This dense, sugary pie has nothing to hide
Transparent pie harks back to the frontier days when bakers and cooks made desserts with what they had on hand. Because refrigeration wasn’t available in those days, home cooks and bakers sought out recipes that didn’t require it.
Origins of the transparent pie can be traced to Kentucky — Maysville, Kentucky, to be exact. It’s well known there, but not so much elsewhere. Texans are more familiar with the transparent pie’s kissing cousins — chess and buttermilk pies. Although the name gets a lot of attention, transparent pie isn’t so much transparent as it is colorless.
The pie is reportedly a favorite of actor George Clooney, who is from Kentucky and regularly serves it to the film crews of movies he works on, according to reports. Magee’s Bakery in Maysville has been making and serving them for nearly 80 years.
Maysville Historic Transparent Pie
1 stick salted butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 par-baked 9-inch deep dish pie shell
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Mix butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl on medium speed until combined. Add the heavy cream and mix on high speed until the cream has started to thicken and mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla and flour and mix well.
Pour the batter into the par-baked pie shell and cover the crust with foil.
Bake for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and set in the center.
Cool completely before serving.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.