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Standout pies use unusual ingredients

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Happy Groundhog Day, but more importantly, Happy Birthday to my great-granddaughter London Baines who will be 8 on Jan. 8. London and family live in Strafford.

Last week I answered a request for pies with strange names but I didn't share all I wanted to. The following two recipes have been in my files for years. They are from of my brother's brother-in-law and best friend, Clifford Hathcock. Clifford and family lived in Illinois when he sent these to me. He was an avid cook.

Both Clifford and my brother, Cletus Vaughan, have passed away but Clifford has much family still in our area; in fact his grandson, Brent Lidgard, lives here in West Plains where he is sanitation supervisor for the city. If you have problems in that area I have found Brent will handle them quickly, efficiently and courteously.

The names of Clifford's pies are not as unusual as some of the ingredients. The first one is placed directly in a generously buttered pie plate (glass is best) and no crust is required.

ANGEL PIE

From the late Clifford Hathcock

3 egg whites

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

14 white saltine crackers, coarsely broken

1/2 to 3/4 chopped pecans

Whipped cream or Cool Whip, optional

Butter a 9-inch pie plate; preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; add baking powder, sugar and vanilla, beating slowly until just blended. By hand, fold in crackers and nuts.

Pour mixture into buttered pan; bake 30 to 35 minutes until filling appears dry. Cool in refrigerator. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

This pie from Clifford also uses crackers. Clifford said he preferred Ritz.

It is a two-crust pie. I have made it; it is very good.

MOCK APPLE PIE

From the late Clifford Hathcock

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon lemon concentrate, such as Real Lemon

12 to 14 crackers

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie tin with crust; set aside. In a saucepan, thoroughly mix sugar, cinnamon and cream of tarter. Add water lemon juice and butter.

Place over medium heat; bring to gentle boil, stirring constantly; cook 5 minutes; cool.

Break crackers into about fourths and put them in the crust-lined pie tin. Pour cooled syrup evenly over crackers in a gentle stream that will not shift the crackers. Cut several vents in top crust; place over filling sealing to bottom crust by fluting.

Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown and juice bubbles through vents.

The last pie comes from a new contributor. Though she is from Iowa, she said the recipe came from California and is delicious. I love sour cream in desserts but that is the only way I can tolerate it. Thank you, Lupe.

PINEAPPLE SOUR CREAM PIE

From Lupe Elkins

1 small package instant vanilla pudding and pie filing

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple and juice

2 cups sour cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 (9-inch) baked pie shell, cooled

Whipped topping

Combine all filling ingredients. Beat slowly with rotary mixer or lowest speed on electric mixer for about one minute.

Pour into crust; chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

Garnish with Cool Whip or whipped cream.

Now that you have a variety of desserts to choose from I will share a recipe that will suffice for a meal:

MY SKILLET DINNER

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup cooked macaroni

2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce

1 can (15-ounce) whole kernel corn

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Saute beef and onion until beef loses it's color; drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients except cheese, stirring to mix well.

Simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from heat; add cheese tossing lightly just to mix.

Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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