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.
The dish is named after the small key limes (Citrus aurantifolia ‘Swingle’) that are naturalized throughout the Florida Keys. Their thorns make them less tractable, their thin yellow rind makes them more perishable, but they are more tart and aromatic than the common Persian limes seen year round in most U.S. grocery stores.
Key lime pie is made with canned sweetened condensed milk, since fresh milk was not a common commodity in the Florida Keys before modern refrigerated distribution methods.
Key lime juice, unlike regular lime juice, is a pale yellow. The filling in key lime pie is also yellow, largely due to the egg yolks. Some cooks add food coloring to give the pie filling a green color. This practice is frowned upon by those who make traditional key lime pies.
During mixing, a reaction between the condensed milk and the acidic lime juice occurs which causes the filling to thicken on its own without requiring baking. Many early recipes for key lime pie did not instruct the cook to ever bake the pie, relying on this chemical reaction (called souring) to produce the proper consistency of the filling. Today, in the interest of safety due to consumption of raw eggs, pies of this nature are usually baked for a short time. The baking also thickens the texture even more than the reaction alone. As for me I don’t like to use eggs, since I don’t cook it. And here is my version of Key Lime Pie
3/4 cup lime juice (about 5 limes)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 pre-made graham cracker crust
if you want to make your own crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1. To get the most juice out of the lime roll the lime before you squeeze the juice out of the lime
2. Heat the oven to 325°F. If you are making your own graham cracker crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until moistened. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate to form crust. Bake 10 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack.
3. Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice cream cheese and vanilla in large bowl until blended. Stir in lime peel. Pour filling into the crust. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until tiny bubbles begin to form on surface of pie. Cool completely on wire rack. Top with some whipped cream.
- ¾ cup lime juice (about 5 limes)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 package cream cheese
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 pre made graham cracker crust
- 1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- whipped cream.
- To get the most juice out of the lime roll the lime before you squeeze the juice out of the lime.
- Heat the oven to 325°F. If you are making your own graham cracker crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until moistened. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate to form crust. Bake 10 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack.
- Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice cream cheese and vanilla in large bowl until blended. Stir in lime peel. Pour filling into the crust. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until tiny bubbles begin to form on surface of pie. Cool completely on wire rack. Top with some whipped cream.
*Arrisje’s Recipe Card. Click on the pic below, save to your hard drive and print as a 4×6 pic *