Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network


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Cooking: Pies

Pie always has been the choice American dessert, and as soon as the pioneer woman had grease enough to make the crust and the wherewith to make the filling, pie was served. Butter, lard, and even drippings were used in making the crust and fruits of every variety grown in the Valley, both tame and wild, were used for the filling.

Boiled Water Pie Crust. 2 cups flour; 1 cup lard, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tsp. salt. Boiling water added to make easily worked dough. Wrap in cloth and let stand in cool place overnight or until ready to roll out on floured board.

Plain paste with Lard. 2 cups sifted flour; 1/2 cup lard; 1 tsp. salt; 1/2 cup ice water. Make and roll.

Apple Pie. Prepare the crust and line the dish with it. Then put in layers of apple, with sugar, and a little water. If the apples are green, they should be stewed before the pie is made. Lemon and nutmeg will add to the good qualities of the filling. Put the top crust on and bake quickly.

52 Dried Apple Pie. 3 cups dried apples; 1/2 cup honey; 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, butter size of a walnut. Soak the apples in water overnight and cook in same water. Add honey when apples are cooked and cooled. This makes one large pie.

2 Peach Pie. Line pie dish with unbaked pastry. Pare, cut the peaches in halves and take out stones, then lay them in dish, sprinkle lightly with sugar, add a quarter cup of water, cover with an upper crust and bake in quick oven for thirty minutes or until done.

Berry Pies. Drain cooked berries, sprinkle 1 tbs. tapioca and 1 tbs. sugar over the lower crust. Fill the crust with berries (about 21/2 cups). Leave a small place in center free from fruit. This helps to prevent the juice from running out at the edges by concentrating it somewhat in the center. Add 1 tbs. tapioca, about 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Pour 3/4 cup berry juice and 1 tsp. lemon juice over the berries and cover with top crust. Bake in moderate oven.

Frances Yost's Cranberry Pie. 1 cup cranberries, cut in halves; 3/4 cup sugar; 1 tsp. vanilla; 2 tbs. flour; 2 tbs. butter; 2 tbs. water. Make your favorite flaky pie crust; line a pie tin, then put cranberries in it, cover with sugar, vanilla, flour and water and dot with bits of butter. Place a top on the pie and bake for 15 min. in hot oven.

Cherry Pie. 1 qt. red cherries; 1 cup sugar; 21/2 tbs. flour; 1 tsp. salt; 1/2 tsp. almond extract; pastry. Mix the sugar, salt and flour together. Mix with the cherries which have been washed and stoned. Add the flavoring and pour into a pie pan that has been lined with pastry dough. Cover top with pastry and press edges together. Prick top to allow steam to escape. Bake in hot oven 450 F. for ten minutes. Reduce heat to moderate oven 350 F. and bake 25 minutes.

Gooseberry Pie. Top and tail the gooseberries. For one qt. of gooseberries, line two deep pie dishes with plain pastry. Fill with the berries, add nearly 1 cup of sugar to each pie, cover with an upper crust and bake in a quick oven for 40 min. For ripe gooseberry pie use one-third less sugar.

Rhubarb Pie. Wash the desired amount of stems and cut in pieces but do not peel. Pour boiling water over and bring to a boil. Add salt and a pinch of soda, let stand 10 minutes. Drain, add small amount of the water and plenty of sugar. Put on stove and let simmer. Excellent for pie filling.

Molasses Custard Pie. 1 cup molasses; 3 eggs; 1 cup sugar; 1 cup milk; 1 tbs. flour; 2 tbs. butter. Line a large pie plate with pastry, having a fluted edge. Combine the molasses, egg yolks, slightly beaten sugar, milk, flour and melted butter and fold in the egg whites last. Bake until custard is firm.

Father's Favorite Custard Pie. 3 eggs stiffly beaten; add 1/2 cup flour; 1/4 tsp. nutmeg; 2 cups milk. Pour into unbaked pie shell bake in hot oven ten minutes, then reduce heat. Bake until silver fork comes out clean. Makes one 9-inch pie.

Squash Pie. 1/2 cup molasses;1/3 cup sugar; 1 tbs. flour; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; 1/4 tsp. nutmeg; 1 tsp. flavoring; 1 cups rich milk; 11/2 cups cooked squash. Mix sugar, flour, salt and spices together. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into a deep pie pan lined with unbaked pastry. Bake in a hot oven ten minutes, reduce heat and bake twenty minutes.

Buttermilk Pie. 1 egg; 1 tbs. flour; 1 cup buttermilk; 1 tsp. flavoring. Mix egg and flour well, add sugar, buttermilk and flavoring thoroughly; pour into unbaked pie shell; sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until firm and lightly brown.

Vinegar Pie. This is the vinegar pie made by the early settlers of the West. 1 cup brown sugar; 2 cups water; 1 cup vinegar; 2 tablespoons butter; 1/2 cup flour; water; plain pastry. Combine the sugar; water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Mix flour with a little cold water until the mixture is smooth. Slowly add to the boiling liquid and stir until it becomes thick. Make pastry, and line a pie pan with the dough. Pour filling in the pan and cover with strips of dough. Bake in a hot oven (450F.) for 10 minutes; reduce heat to moderate oven (350F.) and bake about 25 minutes.

Tart Shells. Roll thin a quantity of plain pastry and cut it out with a glass or biscuit cutter. With a small cutter remove the centers of two out of three of these circles, and lay the rings thus made on the third; in this way building a little wall around the shell. Bake on a baking pan in a quick oven. When these shells are used, no small pans are required. When the crusts are cold fill them with jelly. Beat to a stiff froth the whites of two eggs, add two tablespoons of sugar to the whites and spread the latter on top of the jelly in the shells. Return the shells to the oven and brown the egg delicately. The whites of two eggs will make enough meringue for one dozen tarts. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Mincemeat Pie. 2 lbs. lean beef; 1 lb. beef suet; 4 lbs. tart apples peeled and cut in small pieces; 4 cups sugar; 2 lbs. raisins; 2 lbs. currants; if available 1 lb. mixed citron; 1 pt. cider, brandy or fruit juice; 1 tbs. salt; 1 tsp. nutmeg; add pinch of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Simmer the beef in two cups of water until tender; let stand until cool. Chop meat, suet and apples until quite fine, add remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly. Cook slowly one hour stirring frequently to keep from scorching. Seal in stone jars. If mincemeat is too dry when ready for use add cider or fruit juice to make right consistency. Mincemeat pie was a favorite dessert of the pioneers.

Carrot Pie. 2 cups cooked, strained carrots; 3 eggs; 1/2 cup sugar; 1 tbs. flour; 2 tsp. cinnamon; 1 tsp. ginger; 1 tsp. salt; 1/2 cup molasses and 2 cups milk. Sift dry ingredients; beat eggs, add molasses, carrots and milk. This recipe was often used by the pioneers when pumpkins were not available.

Green Tomato Pie 6 green tomatoes; 2 tbs. water; 1/2 lemon sliced; 2 tbs. flour; 1 cup sugar; 2 tbs. butter; salt and cinnamon to taste. Wash tomatoes and cut in thin slices; cook with water and lemon until tomatoes are almost tender, then drain. When the tomato liquid has cooled add the flour and water, sugar and salt and cook until thickened. Add tomatoes, cinnamon and butter; mix thoroughly. Pour the hot mixture into a pastry shell, add top cover and bake thirty minutes or until golden brown.

Be sure when making pie to follow the pioneer recipes. Flute the edges of the crust, cut a fancy design in the top crust, and after taking it from the oven sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.