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Category Archives: Pies

Gooseberry Meringue Pie

We had some gooseberry bushes down at the “80”, the pasture with the creek where we went fishing.  They were on the bluff above the creek.  I don’t remember us ever picking them and making something from them, but I wouldn’t have gone near anything made with gooseberries in it at that time in my life. However, as and adult I’ve tasted desserts with gooseberries in them and actually liked them.

Most people would be surprised to cut into a pie with meringue topping to find gooseberries under it. This Kitchen Klatter recipe uses canned gooseberries rather than fresh. It refers to the liquid drained from them as syrup, so if you used fresh gooseberries, I am assuming you would cook them first in maybe 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar, drain them and that’s your equivalent to the syrup from the can.  

Gooseberry Meringue Pie

We think that this is a scrumptious pie!  People who don’t like gooseberries or who say that they’re too sour and acid will ask for second helpings so if you’re tired of making the same old pies, we urge you to treat your family to this.

1 lb. can of gooseberries (2 cups)
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar (scant)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flour
3 well-beaten egg yolks
2 Tbls. melted butter
1/4 tsp. Kitchen-Klatter vanilla flavoring

Drain syrup from gooseberries and add 1/2 cup water.  Mix together sugar, salt, flour and add to liquid.  Stir in well-beaten egg yolks and melted butter.  Cook until thick.  Add vanilla flavoring.  Gently fold in gooseberries. When cool, turn into bake 9-inch pie shell.  Cover with meringue made by beating 3 egg whites until stiff; add 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar to egg whites before beating.  Gradually add 6 Tbls. sugar.  Spread over pie and bake in a 415 degree oven until nicely browned.


Make Your Own Ready-Mixes for Short-Cut Cookery

I am wondering about what was on grocery shelves when this article appeared.  Was Bisquick there?  Well, I researched it online and it looks like it was invented in 1930 and was on grocer shelves in 1931. Cake mixes originated in the 1920’s…..but it was probably not available in Frankfort, KS for some time after that..  I’ve experimented with baking mixes myself.  A biscuit mix comes to mind.  

The caption under the apple pie triggers memories of Mom belonging to the “Sunflower Club”.  What did they do and what was their purpose?  I think the purpose was mainly social, an organized way of the neighbor ladies getting together.  The organizational part of it was that the club had a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  It met monthly, I think even in the summer.  When it was Mom’s time to have club, that meant we were going to re-paper somewhere in the house and we were going to clean like mad to show off a perfect household.  I don’t think this was unique to Mom….all the other ladies did it, too, I’m sure.  

Being the baby in the family, I needed to go with Mom in those early years.  If club was at our house during the summer, we were going to be part of the serving staff.  As I remember, a club meeting always had some sort of game they played after the business meeting.  It might be a series of 10-12 questions after which the person with the most correct questions won the prize.  Mom kept her eyes out for little “contests” she could use when she was in charge of entertainment.  When “lunch” was served it was usually finger sandwiches, some kind of dessert and nut cups. Sunflower club hosted a card party with the spouses and families at least once a year.  I know they had dues and occasionally would contribute to a local charity event.  

When I married, I joined a chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority in the Frankfort community; later when we moved to McPherson I was able to join a chapter there.  Eventually I joined one in Topeka.  Some of my best friends were made through that sorority.  Same premise as Mom’s Sunflower club, I think, but maybe a little more modern by then.

For farm wives at this time, you still had the responsibility of getting supper on the table.  Play if you want to during the afternoon, but you still had your responsibilities at home.  A clear separation of labor in that day.

In case you want a copy of their leaflet about these mixes you could order one by sending three-cents (to cover postage) along with your name and address…..I actually remember when the postage on a letter was three cents.

Make Your Own Ready-Mixes for Short-Cut Cookery

Go to club in the afternoon and still have a fresh, warm pie for supper to serve to the hungry gan trooping in from school and work.  It’s no trick if you have your own ready-mixes on hand.

There are times when all of us like to dawdle in our kitchens and make special dishes with an artist’s loving care.  Then again, we need to whip up something tasty in record time and get on to something important or interesting.

When the hurry-up mood is one, it is so very convenient and economical to have a supply of your own ready-mixes on hand.  Among the mixes you can keep in your kitchen to help you in a pinch are biscuit mix, pastry mix, muffin mix, cornbread mix, gingerbread mix, bran muffin mix and plain cake mis.

If you haven’t used your ready-mixes before, why nt start with a pastry mix that will make four pie shells or two two-curst pies or two dozen tart shells?  See how you like not having to start from scratch every time you want a pie for dessert

Pastry Mix

4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups shortening

Sift flour once, measure and add salt.  Cut in about three-fourths of the shortening very thoroughly, using light strokes with a pastry blender.  (Mixture should first become fluffy and fine like meal, then start to clump together.)  Add remaining shortening in several pieces and chop in lightly, just until divided into pieces the size of large peas.  Place in a covered container and store at room temperature.

When you are ready to make one of your pies — and if it is a two-crust pie — merely measure three cups of your mix into a bowl and stir in about five tablespoons water.  Mix lightly and roll as usual on a floured board.


It is also possible to make a pie filling mix of tapioca, granulated sugar and brown sugar to use in thickening fruit pies.  The following recipe is for use with fresh peach, blueberry and plum pies.  Cherry and apple pies need a little more sugar and a little less tapioca.

Pie Filling Mix

6 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, mixing well.  Place in covered container and store at room temperature.  The brown sugar hardens if placed in the refrigerator.  Yields enough for two nine-inch pies.


If you like having your own mixes ready to use, double or triple these recipes.

“Mix Your Own Time-Saving Baking Mixes” is a handy leaflet containing recipes for biscuit, pi, muffin, cornbread, gingerbread and cake mixes. Prepare a mix for as many as eight dozen biscuits or four gingerbreads at once!  We think you’ll like these time-saving methods.  You may have a copy of the leaflet simply by sending your name, address and three cents to Food Service……..

Get at the Bottom of a Good Cookie Crumb Crust

Oh, OK…I had to make up a few words in the title of this clipping because it’s missing.  Mom liked vanilla wafers and I remember her making desserts that incorporated them.  I like them, too, so a crust using them sounds just yummy.  Since Mom was a sucker for “something new”, I’m sure she would have been a big fan of ready-made crusts like we can buy now. 

Making a great dessert without heating up the kitchen would likely catch any homemaker’s attention because there was no air conditioning in the average subscriber’s home.  I remember being glad when Mom was going to stop at the Westy IGA to buy groceries because for that tiny bit of time we would get to be in AIR CONDITIONING. 

Get at the Bottom (of a Good Cookie) Crumb Crust

Pie crust has long been the test of a good cook.  But now comes a crust that outwits the cruelest of critics, for how can a homemaker go wrong when she has only to combine cookie crumbs with melted b utter and sugar for a never fail crust.  Yet ease alone can’t account for the rise in popularity of crumb pie c rusts; their crunchy goodness and delightful texture contrast also make them a winner.

Although graham crackers were used in the first crumb crusts, vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, and chocolate cookies have also proved themselves equally acceptable.  Just remember that the richer and sweeter the cookie, the less shortening and sugar you’ll need.  Whereas 1 1/4 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs call for 1 tablespoon sugar and 4 tablespoons of butter, graham crackers need 2 tablespoons sugar and 6 tablespoons butter; ginger snaps, 3 tablespoons sugar and 4 tablespoons butter; and brownies, no sugar and 4 tablespoons butter.

Delicious any time of the year, crumb crusts are especially wonderful for the summer months for they let you make a pie without heating up the oven, the kitchen, and yourself in so doing.  For the filling, add a prepared pudding mix or any cream filling.  One of the best is this applause-winning banana cream pie with a tapioca base.

Banana Tapioca Cream Pie

1 1/4 cups fine vanilla wafer crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted)

1 egg yok
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 egg white, stiffly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, sliced
Whipped cream

Mix vanilla wafer crumbs and sugar. Stir into melted butter or margarine and mix well.  Press firmly on bottom and sides of 9-inch pie pan. Chill 1 hour before filing. Or, bake crust in moderate oven (375 degrees F,.) about 7 minutes, and cool before filling.

Mix egg yolk with 1/4 cup milk in saucepan.  Stir in 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, tapioca, gelatine and remaining milk.  Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Beat remaining sugar into beaten egg white.  Blend hot mixture quickly into this.  Add vanilla and cool 20 minutes.  stir well and pour into chilled or baked pie crust.  Chill until firm.  Just before serving, garnish with sliced bananas and top with whipped cream.


Alternate layers of rich marshmallow cream and bright raspberry sauce fill a graham cracker crust to perfection in this recipe from Audrey Couch of Orchard, Neb.  you may wish to save back a few of the raspberries to garnish the top of this dessert masterpiece

Raspberry Layer Pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 pound marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cream, whipped
1 cup raspberry juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Pat into 9-inch pie pan; chill.  Combine marshmallows and milk.  Heat to melt marshmallows.  Cool.  Add whipped cream.  Cook raspberry juice with cornstarch until thickened.  Add lemon juice and red raspberries.  Fill the pie shell with alternate layers of marshmallow mixture and raspberry mixture until all are used up.  Chill several hours before serving


Davis Pies

Three clippings appeared on one page for pies, but what’s a pie without a good recipe for the pastry.  One another page I found the pastry clipping in a similar font, so I’m thinking they all came from the same issue.  This print style may have come from the “Kansas Farmer” or “Grass and Grain”.   Wouldn’t it be great to end a Sunday dinner at Mrs. Davis’ house with a choice of either cherry pie or chocolate?  I think it would have been rude to ask, “Can I have some of both?”  What a decision to make! 

Davis Pastry

For a 2-crust pie, she always uses the following recipe.

2 cups sifted flour
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cool water

Combine flour and salt, but in shortening with pastry blender.Sprinkle in water, about 1 tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork.  Divide in half, pat into balls.  Roll out on floured cloth.

The Davis Cherry Pie

This sweepstakes prize winner is Mrs. Davis’ own recipe

2/3 cup cherry juice (sour, canned)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups well-drained canned cherries

Combine cherry juice, 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch and cook until thick.  Have ready 1 cup sugar and add it gradually to the cooked mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue cooking until thick.  Add butter and cherries, but do not cook.  Pour into unbaked 9-inch pie shell, add top crust and bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned, about 35 minutes.

Chocolate Cream Pie

2 cups milk
2 ounces bitter chocolate
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Scald milk in double boiler and add chocolate which has been cut fine.  Beat smooth.  Mix dry ingredients and add gradually to hot chocolate mixture  in double boiler.  Stir constantly and cook until thick, about 10 minutes.  Ad a small amount of it to beaten egg yolks, then stir egg yolk mixture into chocolate mixture.  Cook for 1 or 2 minutes longer.  Cool, add butter and vanilla.  Pour into 9-inch pie shell.  Add the following meringue.


3 egg whites
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar

Combine egg whites, salt and cream of tartar.  Beat until foamy.  Add a tablespoon of sugar at a time and continue beating until it forms stiff peaks.  Spread on pie until it touches the edge of crust at all points.  With a fork or spoon raise meringue in peaks before baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Heavenly Apple Pie

Our garden had an orchard of sorts.  There was a cherry tree, a big Bradford Pear tree, several peach trees and apple trees.  Some of the apples were Winesap, but I don’t really know what the other kinds were.  At least one of them was an early bearing variety and a green apple.  Mom used to make pies with them, of course, but she also canned applesauce.    I remember coming home from school in the fall and finding my dad helping Mom deal with apples or peaches when they were in season.  They had to be processed before they spoiled.  It wasn’t fun to peel them in years when there were lots of bugs.  My parents would plan to be sure and spray the trees next season so they didn’t have to deal with it again.  

My husband Al likes to get new fresh apples in the fall.  Our daughter has an apple tree, so when the year is good, we are happy to take some of them off her hands.  We have a mechanical apple peeler, so that helps a lot. Al generally prepares pie apples for the freezer with the sugar, flour and spices already in it.  That way we have apple pies any time of the year.

What I find odd about this recipe is that is calls for freshly cooked or canned apple slices.  Well, I guess I’ve bought apple pie filling before and it was cooked.  However, some of the apples I’ve gotten would actually turn mushy if pre-cooked.  I guess that would be an applesauce pie, huh?

Heavenly Apple Pie

Line a 9-inch pie plate with your favorite pastry. The filling requires these ingredients:
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour
5 cups freshly cooked or canned apple slices
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine

Blend sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.  Arrange apple slices and sugar mixture in alternate layers in pastry shell, sprinkling top with lemon juice.  Dot with butter.  Cover with pastry; make slits for steam to escape.  Bake in a 425-degree oven 45 to 50 minutes.

For a shiny crust, brush top with milk before baking.  Variations: sprinkle a little cinnamon over apples; allspice and cardamom also lend elegance to the pie; as soon as pie is removed from oven, sprinkle with grated cheese.

How do you decorate your top layer of pastry?  Do you just cut slits in it like this recipe indicates?  My Mom taught me to decorate it before putting on the top crust.  We use a  butter knife to cut two curved stems.  On each side of the stem we use the tip of the butter knife to press indentions looking like leaves up and down each side of the stems.  So pretty!  If I don’t put that on my pie, I just feel like I’ve done something wrong!

Lemon Pie

I don’t think that Mom made a lemon pie very often.  Part of the problem, I suppose, was that lemons weren’t a commodity you have handy on the farm.  You have to remember to buy them.  Of course, you can buy a bottle of lemon juice, but I don’t think that was as available as now at that time.  Mom would buy oranges and lemons, sometimes, to make orange-aid, so it would have been do-able at that time.  I just don’t see Mom making a lemon meringue pie, though.  I imagine she had a taste of them at a neighborhood pot-luck at Reserville and when she saw this recipe, she added it to her collection.

I notice the recipe lists egg yolks among the ingredients, but apparently supposes you would know enough to use the egg whites from those eggs to make your meringue!

Lemon Pie

6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup lemon juice

Combine cornstarch, sugar salt and grated lemon rind in top of double boiler, add boiling water, cook over direct heat until mixture boils.  Place over boiling water and continue cooking for 10 minutes.  Ad a small amount of hot mixture to the slightly-beaten egg yolks and return to double boiler, mixing well.  Cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add butter and lemon juice.  Pour into 9 inch baked pie shell.  Top with meringue, spreading carefully to touch crust at all points and bake at 350⁰ for 12 to 15 minutes.


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