Monday, November 24, 2014

Finally -- Mother's famous candy roaster pie with grandmother's perfect crust!

 I have been promising the candy roaster (alternative to pumpkin) pie recipe for months on my facebook page, and I was finally able to catch my mom in the pie-making process:-)   Here is the recipe along with directions for my grandmother's perfect crust just in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season ahead.

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Taken from a basic recipe my grandmother, Isabelle, used in her 1926 Rumford Cook Book, my mother has adapted it into this larger version as she always bakes multiple pies. (This makes 2 large 2 crust pies or 4 to 5 regular pie crusts.)

For the crust, you will need:

4 C All purpose White Lily Flour
3 level tsp RUMFORD Baking Powder
1  1/2 tsp Salt
1 stick Butter (not margarine)
3/4 C Crisco
1 egg well beaten

Start with ice water -- enough to lightly toss (with a fork) your mixture. Do not over mix or get it too wet. It should be crumbly. You need to get your hands in and stick it together. Just sprinkle the water in if you need more.

Use a lightly floured board and place one batch (a nice fist full) at a time.

Roll it out in batches, depending on the size of the pan, a couple inches larger than the pan.
Pick it up at intervals to make sure it is not sticking and spread a small bit of additional flour on the board if needed.

When large enough for the pie pan, roll it up on the  rolling pen and unroll it onto the pie pan.

Trim with a knife leaving enough to fold over and crimp.

Brush any excess flour from the edge of the pan. 

If making a two-crust-pie, do not crimp until the top is on. Trim it evenly with the kitchen shears and then fold it over the lower crust and crimp it together. Then brush on a nice layer of  PLAIN Evaporated Milk. (Mother's note: "Often I have to use my fingers to get the milk into all the nooks and crannies of the crust.") 

And now for the most delicious filling!! My mother grows Candy Roasters, which are a variety of squash originally grown here in the southeast by the Cherokee. My mother's family has been growing these for generations and have always used them exclusively for "pumpkin" pies. She peels them, cuts them into chunks, roasts in the oven until tender, then drains to ensure all the water is gone. 

This is her recipe for five pies: 

6 C Pureed Candy Roaster
(If you do not have access to candy roaster, substitute pureed pumpkin) 
2 C Sugar
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
6 eggs well beaten
3 Cans Carnation Milk (12 oz size)
3 tsp vanilla

Mix 1 TBSP Cinnamon and 1 tsp Nutmeg into the sugar before adding to the Candy Roaster.
(**Note -- no cloves in this filling so do not substitute "pumpkin pie spice" or add cloves)

Mix all together well and add to pie crusts.

Bake about an hour in a 350° oven.
They will begin to mound up in the middle when they are done.
If necessary, about half way through the baking, cover the edges of the crust with foil to keep from getting too brown.

These pies have the most wonderfully subtle flavor -- not too sweet and without the sometimes overpowering taste of cloves. 

Of course the amazing crust makes it that much better. 

These pies are deliciously amazing on their own and do not need the addition of whipped cream. I honestly think adding whipped cream would be like adding ketchup to a good prime rib:-) 

We have loved these pies for generations, and now my 8 year old loves them more than anything. 

My mom usually uses enamel pans that belonged to my grandmother, but these pies were for the community Thanksgiving meal our church hosted Saturday in Waynesville where we fed more than 500 people from our community and gave away 44 boxes of food and turkeys. My mom also made five  apple pies and a pan of Lunchroom Brownies:-)

This Thanksgiving, I'm so thankful for my church family's desire to serve others and for my mom's heart to give to others her very best. At 71 years young, having had a quadruple bypass and back surgery, she grew all the candy roasters, chopped and cooked them and made all these pies from scratch so others could have a little taste of home. 

That is something to be thankful for:-)


  1. Sweet Anita,

    What an amazing family tradition! There is nothing more delightful and fulfilling than serving and embracing those struggling and lonely.Thank you for being obedient to the calling in your life. Thank you for saying, "Here am I Father, send me."

    This is definitely...something to be thankful for :)!!

    I pray many blessings for you and your beautiful family!


  2. Looks good and how great you have such a family recipe! Those are the best!

  3. Anita, wonderful to have your mother so near you. She is a special lady indeed and role model for us all. Thank you for sharing her heirloom recipe. God bless her and you and your this season.

  4. LOVE the hands of a mother! The touch, the years of hard work, all the love she poured into being a homemaker, wife and "mommy"....we should cherish every moment we have her, with us! Have a wonderful & blessed Thanksgiving, and have a piece of pie for me Anita!!!!

  5. Anita, you are so blessed to still have your mom..Thanks for sharing her pumpkin pie recipe..I make mine now from the canned kind and to me it is good but know homemade all the way is much better..Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family Anita..A West GA friend who admires you so much,Carolyn