I thought surely that I had put this recipe on my blog, but when my daughter recently asked for the recipe I realized that it isn’t here. This recipe comes from my maternal grandmother who made it for every major holiday since before I was born. It is my father’s favorite dessert, and it’s one of those things that makes the holidays complete. Frankly I don’t remember the last time I didn’t make it for a holiday. Our son loves it, and I think there would be great sadness if I didn’t whip one up for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
The pie does not have a cream topping, so I’ve always wondered why it’s called graham cracker cream pie, but you don’t argue with years of family tradition. The pie is a simple affair. Basically it’s a graham cracker crust, vanilla filling and meringue topping.
You’ll notice in the photo that the meringue wept a little. For me and meringue that’s the norm. There are more complicated meringue toppings that are less likely to weep, but we keep this simple pie uncomplicated.
Preheat the oven to 375
1.5 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4. c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
Mix the crumbs sugar and melted butter together. Press the crumb mixture into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake 8 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.
Vanilla Pie Filling
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
2 1/4 c. milk ( I like whole milk best for this pie)
4 egg yolks
1 T. butter
2 t. vanilla extract
In 2 qt. saucepan mix together the sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in the milk until smooth. Over med. heat, cook the mixture stirring constantly until thickened and begins to boil. (about 10 minutes). Boil 1 minute. Remove immediately from heat.
Beat egg yolks with small amount of hot milk mixture. Slowly pour egg mixture into saucepan, sitrring rapidly to prevent lumping. Over low heat, cook, stirring constantly until very thick (do not boil). The mixture should mound slightly when dropped from the spoon.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
Pour into pie crust.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
4 room temperature egg whites
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar (I prefer to use super fine Baker’s Sugar for making meringue, but it isn’t essential)
With mixer at high speed beat egg whites and salt just until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in sugar 2 t. at a time beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved. The egg whites should stand in stiff glossy peaks.
Spread meringue over filling being sure to seal at the edges. Bake 10 minutes or until golden.
This works best if you have it all ready to go and put it onto the filling while the filling is still very hot.
Cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator.