Well that was dreadfully close! We blind taste tested three pies for the first round of the Semi-Finals and we were deadlocked 2-2. But when we took the blindfolds off and tried them we agreed that there was a clear winner that moves into the finals. (Unfortunately we totally forgot to take whole pie photographs so you can’t see how much better these all turned out than the first versions that were baked in our old horrible oven.)
This baked up so much nicer than last time thanks to our new oven. No huge black spot. And we made sure all pies were chilled for a day before sampling because last time this pie blew us away after it had been chilled. But next to the tough competition it didn’t hold up. None of us chose it as the nicest or the second nicest. Sorry, Flour.
I chose this one as my favorite. And I was not convinced on first bite it was Bravetart. Aaron swayed back and forth between it and the last contestant but landed on this one. It baked so beautifully given the crust had been frozen and it wasn’t as nutmeg forward this time cos I made sure to measure. I think that’s what threw my eldest son off last time we had this pie. Not a big fan of fresh nutmeg.
A dark horse – it almost won! We used the good vanilla in all 3 pies and I think it came through the most in this pie even though it didn’t have that much in it. It must have just paired nicely with the sugar free maple flavored syrup that was used to sweeten the pie. The crust also baked up really well, which is interesting because it had the least time in the fridge and was only different from the Flour pie in the timing and one other aspect: 2 teaspoons of sugar. I was so surprised by how good this pie is, seriously it could hold up as the pumpkin pie at any Thanksgiving gathering and no one would suspect it to be sugar free. I want to go back now though and try the Tartine pie with the sugar free maple flavored syrup instead of sugar (the headnote said you could use maple syrup instead) to see if it turns out even better than this. Regardless, this is a fabulous pie and I will make it again.
That being said we have our first Finals contender: Butternut Pumpkin Pie from Bravetart. It really was no surprise that this would make the finals. And I know if we hadn’t been making 18 pies we could have played around with a lot of variations of this pie by changing the flavorings of the homemade sweetened condensed milk. Not this year though! Guess when I cook the butternut pumpkin for the cheesecake next week I’ll buy extra to freeze for 2 weeks time. Good luck in the finals, Bravetart! =)