ORRVILLE, Ohio  (Food-News.net)  Whether struggling with weepy meringues or caved-in crusts, when it comes to pie making most bakers always appreciate a little expert advice.  According to an online Crisco® National Pie Survey, conducted by Wakefield Research during the 2010 holiday season, 59 percent of surveyed Americans said pie is the hardest dessert to prepare from scratch, followed distantly by cake (22%) and brownies (6%). Great pies start with great crusts therefore the makers of Crisco products are offering access to live pie pros on the Crisco Pie Hotline with extended hours for the holidays (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET) during November 14-23, 2011 and December 12-22, 2011.

Now in its sixth year, the Crisco Pie Hotline continues to be a one-stop resource to help ease the stress of baking for thousands of bakers each year.  The hotline is available 24 hours a day, and live pie experts can be reached year round Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET at 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?

Award-winning Advice

In addition to one-on-one counsel from the live pie pros, the Crisco Pie Hotline will feature tips and trends from award-winning pie expert and author, Michele Stuart. She is the owner of Michele’s Pies (located in Westport and Norwalk, CT) and the author of the recently released cookbook Perfect Pies (Random House, 2011). Michele also took home the first place prize in the “Citrus Category” for her Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie at the 2011 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships® this past April.  Now bakers can call the hotline to hear Michele’s tips for pie baking.

“For many people, baking pies during the holidays can be stressful,” explains Stuart. “But the Crisco Pie Hotline arms home bakers with the tools and resources they need to feel confident in their holiday baking.”

One Hundred Years of Innovation

This year, the Crisco brand celebrates 100 years of innovation. The trusted kitchen companion that has been helping bakers achieve moist, flakey pie crusts for a century also offers their All-Vegetable Shortening in convenient Baking Sticks. The perfect crust is easier than ever to pull off with pre-measured shortening sticks.

Bakers can also visit Crisco.com or find Crisco on Facebook and YouTube to find useful video tutorials and recipes for baking pies, cookies and other holiday favorites. The website also offers a helpful butter-to-shortening conversion chart to take the guesswork out of baking.

Live experts are not available on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Crisco Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening is available at national retailers for an MSRP of $3.49.  For more information please visit Crisco.com.

About The J.M. Smucker Company

For more than 110 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been committed to offering consumers quality products that bring families together to share memorable meals and moments.  Today, Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and health and natural foods beverages in North America. Its family of brands includes Smucker’s®, Folgers®, Dunkin’ Donuts®, Jif®, Crisco®, Pillsbury®, Eagle Brand®, R.W. Knudsen Family®, Hungry Jack®, Cafe Bustelo®, Cafe Pilon™, White Lily® and Martha White® in the United States, along with Robin Hood®, Five Roses®, Carnation® and Bick’s® in Canada. The Company remains rooted in the Basic Beliefs of Quality, People, Ethics, Growth and Independence established by its founder and namesake more than a century ago. The Company has appeared on FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the United States 13 times, ranking number one in 2004. For more information about the Company, visit www.smuckers.com.

The J.M. Smucker Company is the owner of all trademarks, except Pillsbury, the Barrelhead logo and the Doughboy character are trademarks of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license; Carnation is a trademark of Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., used under license; and Dunkin’ Donuts is a registered trademark of DD IP Holder, LLC, used under license. Borden and Elsie are trademarks used under license.

National Pie Championships is a trademark of American Pie Council.

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