Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell


Mother’s Pecan Pies, Mother’s Sweet Potato Pies and Virginia Watts’ Chocolate Pie

The South’s best soul food comes from our Southern kitchens! Two of my favorites to bake are cookies (which you all know I love to bake) and pies. My mother loved to bake pies and would always roll out her own dough for her crust. In later years, she would buy the frozen crust and fill them with the most delicious fillings. I can remember so many times coming home from school and seeing pies cooling in our kitchen. As I look back, I cannot remember many days that our kitchen didn’t smell wonderful. Oh, such wonderful memories!

Mother’s Pecan Pies

6 eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups light Karo syrup

1 stick margarine

2 cups chopped pecans

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 unbaked deep-dish pie crust

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

Andy’s Note: I know that I have included this recipe in my food column many times. Since it is Thanksgiving, I just can not leave it out. Mother always made this pie at Thanksgiving and then when she was no longer able to cook,  I started making them.

Every Alabama girl has a trusted pecan pie recipe if she knows what’s good for her. In my family, we have pies for Thanksgiving and cakes for Christmas.

Mother’s Sweet Potato Pies

2 1/2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup margarine

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon

lemon flavoring (a secret ingredient)

4 eggs, well beaten

3/4 cup milk

2 unbaked pie shells

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Andy’s Note: This pie is so good and really delicious served cold right out of the refrigerator. We make a choice of either sweet potato pies or sweet potato casserole.  You can also cover with marshmallows or top each slice with a little whipped cream.

Virginia Watts’ Chocolate Pie

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/3 cups sugar

5 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons cocoa

3 egg yolks

3/4 stick of margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 deep dish baked pie crust

In a saucepan, mix all ingredients except margarine and vanilla. On medium heat, cook until thick, stirring constantly. Then add margarine and vanilla. This makes a large pie, and I usually use a deep-dish baked pie crust. I forgot what Virginia did, but I usually top with whipped cream.

Andy’s Note: This is one of the best chocolate pies that I have ever eaten. I made some small chocolate tarts for a friend’s wedding reception, and she told me that she and her mother licked the boxes that I had sent them in to the reception. Needless to say, I think they were pleased with the chocolate tarts! Of course, everything that Virginia makes is wonderful! She is a fabulous cook. I remember her chicken salad was outstanding. I saw her blend whipping cream in the mixture, which made it so tasty. She is not only is a good cook but a wonderful high school English teacher at Gaston High. Thank you, Virginia, for sharing this recipe and for being such a dear friend.

I couldn’t be more thankful this Thanksgiving, because I have an amazing family and friends like all of you. I hope your Thanksgiving is yummy, delicious, and tasty. Thank goodness we have a holiday about being thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.

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