3 of the best American pies

Pie: it's practically a national treasure in the USA. Fancy a slice? We've got 3 authentic all-American recipes...

6 mins

Huckleberry and Black Pepper Tart

Serves 4

1 stick (113 g/4 oz) cold butter, cubed
120 g (1 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
190 g (2 tbsp) sugar, divided
1.25 ml (¼ tsp) salt
10 ml (2 tbsp) ice water
250 g (½ lb) fresh, wild huckleberries (may substitute blueberries)
15 ml (1 tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch)
15 ml (1 tbsp) water
fresh black pepper to taste
115 g (¼ lb) fresh raspberries
10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice
75 g (5 tbsp) crème fraîche
60 g (¼ c) freeze-dried strawberries

1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cold butter, flour, 25 g (2 tbsp) of sugar and salt. Mix on medium speed until the butter is broken up into pea-size morsels. Add the water and mix until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let chill in refrigerator for 3 hours.

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the huckleberries with 115 g (½ c) of sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine the cornflour (cornstarch) and water. Stir the mixture into the huckleberries and bring to a boil to thicken. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste; allow to cool.

3. In another saucepan, add the raspberries, 50 g (¼ c) of sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until thick and syrupy. Add the raspberry mixture to a blender, and spin until smooth; allow to cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Roll out the chilled pie dough to 6 mm (¼ in) thick. Lay the dough into a 25 cm (10 in) non-stick tart shell and cut away excess. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill the tart shell fully with dried beans or pie weights.

5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sides are slightly browned and the bottom is set. Remove the weights and allow the shell to cool. Add the huckleberry filling to the pre-baked tart shell and return to the oven until the filling is bubbling and the tart shell is deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes; allow to cool.

6. In a small bowl, beat the crème fraîche until stiff peaks form. Garnish the tart with a dollop of the whipped crème fraîche. Serve slices on a plate garnished with the raspberry mixture and freeze-dried strawberries.

Pecan pie (Shutterstock)

Pecan Pie

Serves 8

6 medium eggs
265 g (1⅓ c) sugar
320 ml (1⅓ c) light corn syrup (may substitute honey)
15 ml (1 tbsp) melted butter
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
1.25 ml (¼ tsp) salt
23-cm (9-in) shop bought pie crust pastry (recommended: high-quality, simple crust) or make your own
375 g (2½ c) pecan halves

1. Preheat the oven to 120°C/250°F/Gas ½. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla and salt. Mix until smooth and well combined.

2. Place the pie crust in a 23-cm (9-in) pie tin pushing the dough into the bottom and against the sides of the pan. Fold the edges under about 30 mm (1½ in); crimp the edges.

3. Scatter the pecans over the crust, and then pour the filling over the pecans. Using your fingers, stir the two together gently until the pecans are evenly distributed.

4. Bake until the centre is set and the crust is golden brown, about 2 hours and 45 minutes. (Note: The pie is finished when it lightly rises in the centre.)


Pumpkin pie (Shutterstock)

Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8

475 ml (2 c) pumpkin puree
30 g (2 tbsp) softened cream cheese
30 ml (2 tbsp) treacle (molasses)
100 g (½ c) granulated sugar
45 g (¼ c) brown sugar
7.5 ml (1½ tsp) cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) nutmeg
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
2.5 ml (½ tsp) ground cloves
3 eggs, slightly beaten
350 ml (1½ c) single cream (half-and-half)
23 cm (9 in) unbaked pie shell

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Whisk together the pumpkin, cream cheese and treacle until mixed well and smooth. Whisk in the sugars and spices. Whisk in the eggs and single cream (half-and-half), whisking until everything is well blended.

2. Pour the pumpkin mixture into an unbaked pie shell, spread evenly and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and bake until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Let the pie cool on a rack until room temperature. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Love pie? You'll love these festivals...

In April, stack your plate at the Great American Pie Festival’s Never-Ending Pie Buffet in Celebration, Florida.

In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, sample whoopie pie (another name up for debate since the “whoopie” is actually two half-moons of chocolate cake with a sweet cream), and take a farmhouse tour to meet the Amish community. There’s even a Whoopie Pie Festival, with 100 versions served.

The United States’ 'official' dessert, apple pie, is served in nearly every city and town in the country. Notable places to try a slice: Pie Lab in Greensboro, Alabama; The Apple Pan in Los Angeles, California; and the Paris Coffee Shop in Fort Worth, Texas.

Prefer a citrussy tang? The Key Lime Pie Festival celebrates the gooey green dessert, with pie eating contests, key lime cocktails, and the world's largest key lime pie. The Colorado annual Cherry Pie Festival, every July, is a fun family day out too.

All of these recipes - and more - are available at DiscoverAmerica.com's Food Stories

Main image: Blueberry pie (Shutterstock)

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