More American Pie: Classic Pie Recipes

Mom's Apple Pie may be the queen of all the American Pies, but every region from the Florida Keys, to Alaska, and from the Maine Seacoast to California's shores, has its own classic dessert recipes. From creating the renown Pennsylvanian delicacy, Shoofly Pie, to inventing Midwestern Ritz Cracker Pie, which ekes out the last of the winter's supply of dried apples with crackers, thrifty and clever cooks have found ways to take advantage of locally available, seasonal ingredients.

Each state and region celebrates its cultural diversity, agricultural bounty, and culinary ingenuity in the luscious desserts that grace American dinner tables at family and festive gatherings alike. What better way to get to know America better, than through sampling its many and delicious regional desserts?   

HobMob Recipes
HobMob Recipes

The basis of any good pie is the crust, and this recipe from my father always works for me. One of my sister's uses a no-fail recipe that incorporates egg and vinegar, but I have found this, simple four ingredient combination turns out flaky, tender pastry every time.

Pie Crust: The following pie crust recipe makes enough for two double crust pies, and can be used with all three of the pie recipes to follow:

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 pound lard or shortening (I prefer lard, as shortening sometimes make the crust a bit tough)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water (measurement is approximate)

Method:

  • Add salt to flour
  • Cut lard or shortening into flour to the size of pea-meal
  • Sprinkle flour mixture with half the water and stir lightly with a fork to mix
  • Add more of the cold water, just enough to bind the flour mixture into a loose ball - if necessary, add more cold water, a teaspoon at a time, 'til the mixture will hold its shape
  • Divide into four balls, and roll out on floured board as needed

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie from skoolie.vox.com
Key Lime Pie from skoolie.vox.com
Key Lime Pie from skywaytrader.com
Key Lime Pie from skywaytrader.com

Key Lime Pie

Some recipes call for short-bread style pastry, with molasses, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon, but this luscious, tart-sweet filling will be equally at home in plain pastry.

Ingredients:

  • 1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed Key Lime juice
  • 4 yolks from extra large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • (optional) 1/2 Tbsp finely ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Line removable-bottomed pie plate with pastry and trim excess dough
  • Bake crust until browned, about 12 - 15 minutes, and set aside to cool slightly
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients
  • Pour into pie shell and bake until set to consistency of soft custard, about 15 minutes
  • Cool completely on wire rack
  • To serve, release bottom of pie plate (with pie), and slice pie in eight pieces
  • Garnish with sweetened, whipped, heavy cream if desired

Mississippi Mud Pie

This deliciously decadent slice of chocolate heaven is said to have been named for its resemblance to the color of Mississippi mud.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups vanilla or mocha ice cream, softened
  • 3 Tbsp fudge sauce

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 450 F
  • Roll out dough for bottom crust, and fit into pie pan
  • Trim crust, cover with a layer of parchment paper, and fill the bottom of the pan with a layer of dried beans
  • Bake until golden, about 15 minutes, and set aside to cool
  • Reduce oven heat to 350F
  • Stir together butter, sugar, and cocoa
  • Add flour, vanilla, eggs, and mix until smooth
  • Pour into cooled crust and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until set
  • Remove pie from oven and coll completely on wire rack
  • Gently mound softened ice cream on pie filling and then freeze until the ice cream sets
  • Drizzle with fudge sauce just before serving

Decadent, Delicious, Chocolate Desserts

Mississippi Mud Pie from pbs.org
Mississippi Mud Pie from pbs.org
Mocha Mud Pie from yowazzup.com
Mocha Mud Pie from yowazzup.com
Chocolate Pecan Pie from mccormick.com
Chocolate Pecan Pie from mccormick.com

Chocolate Pecan Tarts

This recipe makes enough filling for a dozen 2" tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup pecan halves

Method:

  • Butter and flour tart pan, and set aside
  • Roll out pie dough about 1/4" thick, and cut 12 circles
  • Gather and re-roll dough scraps as needed
  • Carefully fit the circles into the tart pan, trim and flute edges of dough
  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Mix sugar and flour in a large bowl
  • Whisk in eggs, corn syrup, and butter, whisking 'til combined
  • Stir in chopped pecans and chocolate chips
  • Divide mixture among the tartlets, and arrange the pecan halves on top
  • Bake until edges are golden, and centers are set, about 25 minutes
  • Cool on a wire rack, and chill overnight to complete the setting-up, before serving

One notable variation of this palate-pleaser calls for a separate chocolate layer on the bottom, topped with plain filling, for an equally delightful treat.

Deep-Fried Georgia Peach Pie

These tender morsels owe much of their goodness to the cream-cheese crust. This recipe makes about 16 - 20 pies.

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

  • 3 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 - 12 oz package of cream cheese cut in small pieces
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 1 - 12 oz pkg dried peaches, sliced
  • 2 - 12 oz cans peach nectar
  • 3/4 cups sugar, plus 1 cup for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for deep frying


Method:

  • In a medium bowl beat together butter, cream cheese and sugar together until smooth - about 5 minutes with mixer set on medium speed
  • Add flour and salt, and mix until lightly combined
  • Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times
  • Divide dough in half, shape into two disks and wrap in plastic
  • Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight
  • In a medium pot, bring peaches, nectar, and 3/4 cup sugar to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer 30 - 40 minutes, or mixture has a jam-like consistency
  • Let cool and stir in vanilla
  • Roll out dough 1/8" thick on lightly floured surface
  • Cut 16 - 20 four inch circles, gathering the scraps and re-rolling as needed
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water
  • Place one heaping tsp of peach mixture in the center of each circle
  • Brush edges of circle with egg wash, and fold in half over the filling
  • Crimp the edges and repeat with remaining dough circles
  • Keep the uncooked pies chilled until ready to deep-fry
  • Mix together remaining cup of sugar with the cinnamon in a shallow bowl
  • Heat oil to 350 F in a large, heavy-duty pot - oil should be about 4" deep with at least four inches more to the top
  • Fry pies 3 at a time until golden - about 2 minutes per side
  • Drain on paper towels and roll pies in cinnamon sugar
  • Serve hot

...and Where Would We Be Without Another Great Pie Fight?

What's Your Favorite?

Though it may not be fair to ask you to choose just one, maybe you can narrow it down to one category?

  • Fruit pies - plain and simple
  • Custard or Cream pies rule!
  • Anything chocolate - always chocolate
  • A Flan by any other name... fruit and custard, please, with or without crumble toppings
See results without voting

© 2010 RedElf

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6 comments

Margaridab profile image

Margaridab 6 years ago from Lyon, France

Delicious post! :)

It's a pity I can't eat anything with sugar.. I miss chocolate! :(


samboiam profile image

samboiam 6 years ago from Texas

There are only two times I like to eat pie. When I am by myself or with someone. :-)

The recipes look delicious will have to try them.


Lecie 6 years ago

too bad no one made a pie for my birthday yesterday. i have a rule only to eat junk food on special occassions. looks like i have to wait until july 4th to try some of these wonderful pies.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Margaridab, I'll have to find some sugar-free indulgences just for you!

samboiam, you're a pie lover after my own heart!

Happy birthday, lecie! At least July 4th is only a week away!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Lovely recipees and thank you for sharing.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

You are most welcome, Hh. Thanks so much for commenting.

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