Saturday, February 2, 2013

Flashback Friday: Soda Cracker Macaroon Pie

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

Still enamored with this vintage mixer, I decided to whip up some more egg whites.  I love how that mixer works.  Unlike my last mixer, it effortlessly transforms egg whites and sugar to stiff, snowy white peaks.  It's the little things that make me smile.  Anyway, this meringue acts as the base for a pie recipe belonging to my great-grandma.   The term pie is used loosely here as the dessert resembles a pie only in shape.

Crushed soda crackers, nuts and vanilla are folded into the fluffy white base and spread into a pie pan.  Great-Grandma Hattie folded in chopped dates for a little variety and usually served up a slice with whipped cream.  Her daughter, Carol (whose cookies we ate last week), wrote it is "excellent served with ice cream and chocolate syrup."

Though the egg whites whipped up beautifully, I was a little disappointed with the final product.  I was expecting a crunchy meringue with a sweet-salty balance from the soda crackers.  The crackers softened considerably leaving the overall texture a little lacking.  You would never know there are soda crackers tucked inside, but maybe that was the point.  I'm guessing this recipe dates back to the Great Depression era, and the soda crackers were a cheap way to add bulk without using too many nuts.  Baking the meringue in a pie dish was a clever way to serve the family "pie" when short on ingredients, time and energy.

Soda Cracker Macaroon Pie
recipe from my Great-Grandma Hattie

3 large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cup crushed soda crackers
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup chopped dates, optional

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.
* Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until medium stiff. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla, crackers, nuts and dates, if using.  Spread into prepared pie pan.
* Bake 20 minutes at 300 degrees F, then turn oven down to 250 degrees F and bake 25 minutes more.  If desired place under broiler 30 seconds to 1 minute to brown top.  Let cool before serving.
Hattie served it with whipped cream.  Her daughter (my great-aunt) adds that it is also excellent served with ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Food for Thought: "Sometimes you don't know when you're taking the first step through a door until you're already inside." -Ann Voskamp

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