Aunt Millie’s Stack Pie Recipe:
Stack Pie Recipe was my Aunt Millie’s favorite pie dessert, growing up in rural Kentucky, along with her sister Edith. Questions like what was your favorite. What do you remember the most? We all have our own memories. . This stack pie recipe is worn and faded, that is a good sign of a delicious family heirloom recipe.
With a little research, we found out this stack pie dates back to the colonial days. The stack Pie was a holiday tradition for picnics or any holiday, that needed a pie that traveled well. Stacking the pies and holding them together with icing was the answer. The stack pies became popular of the southern host in pre-civil war days. Four five or even six were baked and stacked. The pies had very shallow filling and was cut very thin wedges, for the pie was very rich.
1 -generous cup lard
½- teaspoon soda
1-teaspoom cream of tartar
8-10 -tablespoons water (ice water)
Stir dry ingredients. Add lard and crumble with the fingers until mixture resembles corn meal. Add water and mix to make stiff dough but one that will hold together. Cut into 5 portions and roll on a floured board or cloth or marble top table flouring a rolling pin and roll out only one pie at a time. The layers should be very thin-1/4 inch or less-1/8 inch is better.
Prick the crusts all over and bake them in a hot oven (450) degree until done but not brown-8-10 minutes should be enough. I use 9-inch pans. The pie that is put on the bottom is regulation height; the others are cut short, just the height of the baked shallow filling. Trim off the excess crust while the pies are still hot-the minute they are taken from the oven. If they cool, the dough will be too brittle to cut evenly. To make the filling for the five pies Use:
1-cup butter (no substitute)
12- Egg yolks 1 teaspoon lemon juice or a little more to taste.
Cream butter and sugar, the butter should be softened to room temperature, but not melted. When light and spongy add the egg yolks one at a time. I use and electric mixer to beat this filling properly but it can be blended by hand. If you have a strong right arm. Add the lemon juice. Mom only used 1 teaspoon of the juice, but I like the flavor of lemon and so use the whole one and grated peel-yellow part only- but this is a matter of taste.
Divide the filling into five parts and place in 5 crust lined pans. Smooth the filling evenly with a dull knife. Bake in a moderate oven (350) degrees until filling just sets and no longer shakes in the middle when pie is moved. I bake only 2 pies at a time. Do not cook too long. Let filling cool in pans.
To remove baked pies from pans run a spatula around them and gently remove them with a pancake turner, placing the bottom pie on the serving plate and stacking the others in layers on top of that, filling side up.
Mom use to frost her stacked pie with boiled white icing, flavored with lemon juice.
2-egg whites, beaten stiff with few grains of salt.
½-cup diced candied pineapple
1-teaspoon vanilla or ½ teaspoon vanilla, ½ teaspoon almond extract
½-cup crystallized cherries cut in halves.
Boil sugar and water until syrup spins 5-inch thread. Fold in slowly to the well-beaten whites adding a tablespoon at a time until 4 have been used. I use an electric beater for making this frosting. Now add the remaining syrup slowly, pouring it in thin stream. Beat hard until all is used and the mixture stands in peaks when dropped from a spoon. Just before spreading between layers and over cake add flavoring and fold in pineapple and cherries. If desired the almonds can be omitted from the cake batter and added to the frosting or sprinkled over the top and sides while icing is still soft. If used in this way, brown them slightly in the oven before sprinkling over cake.
The pineapple and cherries can be omitted from the above recipe and the plain frosting put between the layers and on the outside of the cake. Sprinkle freely with freshly grated coconut, it will take two average size coconuts to yield enough for this large cake. This was a pre civil war favorite known also as Merry Christmas Cake.