I am so excited to start my #TracyTastesAmerica project with Alabama. When I think of this beautiful Southern state, several things come to mind. Visions of succulent BBQ, sweet tea, lazy summer days, charming houses with big porches and of course, Roll Tide. While I have not really had a chance to visit Alabama, other than driving through on my way to Florida from California, I hope to return one day and taste some of their signature dishes.
While researching traditional Alabama recipes, I came across this unique recipe for Montgomery Pie. Having never heard of it, I was intrigued. With some sources tracing its roots to Pennsylvania, I discovered that this pie is indeed from Montgomery, Alabama and the original recipe is hard, if not impossible, to find and rarely published. The blog Twirl and Taste beautifully celebrates the history of this pie and I used their recipe to recreate this masterpiece. The first time I made this pie, it fell apart, as did my excitement for finding such a hidden gem of a recipe. Baking has always been one of my strong points, so I was a tad frustrated. I did, in fact, make this pie the first time at work in a commercial kitchen, so the only logical explanation for my pie failure has to be because of the incredible strength of the oven. I monitored the pie carefully, but it was done in half the recommended baking time. The result was a dry pie that crumbled when I tried to slice it. Not willing to give up, I made it again, this time at home with my trusted oven. Unlike my first experience, my pie baked within the recommended time and came out perfect.
Made with fresh lemon juice, this pie is ideal for a warm summer night paired with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
Here is the story of Montgomery Pie:
“Bert Greene, cookbook author and longtime food columnist for The New York Daily News, was traveling home while in the service and happened to stay in a hotel in Montgomery, Ala. and dined in their restaurant. He ordered a piece of pie and upon his return home, he tried to contact the cook to ask for the recipe, but never got a response. He called the hotel manager only to learn that the cook couldn’t read or write, and there was no recipe. Mr. Greene returned to Montgomery and stood with the wonderful lady in her kitchen as she made the pie and recorded the recipe so that others could enjoy Montgomery Pie.” (source: Twirl and Taste)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons soft butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 deep dish pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat one egg with the lemon juice and rind, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 cup water. Beat until smooth and pour into unbaked pie shell.
- Beat butter and one egg in a large bowl; add 2/3 cup sugar and baking powder; then alternatively add milk and 1-1/2 cups flour (about 1/3 each time).
- Beat until smooth then spoon the mixture over the first layer of the pie.
- Bake 35-40 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness.
- Cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy.
- **Be sure to spoon the lemon filling left in the pan over the top of the slice before serving.