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Sep 28, 2011 07:13 AM


There is a pie baking contest at my kid's school. I want to make a pie but have never made more than the standard pumpkin or pecan pies for Thanksgiving. I need a relatively easy recipe for a novice like me that will be a show stopper either for flavor or looks. Maybe that is a tall order, but tell me what you got! I appreciate it. Thanks!

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  1. For simple and delicious, try this two layer key lime pie. You won't have to deal w/ making a traditional pie crust, it's different from what people expect but it's close enough that they love it. Super easy to put together.

      1. Remember, pie baking contests are won on the crust, not the filling.

        1. I wouldn't venture into a first-time pie crust for a contest, as pie crusts are finicky and benefit from practice. I made this once for a BBQ and it went over well, especially if you get to fire it with a torch in front of the judges:

          I've also made a whole-lemon tart, if you're willing to stretch from pie to tart. The flavor is a really beautiful pure lemon, plus it generally blows people's minds that the entire rind is in it.

          1. Laura Calder's Easy Pastry Shop Apple Tart is superb and rather simple - no pie crust to roll out, you mix in a food processor and press into a springform or tart pan, bake for a bit then add a cream cheese mixture, top with sliced sugared and spiced apples and nuts, and finish baking. Nothing complex, easy for a novice baker and it never fails to wow people. Here's the link:


            8 Replies
            1. re: janniecooks

              These all look great. Keep them coming. Thank you!!!!!

              1. re: lilmomma

                the pichet ong squash pie recipe I llnked in the pie cookbook thread below is a showstopper and it has a graham cracker crumb crust. It would certainly stand out in any crowd.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  jen, what pie cookbook? I don't see the thread.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      This pie is definitely scheduled for an appearance on my Thanksgiving table this year. Thanks, jen and HillJ.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Mine too, bushwickgirl and has for a few years already. Ong knows desserts.

                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    My dad sang this song to us when we were kids, "Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pandowy, makes your eyes light up and your stomach say howdy."

                    My mom made both. Fun.