The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Family Secret Pie, Uncovered
My Great Grandma Flora Doubman, made some of the best pies that anyone in Henry County had ever tasted. She taught her pie making secrets and skills to my Grandma Barbra and then my Grandma Barbra, taught them to me. I am still on my pie journey, I feel like I do not make them enough to really be an expert at them yet, but it is something I really enjoying doing. My Great Grandma Flora taught me so many things over the many years that she was with me. Not only do I treasure the life skills that she taught me but also the many special memories we shared. One of them, and I have talked about it here before, was how we would walk to my Grandma Barbra’s every single day for pancakes. Everyday! Rain or shine! How we both did not end up weighing 500 pounds I will never know! Maybe it was the exercise and walking to and from her house there in Kennard. I remember Great Grandma Flora making the best green beans I had ever put in my mouth and I remember how she loved canning all types of vegetables. Her cabinets were always full of her canned homegrown vegetables.
She was not just a good cook and baker, but she was also the best person I have ever known when it comes to gardening and taking care of flowers. I remember watching her dump some coffee grounds into a flowerpot once and looking at me and saying, “this stuff is magical”. Low and behold a few weeks later that flower had blossomed into one of the prettiest flowers I had ever seen. I will never forget that. It was really something to see! But what I most remember is her pies and how the whole town talked about them. I still talk to her son, my Grandpa Jr, about them today and how I can never get mine to taste quite like hers. Searching through my recipe files during this last quarantine, I found several recipes from my Great Grandma Flora. One of them, the one I am sharing here today, is a personal favorite. A lot of people have heard of a “mock apple pie” made from using Ritz crackers but this recipe is different. The taste is different and so is the texture and it really beats the other pie all to pieces. One of the best things about making this pie? You do not have to make a pie crust! The filling creates it’s own crust when it is baking in the oven! How fabulous and foolproof is that? It is delicious!
Flora Doubman’s Secret Cracker Pie
Feel free to substitute walnuts in place of the pecans. For extra flavor, lightly roast them before chopping.
3 large egg whites
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
25 Ritz crackers, crumbled
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
In a large bowl whip, the egg whites until stiff.
To the whipped egg whites, gently stir in the white granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, crumbled crackers, chopped peans and pure vanilla extract.
Pour this into the prepared pie dish and gently smooth out the top.
Bake, in preheated oven, for 30 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool slightly before cutting and enjoying.
Ask and Answer: Shoutout and special thanks to Faith McCrobie for the piping tips, bags and offer for free decorating lessons! I have never really mastered the art of decorating cakes or using piping tips, so I am really looking forward to our kitchen sessions soon! I will make sure and keep everyone here updated on our progress and share some of our pictures. Thanks Faith!