Angel Food Pie
I’m not generally a cream pie person but I have to tell you about this pie which I JUST made at Pie Cottage from a recipe that my friend and sister pie-maker, Sue Hopkins, shared with me. I met Sue when she came to an Art of the Pie workshop in Seattle in October of 2010.
You can tell by her face, and the faces of everyone at that Seattle workshop, that she was pretty darned pleased with her pie. Sue and I have stayed in touch since then and I hope this year to visit her home when her garden full of old fashioned roses are blooming!
At the workshop she told me of a pie her step-mom used to make. In Sue’s words: “My stepmother was a Southern beauty who played sax and clarinet in a vaudeville band before going on to Hollywood and working on the Shirley Temple films. She gathered recipes over her lifetime in hopes of publishing them someday, and was a brilliant cook. One recipe that was my favorite treat was Angel Food Pie.” Well, I was definitely interested!
So Sue graciously shared her family recipe. It’s a lot of fun to make and to eat.
This pie took me back to my childhood, too. There must be something about special occasion desserts, you know the ones that have LOTS of whipped cream, that do that.
Angel Food Pie is really easy to make. The filling is light and airy and my first taste was accompanied by a blissful sigh.
A tiny bit of red food coloring in the filling so that it would turn a pale pink might be fun, too. Can you imagine anything sweeter for a birthday or tea party ?
Sue, many thanks to you and your stepmom for sharing such a wonderful recipe and your story. I’m not sure if my interpretation is exactly like the pie you remember, but I sure will look to this recipe the next time I am making something for a sweet angel.
Angel Food Pie
- 1 pre-baked pie shell
- 1 scant cup sugar + 2 Tbl for whipping cream
- 1 1/4 cups hot water
- 2 Tbl cornstarch - heaping full
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 1 pint of whipping cream
- Shredded sweetened coconut for sprinkling
- Set water to boil.
- In the top of a double boiler, mix cornstarch and sugar with a fork. Then moisten with a 1/4 cup of cold water and stir to make a paste.
- Add the boiling water and mix with a wire whisk until smooth. (If you don't have a whisk, a fork will do.) Cook 15 minutes, stirring very often. Remove from heat.
- Beat egg whites until very stiff and then add spoonfuls of the cornstarch-sugar mixture to the egg whites beating after each addition. Add one pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla (save the rest for the whipping cream) and mix briefly. Set aside to cool.
- In a pre-baked pie shell, use a spatula to pour in the egg white-sugar mixture.
- Beat whipping cream until it is thick adding remaining sugar and vanilla and beat briefly to incorporate them.
- Spread the whipping cream over the egg white-sugar mixture thickly.
- Sprinkle coconut over the top.
If using unsweetened coconut, you can add sugar to taste to sweeten it up.
Try adding a tiny bit of red food coloring to the sugar-egg white mixture to make a pretty pink filling.
For a variation try almond extract in place of vanilla.