Pie Recipe Story Contest Winner: A Double Dog Dare
The following story and recipe were submitted by Charlene Berg of Ellison Bay and was selected as the winner of Chef Terri Milligan’s pie recipe story contest, held in conjunction with her pie column and recipes in the Fall issue.
“I believe that every pie recipe has a story,” said Milligan. “And the winner of our Edible Door pie story contest has a doozy.” Charlene explains that it truly took a village (in her instance a variety of helpful Ellison Bay friends and neighbors) to complete her first attempt at her now famous Bourbon Pecan Pie.
“The pie that started with a double-dog dare, is now a double-pie contest winner,” said Milligan. “The delicious combination of pecans, brown sugar and bourbon made her an Olde Ellison Bay Days pie winner. Combined with her delightful story describing the pie’s initial creation, the recipe and the pie story have earned Charlene first-place honors in our pie story contest.”
A Double-Dog Dare
Submitted by Charlene Berg
My pie story was t he result of a “double-dog dare.” I had just started baking in 2013 for our business, Gills Rock Coffee. I had done a few pies, but pies were not my specialty. One of the coffee shop regulars had dared me to enter the pie-baking contest for Olde Ellison Bay Days.
And not just a dare, but the double-dog dare! As you all know, that’s not something one can simply walk away from and ignore. I submitted my entry form and picked up the two obligatory flimsy aluminum pie plates for the contest. On the day the two pies were due, I finished baking for the coffee shop, cleaned the counters and found a recipe for a pie in my ever-growing folder of recipes “to try someday.”
As I was getting the ingredients ready, Roselyn, the barista that day, ran in to say that she had burned the muffins! Strike one. The pie ingredients were pushed aside, and I prepared another batch of muffins. Then I started again, knowing there was a deadline for the pies and I was now starting to panic just a bit.
My first pie dough landed on the floor. As I was attempting to roll the dough off the rolling pin, I pushed the lightweight aluminum pan right off the counter onto the floor along with the dough! Strike two. The second piece of dough got into the pan; the third attempt for the second pie hit the floor. Oh, no! Strike three. Game over? No!The fourth attempt (and my last piece of lard) made it into the pan.
Now, for the filling. I had used my tablespoon earlier to measure corn syrup for the coffee shop sticky buns sauce. Rather than washing it, I simply guessed on the three tablespoons of bourbon required for the recipe. My kitchen shears were also not clean; I had used them to cut bacon for the bacon/cheddar scones. Rather than wash them, I just used a sharp knife to cut open the bag of pecans; the knife hit the seam of the bag and, RIP!, pecans flew in every direction!
Was the ball game over? No Way! Imanaged to rescue enough for the filling. With the two pie pans finally filled, I couldn’t lift them into the oven. The flimsy pans were too wiggly! I called Hannah, the barista, into the kitchen for HELP! She carefully lifted each pan onto a cookie sheet and slid those into the oven. Then all I could do was wait. One hour and ten minutes, with the deadline looming. Tick-tock-tick-tock.
When the pies were finally baked and cooled, I asked Hannah to put them into the car and I would dash down to Ellison Bay. Car? What car? She told me I didn’t have a car. My husband Dewey had taken it and gone golfing! AAARRRGGG!! I started calling the contacts on my cell phone; and didn’t reach anyone until the “W’s.” Miss Alma Weborg.
She raced over to pick me up with the pies, sped down to the Ellison Bay Women’s Club and we slid the pies onto the counter with seconds to spare! DONE AND DONE! Returning home, sweet Miss Alma cleaned up my kitchen; pie crust and pecans all over the floor notwithstanding. At 3:00, I received a telephone call announcing I was the first place winner of the pie contest. I hung up, thinking it was a prank call from my double-dog-daring coffee shop regular.
After all, it WAS a first attempt at that recipe! It took two more phone calls to convince me. FIRST PLACE! My prize was a beautiful pie plate from Ellison Bay Pottery. The pie is now a regular… and a favorite… at Gills Rock Coffee. It wasChocolate Bourbon Pecan, also known as Kentucky Derby Pie!