homepage logo

A life of pie

By Staff | Nov 21, 2018

Surprise your guests with surprise pumpkin pie.


GRIT Magazine

The holidays are prime time for desserts – cakes, cookies, candies, and more grace buffets, dining room tables, and coffee tables everywhere.

When serving dessert to your guests, though, why not add pie to that list? We found a number of old-fashioned pie recipes in the Grit archives.

Try one, and watch the delighted reactions of your family and guests.

A yummy apple pie is perfect for any occasion.

Classic pie crust

With this recipe, every pie will win rave reviews for its flaky and tasty crust.

Single crust:

1 1/3 level cups all-purpose flour

1/2 level teaspoon salt

1/2 level cup lard or shortening

3 tablespoons cold water

Double crust:

2 level cups all-purpose flour

1 level teaspoon salt

3/4 level cup lard or shortening

5 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in lard until all flour is blended and mixture forms pea-size chunks. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss lightly with fork until dough forms ball. (NOTE: Some brands of flour may require more water.)

Press dough between hands to form 5- to 6-inch “pancake.” For double crust, divide dough into 2 equal balls and form 2 “pancakes.”

Roll dough out (see rolling technique options below) and place pastry in pie plate.

Traditional rolling technique

Lightly flour rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll dough into circle with light, even strokes. Trim pastry 1 inch larger than inverted 9-inch pie plate. Loosen dough carefully, and fold into quarters. Unfold and press into pie plate. Fold edge under and flute with finger.

Easy rolling technique

Flour dough slightly. On dampened countertop, roll dough into circle between 2 sheets of wax paper. Peel off top sheet. Trim pastry 1 inch larger than inverted 9-inch pie plate. Flip pastry into pie plate. Remove other sheet of wax paper, and press pastry to fit. Fold edge under and flute.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of pastry with fork (about 50 times) to prevent shrinking. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

For recipes calling for an unbaked pie shell, skip step five and proceed as recipe directs.

Strawberry rhubarb pie

Tackle this juicy Strawberry rhubarb pie recipe from “How to Build a Better Pie” by Millicent Souris (Quarry Books, 2012), and bring friends and family into your kitchen’s fold to stay. “Strawberry rhubarb pie is delicious and juicy. You want to macerate the fruit for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the pie plate and baking. Lift the fruit out of the juice with your hands or a slotted spoon. Do not add juice to the pie. I know it sounds counterintuitive. Your pie will create enough liquid on its own as it bakes. Instead, reserve the liquid and add it to seltzer or tonic water, or braise something in it, or freeze it for something different.” Yields 8 servings.

Prepared double-crust classic pie crust, balls of dough well-chilled

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb

1 1/2 pounds strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons thickener of your choice

1 whole egg, beaten, or 3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk

3 tablespoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out 1 ball chilled dough to no more than 1/8 inch thick and about 15 inches in diameter. Place in pie plate. Trim edges to no more than 1/4 inch overhang. Lift and crimp overhang along rim of pie plate. Chill in refrigerator or freezer.

Wash and dry rhubarb stalks. Cut on slight angle no more than 1/3 inch thick. Hull strawberries, and cut in half; leave whole if small.

Place rhubarb and strawberries in bowl; add sugar and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. (This is macerating the fruit, pulling out liquid and tenderizing the fruit. This is a cripplingly juicy pie.)

Pull fruit from bowl with hands or slotted spoon, and place in another bowl. Reserve macerated juice (do not put in filling).

Add lemon zest and juice, brown sugar, and thickener to fruit, and stir to combine. Pour filling into chilled pastry shell in pie plate.

Remove remaining dough ball from refrigerator, and roll out to same thickness as you rolled bottom crust. Cut dough into lattice strips, and arrange on top of filling.

In bowl, whip egg. Gently brush over top of lattice crust with pastry brush. (It’s OK if it gets on fruit. It will not affect filling flavor, it just adds crunch and depth to top crust.) Sprinkle raw sugar evenly over top.

Create aluminum foil barrier, and place atop pie to protect crust from heat. Do not press foil down on crust, or it will stick.

Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove foil, rotate pie 180 degrees, and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until bottom crust is golden.

Allow pie to rest for at least 3 hours before cutting and serving.

Grandma Wilson’s apple pie

A slight twist on an American classic, this simple pie is sure to be an instant hit. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 cups pared, chopped apples (about 6 medium apples)

1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, unbaked

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add apples, and toss gently to coat. Spoon into pie crust, mounding to center. Dot with butter.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust begins to brown and apples are tender. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

In small bowl, beat whipping cream and egg yolks. Pour over apple filling, pressing lightly with fork so mixture seeps into filling.

Return to oven, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is hot and bubbly.

Cool to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Surprise pumpkin pie

This holiday season, why not offer a new take on an old favorite during those family get-togethers or potluck parties? Yields 8 servings.

2 large eggs, beaten slightly

2 cups canned pure pumpkin

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup sorghum or light molasses

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and sorghum. Stir in salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and evaporated milk, and mix well. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking for an additional 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool thoroughly before cutting and serving.

Coconut cream pie

Sweet and smooth, with a hint of a crunch from the coconut, this pie deserves center stage for any group gathering. Yields 8 servings.

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups milk

3 eggs yolks, slightly beaten

1 cup flaked coconut, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 9-inch pie crust, baked

Whipped cream

In 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and heat over medium heat. Gradually stir in milk until smooth.

Stir in egg yolks, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 cup coconut and vanilla.

Carefully pour hot mixture into prepared pie crust. Cover surface with plastic wrap, and cool completely on wire rack.

Toast remaining coconut, and set aside to cool completely.

When filling is completely cool, spread whipped cream over top, and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Luscious turtle pie

Recipe by Allan Douglas

Grit blogger Allan Douglas said his family eats healthy, for the most part. “We’re not fanatics about it, but we watch the carbs, sugar and salt. Once in a while we reward ourselves. One of my favorite treats is luscious turtle pie. In essence, a pecan pie with enhancements.” Yields 8 servings.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup lard or shortening

1 tablespoon plus 4 to 5 teaspoons cold water, divided

1/2 cup butter

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup dark corn syrup

2/3 cup regular rolled oats

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup chocolate chips (dark, milk, or a combination)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in lard until pieces are pea size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of mixture, and gently toss with fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat moistening process, using 1 teaspoon cold water at a time, until dough is completely moistened. Form dough into ball.

On lightly floured surface, use hands to slightly flatten dough. With rolling pin, roll dough from center to edge, into 12-inch-diameter circle. Roll pastry around rolling pin, and unroll into 9-inch pie plate. Ease crust into plate, being careful not to stretch it. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge. Do not prick pastry.

In medium saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and oats. Add eggs and vanilla.

Pour filling mixture into shell, and sprinkle with pecans, cashews, and chocolate chips. Cover edges of pie with foil to prevent burning.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool on wire rack.

Excerpted from Grit, Celebrating Rural America Since 1882. To read more articles from Grit, please visit www.grit.com, or call 866-803-7096. Copyright 2018 by Ogden Publications Inc.

Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page