Coykendall's peach cream pie has a lock on first place
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 10:05
NORTH BALTIMORE - Okay, okay. It really is the best pie recipe in North Baltimore.
|Shelley Coykendall with her peach cream pie. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
It took winning the Community Pie Bake-Off at Briar Hill Health Campus two years running for Shelley Coykendall to prove that her peach cream pie is without equal.
The uniform response of all who tasted it at the May 24 event?
"Everybody wanted the recipe." Coykendall admitted, with modesty, "it tasted good."
But she was seriously impressed by the competition.
"The chocolate chip-banana pie. Oh my gosh, it was so good," Coykendall pointed out. "I can't believe that it didn't win."
Each of the seven or eight contestants got to sample their competitors' pies.
There was Sherry Phillips' second place strawberry pie, the third-place coconut cream pie by Katrina Livingston, plus a pineapple pie and a butternut cream that also really impressed Coykendall.
By chance, she was the only employee who entered the 2012 bake-off; the others who competed are area residents.Judges were North Baltimore's village administrator, Kathy Healy, and Rhonda Robinson, Briar Hill's assistant director of health services. They were directed to consider both appearance and taste when deliberating.
The peach cream pie has both in abundance.
It was actually Coykendall's mother's recipe, to begin with. "She got the recipe probably a few years ago, so now she makes it quite often. Because it's fast and good. It's easy to throw together if you need a quick dessert for somewhere."
Ironically, it's only if she's going someplace else that Coykendall makes the peach cream pie, or pretty much any other dessert.
"My husband doesn't like sweets. For me to make a pie at home would just be kind of silly, since I'd eat it all."
She still has opportunities to enjoy the pie, however, since "my mom will invite us over and she'll make the pie."
Coykendall herself has taken it to gatherings with her friends, where "everybody likes it. I haven't found anybody that doesn't."
The recipe is a fairly traditional cream pie that has peaches in it.
Coykendall says she's never made the pie with fresh peaches; it tastes excellent with canned.
The base of the filling is simply sugar, flour, half-and-half, and a can of peaches.
"Then you sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top. There's not much that goes into it" which makes it all the more fun that the pie brings such an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response.
"I'm not much of a cook. That's why this is a good recipe for me."
The former Shelley Blausey, Coykendall grew up in the North Baltimore area and graduated from North Baltimore High School in 1997, She went on to earn a degree in recreational therapy from the University of Toledo, married a fellow NBHS graduate and they have two children, son Colin, 6, and daughter Peyton, 2.
"We lived in Toledo for six years and then we ended up moving back here. I've been working at Briar Hill for eight years."
Coykendall is the facility's director of resident services, "a fancy title for social worker."
The pie bake-off is held in the assisted living area, and some of the residents there got a chance to sample Coykendall's pie and the others after the competition was completed. By the end of the afternoon nary a crumb was left to tell the tale.
Briar Hill plans to hold the pie bake-off again in the future, but Coykendall has promised to retire her peach cream pie from the competition to allow other bakers a chance to earn the top kudos.
Peach cream pie
9-inch frozen pie crust
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup half & half
1 large can sliced peaches, drained
Cinnamon & Nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400. Mix sugar and flour well, add half & half and peaches. Put in pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 325 and bake for approximately 45 minutes until pie filling is solid.
Let cool and then enjoy!