The 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Pie Contest in Asheville, NC

Filed under: recipes, Thanksgiving

That’s a lot of pie!

 Last year my daughters and I decided it was time to jazz up the usual Thanksgiving array of pumpkin, pecan and apple pie.  The pies were lovely but we had been making the same ones for years and felt like it was time to branch out a bit so we created the Carolina Bed & Breakfast Thanksgiving Pie Contest.  For the month before Thanksgiving we scoured recipes online and in cookbooks. Some of us felt strongly  that certain types of pie (i.e., pumpkin) needed to be included and laid claim to that pie.  Others were of the mind that any type of pie was acceptable and searched accordingly. 

Ready to go in the oven

Wednesday was pie baking day.  It had to be as we only have one oven here at our inn in Western North Carolina and it would be taken over by a 21 lb turkey most of Thursday!  I was up first (no surprises there) and made my Blueberry, Basil, Goat Cheese Pie in the peace and quiet of my sunlit kitchen.  I know blueberries are not exactly an Autumn fruit but I love berry pies and I have been experimenting with basil in sweet dishes this summer and thought it sounded delicious.  Blueberries have a special affinity for herbs. 

Emily was the next one up.  Her first idea had been to make a pumpkin-white chocolate pie but we hadn’t actually been able to come up with an inspiring recipe so we decided to make a Maple Pumpkin Pie with White Chocolate Cream,  It was such an easy recipe that she opted to continue on with an Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust.  And one of the benefits of our poorly insulated kitchen walls is a cold marble counter-top for rolling out pastry.

 Abby and her roommate Chelsea were the last ones in the kitchen.  By now the mess had spread out all over the island but they managed to find space to create their Nutella Bottom Pecan Pie.  When I first saw the recipe for this one, it made my teeth hurt it looked so sweet!

The final entry on our contest came from a friend who was joining us.  She brought a fruit tart, bright and colorful and fresh.

The results:
Abby’s Pecan was the winner in the Traditional Category.
Anita’s Fruit tart was the first completely eaten, so ipso facto I have declared it the ultimate over-all winner.
My Basil Blueberry was awarded the most unusual.
But for breakfast the next morning, everyone went straight to the Apple Pie!  And here is the winning recipe for you:

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie
6 tbsps butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp coconut extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut flakes

1 cup chopped pecan plus extra for decorating the top
1 deep dish pie crust
1/2 cup Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut spread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat butter, sugar, syrup and salt over medium heat until butter has melted and sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and coconut extract.  Let cool for about ten minutes.

Spread Nutella on bottom of unbaked pie crust.

Whisk eggs into sugar mixture, stir in coconut flakes and pecans.  Pour into pie crust and decorate top with pecan halves.

Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes until done.


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