BUCKHANNON – Welcome to Sunday, March 14, better known as 3.14, Pi Day, or Pie Day, if you’re hungry.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend and enjoying the bright, sunny day and celebrating by enjoying a slice (or more) of their favorite pie in honor of this day.
On Pi(e) Day, we at My Buckhannon plan to enjoy some tasty treats and thought it would be fun to give some folks throughout Upshur County the opportunity to share what their favorite pie is, along with some recipes and stories of pie.
Personally, I love pie – cherry pie, pizza pie, pot pie, shepherd’s pie, apple pie, blueberry pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie. When living a low-carb lifestyle, making these delightful treats is a few steps longer but definitely worth the time investment.
According to www.tasteatlas.com, the 10 most popular pie flavors in the United States are apple pie, pumpkin pie, pot pie, pecan pie, Key lime pie, cream pies, sweet potato pie, sugar pie, spaghetti pie and peach cobbler.
So, in honor of today being pie day, My Buckhannon reached out to folks in the area to see what their top picks for pie are and here is what we found out.
Kayla D. Yocum, technology/digital communication specialist for Upshur County Schools, said through the generations, her family has acquired an act for combining ingredients to create tasteful delicacies.
“As a child I would spend time sitting on the kitchen counters or standing on a stool to assist with the cooking and baking,” Kayla shared. “While assisting, I enjoyed watching my mother create her special, my favorite, strawberry pie. It was a sweet-tart mixture that satisfies my taste, as I devour the chilled, fluff-like strawberry filling with a graham cracker crust. It is the perfect flavor combination!”
Quinten Oldaker, technology system specialist for Upshur County Schools, said his favorite pie flavor by far is apple.
“My favorite pie is my Grandma Dolly’s apple pie,” Oldaker said. “She makes it from scratch, mostly using the apples from her own trees. She is 91 years old, and her pie is the best treat ever, year-round!”
Upshur County resident Mary Alice Poling said she loves pie. In fact, she said when her daughter, Brittany, got married, they had a pie bar which was a complete success.
“So, you could say pies are a big thing in the Poling family,” Poling said. “I have two pie stories. My father-in-law always made my husband a homemade (crust and all) cherry pie for his birthday until he passed away. My favorite pie is one my grandmother always made called a buttermilk pie (it would remind you of a pecan pie).”
Poling shared her buttermilk pie recipe – which makes two pies.
Mary Alice’s Famous Buttermilk Pie
- 6 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 stick of melted butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Melt butter and add flour and the rest of the ingredients
- Divide and pour into pie shells.
- Place both pies on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden and center is firm. These freeze well-wrapped in foil and placed in a gallon freezer bag.
Upshur County Board of Education member and Director of The Parish House and Crosslines Kristi Wilkerson shared that her favorite pie is pecan.
“I like my pecan pie and my family says it is the best pecan pie around,” Wilkerson said. “I love the peanut butter pie at Zick’s Restaurant, too!”
My Buckhannon culinary columnist Sara Jeran shared the recipe for her favorite pie, which is Mr. Lou’s Key Lime Pie.
Mr. Lou’s Key Lime Pie
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablesoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 14-ounce cans of sweetened, condensed milk
- 1 cup fresh Key lime juice or fresh squeezed regular lime juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon lime zest for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in medium bowl. Press together with your hands.
- Press mixture firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of a nine-inch pie pan and bake until golden brown around the edges and fragrant – about 15 minutes. Remove crust from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
- Reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine the condensed milk, lime juice and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until well blended.
- Pour the filling into the college pie shell and bake for 15 minutes; allow to cool to room temperature, then chill for at least two hours before serving.
- Once chilled, combine the sour cream and confectioners’ sugar and spread over the top of the pie with a spatula. Sprinkle lime zest on top as a garnish and serve chilled.
Upshur County resident Diana Karp Thompson said for sure, her favorite pie is her mother’s pecan pie and former Buckhannon Mayor David W. McCauley said he loves coconut crème pie and Key lime pie.
“My mom says when I was two-years old, I was addicted to pumpkin pie,” McCauley said.
Connie Linger, designs the gowns for the Mountain State Forest Festival Queen Silvia, Woodly the Elf, Maids of Honor and their court, said she enjoys making pies.
Linger grew up in Buckhannon.
“I baked fresh pies at CAPT’ TE’ASE, in Elkins, and I could not make enough cherry, apple and peanut butter pies to meet the demand,” Linger said. “I still have people asking for them on occasion.”
Linger said her personal pie favorite would probably be apple pie.
“I like my apple pie made with fresh cut apples and not made from applesauce,” Linger said. “Peanut butter pie might be my second favorite, especially because I serve it with warm, homemade fudge sauce!”
Buckhannon resident Rachel Garton Weber is a physical therapist who leads Soul Care and volunteers many hours with the Upshur County Trails. She said by far, fruit pies are her favorite.
“I like fruit pies made with fresh fruit from my parents’ gardens including cherry, black raspberry, apple and pumpkin,” Weber said. “Plus, it has to be made with my grandmother’s pie dough recipe. It is seriously the best!”
Weber said her family uses the leftover dough to make a treat they call cinnamon sticks.
“We roll out the extra dough and sprinkle it with a cinnamon-sugar mixture, cut into sticks and bake,” Weber said.
Weber shared the pie dough recipe that was a go-to of her grandmother’s, Pat Garton.
Pat Garton’s Perfect Pie Crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Sift flour and salt. Cut shortening with a pastry blender.
- Slightly beat the egg and add to the shortening-flour mixture. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and then add four tablespoons of ice water.
- Stir, and if mixture is dry, add the last tablespoon of ice water.
- Mix, but do not overmix. This will make enough dough for two double crust pies if you roll the dough very thin.
- Place enough dough on a floured surface, turn over while working with hands, roll out to desired thickness and size. While rolling out, turn over a few times while adding a little extra flour to your surface.
- When desired thickness is achieved, place rolling pin on dough and gently lift the edge of dough with a table knife and wrap dough around the rolling pin and roll back toward you. This will roll the dough up around the rolling pin. Then unroll the dough on top of the pie plate.
- Do the same procedure for the top crust, cut off excess dough and crimp edges. Cut vents into top crust for steam to escape while pie is baking.
Jeremiah Smallridge, who is the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Choir Director, said his favorite pie of all time is pecan and added that he finds rhubarb strawberry pie pretty amazing as well.
Jonathan Pollock, Buckhannon-Upshur High School Principal, said he was a surprise lover of rhubarb pie.
“Rhubarb is not my favorite, but it was unexpectedly good,” Pollock said. “I think I agree with Jeremiah Smallridge that pecan pie is my favorite.”
Buckhannon resident Misty Post – who keeps everybody in the know with her Facebook group ‘Buckhannon Events,’ said when it comes to pies, she has two favorites – apple pie and chocolate pie, and Upshur County Board of Education Vice-President Katie Loudin, who is also the executive director at One Foundation, said her favorite pies are both ones she likes to make – apple pie and peach pie.
“I like apple pie in the fall and winter and peach pie in the summer when the peaches are ripe,” Loudin said. “After watching ‘The Great British Baking Show,’ I now know what a ‘blind bake’ is, and I no longer have soggy bottoms on my pie crusts! My family loves both of these pies and I love to slow down to make them. Both need a scoop of vanilla ice cream!”
Buck Edwards with Create Buckhannon shared that he believes all pie is good for the most part.
“Especially if someone else makes it,” he said,” but I am partial to the fruit cobblers I make.”
Upshur County retired physician and current Upshur County Board of Education member Dr. Greenbrier Almond said when it comes to pies, he feels ‘stunted in his cuisine growth.’
“I still rely on Bisquick for dough and canned peaches for the filler,” he said. “This is where I started in the fifth grade.”
Almond said if he were given a choice, he would choose a pie made by a chef and said a pecan pie would be his pie of choice to top off a grand dinner.
Meanwhile, Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus, pointed to her grandmother’s blackberry pie as the reigning pie in her family.
“My grandma grew her own blackberries, but we would also pick blackberries in the wild,” she said. “We would pick blackberries from her blackberry patch and make a pie and blackberry jam. These memories are associated with recollections of growing up on our small farm in Queens, with a very special grandma next door. We did so much canning, we even canned apple pie filling and would use this during the winter months to make our favorite apple pie. These were rare and anticipated treats in our large family, most often served with a special Sunday dinner.”
- 5-6 cups blackberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
- Mix the blackberries with sugar, lemon, cinnamon, almond extract and flour or starch. Be sure the berries are well coated with the sugar mixture. Let that sit for 10 to 15 minutes while you are preparing the crust.
- Preheat the oven 400 degrees and prepare two pie crusts. Line the bottom of a pie pan with one crust. Pour berry mixture into pie. Place the second crust over the top of the berries and cut a few holes for venting.
- Beat an egg and brush the top of the pie for a glossy pie.
- Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 400. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30 minutes. It helps to place a cookie sheet below the pie to save on cleanup in the oven.
My Buckhannon Editor Katie Kuba said two of her favorite pies are made by her father, and one is made by her grandmother.
“My dad’s strawberry pie in the summer is one of my favorites,” Kuba said. “At Christmas, my dad makes a chocolate pecan pie that is to die for. My grandma used to grow black raspberries in her backyard, and she would pick a bunch and freeze them. Her black raspberry pie was so good – especially the crust, which black raspberry juice had inevitably seeped into.”
Tammy Moore-Lyons, digital marketing specialist at My Buckhannon, said she loves pecan and pumpkin pie, but said pizza pie is her favorite; My Buckhannon owner Brian Bergstrom said his favorite pie by far is Key lime.
At this point, I am having a hard time deciding which pie I want to make first!