Retro Pies

Retro Pies

A Review by Cheri Sicard

Retro Pies

A Collection of Celebrated Family Recipes

Author Linda Everett

Published by CollectorÂ’s Press

Click Here for Ordering Information

I love CollectorÂ’s Press entire series of "Retro" books -- theyÂ’re fun, gorgeously produced, contain quality articles and recipes and make wonderful gifts.

Retro Pies is a fabulous addition to the library (which also includes Retro Beach Bash and Retro Diner) as it gives you a comprehensive collection of vintage, time-tested pie recipes of just about every sort -- main dish pies, fruit pies and custard pies. Some of the recipes are classics, others are obscure favorites from yesteryear. The combination makes a great collection of fun to read and fun to cook culinary treasures.

In addition to the recipes, youÂ’ll find a history of pies along with a pie crust clinic that will help you achieve spectacular, flaky results, each every time. This latter chapter is filled out with a group of piecrust recipes, one which will fit just about any kind of filling you can dream up.

The entire books is illustrated and printed in full color in a retro-chic style that makes this a perfect gift book that any dessert lover or baker will treasure.

The recipes and text below are reprinted with permission from Retro Pies: A Collection of Celebrated Family Recipes by Linda Everett (2003 CollectorÂ’s Press).

Southwest Tamale Pie

The word "tamale" originated as "tamalli" in the Aztec language. When the conquistadors arrived in Mexico City, known as Tenochtitlan to the Indians, they fell for the Aztec cuisine and took it back to Spain. Many Mexican dishes came to the country as Spanish when, in fact, they originated with the native Indians.

3 cups water

3 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons shortening

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1 pound ground chuck

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

4 medium tomatoes, sliced

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, or try one of the Mexican varieties

Serves 4-6

In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and slowly stir in cornmeal, stirring constantly. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring often, until thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt shortening in a large skillet and cook onion and green pepper over low heat until tender. Add in ground chuck and continue cooking until meat is browned. Stir in chili powder and remaining salt. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spread half the cornmeal mixture on the bottom of an 8 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish. Cover this with the meat mixture and sprinkle with half the cheese. Top with tomato slices. Repeat. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Virginia Real Whiskey Apple Pie

2 cups tart green apples (such as Pippin, Cortland, Greening or Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced

1/4 cup water

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 cup butter

3 eggs, separated

1/4 cup good bourbon whiskey

1 cup heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

pastry for a single crust 9-inch pie

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 475 F. In a saucepan, cook apple slices with water until tender. Beat with brown sugar and butter. Cool. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Stir into apple mixture. Stir in whiskey, cream and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks and fold into apple mixture. Drizzle in a little more whiskey if desired. Line a pie plate with pastry, pour in filling and bake 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 F. and bake another 30 minutes. Filling should be set. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Louisiana Hotel Black Bottom Pie

The recipe and text below is reprinted with permission from Retro Pies: A Collection of Celebrated Family Recipes by Linda Everett (2003 CollectorÂ’s Press). The book contains a fabulous collection of vintage pie recipes -- both popular classics and little know favorites of yesteryear. Click here to learn more about this great book and for more sample recipes.

There are numerous versions of this long-favorite pie. Although the recipe seems complex, after youÂ’ve put this together a few times it turns into an easy assembly line. The result is so luscious and delicate you wonÂ’t mind the little extra work.


14 gingersnap cookies, crushed

5 tablespoons melted butter


1 tablespoon plain gelatin

4 tablespoons cold water

1 3/4 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks

Chocolate Layer:

2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla

Rum Layer:

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons rum


1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 tablespoon grated semi-sweet chocolate

Serves 6-8

Preheat oven to 300 F.

In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed cookies and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into a 9 inch pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool. In a small dish, dissolve gelatin in cold water. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, scald milk and add in 1/2 cup sugar. Separately mix cornstarch with salt and beaten egg yolks and add into milk mixture. Cook in the top of double boiler, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in gelatin. Divide this custard in half. Melt chocolate, stir in vanilla, and mix with half the custard. Pour into the baked pie shell. Tip pan around so chocolate coats all sides. Cool remaining half of custard. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, adding in sugar a little at a time, until stiff. Fold into remaining custard. Stir in rum. Spread over chocolate layer. Chill well, overnight if possible. Before serving whip heavy cream until still, adding in powdered sugar slowly, and pile on top of pie. Grate chocolate over this.

About the Author:

Cheri Sicard is the author of "The Great American Handbook: What You Can Do For Your Country Today and Every Day," and the editor of, a favorite net destination for recipes, cooking tutorials, health and fitness information, holiday and entertaining ideas, celebrity chef interviews, cookbook reviews and more. Sign up for their free cooking and recipe newsletters!

Order Information

Retro Pies is available from Powells online bookshop.Click Here for order information OR you can order it from Ecookbooks by clicking HERE


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