Time to brag.
My daughter Gillian won a pie baking contest yesterday. And it was the first pie she ever made too. And all for a good cause — raising money for P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, in Brooklyn.
She doesn’t even own a rolling pin, so the dough got flattened using a seltzer bottle wrapped in plastic wrap.
The recipe was a takeoff on one that I posted, but she used cashews instead of hazelnuts, and a 10-inch tart pan rather than pie pan, so it looked more glamorous and the consistency was somewhat firmer. She also baked it for a shorter period of time than a deeper, standard 9-inch pie.
She won two cookbooks. You can see her holding one of the books in the photo; she’s next to judge Gail Simmons (special projects director at Food and Wine and also a judge on Top Chef and the host of Top Chef Desserts).
I never won a cooking contest but I remember entering one once many many years ago. My entry was for Chicken in Champagne Sauce, which my husband and I loved and I had just learned to cook. Everyone thought the dish was a winner, so why not enter it into a cooking contest.
First prize went to Beef Stew. Which I like. But didn’t think, at the time, that plain old beef stew should be a contest winner.
I was wrong about that.
But not wrong about this: Gillian’s Cashew Pie is really delicious. A winner, for real.
Gillian’s Honey Cashew Pie
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 unbaked 10-inch tart crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the honey, sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract in a bowl and blend them thoroughly with a whisk. Stir in the flour, salt, cashews and apricots. Pour the mixture into the tart crust. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty. Makes one tart serving 8 people