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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nanny's Caramel Pie

My dad's mom, Nanny, was one of the most awesome cooks I have ever known. She loved to cook, and we loved to make her happy by eating and eating and eating. Whatever came out of her kitchen was delicious and we always knew that when we visited her, she would be cooking our favorites (which usually included fried chicken, cream gravy, cream peas, and biscuits from scratch!!)

Nanny was also known for her pies and anytime the family got together, she made everyone's favorites. Chocolate, coconut, pecan, and caramel were just a few of the pies we knew would always be present. Now, Nanny never measured anything when she cooked and of course, never wrote anything down. So before Nanny passed on, my mom made it her quest to write down as many of Nanny's recipes as possible. And Mom did a great job getting many of her favorites down on paper. But one eluded us......the caramel pie.

Mom has been gone for 6 years and I had decided to finish her quest by finding a recipe that was similar to Nanny's caramel pie. I have looked and looked. I finally found this one....baked it....took it to my dad for him to be the judge. Viola! We have a winner! So, here is the recipe for an Old-fashioned Burnt Sugar Caramel Pie......or now it's called, "Nanny's Caramel Pie".

1 1/2 cups sugar (divided into half)
4 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, separated
1 can evaporated milk PLUS add enough milk to make 2 cups all together
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pat of butter
1 - 9 inch pie crust, baked

Caramelize 3/4 cup of sugar, stirring until it is melted and a nice caramel color. Set aside

Combine remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, flour, egg yolks, and whisk in milk gradually until mixture is smooth. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.

Add the caramelized sugar, and STIR, BABY, STIR!!!! It will lump up at first, but it WILL melt and the mixture will be smooth again.

Continue to cook and stir until smooth and very thick.

Add vanilla, and a pat of butter. Pour into baked 9 inch pie crust.

Make meringue by using the 3 egg whites, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Beat mixture and add 3/4 cups of sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Put meringue on pie and bake at 350 until light brown color.