Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, from Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan by Nancie McDermott

Mar 1, 2011

Despite its awkward title, pie makers or anyone with nostalgia for southern food should love Southern Pies.  It is essentially a collection of recipes culled from both old family cookbooks to current southern chefs.  Each pie has its own story, and the recipes are sorted into categories such as seasons, chocolate, heirloom, and regional.  The pies range from traditional sounding (Coconut Cream Pie, Double Apple Pie) to the more adventurous (Scuppernong Meringue pie, Mountain Home Soup Bean Pie).  The recipes themselves are easy to follow, and the author includes multiple pie crust recipes to encourage using homemade pie crusts. 

 I have only tried a few of the pies in this book, but if I had the time (and money) to attempt them all, I probably would.  The Williamsburg Peanut Butter Cream Pie was amazing, and reminded me of my trip to Virginia.  The Old-Time Chess Pie was both simple and delicious.  Lastly, I made the Shaker Lemon Pie, which uses the entire lemon and lots of sugar to make a tart 2-crust pie.  If you have a mandolin, use it to quickly and easily get consistently thin slices of lemon.  My next project with this book will be to master at least one of the pie crust techniques.  The helpful hints for piecrusts alone would be a good reason to add this to your request list!

Reviewed by Jed D.
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