Carla Hall's Favorite Type Of Dessert – Exclusive

At this year's New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF), acclaimed television personality, chef, and cookbook author Carla Hall co-hosted Baking Championships: Fall Flavors alongside Duff Goldman to celebrate some of the best bakers in New York City and to highlight the exceptional flavors of the season. 

We sat down with Carla Hall during the baking festivities to learn about which sweets she's most excited about preparing this holiday season and to tackle the quintessential question for any baker: If you could only choose one dessert to prepare, what dessert would it be? 

"I'm going to say pie," Hall shared without much hesitation. That is a pretty strong pick because pies can be made sweet or savory and their flavor profiles vary dramatically based on their crust and their filling. Their flavors can and should be adapted to honor seasonal produce, which makes them winning desserts to pair uniquely with holiday celebrations throughout the year. 

The wonders of pie

Pies are holiday classics that pick up the flavors of the season with different fillings depending on the time of the year. According to Hall, pies are the perfect dessert because "if the crust is done properly, you get the texture of a cookie in a flaky crust, but you get some fruitiness in the pie." As we look toward the Thanksgiving holiday, some of our fall favorites include pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and the all-American apple pie. 

The key to an excellent pie crust that is both delicious and accessible to make is grating cold butter into the batter. This preparation ensures that the butter melts directly into the flour, creating that sought-after flakey texture. Cooking with the fruits and squash of the season ensures that the pie's flavor will be elevated by the ripeness of the produce, the crisp intensity of the apple slices, and the tenderness of the pumpkin.