A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

USS North Carolina Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bourbon Pie Sweet Potato Pie Casserole Mama Dip’s Sweet Potato Pie Chocolate Walnut Pie Blanchard’s Peanut Pie Foster’s Market Peanut Butter Pie Pepsi &

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

USS North Carolina Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bourbon Pie Sweet Potato Pie Casserole Mama Dip’s Sweet Potato Pie Chocolate Walnut Pie Blanchard’s Peanut Pie Foster’s Market Peanut Butter Pie Pepsi &

16 Pie Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Dessert Table

photograph by iStock.com/rez-art

USS North Carolina Pumpkin Pie

Recipe by USS North Carolina

Yield: 8 servings.

2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
½ cup cold water
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups pumpkin
¾ cup evaporated milk
¾ cup re-hydrated milk powder
2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine flour and salt. Using a butter knife or fork, cut small amounts of shortening into the flour, until the flour is crumbly. Add water, work to incorporate but do not overwork.

Wrap dough in plastic, refrigerate for four hours (or overnight). Makes enough for two pie crusts and can be frozen.

Roll dough out on clean, lightly floured surface. Cut a circle dough slightly larger than a nine-inch pie tin. Use a spatula or butter knife to lift the dough and set it into the tin. You can use scraps of dough to build the edge of the crust.

Using a fork, mark the rim of the crust and poke holes in the bottom of the crust.

If you have pie weights, use them to keep the bottom from rising. If not, butter one side of a piece of foil. Place the foil butter-side down and fill with beans or rice.

Bake crust for 12 minutes.

Mix dry ingredients: cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt. Re-hydrate ¾ cup worth of milk powder (If you can’t find powdered milk, double the amount of evaporated milk.). Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin. Add sugar and spices. Slowly incorporate milk. Blend well.

Preheat oven to 425º. Pour filling into baked pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Lower temperature to 350º. Bake for 40-50 minutes. A knife or toothpick should come out of the filling clean.

Allow to cool for two hours.

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Pecan Bourbon Pie

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 8 servings.

1 unbaked refrigerated pie crust
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup dark corn syrup
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
½ cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 375°. Place pie crust in pie pan and crimp the edges to form a decorative edge. Mix together eggs, sugar, corn syrups, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt until well blended.

Prick the sides and bottom of the pie shell with a fork. Spread the chopped pecans on the bottom and pour the egg mixture over them. Place pecan halves on top of egg mixture, forming a circle inside the edge of the pie crust.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until just set around the edges but still slightly loose in the center. Place on a rack to cool slightly.

Back to Top

Sweet Potato Casserole Pie Recipe

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Sweet Potato Pie Casserole

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 2 pies.

2 (29-ounce) cans sweet potatoes, mashed (or bake 3-4 sweet potatoes until tender, allow to cool, then peel and mash; measure out 3½ cups)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅔ cup butter, melted
½ cup whole milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 deep-dish pie shells, baked
1½ cups packed brown sugar
⅔ cup butter, softened
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ⅔ cup melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla and orange extracts. Mix well. Spoon mixture into baked pie shells.

Combine brown sugar, remaining ⅔ cup butter, flour, and pecans in a small bowl; mix well. Top each pie with pecan mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until pies are set.

Back to Top

photograph by Anna Routh Barzin

Mama Dip’s Sweet Potato Pie

Recipe by Mildred “Mama Dip” Cotton Council

Yield: 8 servings.

1½ pounds sweet potatoes
1½ sticks of butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (recipes makes enough batter for two pies)

Wash the sweet potatoes and place them in a pot, covered with water. Bring to boil.

When the potatoes are soft (after about 45 minutes), drain, cool, and peel. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes in a large bowl along with the butter and sugar, combining well. Add eggs. Stir in the spices, vanilla, and milk.

Pour into the pie shell.

Bake in a 375º oven for 45 minutes or until the center is firm.

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Chocolate Walnut Pie

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 8 servings.

1 cup light corn syrup
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter
8 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate morsels
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked deep-dish pie shell
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325°. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup, sugar, and butter, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, stirring until chocolate dissolves. Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with a fork until well blended. Slowly add beaten eggs to chocolate mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture into pie shell; sprinkle top with walnuts. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until crust is golden brown and pie is set. The center should be slightly jiggly. Allow pie to cool on counter for 30 minutes before cutting.

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Blanchard’s Peanut Pie

Courtesy of Helen Odom, a former Blanchard restaurant regular, who keeps the beloved recipe card close.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

20 Ritz Crackers, rolled out fine
1 cup of sugar
¾ cup of chopped peanuts
3 egg whites, beaten
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl, mix Ritz Crackers, ½ cup of sugar, and chopped peanuts.

Fold this mixture into the following: egg whites, cream of tartar, ½ cup of sugar, vanilla.

Bake in pie-tin for 20 minutes at 350º. Let cool. Top with whipped cream and grated bitter chocolate.

Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Back to Top

photograph by Alex Boerner

Foster’s Market Peanut Butter Pie

Recipe by Foster’s Market

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

1 prebaked 9-inch Black Bottom Cookie Crust with ¼ cup ground peanuts (recipe below)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup heavy cream

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup creamy peanut butter, softened
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups whipped cream, reserved from the peanut butter layer
¼ cup toasted peanuts
2 tablespoons ganache, reserved from the ganache layer

For the chocolate ganache layer: Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts and the mixture is fully combined and smooth. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the ganache for the topping. Let the remaining ganache cool slightly, then pour it into the cookie crust and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until firm.

For the peanut butter layer: Cream the cream cheese and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer or wooden spoon. Add the condensed milk and beat until thoroughly blended. Add the vanilla and stir to mix.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream into soft peaks. Set aside half of the whipped cream for the topping and gently fold the remaining half into the peanut butter mixture. When the ganache is completely firm, spoon the peanut butter mixture on top of the chilled ganache, spread evenly, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until firm. You can refrigerate the pie overnight or up to several days at this point.

For the topping: Fold the vanilla into the reserved whipped cream. Using a spatula or pastry bag, evenly spread or pipe the whipped cream over the pie and sprinkle with peanuts.

Gently reheat the reserved ganache in the microwave for about 10 seconds, until soft enough to pour. Cool slightly and drizzle the ganache over the pie. Chill until ready to serve.

Black Bottom Cookie Crust

Yield: 1 (9-inch) piecrust.

1½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs (from 6 ounces cookies)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix. Pour in the butter and stir to combine, moistening all the crumbs. Spread the mixture in a pie pan, evenly pressing it over the bottom and up the sides of the pan to create a crust. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly firm. Remove from oven and let cool; crust will firm as it cools.

Back to Top


Pepsi & Peanuts Pie

Recipe by Steve Gordon

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie.

For the pie:
2 eggs, beaten
⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup light brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon corn meal
⅔ cups Pepsi syrup (see below)
3 tablespoons butter, melted but not hot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup salted Lance peanuts
1 (9-inch) pie crust (unbaked)

For the Pepsi syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup Pepsi
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare Pepsi syrup first, then set aside to cool as you prepare the pie filling.

For the Pepsi syrup: Place all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot for 3 minutes. Uncover and let mixture reduce down and thicken, stirring often, for about 15-20 minutes. Syrup will start to foam a bit on top when it thickens down.

For the pie: Place eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat well until creamy and smooth. Add peanut butter, light brown sugar, and corn meal. Stir well to combine. Stir in the cooled Pepsi syrup. Add melted and cooled butter, stirring constantly. Add vanilla extract. Fold peanuts into mixture.

Pour filling into an unbaked, flour-and-sugar-dusted pie crust. Place pie on wire rack and bake in the center rack of the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until set. When done, you should be able to gently press down on the center and it will spring back up.

Place pie on wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Back to Top

photograph by Charles Harris

Angus Barn’s Chocolate Chess Pie

Recipe by Emma Laperruque

Yield: 8 servings.

1 unbaked pie shell
1 stick of butter
2 (1 ounce) bakers semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 dash salt

Melt butter and chocolate.

Mix with other ingredients which have been blended together.

Pour into a pie shell and bake 35 minutes (no longer) at 350º.

Top with whipped cream.

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Recipe by Lynn Wells

For the chocolate pie:
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8-inch pastry pie crust, baked

For the meringue topping:
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the chocolate pie: Mix first 5 ingredients in a quart pan. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Mix small amount into beaten egg yolks, then blend into mixture in pan, boil, and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Mix well. Pour into crust.

For the meringue topping: Beat all ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie while filling is hot. Bake at 325° until meringue is set and golden.

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Apple Pie

Recipe from the Community Cookbook Series

4 cups fresh apples, peeled and sliced
1¼ cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Top and bottom pie crust to fit a 10-inch pie pan

In a large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients. Toss the apples in the dry ingredients, and layer in a pie pan that already has a bottom crust. Sprinkle the remainder of the sugar mixture over the apples, and dot the apples with slices of the butter. Next, cover the pie with a top crust, and cut a couple of slits in the crust. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of white sugar on top of the crust for a browning effect. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in a 350° oven, or until the top is golden.

Back to Top

Fried Apple Pies Recipe

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Fried Apple Pies

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 12 servings.

½ stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 2-3 apples, depending on size)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
½ cup ice water
1 package (2 crusts) premade piecrust
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Powdered sugar or granulated sugar, for dusting (optional)

In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together; add chopped apples, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer covered, over medium heat, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside to cool.

Mix egg yolk with ice water and set aside.

Place premade piecrust onto a floured surface and sprinkle more flour on top, working it into the dough. Roll out to about 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 6-inch circles. Place 2 teaspoons of the cooled filling in the center of each round. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash, fold over, and gently press down on the edges and the filling. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Place the pies in a single layer onto a plate that has been lightly sprinkled with flour and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In a skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil to 375°. Carefully drop 2 to 3 pies at a time into hot oil to avoid a drop in temperature. Fry for about 3 minutes or until pies turn golden brown on both sides. Use tongs to remove pies from the skillet, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with granulated sugar or dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Back to Top

photograph by Tim Robison

Apple Cider Caramel Dumpling Pie

Recipe by Barbara Swell

As seen in the story about her log cabin cooking, Barbara Swell’s beautiful, rustic pie is simple to make. The dough slumps over the apples as they bake, forming individual dumplings. If possible, seek out local heirloom apples that hold their shape when baked, but any will do.

½ gallon apple cider
6 flavorful fall apples
A couple tablespoons raisins or dried cranberries (plump in brandy, if you like)
⅓ cup cider syrup (or a good drizzle of honey)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Cinnamon if you must, but this pie sings best without
1 tablespoon butter
Splash of apple brandy, cider, or water
Piecrust for a 9-inch pie (homemade is best! See below)
Cream or milk (for brushing crust)
Granulated sugar (for sprinkling on crust)

For the syrup: Pour cider into a heavy-bottomed pot and slowly simmer about 30 to 45 minutes, uncovered, until reduced to about 1 cup. Watch carefully at the end so it doesn’t scorch. Can be stored in freezer for up to a year.

For the pie: Preheat oven to 400°. You will need one good, firm apple per person. Peel and core the apples and place them in a 9-inch pie plate.

Into each apple hole, poke a bit of dried fruit. Drizzle apples with cider syrup, sprinkle with brown sugar (and cinnamon, if using), then dot with butter. Add a glug (a couple of tablespoons) of apple brandy, water, or cider to bottom of baking dish. Top pie with crust and crimp edges, anchoring dough well to edges of pie plate. Poke a hole through the dough over the center of each apple. Brush the top with cream or milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

To bake, place in bottom third of oven. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375° and bake until innards bubble and crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes depending on size of apples. Cover with foil if browning too quickly.


Barb’s Butter Piecrust

An old-timey 1-2-3 pie pastry — top and bottom — that’s 1 part water to 2 parts butter to 3 parts flour. Make your dough the night before you bake!

2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Scant teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
About 1½ teaspoons lemon juice or cider vinegar stirred into ½ cup ice-cold water (plus more as needed)

In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes and divide into two piles. Add one pile to your flour mixture and blend quickly with fingertips until it’s the texture of cornmeal. (Pop into freezer a minute if your mixture is not cold to touch.) Add the other pile of butter cubes. Use a pastry cutter or fingertips to cut the butter into the flour until the fat is the size of peas. Combine the lemon juice or vinegar with the water and sprinkle enough of the liquid into your flour mixture that a little of the dough holds together when pressed. Look for moist crumbs.

The Schmear, or fraisage, for extra flakiness (entirely optional): This step only works if your butter is still cold; if not, freeze dough for a few minutes. Toss the cold dough pieces onto the counter and divide into two piles. Take the first pile of crumbs and make a line across the bottom of your board. Using the heel of your hand, schmear the crumbs across the board and then stack the flattened smears. Form into a patty, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or up to three days. Repeat with the second pile of crumbs.

Skip the Schmear? Divide your moistened dough into two piles and wrap each in plastic wrap. Flatten your packets lightly with a rolling pin.

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Peanut Butter Pie

Recipe adapted by Lynn Wells

Yield: 6 servings.

1½ cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, beaten
3½ tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked deep-dish pie shell
Whipped topping (optional)
Peanuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs, peanut butter, vanilla, and milk until well blended. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove pie from oven and set on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with whipped topping and peanuts (optional).

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Pecan Pie

Recipe adapted by Lynn Wells

Yield: 6 servings.

¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup Karo dark corn syrup
3 large eggs
¼ cup salted butter, melted and cooled
2½ cups pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 unbaked pie shell
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, syrup, eggs, butter, pecans, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Pour mixture into pie shell. Place pie onto a baking sheet and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream (optional).

Back to Top

photograph by Matt Hulsman

Chess Pie

Recipe adapted by Lynn Wells

Yield: 6 servings.

1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs, butter, cream, and vanilla for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cornmeal, flour, and apple cider vinegar; mix well. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the center jiggles slightly. Let pie cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving.

Back to Top

print it

This story was published on Nov 01, 2022

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.