Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Inspired by a Southern classic, Tangerine Chess Pie rates a double-wow!

I’m an inveterate chess-pie lover. As with carrot salad and baked fish, chess pie takes me back to my growing-up days and dining at Wyatt’s Cafeteria in the Casa Linda Plaza in Dallas. As a wee sprout I didn’t realize that creamy, sweet custardy pie was a Southern icon; I just knew that on the dessert row, the choice between chess pie and chocolate layer cake was exceptionally difficult. Despite it being in a contest with chocolate, the pie usually won out.

Southern Living’s February 2012 issue (how can one magazine issue contain so many treasures under one cover? I’ll still be testing them until Christmas.) featured an article giving a new twist to some Southern classics. Chess pie was one of the classics it doctored up. The recipe featured was for Tangerine Chess Pie. The magazine stated that even anti-chess pie diehards (whatever misguided persons that might be) would give this new concoction thumbs-up! I had to see what this recipe was like.

Tangerine Chess Pie is baked in the same way as the traditional version except it contains 1/3 cup of fresh-squeezed tangerine (or orange juice) and 2 teaspoons tangerine (or orange zest). The top of the pie, once baked, is garnished with extra-thin tangerine (or orange) slices.

I loved the slight hint of citrus amidst the traditional custard filling. Hubby’s response: “Looks like a breakfast pie to me!” I reminded him that this wasn’t the day after Thanksgiving, when he annually consumes his legendary pumpkin-pie slice for his day-after morning meal. That didn’t hold him back as he dove into a Tangerine Chess Pie slice and consumed it. Double-wow! was his rating of this wonderful dish.

Tangerine Chess Pie

1 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
1 1/2 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plain yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons tangerine or orange zest
1/3 cup fresh tangerine juice or orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 1 cup egg substitute)
garnishes: sweetened whipped cream (or sugar-free whipped topping),
tangerine (or orange) slices

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Unroll pie crusts; stack on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 12-inch circle. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp edges. Use a fork to prick bottom and sides of crust. Bake 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Whisk together sugar and next 8 ingredients until all are blended. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until center of pie is set. Shield edges with foil after 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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