by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
I live in what must be the most fertile neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia. In the past five years, since my husband and I moved in, I know, by name, ten babies that have been born on our block. There is an eleventh and twelfth, but for the life of me I can’t remember their names. If I squint my eyes and concentrate hard enough I’m pretty sure they both start with a hard C, but I wouldn’t bet my dog on it. I’ll wait to ask when they’re old enough to spell it.
On this street (which has been compared to the set of The Truman Show), I’ve become a keen observer of the pregnant women in my midst. I pretend to listen as they talk their foreign language of “what to expect when they least expect it,” or something along those lines. And I actually listen when they talk about the crazy things they put in their mouths for fetal sustenance—a subject that never fails to fascinate me.
My favorite preggers neighbor, Margaret, once frightened the other gorilla mothers by telling them her lunch consisted of a fat dill pickle and a slice of pie, washed down with a tumbler of cherry Kool-Aid. This didn’t disturb me at all. The sweet-and-sour flavor combination reminded me of cherry Kool-Aid pickles sold at roadside markets in the Deep South, and got me thinking about how good a pickle pie could be.
I dedicate this recipe to all the mothers out there. If the math continues the way it has, there will be another couple neighborhood babies born by the time this book is published. Don’t count on me to remember their names.
Preggers Pink Pickle Pie
(a sweet + sour craving pie)
What You Need
1⁄2 recipe The Cold Truth Pie Dough
3 large eggs
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon extract
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup drained and finely ground Red Kool-Aid Pickles (recipe on my site; use a food processor or box grater to grind them)
Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger disc of dough to a 12-inch round, about 1⁄8 inch thick. Gently drape the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. (Draping is the key: You don’t want to push the pie dough into the pan; just let it fall naturally). Trim the dough to create a 1-inch overhang from the edge of the pie pan. (Kitchen shears are the best tool for this.) Turn the overhang under and decoratively crimp the edges (see “Guerilla Pie Decorating,” page 140 for a bunch of fun crimping ideas). Refrigerate until ready to use.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, until thick and light yellow in color. Reduce
the speed to low and add the lemon extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, heavy cream, and butter. Beat until well combined. Fold in the pickles. Pour the mixture into the chilled pie
shell and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until set (the filling will be jiggly in the center but firm around the edges). Let cool on a wire rack before serving. Garnish with whipped cream, if you like. I like.