Christina Verrelli of Devon, Pa.,, was named the grand prize winner of the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in Orlando today, taking home the $1 million prize for her dessert, a Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream.
There were three finalists from Sonoma County competing in this year’s bake-off: Sandra Gallant of Forestville, Sindee Morgan of Windsor and Teresa Smith of Santa Rosa. Morgan and Smith’s dishes were entered in the appetizer category while Gallant’s was in the dinner category, but unfortunately, none of them took home an award. Still, just to make it to the finals is quite impressive.
The grand prize winner was selected as the top recipe among the four category winners. Here are the three remaining category winners, which each received $5,000 in cash and $3,000 in kitchen appliances: Maria Vasseur of Valencia won the Breakfast category for her Sausage-Pomodoro Brunch Bake; Terri Sherman of Palos Heights, Ill., won the Appetizer category for her Asparagus, Artichoke and Red Pepper Pizza; Donna Wolfe of Hamilton, N.J., won in the Dinner category for her Chicken Empanada Cones. For recipes, go to pillsbury.com.
Here is the million-dollar dessert recipe, which gives a sweet twist to an Italian savory dish:
Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream
Makes 12 servings (2 ravioli each)
4 tablespoons Land O Lakes Butter, melted
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 Land O Lakes Egg Yolk
½ teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ cup sugar
5 tablespoons Pillsbury Best All Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/3 cup Fisher Chef’s Naturals Chopped Pecans, finely chopped
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons Hershey’s caramel syrup
4 tablespoons McCormick Cinnamon Sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 large cookie sheets with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth. Add egg yolk, vanilla, sugar, 3 tablespoons of the flour and pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed until blended. Reserve 4 teaspoons of the pecans; set aside. Stir remaining pecans into pumpkin mixture.
Lightly sprinkle work surface with 1 tablespoon of the flour. Unroll 1 can of dough on floured surface with 1 short side facing you. Press dough into online casino 14×12-inch rectangle. With paring knife, lightly score the dough in half horizontally. Lightly score bottom half of dough into 12 squares (3×2 1/4-inch each). Spoon heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin filling onto center of each square. Gently lift and position unscored half of dough over filling. Starting at the top folded edge, press handle of wooden spoon firmly between mounds and along edges of pumpkin filling to seal. Using toothpick, poke small hole in top of each ravioli. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut between each ravioli; place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, dough sheet and filling. Brush ravioli with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat whipping cream and salt with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the caramel syrup until stiff peaks form. Transfer to serving bowl; cover and refrigerate
Remove ravioli from oven. Sprinkle ravioli with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar; turn. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. To serve, place 2 ravioli on each of 12 dessert plates. Drizzle each serving with scant teaspoon of the caramel syrup; sprinkle with reserved chopped pecans. With spoon, swirl remaining 1 tablespoon caramel syrup into bowl of whipped cream. Serve warm ravioli with whipped cream.