California Raisins Celebrate America's Pie Heritage in Support of National Pie Contest

2010 American Pie Council's Crisco(R) National Pie Championships to Feature Popular California Raisin Flavor Category

Jan 21, 2010, 09:00 ET from California Raisin Marketing Board

FRESNO, Calif., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of National Pie Day, the California Raisin Marketing Board (CRMB) is sharing a slice of raisin pie history along with raisin recipes to inspire pie bakers around the county to participate in the 2010 American Pie Council's Crisco® National Pie Championships at the Omni Championsgate in Kissimmee, Florida April 23-25.


Both amateur and commercial pie enthusiasts are encouraged to enter into a variety of flavor categories including the third annual California Raisin category. Pies entered into the California Raisin category need to include at least one cup of California Raisins in either a raisin-only or other flavor pie. Visit for details, prizes and entry form.

"Baking enthusiasts of all backgrounds recognize California Raisins as a natural sweetener and deliciously versatile ingredient and as such, we continue to see an overwhelming response in the California Raisin Flavor category," said Larry Blagg, Senior Vice President of Marketing. "Each year, participants never cease to amaze us with their range of scrumptious and unique applications of raisins as a star ingredient in pie baking."

A Slice of Raisin Pie History

Raisins are a popular, time-tested baking ingredient and can be found in cookbooks dating back to the 19th century - like the Raisin Pie recipe by Mrs. J. M. Davidson, adapted from Recipes Tried and True, compiled by the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church, Marion, Ohio, 1894. The recipe begins by boiling a teacupful of raisins in water with fresh lemon juice until tender. Then flour and sugar is added to thicken the filling followed by a small piece of butter and a little grated nutmeg. "The filling will keep for some time," explains Mrs. Davidson in the recipe. To make the raisin pie, she bakes the cooled filling between two crusts.  

Though much of modern baking has evolved from its artisan roots to the science of mechanized production, the unique properties of California Raisins continue to make them a highly popular, low cost, natural fruit product that can be used as an ingredient in all types of pies today.

A prize-winning example of modern baking with raisins is California Raisin and Maple Crunch Pie by amateur division pie baker Patricia Lapiezo of La Mesa, CA who secured first place in the California Raisin Category in the 2009 American Pie Council's Crisco National Pie Championships. Below is Lapiezo's winning recipe and for more delicious California Raisin recipe ideas, visit

California Raisin and Maple Crunch Pie



1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

6 tablespoons finely chopped pecans

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter flavor all-vegetable shortening*

4 to 8 tablespoons ice water


1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, lightly beaten

4 crunchy granola bars, crushed (about 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup maple or butterscotch flavored chips

1 cup California raisins


For crust, combine flour, powdered sugar, finely chopped pecans and salt in mixing bowl; mix together well. Cut in shortening until pea-size chunks. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, while tossing lightly with a fork until forms a ball. Flatten into a disc; cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Roll dough from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface (or between two sheets of wax or parchment paper) to a circle 2 inches wider than 9-inch deep dish pie pan and about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to pie pan by loosely rolling around rolling pin. Center rolling pin over pie pan and unroll, easing dough into pan. Trim, leaving 3/4-inch overhang. Fold edge under and flute as desired. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and maple syrup for filling in a large bowl and beat until well blended. Then, beat in salt, vanilla and eggs. Stir in crushed granola bars, pecans, maple chips and raisins by hand and turn into prepared crust. Cover crust with pieces of aluminum foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until filling is set and crust is golden. Cool and chill. Serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

* Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening preferred.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 690 (47% from fat); Total Fat 37g (sat 13g, mono 15g, poly 8g);

Cholesterol 30mg; Protein 7g; Carbohydrates 87g; Fiber 3g; Iron 3mg; Sodium 540mg; Calcium 48mg;

About the California Raisin Marketing Board

The California Raisin Marketing Board was created by a State Marketing Order in 1998 and is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor crop production, nutrition and market research. To learn more about the California Raisin Marketing Board, visit its Web site at

SOURCE California Raisin Marketing Board