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

1 1/2  cups  Graham Cracker Crumbs
1  teaspoon  Flour
1/2  cup  Sugar
1  teaspoon  Cinnamon
1/2  cup  Butter Or Margarine, melted
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?