Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Mar 20, 2009 07:46 AM

Southern desserts you can't live without

I was thinking about old timey desserts the other day and wanted to know what "gramma" dessert you couldn't live without or don't see anymore. My would be raisin pie, kind of a shoe-fly with raisins.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A good made correctly lemon ice box pie
    clancys has a good one
    Degas is alright

    the rest are for the birds

    1 Reply
    1. I really like pecan pie. Although, I can't quite put my finger on a favorite in NOLA. Any thoughts?

      2 Replies
      1. re: oldfast1

        Brigsten’s pecan pie is outrageously good.

        1. re: oldfast1

          Ooooooh! Camelia Grill had the best pecan pie I ever tasted, but I haven't been there in a coon's age. Don't know if it survived.

        2. My grandma not from the south but a good friend of hers made it. A simple pecan and peach cobbler. It was amazing. I still to this day make it. Basic cobbler, but she used fresh peaches and topped with lots of pecans and some honey and brown sugar and bourbon in the peaches. It was decadent.

          I may have to post to my favorites, it really is good.

          1 Reply
              1. re: thecajunfoodie

                Brings back great memories of both, along with Blackberry Pie with Sweet Dough. And the bread pudding in my family had that wonderful cream custard sauce nobody makes any more.

                1. re: thecajunfoodie

                  Bread pudding, bread pudding, bread pudding! Topped with a kick-a** whiskey sauce. Never mind the wimpy creme anglaise or, God forbid, fruit sauce.

                  1. re: BrooksNYC

                    Ever have Bon Ton's? You will need coffee with chicory after that.

                    1. re: mrsfury

                      You got dat rite, Mrs. Fury. Black coffee, a coupla slaps across the face, and a cold shower.

                      When I was a kid, BP was always served with a stiff whiskey sauce. Then, about 25 years ago, local chefs started easing up on the booze, or abandoning whiskey sauce altogether in favor of other toppings.

                      The Gumbo Shop's bread pudding, which used to better-than-decent, was a total letdown the last time I tried it, thanks to the lackluster sauce. Sigh.....wish people would quit messin' with the classics!

                    2. re: BrooksNYC

                      While I love the translucent "hard core" whiskey sauce, I'm also a fan of sauces that are closer to a creme anglaise consistency yet still contain a couple good shots of whiskey.

                      So far, I have never had someone attempt to serve me bread pudding with a fruit sauce and I hope to never encounter such a ridiculous dish.

                      However, I do admit to enjoying the white chocolate and bananas foster variations and willing accept chefs deviations from the original in that direction.


                      1. re: thecajunfoodie

                        Bread pudding with a peach bourbon sauce and candied pecans is great. Make a standard bread pudding ... I do add a little bourbon in the mix and some chopped raisins and pecans and dried peaches and then topped with a reduction of pureed peaches, bourbon, thickened with some apple cider and reduced until thick and and served over the pudding with some whipped topping and ground pecans. Decadent and easy.

                        1. re: kchurchill5

                          Hi Kim. I made your fudge today - it's DELICIOUS and much faster and easier than the conventional recipe.

                          Thanks again!

                          1. re: bayoucook

                            I'm so glad you liked it. Good and simple. Nothing fancy but you can make hundreds of versions and works every time.

                            I made tons of it for work every year cuz it is soo inexpensive and easy. My sons favorite it peanut butter and chocolate, 2 layers with nuts in between. Still easy but this is great for a party. Make 1/2 batches of 2 or three and wrap in small gift bags the clear ones and tie with a pretty bow and give as a dinner gift. Easy, cheap, quick and impressive and it keeps well.

                            I makes tons for Christmas and give little bags to 50 or more people but 5-7 bites per person is so inexpensive you can do it and it is great for working relations and people love it. Now everyone just expects it :)


                            You can always catch me a, it is on my profile too. Any questions, always there to help or share. Love new ideas.

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              Good old fudge. Every family has a favorite recipe.
                              But do you realize that this is the ONLY mention of chocolate in a pretty long thread about Southern desserts.
                              Hard to believe, isn't it?

                              I often laugh that climate and history played such a part in our food. Too damned hot for chocolate on store and pantry shelves before air conditioning in the hot and humid South. We were poor and largely rural. Chocolate was an expensive import until that nice Mr. Hersey made powdered cocoa available in the late 1800s. A long time before we had Nestle's morsels or blocks of chocolate. The 1930s? Much of the South didn't even have electricity.
                              A friend of mine laughs that you can always tell the Southerners at parties. We'll shove others aside to get at the desserts with coconut, lemon, or pecan, leaving the chocolate to others.
                              Those old favorites are still the nearest to our hearts, aren't they?

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                Very true, never thought of that. Today people can't get enough chocolate and as much as I like chocolate ... I still enjoy some of the other sweet treats. I love lemon and pecans probably more. And I love the cobblers. I find the regional interests just in the US are so diverse when it comes to not only recipes, but likes and dislikes Always interesting to see what people like or cook most often.

                                FL, we cook seafood all the time and a big part of our diet where in MI where I lived, not nearly as much. But cherries, apples, strawberries and local meats and dairy are a big part of the diet.

                                1. re: MakingSense

                                  You are so right, never thought of it like that. It always surprises me when someone doesn't like coconut.

                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                    Speaking of coconut and pecans, I have a fabulous cake recipe that should be a southern thing. Its called a Paul Revere cake covered in toasted coconut and has pecans mixed in to the frosting and I think the batter. It is a bit time consuming but oh so worth it. I posted the recipe here a long time ago.

                                    1. re: danhole

                                      I am so going to try to find that one - I remember it from my childhood and I WANT IT NOW!

                                        1. re: danhole

                                          Hello, Easter dessert! Thanks, danhole.

                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                            You are welcome. Truly one of the best things I have ever tasted! But very rich! Enjoy!


                                            1. re: danhole

                                              I don't like to use cake mixes, so I wonder if you have ever made this recipe with a standard yellow cake recipe.

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                I just go by her recipe, but that would probably work.

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  That might depend on what you mean by "a standard yellow cake recipe."
                                                  This cake uses 3 cups of inclusions. A layer cake that's meant to be light might not support that much extra weight. Perhaps a recipe for a bundt cake would. A pound cake might be too dry.
                                                  Note that the recipe that Danhole referred to had a box of instant pudding added to it (extra sugar plus starches) and I think that the recipe calls for more liquid (oil and water) and eggs than most regular recipes might.
                                                  You'll probably have to adapt your recipe somewhat rather than just dumping in coconut and pecans. If the batter is too light, they'll sink to the bottom.

                          2. re: thecajunfoodie

                            TART A LA BOUILLE!! I have NEVER, EVER seen this on a menu ANYWHERE outside the South. I have to make it at home and then I get "but it's just a custard pie".

                            Also, when did banana pudding become some kind of fancy pie-looking thing?

                            And when did people stop making trifle? All the best trifles I had were in the South.

                            Hummingbird cake. Nobody outside of the South knows what Hummingbird cake is.

                            Red velvet cake has invaded Los Angeles but I haven't seen anybody make Lane cake.

                            People in the South still know what goes into a pound cake (that would be a pound of butter creamed with a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs (8 large) and a pound of flour, with a shot of vanilla and a pinch of salt and THAT'S IT, baked in a slow oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours). Every time I see pound cake recipes with stuff like baking powder in it, I feel like a tromped-on toad frog.

                            1. Banana pudding made the way it should be : with a custard and no meringue. I still make it two-three times a year. And chess pie. And Lane cake at Christmas. Would like to make divinity but it hates me!

                              9 Replies
                                1. re: bayoucook

                                  How about mango pudding. I had it once, never made it personally. WOW! Any recipes. It had a crunchy like oatmeal crust, but seemed pretty standard otherwise except for the bourbon ... Southern you said right?

                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                    Sounds delicious - wonder if it could be make with fresh peaches?

                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                      I use fresh peaches always. I can send recipe. Got to wait until I get home late tonight around 8 or so. It is peaches, bourbon, some brown sugar, spices. And then top with all the good stuff. I will send, just so you have the right stuff. Good and simple. I like to use a large glass pyrex, but pie pan works fine too

                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                          Strawberry Shortcake was always to me especially as a child was the greatest desert on earth something really special.

                                    1. re: Scargod

                                      And warm pudding so the banana flavor really permeates it! So simple and so easy to get wrong if you short-cut this old classic!

                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                        My friends' daughter's never make a "real" banana pudding with the custard. It's some kind of recipe that uses a jello product and sour cream. Yuk!