For the second day of my “Pie Week,” I am bringing you a recipe that has been passed down from my children’s great-great-grandmother.
This pie get’s its name from Granny Compton – my husband’s great-grandmother. I found this recipe tucked in a cookbook at my in-laws’ home many, many years ago. I loved the way it was written down, and copied it verbatim. The instructions included things like using a cast iron skillet and a potato masher and had measurements like “the size of a walnut.” I loved it. And you’ll love this pie.
Granny – Tacy – and her husband Herman lived in this little home in the mountains of east Tennessee, only a 3 minute walk from where my in-laws still live.
My husband has fond memories of going into her kitchen where a big stock pot sunk down into her stove top. When she knew they were coming, that stock pot would be filled with green beans and potatoes, and no one was allowed to eat them but my hubby…who you see here in her arms. Those are my sisters-in-law there in the photo with them.
Granny Compton left this world a decade ago at the golden age of 99 years old. Herman passed away before my husband and I were married.
So any time I make this pie, I think of Tacy – Granny Compton.
In a cast iron skillet (or a sauce pan if you want to go the modern route) combine 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour and a pinch of salt.
Stir it all together. Granny Compton used a potato masher…I’ll go with a whisk here.
In a bowl, combine the yolks of three eggs and 2 cups of milk.
Whisk those together and pour them into the skillet.
Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble and gets “good and thick.”
Add in 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Granny’s original recipe didn’t use vanilla – that is my only alteration. (**NOTE: the last time I made this, I added 2 tablespoons of bourbon at this stage. It was fantastic. I will add that as an “optional” in the printable.)
Continue to cook this until the butter is melted in and combined.
Pour this into a baked pie shell.
Cool to room temperature and then chill for at least an hour. This pie will remain slightly soft, so you’ll want to use a “pie guard” or some foil to keep the pie from slowly slipping into the plate – if you have any leftover.
Serve with a little whipped cream. Enjoy!
- 1 baked pie shell
- 1½ c brown sugar
- ⅓ cup flour
- pinch of salt
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 2 cups milk
- 1½ Tb butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tb bourbon (optional)
- In an iron skillet, stir together the brown sugar, flour and salt. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Pour those into the skillet and begin stirring the mixture over medium heat. Cook until the pudding becomes "good and thick." Stir in the butter and vanilla and optional bourbon. Continue to stir and cook another minute or so, intil the butter is completely mixed in. Pour into the baked pie shell. Allow the pie to come to room temperature and then refrigerate. Enjoy topped with whipped cream.
Optional Pie Crust Recipe – this is my go-to pie crust that I use for pretty much everything.
- 2¼ c all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c (2 sticks) very cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 7-9 teaspoons ice cold water
- Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Add in the cold butter. Pulse the food processor until the butter is broken up and the mixture is crumbly. I generally pulse it three times with about 4 second pulses. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the water. Add just enough water to make a crumbly dough. If you add enough water for the dough to come together into a ball, you will have dough that is way too wet, and will be tough.
- Separate the dough and form into two disks. Wrap them in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.