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Tag Archives: Southern Cuisine

“Southern Cuisine” includes recipes indigenous to the Southern region within the United States, which starts in Maryland and continues through the Carolinas and into the “Deep South” of Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Some of these dishes are also known as “soul food.”

Lemon Meringue Pie

After much research, my search is over for the perfect lemon meringue pie recipe! I have baked this several times for family and friends. Each time, people go back for seconds and there are no leftovers. Southern in origin, lemon meringue is a great year-round pie and ideal for any occasion. It is traditional while still adding an element of surprise for your dinner guests.

(Original Source: AllRecipes.com: “Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie”)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tblp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla for meringue

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Lemon Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Stir in butter.
  • Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually mix in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture.
  • Bring to a boil and continue to stir constantly until thick.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Pour into baked pastry shell.

Meringue:

  • In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy.
  • Add sugar and vanilla gradually, and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
  • Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Do NOT over-cook lemon filling! The filling should be thick, but pourable. If the filling boils too long, the water will evaporate and you will lose liquid and volume. I learned this the hard way.
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Desserts, Pies, Southern Pies, Summer Pies

 

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Super Sweets

Adrianna

These are my sister’s version of mashed sweet potatoes. Generous amounts of butter, brown sugar, and sour cream are added to sweet potatoes/yams. If you are on a diet, I would try one of the other sweet potato recipes on this site, but if you are looking for a moment of indulgence, these fit the bill.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 yams (1 yam per person)
  • 1 1/2 cubes of butter (6 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 16 oz. whole milk or sour cream
  • Cinnamon and salt to taste

Instructions: 

  • Boil water and cook yams, leaving skin on.
  • Drain yams in cold water and peel.
  • Place yams in a bowl. Stir in butter and allow it to melt in hot yams.
  • Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and milk/sour cream.
  • Mix all ingredients using a masher or whipper until fluffy.
  • Sprinkle a little cinnamon and/or salt on top.
 

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples

I concocted this recipe for Christmas 2011, knowing I wanted to make something with sweet potatoes and apples to go with my homemade cranberry sauce and green beans. After some Google searching, I found a recipe I liked, but thought it was too bland. So, I doubled the measurements for the non-sweet potato ingredients and it was a hit!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (about 5 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I suggest Granny Smith because the tartness of the apples offsets the sweetness of the other ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon to taste

Instructions:

  • Prepare Sweet Potatoes:
    • Add sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender. You know they are done when the skin starts to fall off in the pot).
    • Place sweet potatoes in metal strainer. Run cold water over them for a couple minutes to cool them off.
    • Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently peel skin off with your fingers.
    • Mash in a large bowl using a potato masher or large fork. Set aside. (Be sure to measure potatoes before mashing to confirm you have enough).
  • Prepare Apple and Butter Mixture:
    • Melt butter in a large saucepan.
    • Add diced apples and cook until tender.
  • Combine Ingredients:
    • Add apple and butter mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until well blended.
    • Stir in apple juice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  • When ready to serve, heat over low heat until hot.
 

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Southern “Sweet Tea”

(Original Source: AllRecipes.com)

Sweet tea is known as the “wine of the South.” This delicacy is made by adding sugar to black tea while it is still hot and then blending the sweetener so that the sugar becomes part of the tea. Afterward, the tea is refrigerated and ice is added. Some people add lemon for flavor. The farther south you go, the sweeter the tea becomes. Under NO circumstances is sugar added as an afterthought once the tea is cold. That is simply iced tea, not sweet tea!

I have modified the original recipe for “Ol” Alabama Sweet Tea” so that it has a “moderate” amount of sugar, commensurate with what you might find in southern Virginia and the Carolinas. I can’t take it any sweeter, but if you want to taste Alabama sweet tea, double the amount of sugar! In the Deep South, many restaurants don’t even serve unsweetened iced tea.

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 tray ice cubes
  • 3 family sized teabags of orange pekoe tea
  • 3 cups cold water, or as needed

Instructions:

  • Pour the sugar into a large pitcher.*
  • Bring water to a boil in a large pan.
  • When the water begins to boil, remove from the heat, and place the teabags in.
  • Let steep for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove tea bags, and return tea to the heat.
  • Bring just to a boil, then pour into the pitcher, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Fill the pitcher half way with ice, and stir until most of it melts.
  • Then fill the pitcher the rest of the way with cold water, and stir until blended.

* If using a glass pitcher, be careful about pouring in hot tea to prevent cracking. Consider making the tea in a heat resistant container and transferring to the pitcher later.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Beverages, Tea

 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

(Original source: About.com “Southern Food” Recipes)

One of my culinary goals this summer is to expand my repertoire of pie recipes. You might think that with all the family recipes on this website I would have easy access to a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie, but not so! After much Google-searching, I finally found the one you see below. I almost tried a recipe from Martha Stewart’s catalog, but did not feel like spending 6 hours preparing a pie. This recipe is quick, simple, and the orange zest adds a pleasant tangy flavor. I suggest making strawberry rhubarb pie in early summer when rhubarb is ripe and available in many major supermarkets.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

  • Pastry for a 2-crust 9-inch pie *
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups 1/2 inch pieces fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest (optional) *
  • 1 tablespoon butter

* You may make your own crust or buy a prepared one. You also have the option of creating a lattice-style crust.

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl mix together the sugar, tapioca, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  • Add the rhubarb, strawberries, and orange rind and stir until the mixture coats the spoon.
  • Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
  • Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry; spoon in the strawberry rhubarb mixture.
  • Dot the top of the strawberry rhubarb mixture with the butter.
  • Cover the pie with rolled out pastry; crimp edges.
  • Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is browned.
  • Serve pie warm with with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Chef’s Tip:
If the pie comes out runny, pop it in the refrigerator overnight to allow the ingredients to solidify.

 

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Chocolate Chess Pie

Aunt Gail 

Chocolate Chess is another Southern pie. This recipe is originally from my paternal grandmother Inez who died long before I was born. Although I never had the opportunity to meet her, I have enjoyed many of Inez’s recipes through Aunt Gail’s cookbook, No Matter What, Just Keep On Cooking!

Below, is the story behind this pie as told by Aunt Gail:

“When I was in high school, living on the Franklin Turnpike in Danville, VA, my mother made us this after-school treat every day. And every day, Tommy, Pam, and I devoured a whole pie…before dinner!* I can still remember anticipating it as we came home on the school bus. Pam wasn’t old enough for school yet, but we, out of the graciousness of our hearts, included her in this marvelous concoction! And my kids enjoyed it just as much when I carried on the tradition. (However, I didn’t make it every day)!” 

*Dad insists he and his sisters did not eat pie every day, but regardless of whose memory is correct, the story is sweet!

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1cup sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 (8 inch) pastry shell, unbaked

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine sugar, flour, and eggs; beat well.
  • Melt the margarine and add the cocoa, salt, and flavoring.
  • Combine the egg mixture with the cocoa mixture.
  • Pour filling into the unbaked pastry shell and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Bake for the first 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then at 350 degrees for the remainder of the time.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Aunt Gail says “most of the time, Mother never made a topping for the pie;” however, you may cover with meringue if you wish.
  • Use an aluminum pie pan for an 8 inch pie.

 
 

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Key Lime Pie

Aunt Gail

If Aunt Gail’s sweet potato is my favorite pie, her key lime is a close second favorite. Every time I visited her, she had a key lime pie waiting for me. This is another serious Southern pie, native to the Florida keys and is very easy to make. It is also inexpensive and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. I like to decorate my pie with lime slices.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: See note in final instructions.

Ingredients:Key Lime Pie

Filling

  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 can condensed (sweetened) milk
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 3 egg yolks

Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

Filling

  • Pour sweetened, condensed milk into a bowl.
  • Add juice.
  • Add egg yolks & stir until smooth.  Pour into pie crust.

Meringue

  • Place egg whites in a large, very clean bowl. Beat with mixer at high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Add sugar gradually, while beating.  When you can turn the bowl upside down without anything falling out, you’re done.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Spread meringue on pie, mounding it.  Make sure it touches all edges of the crust.

Final Instructions

  • Aunt Gail insists that she only bakes her pie “in preheated 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned.” However, whenever I have done this, I end up with key lime pudding. So, I follow the baking time from The Joy of Cooking which says to bake key lime pie for 35 minutes at 350 degrees which has worked well for me.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the pie to thicken. If you are in a hurry, pop the pie in the freezer for 20-30 minutes and then refrigerate.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Juice: Aunt Gail says you can mix limes with lemons to add variety. I like to stick with limes. Key limes are best if available. If not, you can buy bottled key lime juice at a specialty grocery store like Whole Foods. If all else fails, bottled non-key lime juice will suffice, but it isn’t as authentic.
  • Meringue: Any grease in the bowl or on the beaters will interfere with the beating of the egg whites.  Make sure both bowl & beaters are very clean.
 

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