Monday | July 25, 2016
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Bake-off comes with sweet prizes for winners

The 46th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is currently under way. Starting July 4, you can submit your best recipe for Quick Rise and Shine and Breakfast dishes. Dinner, appetizers and sweets deadlines have passed already.

Rules are you must use at least two Pillsbury products, which could also be Green Giant, Jif Peanut Butter, Crisco and Eagle Brand Condensed Milk products. The dishes must be completed in 30 minutes or less.

One hundred finalists will be flown to Las Vegas from Nov. 10-12 and one person, the grand prize winner, will win $1 million plus $10,000 worth of GE appliances. The second-place winner will win $10,000 and $3,000 worth of GE appliances, third-place winner will win $5,000 and $2,000 worth of GE appliances. In addition, the Jif Peanut Butter Prize, with a recipe using at least 1/4 cup of Jif peanut butter, will win $5,000. The Crisco Prize recipe, using at least 1 tablespoon of Crisco, will win $5,000, and the Eagle Brand Signature Recipe winner, using at least one can of condensed milk, wins $5,000.

My friend Jane and I smile every time one of the Vulcan baseball players, Stephan Miner, is at bat because he told Jane his favorite dessert is French Silk Pie. Although the name suggests that it’s from France, it is very American. Betty Cooper from Maryland won $1,000 in 1951 in the third annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. The only Pillsbury brand ingredient in the award-winning pie is the flour in the crust.

French Silk

Chocolate Pie

Serves 8-10

Betty Cooper

1951 Pillsbury

Bake-Off Winner

One fully baked pie shell (using Pillsbury all-purpose flour)

Whip with electric mixer on medium-high speed. To stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes:

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

Transfer to small bowl and refrigerate.


3 large eggs

Combine eggs in a heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan filled with 1/2 inch barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water) with:

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

With hand mixer on medium speed, beat until the egg mixture is thickened and register 160 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat egg mixture until fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Add to cool egg mixture and beat until incorporated:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Beat in, a few pieces at a time, until well incorporated:

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened

Using a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape filling into pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least three hours, and up to 24 hours.

Last year’s winner, and now a millionaire, was Christina Verreli with her Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Christina Verreli

2012 Pillsbury Bake-Off Grand Prize Winner

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 large cookie sheets with:

2 tablespoons melted butter

In a large bowl of electric mixer on medium speed for one minute, beat until smooth:

2 (3-ounce) cream cheese, softened


1 egg yolk

1/2 cup canned solid packed pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons Pillsbury all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Beat on low until blended.

Chop finely:

1/3 cup chopped pecans

Reserve 4 tablespoons, set aside.

Stir remaining pecans into pumpkin mixture.

Lightly sprinkle work surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Unroll, one can at a time:

2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Refrigerated Seamless Dough Sheets

Roll with short end facing you. Press dough into 14-by-12-inch rectangle. With paring knife, lightly score in half horizontally. Lightly score bottom half of dough into 12 squares (3-by-2 1/4-inch each). Spoon heaping tablespoon of pumpkin filling onto center of each square. Gently lift and spoon firmly between mounds and along edges of pumpkin filling to seal. Using toothpick, poke small hole in top of each ravioli. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut between each ravioli. Place one inch apart on cookie sheets. Repeat with 1 tablespoon flour, dough sheet, and filling. Brush each ravioli with:

2 tablespoons melted butter

Bake 9-14 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, beat until soft peaks form:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/8 teaspoon salt

Beat in:

2 tablespoons Hershey’s caramel sauce

Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Transfer to a serving bowl, refrigerate.

Remove ravioli from oven. Sprinkle ravioli with:

2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

Turn over, sprinkle other side.

To serve place 2 ravioli on each of 12 dessert plates. Drizzle each with scant teaspoons of:

Caramel sauce

Sprinkle with reserved chopped pecans and:

1 tablespoons caramel sauce

Swirl into bowl of whipped cream:

1 tablespoons caramel sauce

Serve warm.


Reader Stanley Shishido responded to last week’s column on cooking octopus and after reading it, “realized that you don’t know how to cook tako. All that story’s about pounding and massaging the tako is all wrong. After cleaning the fresh tako, all you have to do is put it in a pot and cook it, starting at a low heat and simmer it in its own juice. We used to catch tako whose heads were as large as coconuts. Do not add water when you cook the tako since it will only harden the tako. After cooking for about half an hour until the tako is soft, you can slice it up and fry it in butter and other ingredients that you want for flavor. Even the largest tako doesn’t take 40 to get soft.” Thank you, Stanley, for this information. Next time I am given a fresh tako, I will try it.

Please feel free to e-mail me at if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.


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