Photo Credit: R. Hill/getty images
My weekend trip to Texas can be summed up in one word: pie.
Picture a flaky pie shell. Now add a healthy dose of coconut, stir in some raisins, sprinkle in some vinegar, and dump in a mess of pecans, along with the requisite sugar and eggs. This, in essence, is a Japanese fruit pie, a traditional Southern dessert that proves once and for all that even though you think you may know food, or baking, or pie, if you travel outside your normal geographic region, you’re likely to discover that you really don’t know diddly.
According to Nancie McDermott, author of Southern Cakes: Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations and the forthcoming Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, from Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan (Chronicle Books), Japanese fruit pie is the “elder sister” of the “old timey” Japanese fruit cake, “a grand dame of a cake which has slipped from the common repertoire.” The use of raisins in both the pie and the cake gives these desserts a remarkable boost, as the raisins “blossom into big fat flavor delivery systems.”
Another Southern dessert I enjoyed during my
I’d say chess pie and Japanese fruit pie are both jes right, and if you know any true Southerners, ask them immediately for an introduction.