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Pie-Baking Contest: Strawberry-Ginger Pie

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I've taken on the habit of entering recipe contests at area farmers market lately. I can't help it - I can finally participate in something competitive. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing in my two volleyball leagues, but there's something about bringing out food from my own kitchen - and having some random stranger tell me whether or not it tastes good. Two weeks ago, I brought my Raz-Express Chocolate cookies in to a chocolate baking contest. I was actually nervous as I waited to hear the results - I'm starting to lose it, I thought. When I found out that I won the cookie category I thought, could I win the whole thing? No, no I couldn't - and I didn't. We won our volleyball game that night though!

So tonight, I entered a pie-baking contest. How do I make something unique, yet my co-worker will like? My co-worker? Yeah, she was the judge. Not a big deal. My pie got a blue ribbon and looked great, in my opinion. I wasn't able to stay for the auction because I had another volleyball game to catch - we didn't win this time. But there were at least 20 pies and a nice crowd for the auction. I was impressed.

So here it is folks, my Strawberry-Ginger Pie. I might just enter it in next week's pie contest - unless you have any other ideas?

Strawberry-Ginger Pie

Filling Ingredients:
2 pounds sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Pie-Dough Ingredients:
(borrowed from America’s Test Kitchen)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
For the pie-dough:

Process the flour, sugar and salt in a food processeor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and process until the mixture has the texture of course sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and, using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles course crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.

Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does.

Divide the dough into two even pieces and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let the chill dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it out and fitting into a pie plate.

For the pie:

Heat the oven to 375*F. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness, and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside in the refrigerator. Roll the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness and use a sharp knife or fork to cut slits in it.

Combine the straberries, ginger, sugar and flour in a large bowl and transfer to the prepared pie pan; drap the pierced rolled-out dough over the pie. Trim the edges of both crusts, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the dough under, lightly pinching to seal. Crimp around the rim and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake on the center shelf of the oven until the crust is golden brown - 45-55 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


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