Metro-East Living

Need an excuse to eat pie? National Pie Day is coming up.

Dixie Pie is a rich chocolate-custard pie that makes its own crunchy topping.
Dixie Pie is a rich chocolate-custard pie that makes its own crunchy topping.

National Pie Day is Jan. 23. As I have said over the years, I don’t need an excuse to make a pie. But, as it’s a special day, I decided to look for a pair of unusual pie recipes — ones many of us have never tried.

I liked the idea of not using a dough pie crust, which suits the recipe for Angel Pie. It’s a creamy lemon concoction in between layers of baked meringue on the bottom and whipped cream on top.

The other recipe I found is a classic one from the South called Dixie Pie. It’s a chocolate-custard dessert that makes its own crunchy topping as it bakes.

So, bake a pie and celebrate the day by sharing it with family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Contact me at, 618-239-2664 and follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

Angel Pie

4 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup white sugar

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 1/8 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Beat egg whites until stiff.

Add cream of tartar and gradually add 1 cup sugar; beat until glossy.

Turn the meringue into a well-greased 10-inch pie plate. Spread over bottom and sides of plate, building up the sides 1/2 inch above the edge of the plate. Place in oven, and bake 1 1/2 hours. Turn off oven, and leave meringue inside to cool slowly.

Combine egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons zest and lemon juice in a double-boiler. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium low-heat until thick. Pour into a bowl and cool thoroughly.

Whip cold cream until stiff. Place half of the whipped cream in the cooled meringue shell. Cover with a layer of the lemon filling and top with the remainder of the whipped cream. (This top layer can be piped on with a decorative star tip). Garnish with remaining lemon zest. Refrigerate until serving.

Dixie Pie

1 (9-inch) pie crust

3/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup flaked coconut

Whipped cream, for serving

Bake pie crust at 450 degrees for 10 minutes; remove to cool on a wire rack and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

If using raisins, place in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.

Beat in eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.

Drain raisins. Stir raisins, coconut, and nuts into creamed mixture ( mixture will appear curdled). Pour mixture into crust, and bake 30-35 minutes, or until set. Cool completely, ideally 6-8 hours to allow it to completely set up, before serving. Serve with whipped cream.