Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Best Thing About Jefferson Davis

All I've ever known about Jefferson Davis is that he was the president of the Confederate States of America.  Interesting, but for me, not particularly enthralling.  I'm not a huge history buff so I don't study into the lives of people that don't excite me.  However . . . the "Joy of Cooking" has a recipe for Jefferson Davis Pie that has interested me for quite some time, and a few years ago Joe noticed it and exclaimed that I should bake one some time.  Yesterday I made my first attempt.

It's basically a sugar cream pie (a big Southern specialty) with spices, pecans, dates, and raisins added in.  You begin with a pre-baked pie shell, simple enough one would think.
I always add cinnamon to my pie shells.  I should have taken the frown as a warning though.

But my first attempt at pre-baking the shell wound up as a crispy critter that we spread butter and cinnamon sugar on for a snack.

The second pie shell pre-baked to perfection and I filled it with the "custard" and popped it back into the oven for its half-hour of baking.  After about 15 minutes I got up to make a cup of tea.  When I approached the stove I noticed a huge volume of smoke pouring out of the oven vent.  The pie was going insane inside the oven box, and with good reason.  The pie shell was baked at 450 degrees but the pie was supposed to be baked at a mere 325 degrees.  Ouch!!!

I turned the oven off and left the door part-way open, not wanting to risk the overflow of Jeff Davis magma that was issuing forth.  Ultimately, when the pie cooled sufficiently, we ate it any way but without the requisite meringue (which would have required returning the pie to the oven, and act I was not willing to undertake)

It was delicious!!!  Now I can't wait to bake another one (the right way).

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup broken pecans
1 (9-inch) baked pie shell
Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks.
Combine flour, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in cream, dates, raisins and pecans.
Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees 30 minutes or until set. Cool.
Top with meringue. Continue baking 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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