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Old 02-04-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
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The Power of Pie

Hi,

I just found this forum while browsing the net.

I run a small entertainment agency with a handful of agents in my office. Years ago, I wanted to devise an incentive program for them, but not a lot of money flows through the office, so it couldnít involve a lot of cash. I settled on pie. I told the agents that whoever booked the most events over a two week period earned their choice of a homemade pie, which I would bake for them. I did not really think it would have much effect on their behavior, but I was amazed at the power of pie. Starting with the first periodís competition, agents were making every possible effort to win the pie race. They would email each other to check on their pie rankings, and work that much harder to book each event that came in. And the winner always shares the pie with everyone else in the office Ė thereís enough of us that this results in a slice or two per employee. So itís really just bragging rights that they earn. Still, everyone wants to be the pie champion, each period. I started this program in August of 2007, and itís still going strong. I rarely repeat a pie, and Iíve made well over a hundred pies since the program began. Iíve become a decent baker, and, very slowly, I've begun to experiment a little and to deviate from the recipes I work from. At this point, the pies are less of a motivational tactic and more of a tradition, and I enjoy the baking, and, even more so, the eating.

I've joined this forum to learn from others and to share what little I've come to learn from my own successes, and, more often, from my failures.

Cheers!

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:00 AM   #2
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Mike, I am awarding you the prize for the coolest intro thread ever. I love your pie idea and it is even cooler that it works so well as motivation!

Welcome to the site!
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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That is so neat! And yes, welcome to DC!
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:15 AM   #4
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Welcome to DC, Mike.

An informal survey I've been "conducting" over the years finds that men are more than twice as likely as women to choose pie as their favorite dessert. It's definitely not always the same flavor of pie, but it's nearly always PIE!

What's your favorite pie?

Mine's Sweet Potato.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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It seems to change every week. At the moment, my favorite is a sweet cherry pie, with a coconut crunch topping. But my employees love anything with nutella in it, and I've been baking a lot of chocolate nutella pies, lately, and they're pretty good, too.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:28 AM   #6
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Do you have any job openings? I will happily work for pie.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:33 AM   #7
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Uh Mike? NUTELLA PIE???? Please oh please post a recipe for that. Welcome to DC, and I gotta say I LOVE the incentive idea. Strangely enough, I just made a lemon pie last night for dessert so this thread sure caught my attention.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:42 AM   #8
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I have yet to bake a Nutella pie, but I've made a ton of pies with Nutella in them. I made this one for the first pie race winner of this year.

Black Bottom Chocolate and Nutella pie, with sweet cherries


It is Pie Day at the office, and Jocelyn, the pie winner, last week requested 'something with nutella and cherries.' I combined a few recipes and eliminated and added a bunch of ingredients, and came up with my own creation: a Black Bottom Chocolate and Nutella pie, with sweet cherries. Speaking with absolutely no bias, it is awesome.

Crust
16 Oreo Cookies
2 ounces of butter
Pinch of Cinnamon
2 tbs of milk

Crumb cookies in food processor on pulse
Add cinnamon and pulse
Add melted butter and pulse
Add milk and pulse

Place into greased and floured 9Ē pie dish and press gently with your fingers until the crumb crust covers the pie dish completely. Bake in preheated oven at 325 for 6 minutes.

Filling
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened Hershey Cocoa powder
2 tbs cornstarch
1 Ĺ cups whole milk
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbs Nutella spread
2 tbs unsalted butter
Ĺ tsp vanilla extract
30 bing cherries

Combine sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt into a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk. Cook over medium high heat until almost boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Add chocolate and nutella. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted and mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Do not boil. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla until smooth. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool. Wash cherries and remove stems and pits. By now, filling should be nearing room temperature. Pour filling into pie crust. Let it set. Place pitted cherries on top of filling and distribute them evenly; press down into filling.

Top
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbs nutella
1 tbs frangelico
1 tbs powdered sugar
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

Set bowl and beater blades in freezer on ice to chill for ten minutes. Remove and pour heavy cream into bowl and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Add nutella, frangelico and powdered sugar while beating on low. Spread gently on top of filling until cherries can no longer be seen. Drizzle chopped chocolate on top of whipped topping to garnish.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #9
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Hubba dubba! If I weren't going to work tonight I'd be heading for the kitchen right now. Thanks for this! C&P!
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:42 PM   #10
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Mike,
that Nutella pie looks delish. It's on the list of pies to try. Thank you Mike.
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