Top Moments from Episode 3 of Holiday Baking Championship

Browse photos from the pie-themed episode, and find out who had the best creation — and who had the worst and ultimately went home.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Baking with a Home Baker's Helper

For their pre-heat challenge the bakers must utilize ready-to-bake pie crusts, but there's a catch: Their creations cannot be pies. "I'm bummed; I want to make a pie," says Naylet who hopes to one day open a pie bakery. The bakers don't waste any time in getting started, as it's a 30-minute challenge.

An Apple Pie of Sorts

"Even as a professional I use premade pie crusts when it's crunch time," Bill unabashedly points out. He decides to make individual hand pies, which he's calling apple, walnut and raisin empanadas. But he admits to reading the challenge in between the lines: "The apple filling is a knockoff of an apple pie."

Constructing a Deconstructed Dessert

"The hardest thing about this challenge is trying to find a way to make that store-bought pie crust not taste like cardboard," says Erin, who is baking squares of crust for her deconstructed peach cobbler. "You absolutely swung for the fences," says Duff upon trying it, with the judges agreeing she redeemed herself.

A Matter of Festive Interpretation

David pre-bakes pie crust rounds for his black-and-white Napoleon, which has layers of chocolate mousse and vanilla whipped cream. "You know I'm all about presentation," he says, using a stencil for dusting the powdered sugar to emphasize the holiday for the judges, however, Nancy wants more festiveness.

Rising Rivalry in the Competition

"The flavors really pop," Lorraine says about Bill's apple, walnut and raisin empanada. Duff agrees, adding, "The apple is really present." To Bill's surprise Erin is announced the winner for "most-creative use of the pie crust," says Bobby. "When she is focused, Erin is definitely tough to beat," says Bill.

Leading with Brazenness

With her advantage Erin gets a 10-minute lead in the main heat, starting on her salted caramel apple pie, pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie. The bakers must make three holiday pies in two hours. "I feel bad for them," says Erin as the others look on from the sidelines, "but I am so happy that I got this advantage."

Setbacks Can't Stop Him

Dante is making a classic apple pie and two traditional Italian pies. Unfortunately he cuts himself peeling apples and accidently bleeds into his pie dough. "I gotta throw away that dough," he says. "There's a new ingredient in there that doesn't belong." So he starts over with less than an hour left, simplifying his plans.

In the Thin and Thick of It

"The time restraint is just going to kill me," says Terra, who's making a lemon pie and two bourbon-spiked pies: pecan and pumpkin. She worries that if the filling for her pecan pie doesn't set up in time "it would be a disaster." She decides to add 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the filling, but it affects the texture.

Picking the Best Two Out of Three

"It's like choosing between my children," says David upon hearing the surprise from Bobby: The bakers can present only their best two pies to the judges. David sets aside the pecan pie he worked so hard on. "I'm nervous about this one," he says, keeping his chocolate-pumpkin pie and cranberry meringue pie.

Watch a Highlight: Holiday Baking Previews and Highlights

Praiseworthy Baked Creations

Naylet presents to the judges her banana cream dulce de leche pie and her chocolate coconut pecan pie, a family favorite. "This is us baked into a pie," she says. "You really know how to bring out the flavors," says Nancy. "This is legendary," adds Lorraine, praising the banana pie "as absolutely incredible."

Straddling Both Sides of the Line

Dante serves his apple pie and his Italian cheese pie. Nancy thinks the apples could have cooked more, but Duff disagrees, actually praising the pie as "about as American as it gets." The texture of the cheese pie is a different story, with Duff calling it "challenging." Dante blames it on the wrong type of ricotta.

Highest Compliments All Around

Bobby announces David and Naylet are in the top two. During deliberation Duff said, "Naylet makes me want to be a better baker." And Lorraine called David's cranberry meringue pie "exquisite." Ultimately David is named the winner. "I am so proud of myself," says David. "Pies are one of the best things I do."

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Meringue Pie

Texture Is Just As Important As Flavor

Terra and Dante are named the least successful bakers. Both had texture issues with one of their pies, Bobby reminds them. Dante ends up being eliminated. "What I'm most disappointed about is I can't show the world all of the holiday baked goods that I love making," says Dante.

Go Inside the Holiday Baking Championship

Get more from the competition, get to know the host and judges, and go behind the scenes.

Holiday Baking Championship

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