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.
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
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?