Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Fantasy Freeze Pie

Today’s recipe for Fantasy Freeze Pie comes from Grandma’s youngest sister. She submitted it to the last church cookbook that Grandma was involved in, so you know it’s good! I’ve said this before, but Grandma and her sisters were really good at picking the best recipes to keep and serve to their friends and family. This photo is of the youngest sister who submitted this recipe (on the right), and she’s posing with their oldest sister. Somehow my mom managed to get into the photo, too!!

She’s the little pip-squeak in the background wearing the scarf and white shoes! So cute! Grandma’s family was great for taking pictures – whether it was a special occasion or not! They also made many, many, many delicious desserts – whether it was for a special occasion or not! This pie we’re making today is just such a dessert! It can be for a special occasion – or not!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Fantasy Freeze Pie

Mix with electric mixer until well blended:

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

7 ounce jar marshmallow creme

Add and mix well:

1 cup sherbet, softened (raspberry, lemon, or orange – I used raspberry here)

Fold in:

2 cups thawed Cool Whip (I couldn’t find LaCreme whipped topping)

1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds, chopped (I used sliced, toasted almonds)

Pour into pre-baked pie shell (I used a store-bought graham cracker crust, but you can make your own).

Freeze until firm.

Here we go – another very easy, very delicious recipe for this summer – perfect for the “Nothing But Easy Summer”!

This pie is so easy to pull together – you just need a mixer and a bowl.

Just mix it all up and into the pie crust it goes.

Once it’s in the crust, into the freezer it goes.

You just gotta have sprinkles.

This pie is perfect for a hot summer day. No oven necessary if you use a store-bought crust. I put plastic wrap over top so it stayed fresh, and saved it for our Sunday family dinner. It’s so easy to make and so tasty. I used the raspberry sherbet, but I want to try the lemon or orange – that would also be so refreshing! Make this frozen Fantasy Freeze Pie and cool off this summer – whether it’s for a special occasion or not!

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Bev’s Cream Cheese Pie

We’re sticking with our “Nothing But Easy Summer” theme again today with Bev’s Cream Cheese Pie. On top of that  – we’re giving it a patriotic twist by topping this delicious pie with berries. This pie is SO easy and SO good! It fits right in with what we’re trying to do this summer – take it EASY! You could top this pie with berries, as I did here, or try some Chocolate Sauce! This photo is of a little girl who loves chocolate. Who knew she would grow up to love chocolate SO much?!!! This is my mom being held by her grandmother, and it looks like she’s a pretty new baby. Maybe just a couple of weeks old.

So precious – I love the way her grandmother is looking at her with that mixture of love and pride that all grandmothers have for all of their grandchildren. She was the first grandchild in this particular family. Who knows – maybe this grandmother is who she got her love of chocolate from!

Well, for this particular pie, I used berries to top it. We’re getting pretty close to 4th of July, and the more we can use those patriotic colors, the better! You can’t get much easier than berries on top!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bev’s Cream Cheese Pie

Microwave until soft (15-20 seconds):

8 ounces cream cheese

Mix with electric mixer until real smooth:

Softened cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

Stir in with a spoon:

8 ounces Cool Whip

Pour into:

Keebler Shortbread Cookie Pie Crust (yes – store-bought)

Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Top with berries or chocolate sauce.

It’s reidiculous how good this pie is with basically 3 ingredients (not counting the berries).

Mixing the cream cheese and sugar together makes it easier to stir in the Cool Whip.

Mix it all thoroughly and then spread the mixture into the pie crust. Yes – it’s store-bought (gasp!), but you can go ahead and make your own graham cracker crust if you want to. I’m just keeping this as easy as possible.

Next, the pie goes into the refrigerator – the card says 3 hours or overnight, so I left it in overnight.

There is nothing easier and more delicious than sweet, seasonal berries, and they just happen to be perfect for the 4th of July. But you know what’s also easy and delicious? Chocolate Sauce. Either way is gonna be great!

This pie will be a regular in my arsenal. So easy, so good, so pretty. Who knew that keeping things easy could be so delicious?!! I’m really starting to enjoy this “Nothing But Easy Summer” thing. It’s just so good, in so many ways! It’s good because it’s easy to do. It’s good because these recipes have all been delicious. It’s good because it gets you outside enjoying the summer before it’s over and gone. It’s all good! Try Bev’s Cream Cheese Pie and get out and enjoy your summer!




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North Carolina Lemon Pie

My son was the one who sent me this recipe for North Carolina Lemon Pie. He had seen it somewhere, emailed me the link, and in so many words, wanted me to make it sometime. I found out it came from a website called Bless This Mess, and after reading the post about this pie, I learned that Melissa from Bless This Mess had found it in an old  issue of Cook’s Country Magazine. My son likes pie. All kinds of pie. He saw that this pie had a crust made with saltine crackers and he decided we should try it. Well, I was recently looking through old emails and found this recipe again. I thought it was, indeed, time to try it. Now, he is totally capable of making his own pie, and has made pie for us for years for Thanksgiving, but I think he may have forgotten that he sent me that email a few years ago (probably before I was sick with pancreatitis), and I decided to surprise him with it one Sunday when our kids came for dinner.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

North Carolina Lemon Pie

For the crust:

Pulse in the food processor:

1 sleeve of saltine crackers (4 ounces – weighing is best to be sure you get enough cracker crumbs)

1/8 teaspoon salt


1/4 cup corn syrup

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pulse about 15 times.

Add the cracker mixture to a 9 inch pie plate, pressing the crumbs even and up the sides of the plate.

Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 17-19 minutes.

For the filling (make while crust is baking):

Whisk in a large bowl:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoons lemon grated lemon zest


1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

Whisk until well combined.

Leave the pie plate on the baking sheet, remove from oven, and add the filling.

Place back in the hot oven and bake until the edges are set but the middle jiggles, about 15-17 minutes.

Cool completely.

Refrigerate until completely chilled.

For the topping:

Whip until stiff peaks form:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Spread over the top of the pie and serve chilled.

Press the crumbs up the side of the pie so there’s plenty of room for the delicious filling!

Mix up the filling while the crust is baking.

All the filling did fit in the crust – I was skeptical, but it all fit in!

All baked up and ready to chill.

I had some extra lemon zest leftover (and since I’m not one to waste anything) so after adding the topping, I sprinkled on some of the extra lemon zest.

Um, yeah. So this pie was absolutely delicious! The saltiness of the crust and the silky smoothness of the filling – absolute heaven. Just heaven. The whole family loved this pie. Grandma would have loved this pie (she did have a thing for lemon). My son has a good eye. He knows what he likes and he knows what we ALL like. Yeah – I’m just gonna go ahead and recommend that you all try this amazingly sweet, yet tart North Carolina Lemon Pie!

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Rhubarb Pie #2

This recipe for Rhubarb Pie #2 is the one Grandma was famous for. It’s unbelievably delicious. I really should have made this rhubarb pie first so it could be #1, but I made another one in 2014, so that one is Rhubarb Pie. There are a couple of people in my family for whom this is one of their top 5 favorites, and that’s saying something. This pie is really one of those things that reminds me of Grandma. The smell of it, the look of it, and the memories of picking rhubarb in the shady garden down in the corner of the yard by the driveway at the farm.

I love this photo of Grandma with her two children: my mom and my uncle. It looks like a beautiful spring day and they’re all dressed up.

They’re so cute!

This pie has a custardy bottom layer that is divine with the tart rhubarb filled upper layer, and then there’s that heavenly layer of meringue over the top of it all. Oh my. Oh yes. Delicious. This card is one where we find the term “plenty sweet”. We just loved the terminology – that’s how “Plenty Sweet Life” came to be!

Of course, note the “V. Good” connotation on this one!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Pie #2

Have one pie crust prepared, in the pie pan, and ready to go. You can find several recipes in the “Pie Crust” category up the right side of this blog.

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups sugar (she used 1 1/4 cups and it was “plenty sweet”!)

3 Tablespoons flour

3 egg yolks (whites reserved)

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of Half-n-Half (she said to use 1 1/4 cups used a pint for making two pies – I tried using just 1 cup for 1 pie and it was fine)


3 cups rhubarb, cut up fine (I just sliced them – I know the pieces were bigger than she would have used, but we like it that way)

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down to 325 and bake another 40 minutes or until set (I had to bake it another 30 minutes or so).

Whip the 3 reserved egg whites to stiff peaks, adding 2 Tablespoons of sugar per white. Put the whites on top of the hot pie and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until browned.

The pie is delicious warm, but when chilled in the refrigerator, it holds it’s shape a little better and is still just as delicious!

I really can’t believe how big my rhubarb is this year – it’s huge! A bumper crop!

Just use any pie crust recipe to have one ready.

Before and after baking – I put the pie on a baking sheet just in case the filling would overflow.

Once the pie is baked, it’s time to put on the meringue. I baked it about 10 minutes.

This is one of the best Rhubarb Pies I have ever made. Period. It’s beautiful.

Just look at this beautiful pie! It tastes even better than it looks – if you can believe that! You’re going to want to try this pie if you have a bumper crop of rhubarb this year like me. This Rhubarb Pie #2 will become a staple in your family, too!






The Easiest S’mores Pie Ever!

The other day I was thinking about how “s’mores crazy” everyone is these days, and I came up with this recipe for The Easiest S’mores Pie Ever! This recipe would be right up Grandma’s alley – if she liked s’mores – and I have no doubt that she would. It is seriously, ridiculously easy! I’m sure that someone has thought of this already, but I really like how easy this is. This is the last weekend (not technically, but school starts here on Tuesday) of summer, and we should really just keep on acting like it still IS summer until the leaves are falling off the trees. We get cold weather soon enough here in Minnesota, and we like to enjoy summer for as long as we possibly can. I say we make this last weekend a doozy and go crazy with this S’mores Pie! It’s so easy, you still have time to make this before and/or during the weekend.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

S’mores Pie

Mix together:

1 box of instant chocolate pudding

1 1/2 cups milk

Spread pudding on:

1 store-bought (gasp!) graham cracker pie crust – yes, you can use a store-bought crust only because it’s easier, but you can make your own and here is a great recipe for one!

Top with:

mini-marshmallows – as many as you can fit on top of the pie in a single layer

Put pie under broiler to brown marshmallows, or use a torch to do it.

Serve when the marshmallows are warm – you can wait, but the marshmallows cut easier while they’re warm.


I had graham crackers in the house so I just made one using this recipe instead of running to the store to buy one. I said this was the easiest, so just do whichever is easiest for you.

Next, in goes the pudding. So easy. You can also make the pudding from scratch, if you feel so inclined. This is a great recipe. It makes double what you need for a pie, so cut the recipe in half and use only 1 1/2 cups of milk to make the pudding.

Now put on the layer of marshmallows. Incredibly easy. Technically, you could also make these from scratch using this recipe. That would be delicious, but more time consuming and not as easy.

Into the oven and the broiler to brown the tops of the marshmallows. Ridiculously easy. If you have one of those fancy, schmancy kitchen torches, you could use that, but I think the oven is easier.

There you have it. Wow – this pie is so easy and SO GOOD!!! That bite of browned marshmallow with the chocolate and graham cracker – oh my – it is just too much! I think that if you have a store-bought crust, the total time to make this pie would be approximately 10 minutes. It took me a bit longer since I made the crust from scratch, I feel that a homemade graham cracker crust is just as easy and so much tastier. I think this is a delicious way to extend summer just a little bit longer. Make The Easiest S’mores Pie Ever and have a doozy of a weekend!






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Rhubarb Custard Pie

This recipe for Rhubarb Custard Pie was on the back of the recipe for Rhubarb Crumble. I’m really glad I turned it over and looked on the back. The rhubarb is just about gone for this year, but I still have plenty of recipes left to try next year. There are at least 3 more rhubarb pie recipes in the bunch, not to mention all of the other desserts, and I think there are several rhubarb recipes from Grandma’s sisters. We’ll have enough to keep us in rhubarb treats for years yet!

This pie is full of rhubarb!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Custard Pie


1 pound of rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch slices

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

Spoon into pie shell.


3 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour over rhubarb.

Place pie pan on baking sheet so the pie doesn’t overflow and make a mess on the bottom of your oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Have a pie crust made and ready to go. I used Grandma’s recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust.

There are 2 parts to this filling – first the rhubarb with the dry ingredients, and then the eggs and sour cream mixture.

Before and after baking – you can see how it really does make a custard-like filling, and look at how loaded with rhubarb it is!

This is another beautiful and delicious pie to share with family and friends.

I have never made this one before, since I didn’t even know it was on the back of another recipe, but it’s easy and very delicious. The taste is less sweet than some other pie recipes, and the family liked that. The taste of the rhubarb really comes through because it IS less sweet. It’s very nice. Try this Rhubarb Custard Pie, and let’s continue to enjoy rhubarb season as long as we can!





Lemon Meringue Pie #2 (Filling Made in the Microwave)

We’re continuing the lemon recipes today and letting the sun shine in with a great pie recipe.


I found this photo from sometime in the 1950’s of almost all of the family – Grandma’s siblings and their spouses and children – and I had to share it today when we’re making a recipe that sounds perfect for a family gathering.


You can see that even without absolutely everybody there, they were a large group. I imagine that when they got together, they would share their best recipes and make the most delicious ones for the family. This is just that kind of recipe.

This recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie #2 (Filling Made in the Microwave) came from Grandma’s youngest sister, and it sounded like another easy one. When getting ready to make this, I knew that I have done a Lemon Meringue Pie post here already (I shared it in my last post), so I thought I’d better check that recipe before starting this one. The funniest thing happened! They are the SAME recipe! Well, I had to try it both ways, so I made this one, too! In the other pie recipe, Grandma wrote it out for me, and indicated that she got if from someone else. Maybe it’s a totally different recipe, or maybe she left out that little part about it being done in the microwave. Either way – and funnier still – it worked both ways!!! You can do it in the microwave, or do it in a saucepan on the stove! They both work! That being said, it was so easy to do this in the microwave, that I’ll never do it in a pan again.



Note the “V Good” connotation on this one!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Lemon Meringue Pie #2 (Filling Made in the Microwave)

Get a 9″ baked pie crust ready (wanting to try something different, I used a graham cracker crust for this one).

Combine in a 2 quart bowl:

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup lemon juice

5 egg yolks (whites reserved)

Stir until smooth.


2 Tablespoons butter

Cook on high until mixture thickens and boils – 7 1/2 to 8 minutes – stirring 2-3 times.

Stir in:

1-3 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Let stand, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


In a large bowl beat until foamy:

5 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time

Beat constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks.

Beat in:

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pour filling into pie crust.

Cover filling with meringue – all the way to the edges.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.


I just laughed out loud when I realized that the two recipes were the same, and worked both ways! Too funny!


It seems weird to just add a chunk of butter, but remember that this will be going into the microwave and it will melt.


It’s so fast to do and comes out so thick and delicious – THEN you also add the lemon rind!


I tried something different using a graham cracker crust for this one. I would use a regular crust next time, but my family didn’t seem to mind the graham cracker one. They loved it even though for some reason, it did get a little wet (I read that sometimes that happens when you overbeat the egg whites).


I used too small of a pie pan, so I also made a couple of “pudding” cups.


The meringue is fluffy and delicious – don’t forget to top the “puddings”, too!


I am now a lover of lemon pudding. You can always do this instead of using a crust.


The pie is beautiful and so amazingly delicious!


This was so easy to do in the microwave. It’s one of my new favorites – I love it this way. Try this recipe at your next family gathering. You’ll never go back to doing Lemon Meringue Pie on the stove again!



Strawberry Pie #3

Happy summer, everyone! Summer is the time for strawberries and pie is one of the best ways to enjoy them. There just isn’t anything better than strawberries in the summertime. The recipe for today is #3 on the strawberry pie list, therefore it’s renamed Strawberry Pie #3. You get a bonus recipe because there are two recipes for Strawberry Pie here, but they’re so similar, I decided to just make one. Naturally, I made the one marked “V. Good”!!! Someone, I think it was me, started to write out the second recipe, and it looks like they were interrupted and my mom finished writing it out. Grandma had written on here that it was a recipe from my mom, so I guess it’s no surprise that she was the one who finished writing it out. I just love that these two recipes were written out on a piece of scrap paper! Grandma wasn’t one to waste anything – even bits of paper like the back of a mailer or flyer! Because it does have the “V. Good” connotation, we know that this will be a good one.

Strawberry Pie #3

This one is so easy and soooooooooo good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Strawberry Pie #3

Mix together in a saucepan:

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar (she has marked “less” on here so I used 1/2 cup – it was “plenty sweet”)

2 Tablespoons corn starch

Cook until thick.


3 Tablespoons Cherry Jello (keep the remainder of the box to make another pie!)



1 pint strawberries (I sliced them for this pie, but you can leave them whole if you like)

Pour into pre-baked pie shell (I used the recipe from my post Apple Pie with Old-Fashioned Pie Crust).



I just love strawberries! They’re so pretty and so tasty!


This pie is really simple – not many ingredients.


You can use a (gasp) store-bought pie crust for this, but I think you all know by now how I feel about that. Make the crust, for heaven’s sake. It’s not hard. It takes about 5 minutes to make. Just make sure that you do it early enough in the day to be able to chill it before baking so it holds its shape. The recipe I used for the crust makes a double, so I made two, blind baked them, and put one in the freezer for later. Here is how I blind bake pie crust – put the rolled out crust into a pie pan, dock the crust with a fork, line the unbaked crust with parchment or foil and then pour in pie weights or dried beans (I have the same ones I’ve used for 30 years), bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes or so, remove the parchment or foil and pie weights and bake another 5-6 minutes, and let cool. You might as well make both of the crusts in the recipe because you’re going to need another one. You’re going to make this pie again. Trust me.


I love that there is almost more fruit than filling. Mix it up and into the crust it goes!


This pie is absolutely beautiful!! Now into the frig with it!


Add a dollop of whipped cream and it’s heaven. Pure heaven.


Strawberry Pie is not hard to make. Just make one, and use local berries if you can, because you just can’t beat using those little jewels in this pie. It’s beautiful. It tastes like quintessential summer. It’s mandatory. It’s “V. Good”.




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Orange Rhubarb Pie

I love that Grandma and her sisters were so willing to try new and unique recipes to serve their friends and family. Speaking of those sisters, I found a new photo from the mid 1930’s of grandma and two of her sisters at her older sister’s wedding. I absolutely LOVE the look on Grandma’s face on this one (she’s the one on the right). This is a bit of a candid photo, especially for a wedding, and we know that they didn’t take candid photos very often. Usually these type of photos were fairly formal, but that’s why I love it so much! This shot was taken out the back door of the church they were members of their whole lives. Look at those glorious bouquets they’re carrying! I wonder if the flowers came from their own garden?


They look like they’re having a great time and that they’re very happy for the sister getting married! They were a very close family and each wedding had to be a very exciting event. It wouldn’t be too long after this and Grandma would be marrying her handsome groom, too!

This recipe for Orange Rhubarb Pie is no exception to the sisters trying different kinds of recipes. It’s not like any pie I’ve ever made before, and I love it! My family loved it, too. In fact, my husband loved it so much that he declared it his #2 favorite behind Blueberry Pie. Now that’s really saying something!

Orange Rhubarb Pie

Orange Rhubarb Pie 2

This is a very delicious pie!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Orange Rhubarb Pie


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together:

3 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1/4 cup butter, melted

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

Add to the dry ingredients.

Stir in:

2 1/2 cups rhubarb

Beat to stiff peaks:

3 egg whites

Gradually add in:

1/4 cup sugar

Fold egg whites into rhubarb mixture.

Pour into unbaked pie shell (I used the pie crust recipe on my post Apple Pie with Old-Fashioned Pie Crust).

Top with:

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, turn oven down to 325 degrees and bake 40 more minutes or until brown.

Cover edges with foil if needed.

Store in refrigerator.


This is the unique part of the pie – folding in the egg whites instead of making a meringue.


When I made the pie crust from the recipe noted above, I halved the recipe to just get one crust. Or you can do two crusts, freeze one, and have an extra one ready when you feel like making another pie. I had a bit of the filling left over so I put it into a small ramekin and baked that, too. See how puffed and golden brown the filling gets!


This pie is perfect with a bit of softly whipped cream. That little bit of citrus in there is so good and unique!


The pie was soft and light and eggy and absolutely delicious!


This was the pie on the second day. You can see that it firmed up a bit and was still delicious! Putting it into the refrigerator was a great idea. I would do that before serving next time, just because it firmed up and I liked that better. You really should try this unique pie at your next family gathering! It’s a bit different, but that’s what you’ll like about it!



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Lemon Meringue Pie

My middle child is a lemon lover. This year for her birthday, she requested a Lemon Meringue Pie instead of a birthday cake. How convenient – Grandma had a Lemon Meringue Pie recipe! Grandma and her sisters must have really loved lemon, because between them, there are a LOT of lemon recipes. Maybe they made so many lemon recipes because chocolate was more expensive (during the Great Depression) than lemon juice, but I also don’t think these girls used real lemons – I think they used the stuff in the bottle. I have to say, some of these lemon recipes are delicious and REALLY lemony, when you use real lemons. I would never use the bottled stuff, but that’s just me. This recipe is so easy and so delicious, I’ll never use any other recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie again.



This is really good pie.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Lemon Meringue Pie

Prepare one baked pie shell (I used the recipe here, but made it for only one crust).


In a 2 quart saucepan combine:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup lemon juice

5 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

Stir until smooth.


2 Tablespoons butter

Cook on high until mixture thickens and boils (7 1/2 to 8 minutes), stirring 2 or 3 times (I stirred pretty much continuously).

Stir in:

1-3 teaspoons lemon peel (I just used the peel of 1 lemon).

Let stand uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour into baked pie shell.


Beat on high speed:

5 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


1/2 cup sugar – 1 Tablespoon at a time

Beat in:

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cover filling – touching crust – with meringue.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes to brown meringue.


Before and after boiling the lemon filling – you can see how thick it gets. This filling would be good for anything you would use lemon curd for: tarts, scones, as a layer cake filling.


The recipe makes a pretty big pie. When the filling is done, it’s too thick to strain through a sieve, so watch for bits of egg white that may need to be removed.


Before and after baking the meringue – so pretty!


This is an easy pie to make – it’s a great recipe.


The filling is nice and firm and holds up well.


The meringue is soft and fluffy and sweet. The filling is tangy and tart and so delicious. This really is a great pie. It’s quick and easy and so good! It makes a great dessert for any occasion – even a very special occasion, like a birthday for a very special person! You’ll be happy with this pie – our birthday girl sure was!!



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