About two weeks ago, I introduced a contest wherein readers could suggest pie recipes for me to make. Whoever submitted that piqued my interest the most would win an impressive gift basket from Cool Whip that features everything from Williams-Sonoma cookware to marshmallow fluff. Needless to say, the entries flooded in. There were more submissions than I could have ever expected, and the task of singling out just one pie recipe seemed difficult at the best. Plus, there was nothing fun about it for me. Sure, it would be easy for me to simply spend twenty minutes poring through the recipes and whittling the choices down to one, but where’s the joy in that? I knew I’d have to make more than one of these pies. That’s why I’ve decided to change things up a bit: I will now select three finalists, bake all three pies, and then have a tasting.
But of course, limiting to just three pies is a very difficult task. So difficult that I’ve only been able to winnow the group down to five recipes. However, I’m not sure I’m up to making five pies. I must now deliberate whether to take on an extensive pie process or simply cut down the list further. While I do that, check out the semi-finalists after the jump as well as their various pros and cons.
I overlooked this option for several weeks, but tonight I realized that it looks amazing. We’ve all had apple pie, and we all know that caramel pairs with it brilliantly. What makes this intriguing is the crunchy element.
Pros: Classic, time-tested flavors; it was the winner of a Good Morning America contest; intriguing texture.
Cons: Lacking flash, sexiness (I like sexy pie).
This pie jumped out at me the moment it was posted. After all, how could I deny a pie with tequila? Without the booze, however, it does appear a bit average. But who said I was making it without the booze?
Pros: Intriguing, fun; tequila; out of the box.
Cons: Could be all flash, no substance; might be more fun in theory than in execution
Even though this recipe calls for strawberries (which will be omitted — thankfully they’re just a garnish), I still have been drawn to this pie the whole time. The crust, made from Amaretti cookies and almonds, sounds tasty and unique, and the presence of booze gives it a leg-up on the competition.
Pros: Sophisticated, inherently appealing; booze; good flavor profiles.
Cons: Calls for a tart pan, which I do not have; Amaretti cookies might be annoying to find (although, I’ve seen them in Santa Monica — which still makes them annoying to find)
People who know me know that I’m a huge chocolate fan. I couldn’t just compile a list without a chocolate entry. Enter the turtle pie. The recipe is simple and certainly very traditional, and yet it looks mouthwateringly good. Pecans + chocolate + caramel = fun times. Sometimes you can’t overlook a classic. Plus I’ve never actually had a turtle pie (only the candy).
Pros: love the flavors; classic, reliable; def need some pecan representation; IndianJones gushed about turtle pies on IM a few minutes ago and made me crave this.
Aha! Another chocolate entry! This one involves chili, which excites me. I love spicy food, and I’ve been going through a very chili-oriented phase lately. A fun twist on a run-of-the-mill chocolate pie.
Pros: Chocolate; spicy; interesting.
Cons: I wouldn’t say I always gravitate toward meringue pies, even if the meringue is just a topping.
So these are the options. Send me your feedback in the comments. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say, and with any luck, I’ll be baking by tomorrow night!