- 1 / 9
-Pork Wedding Pie
Ivory towers of cake and fondant are an iconic wedding showpiece, though a trend afoot in the U.K. has some couples trading sweet for savory. Inspired by the Brits' love for savory pastries, Sarah Pettegree, owner of Bray's Cottage, near Holt on England's North Norfolk coast, has created the pork wedding pie, a ceremonial centerpiece that adds an unconventional touch-and a bit of humor, she feels-to wedding buffets. Each tier features different savory flavors-the most popular incorporates caramelized onions and slow-cooked pork. The golden brown pies are stacked three or four high and adorned with fresh flowers and herbs.
- 2 / 9
-Cowboy Pie Milkshake
Although some would argue that the only thing better than a warm slice of pie is a warm slice à la mode, New York City's Hill Country Chicken takes it one step further with the Cowboy Pie Milkshake. This two-in-one confection begins with a mini version of the restaurant's signature Cowboy Pie: a mixture of coconut flakes, butterscotch chips, dark chocolate chips, pecans, and condensed milk baked inside a crunchy graham cracker crust. The pie is then blended with vanilla ice cream and milk, resulting in a dessert so rich, thick, and creamy, it's a real spoon-bender.
- 3 / 9
-Deep-Fried Pizza Pie
Deep-fried pizza may be a Scottish specialty, but we're giving a shout-out to Brooklyn's ChipShop for bringing batter to the celebrated New York slice. Owner Chris Sell starts off with pizzas from a nearby shop that he refrigerates before dipping slices in a classic fish-and-chips batter of flour, malt vinegar, baking powder, water, and salt. A quick fry in bubbling hot oil yields a tantalizing triangle that's crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside.
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- 4 / 9
-The World's Largest Whoopie Pie
Whoopie pies sparked an interstate battle in 2011 when Pennsylvania and Maine traded bakers' blows over which state is the rightful birthplace of the treat. Enter Amy Bouchard, founder of Farmingdale, Maine's Wicked Whoopies and fabled queen of the form, who sought to settle the score by baking the world's largest: a 1,062-pound, 2,186,700-calorie whopper five times the size of her Pennsylvania rival's. Maine celebrated by naming the soft sandwiched cake its official state treat, second only in standing to the official state dessert, blueberry pie.
- 5 / 9
Preheat your oven for this original creation from funnyman and author Charles Phoenix, who sought to combine all of his favorite Thanksgiving desserts into one. Begin with an apple pie baked into a spice cake, add a layer of cherry pie baked into a white cake, and top off the sweet stack with a pumpkin pie baked into a yellow cake. The cherry-pumpkin-apple (hence, Cher-pum-ple) concoction is finished with a thick slathering of tangy cream cheese frosting and your choice of toppings
- 6 / 9
-Mac n Cheese Hand Pie
The only way to top the comforting appeal of a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese is to seal it inside a flaky pastry envelope. Chef Adrianna Sullivan of the Pie Hole in Los Angeles does just that with her Mac n Cheese Hand Pie. The pocket of four-cheese pasta is crowned with buttery, crunchy panko bread crumbs. According to owner Sean Brennan, this transportable take on traditional mac and cheese is one of the restaurant's best sellers.
- 7 / 9
-Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie
When it comes to the sweetest, most sinful slice of all, look no further than your local Chili's Grill & Bar. In the dubious distinction department, the chain's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie is arguably a contender for America's most notorious dessert, having been scolded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and named among the "20 Worst Foods in America" by Matt Goulding, coauthor of Eat This, Not That. A blend of butter, vanilla, chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut fills a graham cracker crust, and the pie arrives at your table smothered with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and caramel sauce. A single serving will cost your waistline more than your wallet, logging in at 1,250 calories and 64 grams of fat.
- 8 / 9
-Texas Fried Fritos® Pie
"Definitely a unique animal in the pie world," as co-inventor Jeffrey "JeFritos" Lovell calls it, the Texas Fried Fritos® Pie is a deep-fried rendering of a classic Southern "pie" pairing: Fritos corn chips with chili and cheese. Lovell and partners debuted their creation at the 2010 Texas State Fair, selling 700,000 servings in three weeks and taking home the honors for the year's Best-Tasting New Food. As for how they get the chili and cheese to stay attached to the chips during battering and frying, Lovell played coy at first but finally divulged his secret: "It's all about the freezing."
- 9 / 9
-Pizza Pot Pie
For the past 40 years, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company has been turning the city's signature deep-dish pizza on its head, literally. The restaurant's famous Pizza Pot Pie packs cheeses, house-made marinara sauce, choose-your-own veggies, and freshly ground pork sausage inside a large bowl topped with a sheet of triple-raised Sicilian bread dough. After a turn in a 500°F pizza oven, the golden-brown top is flipped upside-down tableside, the bowl is removed, and diners dig in. The restaurant, which reports serving more than 2,000 of these half-pounders per week, recommends one per person, since most people aren't fond of sharing.
by Kelly Senyei, Gourmet Live
Gourmet Live's Kelly Senyei rounds up the sweetest, cheesiest, largest, and just plain strangest pie-inspired foods from around the world.
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Kelly Senyei is an associate editor at Gourmet Live and author of the forthcoming Food Blogging for Dummies (Wiley, spring 2012).