April 9, 2010
Roseville grandmother heading to Pillsbury Bake-Off
Salmon pecan tartlets.jpg

Evelyn Henderson isn't likely to forget how to make her recipe for salmon pecan-crusted tartlets.

In recent months, the Roseville grandmother has made 50 dozen batches of the appetizers for various family gatherings, weddings and bridal showers.

Come Monday morning, she'll make yet another.

But this time, judges will be eating her tartlets (picture at left courtesy of the Pillsbury Bake-Off). Henderson's recipe, you see, has landed her a coveted spot in this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off, arguably the most popular and esteemed competitions among home cooks.

"I think I can make them in my sleep now," she said.

Henderson will be among 100 contestants competing in Orlando, Fla. in the Bake-Off. The categories are "Breakfast & Brunches," "Entertaining Appetizers," "Dinner Made Easy" and "Sweet Treats."

Follow the link below to read more about Henderson and get her recipe.

She's entered the competition more than six times in the past, but this year is the first she's made it to the final round.

She came up with her recipe while making tuna melts one day. She folds Fisher's Pecan Cookie Pieces into the Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (contestants are required to use two eligible products), puts a dab of cream cheese in the bottom of the tartlets and uses complimentary flavors, such as lemon and dill, with the salmon.

"They are very good," she said. "I haven't gotten sick of them yet."

When asked if she's excited about the competition, she paused a moment, then answered "I'm beginning to get that way."

At stake in her category, "Entertaining Appetizers." is a $5,000 prize and a specialized GE stove. But also looming is the possibility of a $1 million grand prize.

This year, for the first time in the Bake-Off's 60 year history, the four category winners will be flown to Chicago, where they'll appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Winfrey will reveal the grand prize winner live on her Wednesday show.

The possibility of another destination at the end of her trip to Florida got the mother of eight prepping her future plans.

"Now I have to figure out what to wear," she said with a chuckle.

Below is Henderson's recipe.

Salmon Pecan-Crusted Tartlets
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 12 to 19 minutes (does not include cool time)
Serves: Makes 20
This recipe, by Evelyn Henderson, is courtesy of the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

1 can (6 oz) premium skinless boneless pink salmon, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1/3 cup Fisher® Chef's Naturals® Pecan Cookie Pieces or Fisher® Chef's Naturals® Chopped Pecans, finely chopped
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 dill weed sprig
2 lemon wedges

In large bowl, mix salmon, pickle, onion, mayonnaise, cheese, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon dill weed. Refrigerate.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. On work surface, unroll 1 pie crust. Sprinkle half of the pecans over crust; gently press into crust. Cut with 3-inch round cookie cutter into 10 rounds. In ungreased nonstick mini muffin pan, gently press each round, pecan side down, on bottom and up side of muffin cup, folding edge under and rounding to shape. Repeat with remaining crust.

Spoon 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese into bottom of each cup. Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon salmon mixture on cream cheese in each cup.

Bake 12 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool in pan on cooling rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan to serving platter; cool 5 minutes. Garnish with dill weed sprig and lemon wedges. Serve warm.

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