Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Confession time… I love to bake pies but I hate making crust. If I bring a pie, my little dark secret is that the crust either came from Pillsbury, Marie Callender or Pies from The Heart. Our family loves fresh strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, raspberry and cherry. What’s your favorite? A few years back, Schwans’ Consumer Brands (a.k.a. Mrs. Smith’s) did a pie survey. When asked what are your top three favorite kinds of pie, the 2011 survey said in descending order: apple, pumpkin, chocolate crème, cherry, apple crumb, pecan, lemon meringue, blueberry and peach.Pie has some interesting history. The American Pie Council states that the word pie appeared in the Oxford dictionary in the 14th century, but pie goes back as far as ancient Egyptians. The first pies were often cooked in an inedible “crust” and were primarily just used to hold the filling in as it baked. The first published recipe was for a rye crusted goat cheese and honey pie by the Romans. Early pies in 12th century England were made in “coffyns” that were more crust than pie, were mainly meat pies and often had legs sticking over the edge to use as a handle as well.Fruit pies or pastries first appeared toward the end of 1500s. Early American pies were baked in long narrow pans often referred to as “coffins” as their English ancestors. These coffins were similar to those first pies, in that they often were not eaten. Thank goodness by the American Revolution they decided to rename the coffins, crust! I don’t think that pie would have progressed into the American pop culture and trendy dessert of today if they were still referred to as coffins. Pies have even played major roles in movies such as American Pie, Shane, Blazing Saddles, Waitress and Labor Day. And, you may want to check out my favorite pie scene in a movie — the chocolate pie scene in The Help.The art of pie baking is often passed from generation to generation. No one knows this better than Cindy Kaelber, with Pies from The Heart. She has been baking pies for over 30 years and got her first taste of pie baking with her grandmother. Her grandmother learned when her (mother-in-law) Grandma Millie shared the love with her. Cindy said her grandmother’s pies were fantastic. She made pies at a large Columbus restaurant and later made fresh pies every week for family dinners after church.Cindy has continued to share her art with her own daughter-in-law, Kym, also a partner in Pies from The Heart, and her grandchildren. Cherry pie has a special place in Cindy’s heart because it was the first pie she learned to make in junior high and it was also her Grandfather’s favorite. Her family’s favorite is a brown sugar crème pie she used to make when her family milked Jerseys.Pies from The Heart debuted at Leeds pumpkin farm in 2004. Fan favorites include buckeye, apple and mixed berry along with more than 10 flavors such as key lime and chocolate crème can be special ordered or sampled on fall weekends at the Leeds farm. Pies from The Heart bakes 700 to 800 pies every year.Cindy’s three secrets to pie baking:1. Keep the crust ingredients as cold as possible2. Don’t overmix (and I add a little salt)3. Always use fresh ingredients.Every day, anytime, is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a slice of pie whether you eat it cold, warm, á la mode, breakfast, lunch or dinner. As if we needed more reasons to eat pie, special pie eating occasions occur in February (National Pie month), Jan. 23 (National Pie Day), Feb. 20, (National Cherry Pie Day, of course because of George Washington) or even National Pi () day on March 14. On your next pie holiday be sure to enjoy a slice and share an American icon with a friend, coworker or “hometown hero.”Eat well and healthy!Shelly Cindy & Grandma’s Pie Crust Recipe Pies from the Heart, Cindy Kaelber4 cups flour1 Tbsp. salt2 cups Crisco (when we farmed, I used lard!)1 ½ cups cold water (w ice)1 egg Cut Crisco or lard into flour/salt mixture until pea sized pieces. Mix egg with water (remove the ice). Pour over mixture and mix until dough forms. Don’t over mix. Cindy Crawford’s Strawberry-Rhubarb PieThis recipe, originally from Saveur magazine, is one that supermodel Cindy Crawford makes in her Malibu home all the time…and it’s one of her husband Rande’s favorite things. 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt2/3 cup vegetable oil6 tablespoons cold milk1 1/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar1/3 cup all-purpose flour1/4 teaspoon nutmeg1/4 teaspoon cinnamon3 cups halved strawberries2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb2 tablespoons butter, cut up2 teaspoons milk To make crust, preheat oven to 400°. Mix flour and salt. Measure oil and milk together—don’t stir. Add to flour. Make crust on wax paper. To make filling, mix sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add fruit, stirring to coat. Can set aside in fridge and then drain later. Note: If adding blueberry or peach, add lemon zest. Fill crust with filling. Scatter butter. Add top crust. Pinch edges and ventilate the top. Brush with milk. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake on cookie sheet for 50 minutes. Can cover edge with tinfoil if cooking too fast. Allow to cool 1 hour before serving. Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pie Southern Living Mama’s Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pie takes a little more time, but it’s definitely worth the wait. 1/2 cup butter2 medium leeks, sliced 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth 3 cups chopped cooked chicken 1 1/2 cups frozen cubed hash browns with onions and peppers 1 cup matchstick carrots 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper 1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts Vegetable cooking spray Preheat oven to 375˚. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add leeks, and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over leeks, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients.Fit 1 piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; spoon chicken mixture into piecrust. Place remaining piecrust over filling; fold edges under, sealing to bottom crust, and crimp. Cut 4 to 5 slits in top of pie for steam to escape. Place pie on a jelly-roll pan.Bake at 375° on lower oven rack 50 minutes. Coat top of pie with cooking spray, and bake 5 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand 15 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings. Butterscotch Pie Paula Deen 1 1/2 cups brown sugar1/2 cup all-purpose flour1 tablespoon cornstarch1/2 teaspoon salt4 cups milk2 egg yolks, lightly beaten2 tablespoons butter2 teaspoons vanilla extract1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell2 Tbsp. butterscotch bits, optional1 cup heavy cream1/4 cup powdered sugar In a large saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly add milk, constantly stirring until it thickens.In a separate bowl temper 2 egg yolks by whisking in a small amount of hot mixture to bowl. Whisk in the eggs and add the butter and vanilla. Allow to cook for a few minutes.Pour into a dish and refrigerate, allowing to cool. When ready, fill pie shell with butterscotch mixture.Whipped Cream: Using a hand mixer, whip together the heavy cream and sugar until light and fluffy. Cover butterscotch pie with whipped cream and garnish with butterscotch morsels.