Category Archives: Southern Pies

Miss Petunia’s Grits Pie

I discovered Paula Deen’s recipe for Grits Pie four years ago while searching for a birthday cake alternative for my grits-lovin’ lover.  Never did I imagine such a thing existed, let alone tasted so magically delicious. It was the only pie I had ever baked before starting MyPiary.

I have baked this pie with my dear friend Daniel many times, and it always receives rave reviews. People who dislike grits still love this pie. I’m thinking it has something to do with all the buttah.

While the original recipe calls for buttermilk, I have a hard time justifying buying an entire quart of buttermilk (the only size I can find in my Publix, where shopping is a pleasure), when I can easily make my own sour dairy product. I also like to add more vanilla, and sometimes a little bourbon, to kick it up a notch. I only use the slow-cooking, old-fashioned grits and a homemade pastry, because I’m worth it. Oh, my pie-eaters are totally worth it, too.

Miss Petunia’s Grits Pie

¾ cup water
dash salt
¼ cup old fashioned grits
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
2 tbs flour
3 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup half & half
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbs bourbon, optional
1 9-inch prepared, unbaked pie pastry

Preheat oven to 325°. Add lemon juice to half & half to make “buttermilk” and set aside. Bring water and salt to a boil in a small pan. Add grits and cook for 5-7 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Add vanilla and stir. Let cool slightly. Beat eggs in medium bowl. Add sugar and stir until combined. Stir in flour and half & half. Slowly stir in cooled grits. Pour into prepared, unbaked pie shell. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until set. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. The pie is tasty as is, or it can be topped with a warm berry compote for extra deliciousness.

Let’s look at photo documentation now.

The ingredient lineup

Making the grits

A whole stick of buttah? You betcha!

Mix the butter and grits well, then add vanilla and bourbon

Mix all ingredients well before pouring into pie shell

Homemade pie pastry is so much better

My crust looks a little wonky, but it's still delicous

Yes, you can have a slice of grits pie for breakfast

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Sweet Tater Praline Pie

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so grateful that I didn’t have to travel this year. I had a perfect day of cooking, eating, watching football, and reading Mindy Kaling’s new book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).” It was awesome.

Now, I usually make homemade cranberry sauce and sweet potato soufflé for our Thanksgiving feast, but since I am in the midst of a pie project I decided to make a Cranberry and Pear Pie and a Sweet Tater Praline Pie instead. Both were huge hits, but the Sweet Tater pie was ranked as one of my top pies by my official taste tester. It was really, really good.

My pie was inspired by Martha Stewart’s Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping. Here is my adapted recipe.

Sweet Tater Praline Pie

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 eggs
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tbs pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
3/4 cup plus 1 tbs heavy cream
1 partially pre-baked pie crust, cooled
3 tbs butter
1 cup pecans, broken into pieces

Cover sweet potatoes with water in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and puree in a food processor. Let cool before using. (It’s OK to put in fridge or freezer to quicken the cooling process).

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. (I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with the whisk attachment and it worked perfectly.) Add puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and 3/4 cup cream. Whisk until smooth.

Place cooled crust on rimmed baking sheet; pour filling into crust. Bake pie on lowest oven rack for about 50 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool on rack 1 hour, then put in fridge to cool completely.

Now it’s time to make the praline topping.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and stir until combined. Add the pecans and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in 1 tbs cream until incorporated. Let cool a few minutes then pour over cooled pie. Use a spatula to evenly spread the mixture over the pie. Cool for at least 30 minutes.

I used the rest of the heavy cream I had to make fresh whipped cream to top off the pie. It was decadent.

I didn’t take as many pretty pictures as I usually do because I was busy cooking up a feast of roasted chestnut stuffing, stuffed sweet dumpling squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, and Parker House rolls. Am I crazy? A little. But our feast was amazing.

Here's the ingredient lineup (the sweet potato puree is in the bowl)

All whisked up and ready to roll

My crust wasn't perfect, but it still tasted good

Oh, yeah! The perfect slice of pie makes me crazy happy