Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Moonshine Pie

My Southern Living, Southern Heritage Cookbooks are hands down the favorites in my vast collection as a series. I have most of the series, which are quite expensive to obtain. I've made many of the cakes on here, and they always turn out pretty well, which for me is amazing in itself. My husband once got me the Cookie Jar volume for Valentine's Day and I count it as one of the best V Day gifts I've received.
The magic of this series is not only are the recipes still good to use, but there are many wonderful historical pictures and sidebars. There are some strange categories to be sure in this set, like the "Company's Coming" volume or the "Gift Receipts", but all are delightful to read.
The Pies and Pastry volume had this gem of a picture, of sorority girls at a "I Ata Pie" contest from 1911. Look at the tiny waist on the one in front. Also, how on earth did those outfits stay so white while eating pie?
This volume has no fewer than 10 types of crusts to try, including ones with flaked coconut. It is impossible to read through one of these without becoming hungry, at least for me.
I did find one unusual recipe in here. Thankfully, there are NO prune recipes. But this one offers a bit of Southern history:
Moonshine Pie
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs separated
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 (9-inch) coconut pie crust
Flaked coconut, toasted
Combine 3/4 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of a double boiler; add milk, stirring well. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until thickened. (Now who would do this today for 20 minutes? I didn't say the recipes in here are easy...)
Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Gradually stir about one-fourth hot mixture into yolks; add to remaining hot mixture. Cook 15 minutes over boiling water, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in butter and bourbon. Cool.
Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until foamy; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into custard mixture; spoon filling into coconut pie crust. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Chill until set. Yield: one 9-inch pie.
I'm interested in how this recipe was discovered. Was someone embarrassed by their husband/father/grandfather's still? Did they taste it and say "Now, this isn't half bad. I'm using it in a pie." We'll never know.
The youth book awards were announced yesterday. I have to say I was completely surprised by all the Printz choices last year, but this year's was somewhat easier to guess. I haven't read all the award winners and want to, as soon as I finish getting ready for the conference and the reviews for this month, and... ok it's easy to see how books are piled up 9 high on my nightstand and under my bed.
-And that's not even the cookbooks!

1 comment:

Chrisi said...

My grandmother gave me a small paperback cookbook called, "Southern Appalachian Mountain Cookbook" edited by Ferne Shelton. It has 175 old-timey highland recipes and remedies from the Blue Ridge and Great Smokey Mountains, including moonshine pie (in fact it's the exact same recipe that you posted). I made this pie put it did not set properly, likely because there were no detailed instructions on how look to cook the custard. Hopefully, if I follow your timelines, all will go well.