It’s official: This recipe for Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie is a winner. A Blue Ribbon winner in the fiercely competitive Malibu Pie Contest, one of the most celebrated culinary happenings in all of Hollywood, greater L.A. and beyond. Except perhaps in certain circles in Orange County and Beverly Hills, where apparently the housewives neither bake nor consume pie. At least not without punishing recriminations and ruination of friendships.
Alas, t’was not I who won created the recipe and took home the honors. Today we look to Dorothy Reinhold of Shockingly Delicious, the blue ribbon winning, turbo-charged blogger, whose “oven is always on, and the fridge is packed with delectables!”
Not unlike our mission here at SpecD, over at ShockD Dorothy has a laser focus on scrumptious, tried and true, scary good recipes, tips and coaching. Her awards cred alone could makes lesser beings tremble. At the annual Malibu contest she’s racked up seven first prizes, placed second six times and taken home third prize nine times.
And that’s just for starters. She’s cleaned up at the Pacific Palisades Pie Contest time and again. The Malibu Times and Saveur and Sunset magazines have sung her praises and published her recipes. Even the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee awarded her a cash prize for her Oven Parmesan Fries. (Did I ever tell you that I won $500 in OXO products for my see-through herbed potato chips? I did? Sorry, just checking.)
Still, I’ve won no ribbons or trophies. But while Dorothy is so much higher up on the food awards chain than SpecD, foodies everywhere should get wobbly in the knees at the mere mention of Opal M. Hayes.
In 1976 Opal compiled the best of her best in The State Fair Blue Ribbon Cookbook. It all started back in 1909, when at the tender age of 12 she won 50 cents for a gooseberry pie. Evidently she never looked back. At the time of publication, Opal was America’s foremost state fair prize winner.
Let’s look at the stats:
— 2,000 Blue Ribbons
— 42 Trophies
— 16 Purple Rosette Sweepstakes Ribbons
— Judged “Cook of Today” ten times
— First prize in the 1931 International Canning Contest.
Why, in 1955 115 of the 130 entries she submitted won blue ribbons. Did you read that carefully? One hundred and thirty recipes submitted at one fair!
Now I’m not out to knock Dorothy or anything. I bring up dear old Opal because Dorothy’s recipe calls for “one blind-baked 10-inch pie crust.” When I hear things like blind-baked pie crust I immediately revert to WWOD mode (what would Opal do?). Undoubtedly she would whip up her Never Fail Pie Crust, unsurprisingly made with lard. It was a stupendous foundation for a truly remarkable pie.
The title of this winning recipe gives away some of Dorothy’s secrets, namely the inclusion of toffee and coffee. There’s chocolate in there too, plus a splash of hooch and the highest ratio of nuts-to-filling of any pecan pie recipe I’ve ever come across. Toasted first, some chopped and the rest left in perfect halves, it’s pecan pie to the Nth power.
Here are some of the rave reviews: “The toffee stands out and makes it a much more complex flavor.” “It’s sweet but not as cloying as some pecan pies can be.” “Dense and multi-flavored.” “I like the boldness of the espresso powder, but it’s not overwhelming.” “Oy veh is this good!”
Thanksgiving’s right around the corner. You can get award ribbons at a party shop. Put the blue ribbon on your pie and stick the red and yellow ones on desserts of lesser status if you dare. Depends on the crowd… So as with so many other things, I leave that choice to you.
Click here for the recipe for Shockingly Delicious’s Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie.
Click here for the recipe for Opal M. Hayes’ Never Fail Pie Crust.