Information and tips on the Crisco Pie Hotline are available 24 hours a day, to help solve some of the most common pie-baking challenges – from baking a flakier pie crust to preventing a pie crust from shrinking. Live pie experts can also be reached year-round Monday through Friday (9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET) by calling 1-877-FOR-PIE-TIPS ((877) 367-7438). During the busy holiday season, live pie experts can be reached Monday through Friday (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET) from November 12-21 and (8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET) from December 10-21, 2012.
In addition, the Crisco Pie Hotline will feature tips and trends from award-winning pie expert and author, Michele Stuart , the owner of Michele's Pies (located in Westport and Norwalk, CT) and the author of the best-selling cookbook Perfect Pies (Random House, 2011).
"Whether you're an experienced or novice baker, baking pies during the holiday season can be stressful," explains Stuart. "Every year, thousands of home cooks struggling with their pie crusts rely on the Crisco Pie Hotline as a one-stop resource to help ease the stress of holiday baking."
In April, Michele took first place at the 2012 American Pie Council and Crisco Professional National Pie Championships® in the "Mini Pie Category" for her Orange Creamsicle Pies. Below are Michele's expert pie-baking tips and trends for this year's pie baking season:
Double Duty Pie Crust: Once you're done making a pie, use leftover pie dough to make a variety of savory appetizers and fun treats to share with guests. Leftover pie dough can be dusted with sweet flavors like cinnamon and sugar, sprinkled with savory flavors like Parmesan cheese, filled with salsa or mashed potatoes and even made into tantalizing fruit empanadas.
Less is More: The miniature trend is still going strong and it's a fun way to sample a variety of pie favorites during the holiday season. Instead of making one 12-inch pie, let guests sample from a diverse variety of small 5-inch pies.
Ingredient Inspiration: Once a traditional fruit pie recipe - like apple or peach - is mastered, don't be afraid to experiment with fruit combinations like Peach Blueberry, Apple Raspberry or Strawberry Rhubarb. Add a new flavor to a classic pie by including an unexpected ingredient like nuts, fresh seasonal fruit or a crumb or caramel topping. This is a great way to be creative and discover new flavors that are sure to impress. For more information about the Crisco Pie Hotline or for additional tips, recipes and how-to videos, visit Crisco.com. Join the Crisco community on Facebook at Facebook.com/Crisco or on Pinterest at Pinterest.com/criscorecipes.