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Recipes: Grab your piece of the pie

Enjoying any of our reader-submitted pie recipes is as easy as, well, you know.

Pie occupies a prominent place in Southern food culture. Almost any occasion that brings people together probably has pie on the menu: family reunions, Sunday dinners and Fourth of July celebrations. What’s a Southern Thanksgiving without some kind of hearty pie? No matter what else you eat (or how much you eat), you know you’ve got to save room for at least a sliver of your grandma’s, mother’s, aunt’s (or uncle’s!) “insert family specialty here” pie.

And while apple pie is one of the quintessential symbols of America, perhaps pecan or peach should take that role for our region. Paying homage to and highlighting distinctly Southern ingredients, they both offer a slice of our area’s authentic, homey charm in every bite.

But that’s just an opinion. Perhaps you’d pick blueberry or buttermilk. Or maybe you prefer savory pies, stuffed with veggies, cheeses and even meat. Whatever slice selection sounds the most satisfying to you, you’ll probably find something similar among the bevy of reader-submitted recipes we got for this issue.


Cook of the Month:

Debbie Holder, Baldwin EMC

Debbie Holder grew up loving figs, thanks to the heavy harvest she helped her daddy bring in from an aunt’s fig trees each year. When she moved to Foley, Ala., in 2004, she ended up with a neighbor who has fig trees and who happens to be generous with them. “I would make fig preserves and muffins out of them,” Debbie said, “but I wanted to try something different, so I thought I’d put them in a pie.” The first time she made the pie, she didn’t have quite enough fruit, so she augmented her filling with pecans. “It turned out great. The two really go together,” she said. And since her favorite part of any pie is the crust, she made her new creation a double-crust pie.

 

Fig-Pecan Pie

  • 3 cups peeled figs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • Butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Deep-dish pie crust
  • 1 ready-to-bake pie crust (for top)

Combine figs, pecans, lemon juice, brown sugar and flour, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake deep-dish pie shell for 12 minutes or until just starting to brown. Pour fig mixture in pie shell and cover with pats of cold butter. Place ready-to-bake pie crust on top and crimp edges with fork. Trim excess pie dough around edges and place dough designs on top. Cut four diagonal slits in top crust. Beat egg, and using pastry brush, cover top of pie. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. (If top is not golden brown, turn oven to broil for two minutes.)


Fudge Pies

  • 2pie shells, unbaked
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup self-rising flour
  • 2 sticks margarine, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix all ingredients and pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Opal Frost, Joe Wheeler EMC


Coconut Pineapple Pie

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust
  • ½ stick butter, melted

In a bowl, combine sugar and flour. Add syrup, coconut, pineapple, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Pour into pastry shell. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted into middle of pie comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly. Cool on a wire rack and chill before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

Trudy Nelson, Central Alabama EC


Cranberry-Orange Pie

  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • ½cup brown sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 13-ounce package orange gelatin
  • 1cup heavy cream
  • 19-inch, ready-made crumb crust

In a small saucepan, bring cranberry sauce, brown sugar and orange zest to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes or until partially set. In a small bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream mixture into the gelatin mixture. Spread into pie crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped topping. Serves 8.

Mary Donaldson, Covington EC


Chicken Salad Pie

  • 1unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese, divided
  • 1cup sour cream
  • ²⁄3cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1small can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
  • ½cup celery

Prick the bottom and sides of pie shell several times with fork. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-16 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, combine sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl. Stir in the chicken, pineapple, 1 cup walnuts and celery. Pour into cooled crust. Top with remaining cheese and walnuts. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer before cutting. Yields 6 servings.

Peggy Key, North Alabama EC


Butternut Squash Pie

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1½ cups cooked and mashed squash
  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine eggs, sugar, salt, spices and milk. Add butter to squash and blend with other ingredients. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until set. Add shredded cheese to hot pie.

Peggy Lunsford, Pea River EC


Farmhouse Peanut Butter Pie

  • 2 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3cups whipped topping
  • 4cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Combine all ingredients with mixer until smooth and creamy.  Spread into pie crusts.  Add chocolate topping.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate topping:

  • 1cup milk chocolate chips
  • 2/3cup of half and half

Combine chips and half and half in a microwavable bowl.  Microwave for 5 minutes, pausing to stir often.  When chips are melted and mixture is slightly thickened, spread on pies.

Dianne Herring, Wiregrass EC


Walnut Raisin Pie

  • 1cup dark corn syrup
  • 3eggs
  • 1cup sugar
  • 2tablespoons melted butter
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1teaspoon rum extract
  • 1½ cups (6 ounces) walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust

Stir first six ingredients together thoroughly using a spoon. Mix in walnuts and raisins. Pour into pie crust. Bake on center rack of oven for 60-70 minutes. Cool for two hours. Store pie in the refrigerator. Top slices with whipped topping if desired.

Patricia Harrison, Pioneer EC


Pecan Pie

  • 1cup white corn syrup
  • 1cup light brown sugar
  • ½teaspoon salt
  • 1stick melted butter
  • 2teaspoons vanilla
  • 3whole eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1heaping cup pecans
  • 1unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Mix syrup, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla. Mix in eggs. Prick the pie shell with a fork, and pour mixture into pie shell. You can either sprinkle the pecans over the filling, or mix in with the other ingredients. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Check oven as it bakes.

Sherry Tew, Pea River EC


Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

  • 3cups fresh blueberries (may use frozen but thawed)
  • 2regular unbaked pie shells or 1 deep dish pie shell
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1/3cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2beaten eggs
  • ½cup sour cream

Crumble:

  • 1cup sugar
  • 1cup self-rising flour
  • ½cup cold butter

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse blueberries and remove all stems. (Hint: If blueberries are not sweet enough, sprinkle with sugar and set aside.) Place berries in bottom of pie shells. Combine sugar, flour and salt. Add eggs and sour cream to flour mixture. Spoon over berries.

To make the crumble, combine sugar, flour and cold butter with fork or pastry cutter and sprinkle on top or over pie. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown for 50 minutes .

Donna Gilliam, Tombigbee EC


Recipe Themes and Deadlines:

Dec. Edible gifts October – 8

Jan. Crock Pot November – 8

Feb. Spicy foods – December 8

Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members, and not ones copied from a book or magazine. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year.

Online: alabamaliving.coop

Email: recipes@alabamaliving.coop

Mail:  Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Please include a phone number and co-op name with submissions!

Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications.