Grab Your Piece of the Pie!

Just the mention of pie probably brings up childhood memories of cooking with mom or grandma—those fresh fruits and flakey...

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February 20, 2023 12 min read

Just the mention of pie probably brings up childhood memories of cooking with mom or grandma—those fresh fruits and flakey crusts baking, bursting, and bubbling just begging you to dig in. Whether you’re enrolled in culinary school as a Baking & Pastry student or simply a dessert diva, you probably have a favorite pie and quite possibly a unique way of eating it.  A slice of cheese on apple? Whipped cream or non-dairy topping on mixed berry? Or maybe a sweet pie isn’t your thing. What about savory pies or dishes that are called ‘pie’ – chicken pot pie,  shepherd’s pie, or even GASP… pizza pie?!

No matter how you define a pie, we’ve assembled some sweet pie recipes created by Escoffier Chef Instructors that are sure to leave you craving more.  Even though February is National Pie Month, be sure to check back often as our chef instructors share more of their own favorite pie recipes.

Key Lime Pie

By Chef Kathleen Ahearn Vossenberg, Vice President of Academic Affairs

Escoffier Vice President of Academic Affairs, Kathleen Ahern Vossenberg“I’ve always loved Key Lime Pie for the balance it represents. It is brimming with both sweet and tart flavors, and mouthfeel is a striking difference of the slight crunch of graham cracker crust to the silky smooth filling. I lived in Florida for 13 years, and in many ways the Florida Keys, the beach, and the cast of characters I’ve met there over the years feel like home to me. Key Lime Pie is the perfect representation of that time of my life.”
Chef Kathleen Ahearn Vossenberg



Ingredients Key Lime Pie slice with garnish

  • 5oz graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 teaspoons lime zest
  • 14oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 oz lime juice**
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp confectioners sugar
    ** Note on limes: Most true Key Limes only exist in small production areas in South Florida, so you can use Persian limes (found in most grocery stores) or bottled Key Lime Juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Process graham crackers and brown sugar in a food processor until finely crumbled.
  3. Add melted butter to the cracker mixture and press evenly into a pie pan, forming a 1/4-inch thick crust.
  4. Bake crust for approximately 8 minutes until golden brown. Let cool while preparing the filling.
  5. Beat egg yolks on high speed 4-5 minutes until volume has increased and color has lightened.
  6. With the mixer running, add condensed milk slowly until incorporated, then mix 3-4 minutes longer until thick.
  7. Lower the mixer speed and add lime juice, mixing until just incorporated.
  8. Pour mixture into par-baked crust, and bake 10 minutes.
  9. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack after baking, then refrigerate.
  10. Beat whipping cream and confectioners sugar until peaks form and load piping bag with star tip.
  11. Garnish pie with 8-10 whipped cream rosettes, symmetrically aligned so that each slice has one rosette.
  12. For easier slicing, freeze pie for 15 minutes to firm up the texture, then let individual slices come up in temp before serving.



Summer Mixed Berry Galette

By Chef Karla Lomeli

Escoffier Culinary Arts Chef Instructor, Karla Lomeli“This is such a rustic pie. I like making it for my family every summer. It’s super easy and it’s always the star at the table.”
Karla Lomeli, Escoffier Culinary Arts Instructor


Pate Brisee Dough

IngredientsMixed Berry Galette

  • 12 oz Pastry flour
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1.5 oz Granulated sugar
  • 6 oz Unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • 2 ea Eggs, large
  • 1 ea Egg yolk, large
  • 1-2 oz Cold water
  • All purpose flour for dusting bench

Berry Filling


  • 4 oz Blueberries, fresh
  • 4 oz Blackberries, fresh
  • 4 oz Raspberries, fresh
  • 12 oz Strawberries, fresh, cut in quarters
  • 1 ea Lemon Zest
  • 6 oz Granulated sugar
  • 1.5 oz Cornstarch
  • Pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 ea Egg, whisked for egg wash
  • Granulated sugar, as needed, for topping


  1. For the pate brisee, start by adding the pastry flour, salt, and sugar in a medium size bowl and sift all the dry ingredients.  Add the cold, cubed, unsalted butter and start breaking the butter with your finger or a pastry cutter against the flour until it resembles pea-size pieces. \
  2. Mix the eggs and egg yolks in a small bowl, whisk them to mix well, and pour on the flour mixture one-third at a time.  Using a bowl scraper, toss the flour/egg mixture to incorporate, don’t over-mix to avoid a tough crust.  If the mixture looks a little dry or is not coming together, add one ounce of cold water at a time until the dough comes together in a ball.  Lightly knead it just to bring together, wrap it up in a flat disk with plastic and allow to chill and rest for about 2 hours in the fridge. The dough can be done a day in advance, just keep it refrigerated. If it’s longer than a day it will need to be kept frozen.
  3. Place all-purpose flour on the kitchen counter and start rolling dough in a circular shape until it reaches ¼” thickness.  Pick up the dough after a couple of rolls to make sure it’s not sticking on the kitchen counter.
  4. Chill the rolled-out dough for about 15  minutes to rest any glutes that were formed.
  5. For the filling, in a large bowl add the strawberries cut in quarters with the blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, lemon zest, granulated sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Fold until everything is well combined.
  6. Take the rolled pate brisee dough from the fridge and add the berry mixture in the middle, spread it out, leaving about 1.5 inches of dough on the edges.  Start folding the edges on top of the berry mixture, each fold should overlap, keep folding in a circular motion until going all around the galette.
  7. Freeze or refrigerate the galette for about 30 minutes to firm up the butter.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  9. Remove the galette from the freezer or refrigerator and using a pastry brush, add egg wash on folded sides and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  10. Bake the galette until golden brown and the juices are bubbling thick.
  11. Cool down and eat while still warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Chef Luke’s Lemon Pie

By Chef Luke Shaffer

Escoffier Culinary Arts Chef Instructor, Luke Shaffer“I made this pie one Thanksgiving as an alternative option to the usual cast of characters. It was so well-received, I make it for just about every holiday, and sometimes just on a Tuesday. The amount of lemon in the filling and curd gives this pie an aggressive tartness that balances the sweetness. The crust made with Biscoff cookies is like a more refined version of a graham cracker crust, and the richness really shines through. ”
Luke Shaffer, Escoffier Culinary Arts Instructor



(alternatively use a graham cracker crust)


  • 16 ea Biscoff cookies
  • 1/3 c Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp Unsalted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Buzz ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Press into a pie pan.
  4. Bake 8 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool.



  • 5 ea Egg yolks
  • 2 ea Cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon zest
  • 1 c Fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour into pre-baked crust.
  4. Bake 15-18 minutes (center should be barely jiggly and not brown at all).
  5. Allow to cool to room temp, then place in the fridge to chill.

Lemon Curd


  • 3 ea Egg yolks
  • ½ c Sugar
  • 3 ea Lemons – zested and juiced
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted butter, cubed and chilled


  1. Add 1 inch of water to a small pot and bring to simmer; reduce heat.
  2. Add yolks and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add juice and zest.
  4. Place bowl over simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until mixture thickens, to about 170° – should coat the back of a spoon (7-10 minutes).
  5. Off the heat, whisk in the cold butter one cube at a time.
  6. Remove curd to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap – press plastic onto surface of curd to prevent skin from forming.
  7. Allow to cool to room temp, then chill at least 2 hours in the fridge.


Once the pie is cool, spread a thin layer of cooled lemon curd on top.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with whipped cream.
Chef Luke’s Favorite Characteristic: The pucker-inducing tartness of this pie is why I love it so much.
What Makes This Pie Unique: The lemon juice and zest in the filling and curd could be substituted with any other citrus!


Cherry Yum Yum Pie

By Chef John Shaw

Escoffier Chef Instructor John Shaw“This is a very popular pie served at Buxton Hall in Asheville, NC. I first saw Chef Elliot Moss on Netflix some years back. Then, when I started my BBQ business I reached out in hopes he would answer some questions I had. He was surprisingly generous and a very nice guy! Once, discussing desserts, he mentioned his cookbook “Buxton Hall, Book of Smoke” and a wonderful pie he had included in it. Once tried it I was hooked and make it on a regular basis. ”
John Shaw, Escoffier Culinary Arts Chef Instructor



Cherry Yum Yum Pie on white plate with light blue background

The Crust


  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1.5 cups of ground graham crackers


  • Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter to the graham cracker crumbs. Mix the mixture together so it holds its shape.
  • Press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the pie pan.
  • Place them in the refrigerator to chill for around 10 minutes.
  • Bake for around 10-12 minutes until the crust is starting to turn toasty in color. Once removed, let completely at room temperature before adding the filling.

The Filling


  • 2 sheets of gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of ice water
  • 1 cup of cream, brought up to 120 deg. F
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup room temp cream cheese
  • 1/2 cups creme fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Start by blooming the gelatin in 1/4 cup of ice water and let absorb for about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the gelatin sheets, and squeeze gently to remove any excess water. Once removed, place in your mixing bowl with the 1/4 cup of ice water.
  3. Add to a blender, with the hot cream, salt, zest, sugar, and lemon juice. Blend on a slow speed for about 1 minute or until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Once blended, add the yolks, milk, cream cheese, creme fraiche, and vanilla extract. Continue to blend on low for another 2 minutes to make sure that all of the mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or more until the filling has completely set.

The Topping


  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups cherries, washed, stemmed, pitted, and halved


  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk half the sugar, cornstarch, tapioca starch, salt, and cold water.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the juice, almond extract, vanilla, and the remaining water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and dissolve the sugar completely.
  3. Mix the syrup into the water and the dry ingredient mixture, then add back into the saucepan and add the cherries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, add the butter, and slowly stir to combine, around 2 minutes.
  4. Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator. Once cool, pour over the chilled pie mix and it is ready to go!


Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake

by Chef Sarah Gunderson

Escoffier online culinary arts instructor Sarah Gunderson“I have always loved banana cream pie and cheesecake – I wanted something that could combine the two, so I came up with this variation while working as a pastry chef. The menu version was slightly different as an individual portion of a plated dessert. This is one that can be made as a pie and served as slices. ”
Sarah Gunderson, Escoffier Culinary Arts Instructor



IngredientsBanana Cream Pie Cheesecake with whipped cream and candied peanuts, sliced

Speculoos Crust

  • 180 g Speculoos Cookies
  • 65 g Granulated Sugar
  • 85 g Butter, melted


  • 125 g Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 20 ml Lemon Juice
  • 340 g Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 1 Egg Yook
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 60 g Heavy Cream
  • 2 Bananas, roasted in skin until black

Pastry Cream

  • 240 g Milk
  • 40 g Granulated Sugar, divided
  • 40 g Egg Yolks
  • 15 g All Purpose Flour
  • 5 g Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 60 g Butter, room temperature

Whipped Cream

  • 235 g Heavy Cream
  • 25 g Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract




  1. Grind cookies to crumbs.
  2. In a bowl combine cookie crumbs with sugar and melted butter.
  3. Once combined, press into 9″ pie dish.


  1. Beat cream cheese in mixer until smooth.
  2. Slowly add sugar and lemon est while mixing.  Mix until creamed.
  3. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. Add cream just until combined.
  5. Bake in the crust, in a water bath, at 325° F until set; approximately 30-45 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the refrigerator 1-4 hours.

Pastry Cream

  1. Bring milk and half the amount of sugar to a scald
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together second half of sugar, yolks, flour, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla.
  3. Temper milk mixture into egg mixture and place back on heat. Stir continually until thickened in texture.
  4. Stir in cubed butter, off heat.
  5. Layer over chilled cheesecake layer and cover surface with plastic wrap. Set in frig to chill 1-4 hours.

Whipped Cream

  1. Combine heavy whipping cream with sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until peaks form.
  2. Top or pipe whipped cream over pastry cream layer.

Serving Suggestions: Garnish with sliced bananas and honey-candied peanuts.
Chef Sarah’s Favorite Characteristic: I am delighted by texture when it comes to all dishes, but I feel desserts can really shine. Here I have taken light and airy to dense and creamy, finished with crunchy and smooth all in one slice of delicious pie.
What Makes This Pie Unique: I developed this recipe to focus on bananas, as I can’t stand the artificial flavoring, as I wanted a celebration of true flavor. You can flavor the pastry cream or cheesecake differently to create unique flavor combinations.

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