Pie follows closely on the heels of turkey as the quintessential Thanksgiving dish. Here are our favorite covers featuring pies — plus recipes — to inspire your pursuit of pastry.
Country Gentleman was a sister publication of The Saturday Evening Post that offered no end of practical advice for farmers and their families. It helped with questions of wintering bees, pruning orchards, and raising hogs. It also featured some pretty delicious pie recipes.
Squash Pie (1917)
1 ½ cupfuls of squash steamed or boiled soft
1 pint of milk
1 cupful of sugar
2 egg yolks
grated rind of half a lemon
2 level tablespoonfuls of cornstarch, moistened with milk
1 cupful of shredded coconut
This recipe is sufficient for two pies. The crusts should be baked separately, first pricking them with a fork to prevent puffing. Mash the squash smooth; add the milk, hot; stir in the sugar, grated lemon rind, cornstarch and yolks of eggs, and boil four minutes, stirring slowly. When nearly cool, fill the baked crusts and sprinkle with shredded coconut.
Like Rockwell’s best loved paintings, this one tells a story. A pie was cooling on a window sill and a passing stranger down on his luck couldn’t resist the wonderful aroma. The pie-owner’s dog, however, was having none of it.
Hawaiian Pineapple Fruit Pie (1928)
1 pastry shell
4 slices Hawaiian Pineapple
8 halved peaches
1 cup cream filling
3/4 cup cream, whipped
Spread cream filling lightly in bottom of pastry shell. Steam and stone 9 prunes and arrange on peaches, alternately with pineapple halves. Place prune in the center and garnish with whipped cream. One cup whipped cream may be used instead of cream filling.
William Meade Prince was a prolific illustrator who created art for many magazines, illustrated the African American stories of Roark Bradford, made posters for the USO and other organizations during World War II, and created the comic strip “Aladdin, Jr.” He also drew one delicious looking pie.
Lemon Pie (1930)
Rich lemon pie calls for six eggs, but the pie is a large one and unusually fine. Cream half a cupful of softened butter with three-quarters of a cupful of granulated sugar and add the well-beaten yolks of six eggs, a quarter of a teaspoonful of salt and one tablespoonful of fine cracker crumbs, the grated rind of two lemons and the stiffly beaten whites of three eggs. Mix the juice of three lemons with three-quarters of a cupful of granulated sugar and add three tablespoonfuls of cold water, stir into the other mixture and bake in one large pastry-lined pie pan or in individual pie pans. Make a meringue of the other three egg whites and six tablespoonfuls of granulated sugar, add one teaspoonful of lemon juice and spread over the cooled pie. Brown very delicately.
J.F. Kernan specialized in images of middle-class life for popular magazines from the 1910s to the 1940s. His nostalgic and often humorous illustrations celebrate the simple comforts of home, family, and outdoor recreation. In this case, who needs a fork or plate when blueberry pie is calling your name? We’re betting that white tablecloth and play suit won’t stay white for long.
Blueberry Flummery (1913)
A cupful of water, a quart of blueberries, a cupful of sugar, three tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, a few grains of salt and half a cupful of cornstarch wet in half a cupful of cold water. Add water to the blueberries and bring them to the boiling point, simmering until soft. Then add salt and sugar and, when well dissolved, the cornstarch. Cook over hot water for twenty minutes, add the lemon juice and pour into molds. Chill and serve with cream.
J.C. Leyendecker, the Post’s most prolific artist with 322 covers to his name, painted this scene more than once. Here we see both the 1908 and 1935 versions of a little boy watching his grandmother trim the pie. The grandma had evolved from stern Victorian to “Aunt Bee,” but not much else in the scene had changed.
Apple Marshmallow Pie (1931)
Pare and slice six well-flavored large apples and simmer till tender in a sirup of half a cupful of sugar and a quarter of a cupful of water. Add a very little nutmeg, cinnamon or grated lemon rind, cool, turn into a baked pastry shell, and top with marshmallows. Place in the oven to brown delicately. Serve with cream. Marshmallow whip or whipped cream may top the pie; in that case browning will be omitted.
Although artist Amos Sewell and his wife never had children, many of his 57 Post covers featured kids getting into shenanigans. This country gentleman looks as if he thinking about causing some pie-eating mischief himself.
Apple-Sponge Pie (1932)
Take two tablespoonfuls of butter and rub into it three tablespoonfuls of flour and half a teapsooonful of baking powder. Then add the well-beaten yolks of three eggs, one cupful of apple sauce sweetened, and flavor as you fancy with nutmeg or cinnamon or grated lemon rind. Lastly fold in the stiffly beaten whites of the three eggs and pour into a pan lined with your favorite recipe and bake as you do all custards – a hot oven first to cook the crust quickly – then a slow oven to set the custard. The result is a lovely puffy spongy something which will literally melt in your mouth.
Cherry Betty (1913)
Ten slices of buttered bread, a quart of pitted cherries stewed in a cupful of water and a cupful of sugar. Arrange alternately in a baking dish, cover and bake covered thirty minutes, sifting on the top a fourth of a cupful of brown sugar mixed with half a teaspoonful of cinnamon and a few small pieces of butter during the last ten minutes of the cooking.
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