarb Pie when it is in season. Will also mention (hope I'm not redundant here) that my neighbor came over a couple of days ago to return my pie plate, saying the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie I'd taken over to them was their best ever! Her DH, in fact, reportedly finished off the last half of it straight from the pie plate! And it's a glass Pyrex 10-inch-er! I'd revised a recipe from my "Pillsbury Family Cook Book," adding strawberries to their Rhubarb pie. I'm not pushing my recipe, but I do think a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie may be the best route to take right now.
I do have to mention, however, that one of my DH's favorite pies was Pecan pie. A Southern friend, who I met when DH worked in different countries, shared her mom's Southern Pecan Pie recipe. I know it is the Rhubarb season at the moment, but.. We felt that lovely pie was just one of the best ever, as well, and every so often my DH would ask for some 'nut pie.'
Now, I must also mention a Lemon Meringue Pie made for a friend's dad at Easter. I used a little different recipe for the filling than usual, and then put an Italian Meringue on it. My friend (whose mom was a caterer, no less) could not stop telling everyone about it!
Lastly, there is a recipe for a Banana Creme / Meringue PIe (not sure of the exact title) which I'd posted on the old BC -- I think it was called "Jane's Banana...Pie" -- which we thought was pretty out-standing. This recipe had come from The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel Foods page 'by request' column, asked for by someone who had enjoyed it at Jane's B&B. Yum! I believe it was Twin2 on the old BC (didn't she have a bakery?) who then used that recipe and was pretty impressed and happy with it, also.
Will wish you good luck with whatever you do. I just love making pie, and wish I was in your vicinity this June! ;))) --jej
Oh, Yes! Almost forgot Key Lime Pie. You simply use the recipe on Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice bottle off the grocery shelf! But instead of topping it off with whipped cream, use your best meringue recipe. My mother-in-law was in 7th Heaven when we took this to her! (Or maybe the Florida Keys???)

I'd mention the Black-Bottom Pie I used to enjoy at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union Cafeteria in the '50s, but I think it used whipped cream, and of course it was a custard pie, not an option for you in June, I believe. That pie was to die for!

Finally, if it was going to be Blueberry Season in your neck of the woods, I might even suggest the Blueberry Pie recipe AS IS, also from my "Pillsbury Family Cook Book." It was really a winner for us, and my DH wasn't even fond of blueberries! DD still requests it, although I believe she can no longer hand-carry one 'fresh from the oven' back to D.C. with her anymore. Can you imagine sitting on an airplane, flying half-way across the country, having to endure the fragrance wafting from someone else's still warm Blueberry Pie???
Again, Best of Luck!

reply by: robinwaban on May 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Mary Ann- I was happily surprised to see you post the strawberry pie. My daughter's birthday was yesterday and this has always been her favorite birthday dessert, not cake. I use 3 tbsp. cornstarch and 3/4 c sugar and 2.5 oz. of strawberry jello. I keep about 15 whole strawberries for the top. ALWAYS comes out perfect!

reply by: beabaker on May 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Can you post the recipe for your banana cream pie and pecan pie? I made a most outrageous pumpkin pie this thanksgiving with raw milk, local eggs and fresh baked pumpkin. I need to look for that recipe and make sure I saved it somewhere!

What is a black bottom pie?

reply by: beabaker on May 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Can you post the recipe for your banana cream pie and pecan pie? I made a most outrageous pumpkin pie this thanksgiving with raw milk, local eggs and fresh baked pumpkin. I need to look for that recipe and make sure I saved it somewhere!

What is a black bottom pie?

reply by: swirth on May 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Robin...yesterday (May 24) was my boy's 43rd birthday and May 22nd was my sweet little granddaughter's 10th birthday.
I think May 24th was also one of RandyD's son's birthday.

reply by: swirth on May 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Keri...this is one of our all time favorite pie recipes, from an old '80s community cookbook. Many years ago, I helped with our high school drama class's Pie and Poe presentation and took several of these French Coconut pies for the guests.
Everyone raved about how great the pie was and many wanted the recipe.

It is so simple and easy.
Bryancar from the BakingCircle loved this pie so much that he even put it on his food blog and he added an almond type topping to is what he wrote on his blog:
Friday, January 12, 2007
French Coconut Pie
I don't know of too many people who do NOT like coconut in one form or another. This pie is quick to make and is a wonderful way to finish off a meal - especially with a cup of breshly brewed hazelnut coffee. Permission was given to me by the author - creator to publish this recipe; she is an encyclopedia of cooking and baking knowledge on the King Arthur Baking Circle, as well as being a mainstay to the message board, and the question and answer point person if you ever have inquiries about cooking and baking or equipment/ingredient resources.
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1 stick butter, melted
• 1 Tbsp. vinegar
• 3 cups coconut
Combine well, and pour ingredients into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees until firm...about 1 hour. This is much like pecan pie.
An extra addition - a topping - for this pie that goes really well is an ALMOND praline.
Almond Praline Crunch:
3/4 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped and toasted almonds.
Stir all together in a heavy duty pan until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Once the mixture solidifies and cools, remove from the pan and place the chunks between several folds of waxed paper and break it up with a heavy rolling pin (marble works the best) and crush the chunks into very small pieces. Sprinkle over pie before serving. If you REALLY want more calories and want to be decadent, a few dollops of whipped cream on top is delicious.

reply by: --jej on May 27, 2013 at 1:30 am

Hi beabaker!! Yes, I'll be glad to post those recipes for the Banana Cream and Pecan pies. Will do it as soon as possible.

My sisters, brother and I all grew up on our own raw milk and fresh eggs, and our own pumpkin, too, and I'm pretty envious of you making your pumpkin pie like that!!! ;)) I remember in the '40s having to drink the pasteurized milk at school and hating it so much. Now, of course, the finished product is much more delectable and tolerable. But with all the hubbub about banning raw milk these days, I think of it again and again. I read just a few days ago, in fact, that the raw milk of my day may be considered one of the reasons we had good immune systems and were able to avoid the many allergies, etc., plaguing today's children. --jej

P.S. To the best of my memory, Black Bottom Pie had a rather skinny layer of chocolate on the crust, over which was a vanilla creme filling. I believe it was whipped cream atop that. I'm going to ask some of my college friends for more info. I had a recipe once, but it used (heaven forbid!!) raw egg, so it was suddenly not appropriate to make any more. I'm going to try to find that again, and if so, I'll post it too. I may even check in with the Union Cafeteria this next Thursday, as I have to take my DGS (Ira) there for a class on that day. I'll see if they even are now serving a 'reasonable facsimile' of that wonderful pie now. I'm sooooooooooo glad you asked!! --jej

reply by: omaria on May 27, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Well, I am just in time for the May pie challenge with my apricot pie. I used that little cutter thing for the top, but that did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I think I rolled out the top dough too thin. The dough stuck to the wheel and when I tried to lift it to put on the pie the little strands broke. I did not have that problem when I used it on my bread dough, so will make the top a little thicker next time.
I don't know how it tastes, home grown apricots should be good. Antoon is not home, so we will have a piece tonight after dinner. I did make pictures and will ask him to put them on later.

reply by: --jej on June 01, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Hi beabaker!!
I have tried on 2 separate occasions to post the recipes!! For some reason it isn't working. I then called KAF, but have to wait until there is time on the computer when DGS isn't home. Will let you know when they can help me to get it going again. IT WILL HAPPEN!! ;) --jej

reply by: Cindy Leigh on June 01, 2013 at 9:53 pm
Cindy Leigh

Pie. PIE!!!
Forget cake. Cake I can walk past. But PIE? Oh good heavens. Pie is God's gift to the world.
I can, and have, made a lot of modifications to my diet to be healthier and lose weight. And it's going well. But I need a way to get my pie on.
I'm thinking I can make some lightly sweetened, individual little pie-like things. Maybe a layer of the fruit of the day (blueberries right now) with an oatmeal/nut/flax type crumble dusted across the top. Yeah. I'm going to try that. Maybe tomorrow ill go to Christmas Tree shop and see if they have any shallow ramekins, like for creme brûlée, that would fit the bill. I think good food tastes even better if you've got a pretty dish.
My favorites are blueberry, peach, peach custard, apple, pumpkin, chocolate pecan (but only a sliver, too rich), key lime. Fruits of the forest, gooseberry, strawberry rhubarb, oh the list goes on.
And how about tarts? Fruit tarts with a layer of cream under the fruit and a beautiful glaze, and a buttery shortbreadish crust. But wait, how about those rustic tart tatins? Ummmmm. Plum.

reply by: robinwaban on June 01, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Stop it, stop it, stop it !!! I have no pie and I'm hungry.

reply by: dachshundlady on June 02, 2013 at 6:13 am

I was going to make rhubarb sauce today but maybe I should make a rhubarb galette as well . . .

reply by: beabaker on June 02, 2013 at 8:30 am

No rush! I do look forward to them, as I haven't tried those pies yet

reply by: beabaker on June 02, 2013 at 8:31 am

I might make some rhubarb cookies, if I have enough

reply by: swirth on June 02, 2013 at 8:55 am

Take a peek at wingboy's beautiful strawberry/rhubarb pie for ideas: