Unless you don’t like whipped cream, what is not to like about room soezen (cream puffs) and surprisingly they are very easy to make.
Our English ancestors brought us the fruit pies. They added a topping of biscuit dough to them and placed a heavy lid on top so that the biscuit dough could rise and brown, that’s how the cobbler was born. Today in the South, most of the restaurants and the Barbecue restaurants have peach cobbler on the menu. A Peach cobbler is as American as Apple Pie, it is a tradition and one that I have come to love.
During the sixteenth century, Brits from Europe brought the tradition of making pumpkin pies for dessert to West Africa. The tradition was soon brought to America during slavery, where the African slaves transformed the dessert into something sweeter using yams, then sweet potatoes. Coincidentally, yams and black-eyed peas was a common food slaves were fed during the Middle Passage.
The name of the food was inconsistent at first, because the yam and sweet potato come from two different types of plants. The word yam in African dialects was either “Oyame or Yam Yam” or a few other terms with a few other meanings. Yams are monocots from the Dioscorea family. Sweet potatoes are from the Morning Glory plant family.
Sweet potato pie recipes made a cookbook debut in the 18th century. In the late part of the 19th century, Fannie Famer featured a recipe for glazed sweet potatoes in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Soon after, inventor George Washington Carver began to find various uses for the sweet potato, including in a candied version. He released over 100 uses for the vegetable.
As the slaves made the pie for large gatherings in celebration and as a part of family meals, the tradition has continued for family gatherings and black family reunions today.
(Photo: Sweet Potato Pie recipe by African slave Abby Fisher in 1881)
Key West, Florida, is famous for its fabulous key lime pie, one of America’s best-loved regional dishes. Every restaurant in the Florida Keys, and especially in the city of Key West, serves this wonderful pie. There seems to be a key lime pie for every palate, with numerous versions made throughout the region.
Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back centuries. There exists a painting from the Dutch Golden Age, dated 1626, featuring such a pie.
The basis of Dutch apple pie is a crust on the bottom and around the edges. This is then filled with pieces or slices of apple, usually a crisp and mildly tart variety such as Goudreinet or Elstar. Cinnamon and sugar are generally mixed in with the apple filling, and lemon juice is often added. The filling can be sprinkled with liqueur for taste. Atop the filling, strands of dough cover the pie in a lattice, holding the filling in place but keeping it visible. Though it can be eaten cold, most people crave for the warm version, with a dash of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.