I don’t know if you have noticed it, but this is becoming the year of the pie. Pie recipes are everywhere.This is a good season for them too because this is the season of sweet potatoes, and pecans, and of course chocolate is always in season and that is the reason that this particular article came about.
My grandmother, Mama Irene had this wonderful old fashioned cooked chocolate pie. Her pie recipe and a little about her via my cook book, Memories From Home, has just appeared in a beautiful new pie cookbook titled Southern Pies, by my friend Nancie McDermott.
Nancie McDermott has included old favorites such as buttermilk, sweet potato, coconut, black walnut, and key lime pie as well as new favorites such as, New Orleans Creole Coconut, and Sweet Tea Pie from Mississippi. There is even a white potato pie in her book. The list is so long and there is every type of pie you can imagine, and then a section on pie crust.
If you want to try something regional, just help yourself to some delicious pies from a section on regional pies that covers recipes from the Sea Islands to the Great Smoky Mountains. Mmmmm.
Now, Nancie is not new to cookbook writing. She is also the author of Southern Cakes and several other books as well. So, I thought that in honor of Nancie, we’d feature a pie or two from her beautiful and delicious new book. I know that it took a lot of work to gather up all those recipes from good southern cooks.
This is for you Nancie- thanks for the memories and for the collection of great Southern Pies. And, thanks so much for allowing me to share them with our readers.
Winchester Sun Pumpkin Pie
Pg 93, Kentucky’s Winchester Sun newspaper, 1967
Pastry for 9-inch single crust pie or store bought *
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups pumpkin puree (two 15-ounce cans)
¾ cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten well
¼ cup sorghum, pure cane sugar or honey
Heat the oven to 450ºF. Line a 9-inch pie pan with crust and then crimp the edges decoratively.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Use a fork to stir everything together well. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, eggs, and sorghum. Use a fork, a whisk, or a large spoon to stir everything together, mixing it up into a thick, smooth filling. Add the sugar mixture and stir to mix it in and combine everything evenly and well. Pour the filling into the piecrust and place it on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 325º F. Bake until the edges puff up and the center is fairly firm, wiggling only a little when you gently nudge the pan, 30-40 minutes. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature.
*I didn’t make this pie but I made the sweet potato that called for 2 cups of sweet potato puree and I used a store bought deep dish and it filled it up.
This sweet potato pie is very hearty. I thought it delicious with some fresh, lightly whipped cream with a little sugar. You could also add some rum to whipped cream to make it really good.
Bill Smith’s Sweet Potato Pie
Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill, NC
Pastry for 9-inch single pie crust or store bought*
(I used a deep dish)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes** see note
¾ cup sugar
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract
*I used a store bought 9-inch deep dish pie crust.
Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch pie pan with crust and then crimp the edges decoratively. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, baking powder and salt together and use a fork and stir them together well. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl and beat them well, using an electric mixer at medium speed or a whisk or big wooden spoon. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sugar, and beat to incorporate it completely into the sweet potato mixture. Add the spice mixture, milk, butter and extract, and beat at low speed to combine everything evenly and well. Pour the filling into the piecrust and place it on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake until the edges puff up and the center is fairly firm, wiggling only a little when you gently nudge the pan, ***40-50 minutes. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let come to room temperature.
** I baked my sweet potatoes and then measured out the cups. You can boil them too if you like.
***Might be the difference in region, but it didn’t take my pie as long to cook, so check it in the middle of the suggested time.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
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