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~ Three Pies of Melanie's Youth Week -- In Review ~

IMG_4287Bye-bye American Pie Week on Kitchen Encounters!  I rarely write a retrospective blog post.  In over three years of blogging, this is only my fourth one. If you've been following along this week (which stretched into almost two weeks because I was having so much fun doing research and collecting information), I shared three, relatively easy-to-make recipes that just happened to be "custard pies":  Southern chess pie, PA Deutshe shoo-fly pie and German chocolate pie!  

I chose these three because:  

1) They are all American pies, each with its own unique history or story;

2) They are all pies I grew up eating in an area of Eastern PA near the Lehigh Valley;

3) They are all pies that are difficult to find "solid" or reliable recipes for.

They are also pies that people often avoid making because the recipes for each one, while all similar, are all just different enough that if the pie doesn't turn out the way "your people like it" that recipe gets deemed "not right" or "a failiure", which is just plain wrong.  All three of my recipes can be found in Category 6 or by clicking on the Related Article links below!

IMG_5964A bit about custard pies:  When we think of custard, we think of puddinglike desserts made with a sweetened mixture of milk and eggs that can either be baked or stirred on the stovetop.  When it comes to a pie being classified as a custard pie, all it has to do is contain an egg or eggs in its filling, which helps it firm up as it bakes.  Did you know that pecan pie is classified as a custard pie?  It is! ~ My Bourbon Street Pecan Pie ~ recipe can be found in Categories 6, 11 or 18!


IMG_3853Tuesday, Oct. 8th: ~ My Southern Favorite:  Jeanne White's Chess Pie ~.  I ate this pie about once a week at the 'White" house, with Susie White being one of my closest 'Hometown' girlfriends.  This sweet, silky, rich, eggy custard pie with a slightly tangy flavor most likely got it's name because of a piece of furniture common in Southern homes:  a pie chest.  It is believed that because the pie held up so well when stored in the chest, the original name was "chest pie", then slanged to "chess pie"!

IMG_4511Friday, Oct. 11th:  ~ My PA Dutch Favorite:  Shoo-Fly Pie (Give it a try!) ~.  "Dutch" was the English slang for "Deutshe".  When people say "PA Dutch",  they should say "PA Deutshe" to credit the German immigrants to PA. This molasses pie comes in many forms, from jamlike to cakelike, depending on preference.  It's so sweet that early pie bakers assigned someone to "shoo the flies" to keep them from landing on the top of the pie!

IMG_4429Tuesday, Oct. 15th:  ~ The Baker's German's ('German') Chocolate Pie ~.  A spin-off of the famous German Chocolate cake, neither the cake nor the pie are German. Baker's chocolate is an American invention, and, Baker's German's chocolate was named after their employee, Samual German, who invented it.  In 1975, a Dallas, TX newpaper misprinted the first recipe for 'German's Chocolate Cake' as 'German Chocolate Cake' and the name has stuck for all these years!


The time spent baking, photographing and posting these three pies wasn't without spin-off posts:

IMG_4305Sunday, October 13th:  I got so caught up in the history of this product, I decided it needed it's own post.  ~ Let's Talk Chocolate:  All About Baker's Chocolate ~, is a great read.  Baker's has been a staple in our pantries for over 200 years and was invented in America in 1764.  This chocolate, which is intended for baking, not eating, was originally intended for making sweetened chocolate beverages!

IMG_4102Thursday, Oct. 17th:  ~ How to Control the Crumbiness/Wetness of Shoo-Fly Pie ~ got it's own post because of questions and comments. Apparently, the first photo I posted of this fine looking pie wasn't crumb-y enough on the top for some.  This post gives detailed instructions for baking a shoo-fly pie to your liking:  from ooey-gooey wet-bottom to cakelike, with a slightly crunchy or a super crumby topping.  I aim to please!

IMG_3793"We are all in this custard pie world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipes, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013) 


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