October 31st, 2013
10:45 AM ET
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Editor's Note: America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

A crumb crust is a classic choice in many single-crust pies. It’s more durable than classic pie dough, making it the right choice for the moist custard-based fillings in recipes like Key Lime Pie (recipe below).

Graham crackers are the classic choice. For chocolate cookie crusts, we prefer Oreos. While buying a store-bought ready-to-go crust is a tempting shortcut, these are always stale and bland. Making your own is incredibly easy and well worth it for a fresh-tasting crust with a crisp texture and balanced sweetness to do your homemade pie filling justice.
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Filed under: America's Test Kitchen • Baked Goods • Content Partner • How To • Make • Pie • Recipes • Techniques & Tips


Dessert debate: cake vs pie
October 14th, 2013
12:00 PM ET
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March 14 (3/14) is Pi(e) Day, so we're rolling this out again.

Each autumn, some of the world's most prominent food scholars, chefs, journalists and enthusiasts gather together on the campus of the University of Mississippi for a symposium on the state of Southern food. Overarching themes covered by the Southern Foodways Alliance in the previous 15 years have included the role of farmers, a study of global influences, the undercurrents of music and booze, just to name a few. The subject at the core of 2013's installment: Women at Work.

For two days, featured presenters and honorees like Diane Roberts, Vertamae Grosvenor, Emily Wallace, Candacy Taylor, Charlotte Druckman, among many others, spoke eloquently and enthusiastically of the essential roles that women have played in the creation of Southern food culture past and present.

Then it was time for dessert. Eatocracy's managing editor Kat Kinsman and New York Times Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson faced off in a tongue-in-cheek Lincoln-Douglas debate. The topic at hand: which holds more essential social and emotional currency in the South, pie or cake?

Kinsman defended the pro-pie position, and Severson took the side of cake. They tied, by an assessment of audience applause, but here in the spirit of National Dessert Day, we're serving up slices of both their arguments. Dig in.
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Bringing healing to Newtown, one pie at a time
December 19th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Beth Howard pulled up to Newtown in her 24-foot-long camper, loaded with 240 apple pies.

She dished out pie to kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School, grieving parents and anyone who asked.

She describes herself as an attaché for grief, with her greatest gift being pie “made from love.” Most people simply call her "the pie lady."

“Pie is meant to be shared,” she said. “It’s meant to be given away.”

As she spoke, there was a knock on her door. Women preparing a wake for one of the slain girls would like some pie for mourners.
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Filed under: Dishes • Feed the Soul • Local Heroes • News • Nostalgia • Pie • Think


Laid-off producer becomes proud pie maker
March 14th, 2012
06:15 PM ET
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Dave Tuttle has a passion for pie. "Let's face it. Pie is wonderful stuff,” he says. “It makes people feel great.” And it would be hard for anyone to argue that point, after seeing and smelling one of his signature double crusted fruit pies as it emerges, hot and steaming, from the oven.

But Tuttle's passion grew more out of necessity than culinary curiosity. After a 20-year career in film and television, Tuttle found himself unemployed in 2008 during the height of the recession, as the industry was shedding jobs.

"For about a year, I really made it full time to try to find a job, to get back into the business because that's what I had known for 20 years," Tuttle says. But after that year, there was still no job, and even less savings. It was time to try something new.
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Filed under: Business and Farming News • News • Pie • Small Business • Video


March 14th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

It's an all-out pie palooza because March 14 is National Pi(e) Day!

Clever you, you've already figured out that today's date, 3/14, also corresponds to a famous mathematical constant you learned in school: 3.14, also known as pi. So it would stand to reason that today of all days is a great day to celebrate something of a similar name, pie.

In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed that yes, America, we should have a Pi Day, although it was celebrated beginning in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium. The staff and visitors would march about a circular space and eat fruit pies.

What's the usual way of celebrating Pi Day? Why indulging in your favorite pie and talking about the relevance of pi, of course! Pie eating contests are also welcome, or you can even make a pie with the pi symbol on it like our iReporters.
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iReport – Gotta get down on Pi Day!
March 8th, 2012
09:16 PM ET
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It’s almost time to commemorate one of the most beloved and mysterious numbers in mathematics.

You know - Pi! The ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is approximately 3.14. So on March 14 - or 3/14 - math fans and dessert lovers unite to celebrate Pi Day.

In honor of the holiday, we invite you to show off your best pie, or tell us about the tastiest one you've ever had. Sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy - we want them all. Include original photos and recipes, and we'll celebrate the beloved dessert March 14 on Eatocracy.

See the Pi Day Pie assignment on iReport

Need some inspiration? Sink your teeth into these pie posts.

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Filed under: Buzz • iReport • Pie


National banana cream pie day
March 2nd, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

How appealing! March 2 is National Banana Cream Pie Day.

Look up "creamy" or "dreamy" in the dictionary and you'll find a picture of this pie perfection. (OK, not really, but it should!)

Banana cream pie combines the best of all things sweet. The one-crust pie is full of a rich custard or pudding, made by whipping cream, eggs, milk, a bit of flour, and in this case, bananas or banana flavoring into pastry cream-esque magic. This stems from a key feature of French cakes and tarts, the lovely crème pâtissière.
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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News • Pie


Breakfast buffet: National cherry pie day
February 20th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Such a sweet surprise – February 20 is National Cherry Pie Day!

As if you already didn't have enough reason to celebrate cherries out of season - it is National Cherry Month - this may be the sweetest excuse of all.

Tart, sweet cherry pie filling is swaddled in a golden, flaky crust that is a perfect complement to this hearty fruit. Morello cherries are a favorite amongst bakers for their sour cherry flavor. And when it's your pie, you control the sugar.
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The sweet appeal of the Nation of Islam's bean pie
February 15th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Anthony Umrani is a CNN Senior Photojournalist based in Washington, D.C. He previously wrote about the menu at the National Museum of the American Indian.

February is Black History Month. February is also National Pie Month. What could one possibly have to do with the other, you might ask? Meet the bean pie - a sweet, delectable dessert made from navy beans.

The bean pie is a creation born out of the strict dietary code of the Nation of Islam, a religious black nationalist and social reform movement formed in the 1930s, led by Elijah Muhammad. In his book, "How To Eat To Live," Muhammad outlined a rather detailed and sometimes peculiar set of guidelines for eating, presumably designed to improve health and prolong life.

In accordance with Islamic law, pork was prohibited, but there was a list of other banned foods that could not be explained by any Islamic jurisprudence. Foods such as spinach, sweet potatoes and lima beans, which many nutritionists would agree are good healthy foods, were not allowed.
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Filed under: Bite • Black History Month • Cuisines • Dietary Restrictions • Pie • Religion


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