Jefferson Davis Pie
This little-known Dixie dessert-a rich, caramel-y custard pie dressed up with dried fruit and nuts-deserves a national introduction.
Why This Recipe Works
We reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe to let the flavors of cinnamon and allspice shine through. Using heavy cream instead of milk gave our Jefferson Davis Pie a silky, thick texture and rich flavor. Because tasters balked at the bits of fruit and nuts in the custard, we pressed them—after finely grinding them in a food processor—into the bottom of the raw crust and gently poured the custard over. Because the yolks take a long time to set, the filling for this pie usually bakes in a raw pie shell starting at a high temperature to firm up the crust before finishing at a moderate heat. But we found this method resulted in custards that dried out around the edges before they were set in the center. We settled on a slightly longer bake at a lower oven temperature. This allowed the crust to brown in the same time it took the custard to set to the requisite firmness.