Tag: best pie

Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe

This winning “Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe” is a banana lover’s dream come true. You use 5 bananas to make it, including an early step of making a “banana milk.” You use that banana milk to create a custard thickened with egg yolks and cornstarch.  This amps up the flavor, as does using both vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. Also, using both heavy whipping cream and whole milk gives the pie the richness it deserves.

Whipped Cream Topping

This creation is adapted from a best cream pie winning recipe at the Iowa State Fair. Jessica Denner won 3rd place for her banana cream pie back in 2015. She split her filling into multiple layers and used a different crust. I simplified the layering, reduced the chill times needed and swapped out the winner’s dough crust recipe for a graham cracker version.  I like the texture a cookie-like crust adds, especially when you crumble some crunchiness on top.

Closeup

Baking Tips

Save the smashed bananas used for making your “banana milk” and put them into smoothies, banana bread or muffins.

The winner’s tip of doing a quick lemon juice soak with the banana slices is genius.

Bananas

With that step, plus a quick rinse and a pat dry, your fruit will hold its bright color and avoid turning brown. Doing such a step, helps this “Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe” have a winning presentation.

Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe Overhead ShotThe filling resembles a thick pudding. It comes together easily. Be sure to cook the custard until it thickens. As a result, the pie will set up properly and not be runny. Avoid overcooking it as well. Hint: the filling should thickly coat the back of a spoon and stay separate if you run your finger down the center of the spoon.

You also want your whipped cream on top to be thick, almost firm. Whip it until moderately stiff peaks form and it can hold its shape. This is the consistence you want.

Moderately stiff peaksCrazy for Crust? If you prefer a dough crust instead of a graham cracker crust, use the winner’s butter-lard pie crust found here. Our tasters loved that version as well. Plus, we had fun with the whipped cream presentation.

Best Banana Cream Pie - Decorated

A Pie in the Sky: keep an eye out for even more cream pies as we’ve been testing and tasting loads of them. We’ll share more soon!

-Cyndi

 

Blue Ribbon Triple Berry Pie

This Blue Ribbon Triple Berry Pie features a flaky butter crust and first-rate filling of blueberries, raspberries and cranberries. The combination makes for a delicious taste that’s perfectly sweet, but not overly so. Cinnamon and nutmeg give the pie tasty nuances as well.

MN State Fair Blue Ribbon Triple Berry Pie

This award-winning recipe comes from Tim Scott, a long-time lover of pies and baking-at-home. He entered his first Minnesota State Fair baking competition in 2016. His pie won best multi-berry pie out of 60 pies. He also placed 2nd and 5th with two other pies, making 2021 his best year yet. His first ribbon was in 2017, a 3rd place for a peach pie.

Cranberries for the Win?!

Given many multi-berry pies have blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, the cranberries are what helped Tim’s pie stand out. The proportions he used translated to a fantastic flavor. The tartness from the cranberries paired perfectly with the sweetness of the blueberries and raspberries. Tim shared that using the very best seasonal fruit from local growers is key. Ripeness plays a factor as well.

Tim shared that another secret to winning is being organized, enough so that the timing of baking multiple pies works out and every aspect get the attention and time it deserves. Tim’s strategy is to always make 2 pies per competition entry. He picks the more perfect one to enter. The other often goes to (very happy) neighbors.

Attention to Detail

Fun fact: Tim uses butter for all his Minnesota State Fair Pie entries, but lard for something like the Braham Pie Day Contest.

His advice to aspiring pie bakers trying his recipe: “Cranberries have a lot of pectin, so how much thickening agent you use is tricky,” Tim shared. “Pay close attention to how much liquid is in the berries after simmering to get the right consistency.”

As far as advice to first time baking contestants: practice by entering other baking contests for experience. Also, have tasters who know what good pie is (or great cake or cookie, etc.) and will give you honest feedback.

Great tips! Now give Tim’s Blue Ribbon Triple Berry Pie recipe a try! If you don’t bake, find a friend who does and request they make this! Pie lover alert: be sure to also check out our other award-winning pies on our site, like this other 2021 apple pie winner.

-Cyndi

 

State Fair Apple Raspberry Pie

This State Fair Apple Raspberry Pie is a show stopper. It won both “best creative apple pie” and “best overall pie” at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Carol Marsh is the star state fair baker here. Her pie is beautifully designed and absolutely delicious. The filling tastes fantastic and has a firm yet tender texture. Fresh raspberries add a splash of color. Their sweetness pairs perfectly with tart apples.

State Fair Apple Pie

Carol has been competing at the Minnesota State Fair since 2010 and baking since she a child. This year, 2021, was a big year, with her winning four blue ribbons. They were for a 2-layer chocolate cake, a raisin bread, a classic apple pie, and this creative apple pie, which won best overall pie also. This makes her a 6 time pie sweepstakes winner (best overall pie 6x since 2010). That brings her total to 36 Minnesota State Fair ribbons for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins.

Carol, like a lot of us, finds much joy in baking. She knows the ideal texture of pie dough and how to have a thick filling. As a result, she finds baking pies a breeze. She has it down to a science.

State Fair Apple Pie Baker

Carol has won multiple times at the Minnesota State Fair with this recipe and slight variations on it. Carol recently baked her pie for me and we brought you along to experience the journey of making a perfect pie. Seeing her in action was so much fun!

Carol’s Pie Baking Tips – Step by Step

Chill your bowl and all your pie crust dough ingredients (dry, wet and shortening).

Dough mixture (with chilled shortening already cut in) should resemble cornmeal.Cornmeal Looking Stage

Carol strains her egg/vinegar mixture into the crust’s dry ingredients.

Allow enough time to also chill the dough, for at least an hour. Check out the beautiful texture Carol gets. State Fair Apple Pie dough

For the filling, Carol prefers using a combo of Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Pink Lady apples.

Layer the apples, butter, and raspberries. You’ll get a colorful look that doesn’t “bleed” much or look messy.Layering State Fair Apple Pie

Let your artistic side out by cutting and etching the leaves for the top crust like Carol did.Pie Crust Leaves

Layer and distribute the leaves evenly, so the top crust will bake uniformly.Leaf decoration on State Fair Apple Pie

Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar for some beautiful browning and sparkle.

The pie will be heaping with apples. While baking, the apples shrink, resulting in a full, lush-looking pie.Baked State Fair Apple Pie

The pie cuts beautifully and has a firm yet tender filling.State Fair Apple Pie

This State Fair Apple Raspberry Pie is a classic. Put it on your holiday baking list. And if you want another 2021 Minnesota State Fair winning pie, check out this blue ribbon winner also.

Enjoy!

-Cyndi

 

Blue Ribbon Baking: Aspiring Bakers Make Creative Cakes, Cookies & More

Aspiring Bakers Win Accolades with Creative Cakes, Cookies, Breads & Pies

Minneapolis-St. Paul, August 26, 2021 – Baking competition winners fared well at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair with a variety of inspired recipes and perfectly prepared baked goods. The Blue Ribbon Group, the contest organizers behind this site and Blue Ribbon Foodies on Instagram and Facebook – sponsored a special baking contest series.  They called for creative coconut cakes, drop-style cookies, banana breads, and fruit pies, and also arranged for $25 bonus prizes for select 1st place winners. This is blue ribbon baking, at its best.

Blue Ribbon Baking: Coconut Curry Mango Cake (Winner)

This coconut cake with garam masala and tumeric was among the first place winners (pictured above). One winning cookie featured Chambourd liqueur and another had ginger, molasses and 100% pure cricket powder in it. Yes, cricket powder. A perfectly-baked pie combining strawberries and rhubarb won top honors also. Another stand-out was this Elvis-inspired Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread.

Blue Ribbon Baking: Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread (Winner)

Here’s a list of all first, second, and third place winners in all four Blue Ribbon Baking contests. For a complete list of winners across all Creative Activities general baking classes and categories, click here. Also, stay tuned as we’ll share a sampling of winning recipes and how-to stories in the coming weeks. You can follow along by liking Blue Ribbon Foodies on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Best Coconut Cake Winners:

1st Place: Maggie MacIntosh of Minneapolis for Coconut Curry Cake with Mango Filling

2nd Place: Renee Janas-Johnson of Brooklyn Park for Coconut Orange Cake

3rd Place: Mallory Leitinger of Aitkin for Coconut Raspberry Zinger Cake

 

Best Drop-Style Cookie:

1st Place: Rachael Hood of St. Louis Park for Rachie’s Razzies (Chewy Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies)

2nd Place: Kurt Zinda of Braham for Dark Smoked Candied Pecan Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies

3rd Place: Gwen Benson of Minnetonka for Susan McNamara’s Sugar Cashew Cookies

 

Best Banana Bread Winners:

1st Place: Karen Cope of Minneapolis for Elvis on a Stick (Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread)

2nd Place: Catherine Young of Minnetonka for Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

3rd Place: Kent Kaiser of St. Paul for Alpha Sigma Banana Bread

 

Best Fruit Pie Winners:

1st Place: Kathleen McCarron of Roseville for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

2nd Place: Fay Peterson of Apple Valley for A Fruit Special Pie (Blueberry Rhubarb Strawberry Pie)

3rd Place: Randy Ferguson of Minneapolis for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

 

A special thank you to our Prize Partner, King Arthur Baking Company:

King Arthur Baking Company

 

Triple Berry Apple Streusel Pie

This blue ribbon winning Triple Berry Apple Streusel Pie has both frozen and fresh berries in it—a mixture of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries—plus a Granny Smith apple. Between that fruit combination, a gorgeous lattice top crust, and a streusel topping featuring oats and almonds, this pie is a total show stopper. As in best ever pie. As in, mic drop. Boom!

Best Pie, Indiana State Fair, Triple Berry Apple Streusel Pie Seriously, we think you’ll go crazy for this Triple Berry Apple Streusel Pie. And funny thing is, this blue ribbon pie was originally titled: Berry Crazy Pie with Nutty Crunch Topping. And an even cooler thing about this pie, a 24-year old created it. Recipe credit goes to Tyler Stump who won first place with it at the Indiana State Fair (2016).

Sliced Triple Berry Apple Streusel Pie

If you loves pies, really great fruit pies, you simply have to make this Tripe Berry Apple Streusel Pie. Follow our step-by-step recipe and bake like a blue ribbon winner! And pie lover, if you’re looking for another best-ever pie recipe, try this Mixed Fruit Pie.

-Cyndi & Crystal

 

Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie

This Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie is a Minnesota State Fair award-winning recipe made with fresh blueberries, rhubarb, and strawberries. Recipe credit goes to Faye Peterson, who won best overall pie with it in 2014.

Best Pie at the Fair

The judges, a panel of food science professionals, chose the top pie based on appearance/color, texture/internal appearance, and flavor/aroma. In other words, it is all about execution…as in pie baking perfection:

  • A filling with excellent viscosity. (I love that word by the way; referring it its thickness.)
  • Fantastic flavor.
  • Perfectly browned on top.
  • And no soggy bottom!

Faye says this pie crust recipe, handed down from her mother, is more durable and fool-proof than most. She says this comes from using vinegar, egg, and shortening. Our tasters referred to the crust as “flaky yet firm” and “a perfect compliment to the rich, fruity filling.”

If you’re someone intimidated by home-made pie crusts, give this one a try. We found it forgiving and, so delicious!  You can make the crust ahead and refrigerate or even freeze it. Just bring it back to room temperature before rolling it out. Note: the pie crust recipe is for three crusts, so you will have one extra to make a cream pie, meringue, or some other one-crust pie. You can never have too much pie dough around. Am I right?!

Pro Tip

Using fresh blueberries, rhubarb, and strawberries is best. However, if that’s not an option, thaw and drain your frozen fruits and use the same portions: 2 cups blueberries and 3/4 cup each rhubarb and strawberries.

Bake Your Best

With the state fair season just around the corner and July being peak blueberry season, now is the perfect time to make this award-winning Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie. Plus, it’s a great practice run if you’re registered for 2021 Minnesota State Fair baking competitions a.k.a. Blue Ribbon Baking Day.

Hint Hint! There is a Best Fruit Pie Contest with $175 in prizes. Register by August 10, 4:30pm. Open to Minnesota residents only.

Enjoy & Good Luck!

-Cyndi

Note: This is an edited re-post from our sister website, StateFairRecipes.com

 

Bake Your Best for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair

Calling all Blue Ribbon Foodies & Minnesota State Fair Lovers!!

Hit the kitchen and let’s bake together for the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together! To celebrate the official return of our hometown Minnesota State Fair in 2021, the Blue Ribbon Group is sponsoring four special baking contests at the Minnesota State Fair including:

  • Best Banana Bread
  • Best Fruit Pie
  • Best Drop Cookie
  • Best Coconut Cake

Cash Prizes & Kudos

For this “Blue Ribbon Baking Day” at the fair, we’ve organized $175 in prizes for each competition, plus there will be special recognition for blue ribbon winners across several broader baking categories: Cookies, Cakes, Pies, and Breads. Don’t miss this treasured tradition that hundreds of Minnesotans take part in every year. You’ll rub elbows with like-minded home cooks and hobby bakers on “baking drop-off day” and once the fair opens see what wins in display cases throughout the Creative Activities Building. The experience is also a wonderful warm-up for the upcoming holiday baking season.

Special Thanks to our prize partner, King Arthur Baking Company. 

King Arthur Baking Company

Blue Ribbon Baking Contest Series: Sat, Aug 21, 2021, 9:30am – 1pm (Competitors: Sign Up by Aug 10, 4:30pm)

All registration goes through the Minnesota State Fair competition department. Registration is free! There’s also no obligation if you later can’t participate. Go to the Competitions/Creative Activities/Baked Products section at MNStateFair.org to sign up (under the Participants tab). Three quick-start tips:

  • Create your online account here
  • For step-by-step guidance, go here.
  • Sign up for the Competition Department email list here and be sure to choose “Creative Activities” as your email list.

Best Drop Cookies Blue Ribbon Cake Blue Ribbon Pie: Blueberry Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Best Banana Bread

 

Sign Up!   *********************Registration is Closed; Stay Tuned for Follow-Up Posts **************************************

  • Registration is open now. It closes August 10 at 4:30pm. No late registrations are allowed so don’t miss the deadline
  • Registration is FREE
  • You drop off your entry the Saturday before the fair opens, so it’s easy in, easy out. Drop off is 9:30am to 1pm on Saturday, August 21. You can even have a friend drop it off if you can’t make it
  • Open to Minnesota residents only

If you are on social media, be sure to follow BLUE RIBBBON FOODIES on Instagram or Facebook (or both =). Help us grow. Like and comment on what you see there. Save and share your favorite posts. Also, stay tuned here for inspiration and award-winning recipes from Minnesota and across the country.

Want to see all the official rules? Download them here.

Good luck. We’ll be cheering for you all!

Cyndi & Crystal (aka The Blue Ribbon Group & Blue Ribbon Foodies)

Dreamy Creamy Raspberry Pie

This dreamy creamy raspberry pie is true to its name. The “always-heavenly” heavy cream and cream cheese ingredients give this pie it’s richness. You use both frozen and fresh raspberries. Featuring this fruit makes the raspberry flavor a co-star to the cream. Each bite is divine thanks to the pie’s five layers.

Five Easy Layers

  1. pie crust
  2. baked “cheesecake”
  3. raspberry filling
  4. whipped cream cheese
  5. fresh raspberries

Everything goes inside a fabulous and flaky pie crust, homemade with cold butter and ice cold water, plus flour, salt, sugar, of course. And as always, if you’re in a time crunch (or have no interest in mastering your “pie crust from scratch” skills), a pre-made crust works too.  No questions asked.  No judging 😊

The pie’s bright color is eye-catching for sure, making it a scrumptious sweet treat for Valentine’s day…or any special day of the year for that matter. You can see all the layers well in this slice’s close up. (Personally, this pic makes me want to lick the screen. And I find the raspberries almost hypnotizing on top.)

Dreamy Creamy Raspberry Pie - Best Slice

Worth the Wait

Because of the chill times, this dreamy creamy raspberry pie will take a few hours to make, but please do not let that intimidate you. The raspberry filling thickens easily and the creamy layers are easy to whip up. For the crust, you use a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, opt for a pastry blender. Just be sure to keep the butter cold and water ice cold.  The crust bakes beautifully and the delicious layers give it a complexity that wows the senses.

State Fair Winner

Recipe credit goes to Emily Olsen, who created it for the North Carolina State Fair, Gold Medal Flour best pie contest (2015). She won a red ribbon, and we are so glad she did!  Make this one as soon as possible!

-Cyndi

 

 

Bali Hai Tropical Pie

Bali Hai Tropical Pie is a show-stopping, mic-dropping, tropical-themed award-winning best pie recipe you don’t want to miss.

Shredded coconut, fresh mango, fresh lime, cream cheese, and Malibou coconut rum are just a few of the ingredients comprising this marvelous masterpiece. It features a prominent citrusy creaminess, thanks to the heavy whipping cream you combine with cream cheese. You’ll be tempted to eat this mixture/filling by the spoonful. Macadamia nuts give it a nice texture contrast on top.

Recipe Inspiration

Recipe credit goes to Peggy Linberg. The Californian won first place with it at the San Diego County Fair (2014). Peggy’s Bali Hai Tropical Pie was inspired by her favorite musical, South Pacific. With a strong love of passionfruit, she made her pie a combination of the fruit she grew up with in Hawaii and other favorite Polynesian flavors. From the coconut in the pie crust, to the mango, rum and lime flavors infused into its layers, everything about this pie was a hit with the judges. Peggy wanted to transport herself to Hawaii when making and tasting it. Mission accomplished! We were too!

Extra Effort, Ingredients for the Win

Heads up: This pie isn’t for a first time pie baker. It is one of the more involved recipes we’ve tested, but after tasting it, you’ll be convinced…totally worth the extra effort and ingredients! Plan for several hours, start to finish, mainly because of the chill time once you’re done.

Special Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • For the tropical fruit juice concentrate, Peggy, used an orange peach, mango combination. We used a variation on that. Choose your favorite.
  • Peggy’s preferred whipped topping mix is Rich’s Bettercreme. It gives the top decoration more stability, i.e. holds up well while moved or carried.

More like this

If you like unique and creative recipes like this pie, check out these other original recipes:

 

Raspberry Peach Pie

Raspberry Peach Pie: use this Minnesota State Fair winning recipe to hone your pie baking skills. It comes from Judy Olson who has literally made thousands of pies in her lifetime. She’s won an endless number of blue ribbons. In her recipe Judy shares some great tips for pie perfection! For instance, she suggests using ceramic tiles to help evenly bake your bottom crust.

Raspberry Peach Pie - side shot

It’s tough to nail that perfect crust but use good ingredients – like unbleached flour, quality butter, and ripened fruit – and you are well on your way to a delightful dessert.

Raspberry Peach Pie from above

This fantastic fruit pie won two big honors at the Minnesota State Fair. Judy Olson’s Raspberry Peach Pie won best overall pie out of the 112 total pies entered in 2015. The pie also won runner-up honors in a “best pie” baking competition requiring new, original recipes. Gold Medal Flour sponsored it and we managed.

Want more perfect pie recipes? Search for “pies” on our site.

Thanks for tuning in!

-Cyndi