Pie declared trendiest dessert of 2011

Pie enthusiasts have reason to celebrate this year! In the wake of National Pie Day, which was January 23, the deep dish dessert is taking dessert's center stage. Pie pundits have claimed pie's victory over cupcakes as the hottest confection for 2011, and food authorities are calling pie the trendiest dessert of 2011.

Even though pie is taking center stage with stand alone pie shops across the country, the pie trend started at home. Many home bakers still have warm ovens after a busy holiday pie baking season in 2010. According to a recent online Crisco National Pie Survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 66 percent of respondents planned to bake at least one pie during the holidays. Plus, younger bakers are making more pies; those ages 25-34 reported plans to bake an average of three pies during the 2010 holiday season.

"Crisco has always been passionate about pies so it is no surprise to us that pie would top menu trends in 2011," said Maribeth Badertscher, Vice President Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Company. "For 100 years Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening has been helping home bakers make great pies starting with a moist and tender crust. We're proud to continue the Crisco tradition of making home bakers feel at ease in the kitchen and equip home bakers with all the right techniques, ingredients and resources to make beautiful and delicious homemade pies from scratch."

To provide a little expert advice and ensure that everyone's pies are baked to delicious perfection, Crisco offers the Pie Hotline, a one-stop resource for tips, techniques and trends to help make pie baking easy. Live pie experts can be reached Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET by calling 1-877-FOR PIE TIPS (877-367-7438) to answer some of the most common pie-baking questions including: How can I bake a flakier pie crust? How do I prevent my pie crust from shrinking? How long can I freeze an unbaked pie crust?

Pie lovers can also find Crisco on Facebook and visit www.crisco.com and click on the Pie Central tab for new recipes, step-by-step instructions, visual demonstrations and helpful hints and tricks.