Mom’s Best Pies: Pineapple Coconut, Sweet Potato, and Pecan

Updated on May 25, 2018
rmcrayne profile image

Rose Mary's mother and all of her aunts are great Southern cooks. She likes to think she's not so bad herself.

My mom’s love of sweets is well known in the family. At family potluck meals, she has been known to visit the dessert table first. We always had homemade cakes and pies in the house when I was growing up. She’s most known for her cakes, and I have previouosly shared her best cake recipes, like her German Chocolate Cake, 14 Karat Cake, and Five Flavor Pound Cake.

We also had a lot of pies in the house, though Mom has never been into making homemade pie crust. You can still serve up deliciousness in a store-bought crust. In this article, I’m sharing my top three most favorite of Mom’s pies. All of these are relatively quick and easy to make. All three recipes yield two pies, and are made in shallow frozen pie crusts.

Pie recipes in this article:

  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pecan

Pineapple Coconut Pie

This pie has only 5 ingredients. It can be ready for the oven before the oven has finished preheating.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Slice of pineapple coconut pieButter and sugar stirred together. I didn't bother to use the electric mixer. Adding in the pineapple, coconut, and eggsPineapple coconut pies ready for the ovenPineapple coconut pies out of the oven
Slice of pineapple coconut pie
Slice of pineapple coconut pie | Source
Butter and sugar stirred together. I didn't bother to use the electric mixer.
Butter and sugar stirred together. I didn't bother to use the electric mixer. | Source
Adding in the pineapple, coconut, and eggs
Adding in the pineapple, coconut, and eggs | Source
Pineapple coconut pies ready for the oven
Pineapple coconut pies ready for the oven | Source
Pineapple coconut pies out of the oven
Pineapple coconut pies out of the oven | Source

This is a very different take on a fruit pie. When I think of fruit pie, I think of cherry, blueberry, or apple pie, in the thick, sweet filling. This recipe produces a relatively thin filling, but satisfying.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can, 7-oz Angel Flake Coconut; Mom prefers the frozen flaked coconut
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and mix in sugar. I didn’t bother with the electric mixer.
  2. Beat eggs and add to mixture.
  3. Add coconut and pineapple.
  4. Pour evenly into 2 unbaked pastry shells.
  5. Bake at 325º about 60 minutes, until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Pie

Boiling, then mashing the potatoes makes for a smoother texture than grating raw potatoes.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mom's Sweet Potato Pie, served on one of my grandmother's dishesOut of the oven to coolMom's Sweet Potato Pie
Mom's Sweet Potato Pie, served on one of my grandmother's dishes
Mom's Sweet Potato Pie, served on one of my grandmother's dishes | Source
Out of the oven to cool
Out of the oven to cool | Source
Mom's Sweet Potato Pie
Mom's Sweet Potato Pie | Source

All my aunts are great cooks, but Mom’s sweet potato pies are the best in the family in my opinion, and probably my favorite among her pies. She doesn’t use a recipe, an annoying trait of many great cooks. I had her look through some of her recipe books. She found this recipe and thought it was close, but she emphasized she sweetens her potato batter to taste. Actually the secret seems to be to sweeten to the point that you think you just crossed the line of too sweet. After they are baked, they should be just right.

Sometimes she makes sweet potato pies with heavy cinnamon, or with the addition of coconut. You can divide your batter, and have one of each.

We had sweet potato pie often, but definitely at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think I was well into adulthood before I ever even tasted pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, about 3 ½ to 4 c
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ c evaporated milk
  • 2 shallow (not deep dish) unbaked pie crusts

Instructions

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut in chunks. Boil in water until tender.
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat potatoes until smooth.
  3. Add other ingredients. Beat until creamy.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes at 350º, until crust is brown and middle of pie is set.

Mom cautions the cook time on sweet potato pies is tricky. The bottom is often doughy, so it may not be a bad idea to precook the crusts for 7-10 minutes.

Sweet Potato vs Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie

Mom insists brown sugar makes a much better pie than using corn syrup.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Slice of pecan pieIngredients gathered for pecan piesButter, sugars, and flourButter, sugars, flour and eggs whisked togetherAdd milk and pecansPecan pies out of the ovenPecan Pie sliced
Slice of pecan pie
Slice of pecan pie | Source
Ingredients gathered for pecan pies
Ingredients gathered for pecan pies | Source
Butter, sugars, and flour
Butter, sugars, and flour | Source
Butter, sugars, flour and eggs whisked together
Butter, sugars, flour and eggs whisked together | Source
Add milk and pecans
Add milk and pecans | Source
Pecan pies out of the oven
Pecan pies out of the oven | Source
Pecan Pie sliced
Pecan Pie sliced | Source

In the South, we have pee-can pies, not pee-con. Although we often had pecan pie at Thanksgiving or Christmas, we had them throughout the year at our house. Mom is adamant that brown sugar is the way to go, not corn syrup.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ c milk
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 c chopped pecans (2 c would be better)
  • 2 shallow (not deep dish) unbaked pie crusts
  1. Stir together butter and sugar. You can use an electric mixer, but I didn’t.
  2. Add in flour.
  3. Beat eggs together in a separate bowl, then and add to butter-sugar mixture. At this point I used a whisk, to make sure there were no flour or sugar lumps.
  4. Add milk, nuts and vanilla flavoring. Mix to combine. The recipe states 1 cup of pecans. Mom must use more, because the top of her pies are completely covered in pecans. I will use 2 cups of pecans next time.
  5. Pour evenly into 2 unbaked shallow pie shells.
  6. Bake pies at 350º for 30 minutes or until set.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 rmcrayne

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    • rmcrayne profile image
      Author

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Pamela I had each of these pies countless times growing up. I can vouch for all of them.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      These pies all look delicious. I've never heard of pineapple coconut but I think it sounds wonderful. Thanks for some great recipes.

    • rmcrayne profile image
      Author

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      DREAM I don't really enjoy baking, but these are all really easy.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 7 years ago

      I wish I could eat the pictures.I will beg my wife to cook me one.I rather eat than cook.i think we will end up making it together.

    • rmcrayne profile image
      Author

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      ethel, all are guaranteed to satisfy.

    • rmcrayne profile image
      Author

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      drbj this pecan pie recipe is very easy, but definitely tastes like Southern cookin' at its best.

    • rmcrayne profile image
      Author

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Lorlie I'm in Texas, so can usually still find the foods/ingredients I'm used to from S.C. In the military, there were usually "neighbors" from GA, NC, etc assigned to my clinic. We would 'divide and conquer' when bringing covered dishes to functions.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Never tried to make or eat these. Great recipes

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, mcr - Although I consider myself more of a cake and cookie person, that pecan pie is calling my name. I may have to consider switching allegiance.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Thanks, rmcrayne, I've been searching for a good pee-can recipe! Even though I live in California, I lived in Birmingham for 8 years and Lordy, how I miss the food!

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