Get ready for pie-baking season

I made my first pumpkin pie of the season.

Mmm. I can’t wait to have it tonight topped with a dollop of whipped topping.

I made it by request. Grace, who is not much of a dessert lover, asked if I could make pumpkin pie and apple crisp. She seems to like all of the seasonal-type dishes, especially when they aren’t covered in frosting or involve cake.

I couldn’t deny her. (And who minds having pie??)

With its cloves and cinnamon, the pie smelled so good baking in the oven, just like Thanksgiving.

With my pie fresh in my mind, I was looking at the food wire yesterday when I came across an interesting photo and story from the Lexington Herald-Leader on stack pies.

In Kentucky, stack cakes are common, but few people are familiar with stack pies.


A recent article in The New York Times generated some buzz about this old-fashioned dessert. Times food writer Melissa Clark wrote about stack pies in a July issue, then the story was picked up by NBC’s “Today” show, and now it’s getting attention from other food reporters and bloggers.

Clark interviewed Karen Thornton, who was researching her family’s genealogy, and Thornton told Clark about a recipe for stack pies she found in a book from the ‘30s about western North Carolina, where her family is from. In the book, given to her by an aunt, there was “one paragraph that describes people bringing fruit pies to church functions. Each family’s pie would get stacked on top of one another, and when it was dessert time, the whole thing was sliced like a layer cake.”

Sandra Davis of Springfield, Ky., author of “That Special Touch” cookbook, said they probably originated at church potlucks or reunions. The recipe she has is from “my mother-in-law who got it from her sister-in-law. The handwritten copy came from Kathy Elliott whose mother came up with the original recipe. Her name was Dot Davis, a wonderful cook. She baked the stack pies for her daughter and son-in-law’s restaurant in Lebanon, Ky., called Country Kitchen. She would make stack pies and then use the egg whites to make old-fashioned angel food cakes for Sunday dinner at the restaurant.

“My mother-in-law, Ella Mae Davis, always made them for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I got to take the leftover pie home to put in the freezer and enjoy during the spring. It’s so rich you only cut a sliver. All the pies are stacked and covered with caramel.

“Ella Mae always made them to sell at the homemakers’ annual bazaar. Not many people made them because they were too much trouble and rather expensive. Some were five pies high and some four.”

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