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Nov 21, 2000 10:45 AM

Poor-man's pie crust (for pumpkin)

  • b

I don't know where this pie recipe comes from originally but my great-grandmother made it. I suspect it was a way of "doing without" pastry flour. We like it.

Heavily butter a pie pan and coat it with cornmeal. Fill with your pumpkin pie filling & bake. That's it. The cornmeal seals the outside of the custard so that you can cut it in slices like pie but there is no pastry.

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  1. What a lifesaver! I have yet to find satisfying frozen pie crust in London (having been spoiled by Oronoke or whatever it's called, in the US) - it all ends up tasting like cardboard. That said, the thought of making my own sends me into a state of high anxiety. This sounds like an excellent compromise. Thanks for the tip! Now, if only I could find...canned pumpkin or unsalted pecans, I'd be in business for Thanksgiving.

    7 Replies
    1. re: magnolia

      Don't laugh, but try calling Harvey Nichols. Their food department was the only place I saw peanut butter when I was searching for some to send to my poor pb-deprived sister in Spain. Be forewarned--everyone you will deal with over the phone is incredibly nice and equally out of it.

      1. re: Martha Gehan

        why don't you try posting this query in international? lots of londoners there.

        p.s. i cannot believe the only place you could find peanut butter was Harvey Nichols!!!! it is a perfectly normal food item in England, something you buy at standard supermarkets. very strange.

        rather than buy a piecrust as they sell them here, I would suggest buying frozen shortcrust (not puff) pastry that you roll out and shape yourself. I have always found frozen pastry in England a very good substitute for freshly made.

        1. re: tamara

          It HAD to be peanut butter manufactured in the US--my sister claimed the stuff from the supermarket "tasted weird". And don't ask how much I paid for it--it became part of her Christmas present.

          1. re: Martha Gehan
            Simon Majumdar

            I always buy my US peanut butter ( I know I am a brit but I like the US stuff sometimes when I have lowered my standards ) in Jerrys Home Stores on the Fulham Road in London.

            they are pretty good for lots of strange chemical filled Yankee stuff

            1. re: Simon Majumdar

              A couple of summers ago I gave a friend's little boy
              (in Plymouth) a "family-size can" of Jif peanut butter. He was so happy he carried it around with him like a stuffed toy. After I left they took it on holiday to visit their grandparents in Bichester. He still keeps toys in the can.

            2. re: Martha Gehan

              all is now clear. you are a noble sister.

        2. re: magnolia

          I found unsalted pecans at Sainsbury's a couple of years ago. Pricey but enough for one pecan pie. Lyles Golden Syrup made an incredible pecan pie but next time I'd add an egg to make it less runny.

        3. Betty: We made your poor-man's pie crust for our pumpkin pie! We were a little worried because the only kind of cornmeal we had was an organic very finely ground one, almost like regular flour. But we went ahead and it turned out very well. It cut like a dream. I suspect the regular grind of cornmeal would be even better; I intend to check that hypothesis at Xmas! Thanks ever so much. When asked about it, we called it Betty's crustless pie! pat

          p.s. Have you tried it with other custard filling type pies??

          1 Reply
          1. re: pat hammond

            Pat, I'm so glad it worked for you. No I haven't tried it with other custards, but it should work the same with sweet potato pie at least.

            Tonight I'm making apple pie with some of "Jen's cranberry pineapple sauce". Some less-than beautiful Jonathans were all I could find to bake with (a clue to my different impression of the produce at Sainsbury's).