Just returned from the Outer Banks of North Carolina where Buddy, Bella and I celebrated Thanksgiving with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Unlike most clans, our crew doesn’t just eat the big meal on turkey day. No, we have a three-day food extravaganza that starts at Aunt Lydia’s and Uncle Sam’s for the traditional Thursday Thanksgiving feast. We have it all—sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, creamed onions, and of course lots of gravy. On Friday the star is the Oyster Roast where neighbors and friends gather to enjoy each other’s company, dozens of cover dish delights and bushels of freshly steamed oysters. We wrap up the three day gathering at Aunt Sally’s and Uncle Mike’s for spare ribs, corn on the cob, corn bread and more deserts than I can name. Needless to say, I won’t miss Weight Watcher’s on Wednesday.
Aunt Lydia’s Lemon Graham Cracker Crust Pie
2 c. graham crackers, crushed
1/3 c. butter
½ c lemon juice
1 t grated lemon or ¼ t lemon extract
1 1/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs separated (use the yolk in the filling and save white for the meringue)
4 T sugar
¼ t Cream of Tartar
¼ t vanilla
2 reserved egg whites
Directions. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
To make the crust, crush the Graham crackers and mix with melted butter. Line a pie shell with the mixture and refrigerate until cool. To mix pie filling, combine lemon juice and grated lemon rind or lemon extract and gradually stir in sweetened condensed milk. Add egg yokes and stir until well blended. Pour into pie shell. To make the meringue, add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat with a hand mixer or whisk until whites hold a peak). Add sugar and beat until stiff, but not dry. Gently fold in vanilla and then pile on top of filling. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool and serve.