The Pie-Loving President and his Crust Master-in-Chief

Behind the scenes in the White House kitchen.

July 1, 2010, 3:35 PM

July 2, 2010 -- There's nothing more American than apple pie on the 4th of July. But around the White House, pies have a good and bad reputation.

President Obama loves pie. He really loves pie.

On the 2008 presidential campaign trail he stopped in multiple diners, and swooned about the tasty treat during campaign speeches.

"I got coconut crème pie," Obama said in Ohio in October during the campaign, "I'll take a crème pie I don't mind. I like all kind of pie."

Along with his new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC came one addition: his own pastry chef.

"The pastry chef here makes the best pie I've ever tasted, and that is causing big problems for Michelle and myself," President Obama told the Associated Press last summer.

Provided with an endless supplies of pies on hand, the president has been showing that he loves pie maybe a little too much.

"Some of you heard that my cholesterol had gone up. It's because of pie," Obama said at a town hall in Ottumwa, Iowa in April, "The White House, along with that Air Force One, they have really good pie at the White House."

In the last two years the president's cholesterol has jumped significantly.

The president's routine exam at the National Naval Medical Center concluded that the 48-year-old president is "fit for duty" and in "excellent health," though doctors recommended a change to his diet so as to lower his LDL (so-called "bad cholesterol") which registered at 138 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dl)

The American Heart Association rates an LDL level of 130 to 159 mg/dl as "Borderline High."

That level marks an increase from two years ago. In 2008, a letter from the then-Senator's personal physician, Dr. David L. Schneider, reported that in 2007 the president's LDL level was 96 mg/dl.

Pie was to blame.

"Those guys make good desserts over there," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said shortly after the president's physical exam records were released, " And I think he's on more than one occasion sampled more than he needed to."

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is the culprit – but he's just doing his job as the White House pastry chef.

While making one of those famously indulgent pies, Yosses tells ABC News that he knows he's been blamed for the president being a little too sweet on his sweet.

"I'm watching my back," he joked, while mixing an apple pie filling in the White House kitchen.

President Obama has called Mr. Yosses the "crust master" – because Yosses' pies leave a little extra dough on the side to create a fluffy, layered crust after baking.

"I love it, every pastry chef would love that," Yosses says of his nickname from Mr. Obama.

There's no presidential mandate stopping pie production in the White House kitchen. But there is an emphasis on smarter choices.

Yosses said the instruction by First lady Michelle Obama, to go along with her nation-wide call to tackle childhood obesity, was some instruction for the way food is prepared at the White House – including smaller portions, better ingredients, and that dessert should be saved for special occasions.

"This is fresh butter, fresh apples, from farmers markets and whenever possible we use local (ingredients)," Yosses said of the apple pie he was preparing for this weekend's Fourth of July celebration at the White House. "You can still have desserts, just not every day. "

Malia and Sasha Obama have had their dessert consumption limited by the First Lady.

"Mom decides when there's going to be and when there's not going to be desserts," Yosses said.

This weekend the White House will host 5,000 people for the annual Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House to watch the fireworks and have some of those classic desserts.

While most guests will be treated to homemade ice cream, Yosses is making about half a dozen apple pies for the special occassion.

Yosses says shopping local is one way to be patriotic this holiday weekend.

"I think that's really the most patriotic way to celebrate July Fourth is by supporting the local farmer, going to your area, and in that way what you spend goes back into the economy of your community and it also develops a relationship with the people who are growing our food."

Want to try your hand at making the White House's famous apple pie?

Yosses gave ABC News a step-by-step lesson, including divulging his secret ingredients (many different types of apples) and secret baking tip (make the crust first).

Click here for the recipe.

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