bake - July 2018 - 57
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most delicious pies among an array of ﬂavor categories for
bragging rights to be named the nation's best. From apple and
pumpkin to an open category and savory pot pies, hundreds
of pies were sampled by more than 200 judges throughout the
"We had an incredible array of competitors this year," Hoskins
says. "It's evident that our best of show winners put much
passion into their pie craft; have learned from their past experiences at the championships; and coupled these learnings with
their passion to be the nation's best."
Blueberry pie has long been a favorite among pie lovers, and
it's important for bakers to understand the many options of
For example, wild blueberries and wild foods overall have
seen a resurgence in recent years as consumers seek out more
natural products. As foods became more and more processed
in previous decades, new generations of shoppers began to
gravitate towards foods with more authenticity. Menu and
product developers who want to signal their commitment to
delivering a real food experience are responding to this shift.
"Across the real foods landscape, wild foods rank as truly
sacrosanct," says Mike Collins, brand strategist at Ethos
Marketing. "This is because there are so very few wild foods on
Earth that are actually available for broad human consumption.
Wild ﬁsh, wild meats, wild grains, wild greens, and wild blueberries are amongst the special few."
While smaller than ordinary blueberries, wild blueberries give
you more than twice the number of berries per cup compared
with cultivated blueberries and 25% more cups per pound. For
bakers, that means your baked goods have more berries in every
bite, giving each muffin, scone, or pie extra ﬂavor. They also have
a higher skin to pulp ratio. More skin and less water equal more
To better understand the challenges in converting pie
crusts to PHO-free, it helps to start with a look at the
critical basics of how pie crust is made:
x Cutting shortening into ﬂour, encasing pockets of
ﬂour inside a shell of fat
x Adding water to moisten the ﬂour whereupon
gluten-the network of proteins that lend structure to
baked goods-is formed
x Rolling this dough out, these pockets of fat stretch
and stretch, eventually forming sheet of fat that
separate sheets of gluten-enforced ﬂour
x As the pastry bakes, the fatty layers melt, allowing
the ﬂoury layers to separate from each other, solidify,
and form the layers you see in a great pie crust.
Mitch Riavez, national accounts manager for Stratas Foods
and a fourth-generation baker, points out that pie dough
has a high percentage of fat, making it difficult for the PHO
conversion. He offers the following techniques to help you
through the process.
Do not put ﬂour in the refrigerator prior to mixing if
using a palm shortening for pie dough. It will tighten the
dough up, and it will not mix properly.
Do not overmix the dough.
"Overmixing a pie dough is one of the worst things we can
do," Riavez says. "It will take away all of the ﬂakiness."
Pie dough made with high stability soybean shortening
can be easily hand-rolled or used in mass production
"You should mix it similar to the way you have mixed your
pie dough before, just watching your temperatures," Riavez
recommends. "Do not go below 50 degrees on your dough
antioxidant-rich pigment - and a better freezing blueberry. That
makes a huge difference for product developers and other foodservice providers looking for cost-effective ingredients. In order
to preserve their ﬂavor and quality, wild blueberries are sorted,
cleaned, and frozen within 24 hours of harvest using stateof-the-art technology. Thanks to this efficient process, wild
blueberries are able to maintain their more intense, sweet and
If using a palm based shortening, let the dough warm
up to room temperature for ease of use.
"When it comes to mass production or hydraulic pressing
of pie dough, the pie dough itself should always be above
50 degrees," Riavez explains. "Anytime below that it will
start to crack on you and you won't get an even spread in
your pie plate."
tangy taste. Wild blueberries are available year-round.
For additional information, please contact your
Stratas sales representative, or review our product
bakemag.com | MON 2018 > 57
lines at www.stratasfoods.com.