Evette Rahman’s Pie Contest Cheat Sheet

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Evette Rahman has won the best-in-show category three times in the American Pie Council’s National Pie Championships. She says baking pies is a family affair. It’s all hands on deck when the pie contest rolls around and the Rahmans have every detail figured out, from baking the perfect crust to transporting pies in custom-made caddies to ensure that they arrive in picture-perfect shape.

This year Evette was awarded 10 blue ribbons from the American Pie Council, including best-in-show. She shares a recipe for her favorite pie, Lemon Blueberry Blast, which combines a lemon meringue pie with a blueberry pie. Try her recipe below.

Perfecting your crust

Evette will be the first to admit that making the perfect pie crust is no easy feat. She does extensive research, testing out new recipes and experimenting with different ingredients and measurements all the time. Here are a few pointers to bear in mind as you practice making your own crust:

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Evette’s 2016 “Best-In-Show” Super Crunch Pecan Pie. Click photo for recipe!
  • Pure butter is difficult to work with but results in better tasting crusts. You can get away with using all-butter for the bottom crust, but you may end up with a hard cookie-like texture if you do so for the top. Try equal parts butter to shortening for a flakier top crust.
  • Experiment with different liquids. Some people swear by vodka or ice water. Consider using milk, heavy cream or half & half.
  • Salt to perfection. Too much salt will taste off, but not enough of it will yield a bland-tasting crust.

Build your own cream pie caddy in 5 easy steps

If you’ve ever participated in a pie contest, you know maintaining the integrity of all that hard work during transport can be quite the challenge, especially with a cream pie. (Your beautiful creation may be melting as we speak!) Lucky for us, Evette has an easy DIY guide for crafting your very own cream pie caddy.

Materials

  • Plastic caddy large enough* to fit your pie (available at Target, Lowes, etc.)
  • Shallow cardboard box (to fit in the caddy)
  • Scissors or an X-acto knife
  • Ice (enough to fill half the caddy)
  • Your pie

*Note: KCRW’s ‘Good Food’ Pie Contest rules state that your cooler must be no larger than 40 quarts and should measure no more than 18-inches-deep by 26-inches-long.

Directions

  1. Trim the walls of the cardboard box so that the pie tin sits midway between the top and bottom of the caddy.
  2. Turn the box over and draw a circle slightly larger than the base of your pie tin onto the bottom surface of your box. Cut out the shape with scissors or an X-acto knife. You should be able to slide the bottom of your pie tin into the hole without it falling through.

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    (Photo by Evette Rahman)

  3. The morning of the contest, fill your caddy with ice and wedge the open side of your box over the ice so that it won’t slide.

    caddy!
    Make sure that pie tin doesn’t slide! (Photo by Evette Rahman)

  4. Next, insert your pie tin into the cut-out and adjust for a snug fit.
  5. Finally, secure the caddy lid and your pie will be perfectly refrigerated for safe transport to the contest!

Header image by Roberto Gonzales for Orlando Magazine.