Dannielle Kyrillos

Dannielle Kyrillos felt like she was there for the pie Quickfire Challenge.

on Oct 12, 2011

Warm and happy greetings, friends. Hope you are all enjoying this increasingly intense and strenuous competition. We’re really getting down to the wire. But first, speaking of warm and happy, let’s get started with the subject of the Quickfire -- pie.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t adore at least one kind of pie. It’s the most inclusive dessert of all, as the simple but perfect template (crust, filling, maybe topping) offers options for chocolate lovers, citrus fans, fruit and nut nuts, cream enthusiasts… you name what you like, there is a pie for you. As a home baker and entertainer, I find pie to be the very best way to show off whatever is in season. It’s a vessel for all things delicious, and as pie is relatively simple on the dessert difficulty spectrum. It didn’t surprise me that the chefs were challenged a bit further and denied use of one hand.

As was stated very early in the challenge and agreed upon by all, the ultimate success of a pie really is all about the crust. As in so many desserts, it’s the most basic elements that can prove most challenging. We didn’t see too much of what went into each chef’s crust, but I’m curious: what do you use as the fat in your pie crust? I like to use lard if I have it on hand or can easily grab some, but really good butter works well, too. Let me know in the comments what, in your opinion, is the secret to a light but sturdy, flaky, perfectly baked crust.