Appalachian Thursday–Graham Cracker Pie

I was thinking about having some friends over to celebrate WV Day (June 20) and wondered what I could make that’s unique to my home state. Fried squirrel probably wouldn’t go over very well, I’m serving beans and cornbread at my launch party, and I’ve never had a knack for making pepperoni rolls.

PieThen it hit me–graham cracker pie!

How did I forget about this childhood favorite? It’s pretty simple–graham cracker crust with vanilla filling and meringue. Nothing fancy, nothing elaborate–just creamy, buttery, sugary goodness.

The best source for a recipe is, of course, my mother, but I decided to see what I could find on the Internet. How about a recipe from Mountain Measures–a cookbook published by the Junior League of Charleston, WV, in 1974? Gotta be good.

So here it is in case you want to serve a little taste of my childhood up for dessert:

Graham Cracker Pie

–Crust–
1 1/2  cups  Graham Cracker Crumbs
1  teaspoon  Flour
1/2  cup  Sugar
1  teaspoon  Cinnamon
1/2  cup  Butter Or Margarine, melted
–Filling–
3    Egg Yolks
2  cups  Milk
1/4  cup  Sugar
2  tablespoons  Cornstarch
1  teaspoon  Vanilla

 

1. FOR THE CRUST: Mix dry ingredients together. Add the melted butter and stir together. Use half of this mixture to line an 8 or 9-inch pie pan, pressing mixture to bottom and sides with fingers. Save the other half of mixture for topping.

2. FOR THE FILLING: Mix egg yolks and milk in top of a double boiler. Mix sugar and cornstarch and add to egg mixture. Cook until mixture coats a spoon, stirring constantly. Add vanilla. Cool slightly and pour into pie crust. Top with meringue. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 400 F until meringue is slightly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool several hours (at least 2) to allow filling to set before serving.

I really like the addition of cinnamon to the crust and the sprinkling of crumbs over the finished pie. I also get a kick out of the assumption that you know how to make a meringue using those three leftover egg whites. I mean, what WV cook wouldn’t?

4 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday–Graham Cracker Pie

  1. Aunt Pat

    I had some German friends to dinner and wanted to share West Virginia goodness. I cooked a big pot of ham and brown beans paired with fried potatoes, cornbread and wilted lettuce with baocon and green onions. I can’t remember what I had for dessert, but my guess would be some kind of homemade-from-scratch pie. Boy, was I surprised when the husband shared the fact that he had ham and beans, “… so often” while he served in their army. All in all, it still went over so well. We stuffed ourselves to the top!
    … and yes, no one can make cream pies like my Sis. I always remember her burnt sugar cream pie… so good that it would make my eyes water.

  2. Sandra Merrill

    On your WV day, we will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in the Smokies of Tennessee! Enjoy your launch and thank you again for your contributions to our recent day in Flat Rock. We look forward to getting our hands on ‘Miracle in a Dry Season’. Kudos, Sandy (and Larry) Merrill

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