Although sweet, "suthun" iced tea may be a staple below the Mason-Dixon line, Sweet Tea Pie may be a new recipe for you. I discovered it in Martha Hall Foose's new book Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook, which I highly recommend. I believe this recipe may be original to Ms Foose since she states on page 203, "This recipe began as my entry in the Crisco State Fair Pie Baking Contest in 1987, the summer I got out of high school. It was one of my first forays into baking. I didn't win, didn't even place.However I did get my picture in the paper and a souvenir apron." Well, I don't know why! It's award-winning at my house.
Sweet Tea Pie
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup strong steeped orange pekoe tea, cooled (I used Luzianne)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make crust: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until combined. Add flour, mix until dough forms a ball. Pat dough into 9-inch pie pan. Chill until ready for use, meanwhile preparing the filling.
To prepare filling: Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium til light. Add yolks one at a time, beating on low after each addition. Slowly add the tea, zest and lemon juice. Scrape down bowl. Add flour, cornmeal, salt and mix well. Pour into crust and bake for 50 to 55 minutes until set. Cool completely on a wire rack, and then chill for 2 hours in refrigerator. Yields one 9-inch pie.
When serving, garnish with candied lemon peel, sweetened whip cream and fresh mint.
Candied Lemon Peel Garnish
To candy lemon peel, boil strips of lemon peel in 1/2 cup light corn syrup combined with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup water until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from syrup and rinse in warm water. Toss in granulated sugar and dry on waxed paper.