Vanilla Cloud Graham Crumble Pie

 

A delicious graham cracker cream pie.

 

My family loved desserts. No matter how big the meal or how stuffed everyone claimed to be, once the final bite was eaten someone would inevitably say, “What’s for dessert?”

 

The Dessert Debate

 

The thing is we could never reach a consensus on what kind of dessert was best.  The choices ranged from store bought cookies, to incredibly intricate layered cakes. Pudding wasn’t uncommon and ice cream with some kind of topping was often a standard. And as for cake or pie there was a rough split down the middle on those who preferred one or the other.

 

There Was Always Room

 

Don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t always fancy.  In fact, if we left it up to Grandmom, we could easily end up with plain old Jello for our after-meal treat, though most of us agreed it was a stretch to call Jello a real dessert. Still, if there was nothing else offered we’d all slap on a smile and ask for a bowl.

 

This pie is light and fluffly like an angel on the clouds.

This one took the cake as the best pie.

And The Winner Is…

 

As I mentioned, cake and pie split the vote for the best dessert categories. However, within the pie category there was one recipe which stood out as a family favorite—no one ever got enough.  I give Grandmom credit for being the first to try this recipe, but whether she was really responsible is hard to say.  All I know is it was good enough everyone loved it and was therefore consumed on numerous occasions. I recall someone said Grandmom got the original recipe off a box of graham crackers.  I’m not sure, but maybe that’s why we always called it “The Graham Cracker Cream Pie”.

 

 

What’s In A Name?

 

Now, this is a case where the original name of the pie just doesn’t do justice and that’s why I changed it. In my mind, Graham Cracker Cream isn’t a snazzy name like Baked Alaska or Tiramisu, but it does evoke visions of a creamy vanilla pudding covered with a meringue as light and fluffy as a cloud that all lies atop a layer of buttery graham crumble goodness.   Mmm…I start salivating just thinking about it.

 

Easy As Pie

 

It’s funny how I remember this pie was something served only on special occasions.  There was always an impression it took a ton of work.  I suppose it’s not unlike that old commercial for Rice Crispy Squares:  There’s this woman in the kitchen and she throws flour on her face, tussles her hair, and then takes her freshly made treats out to the waiting family. The gist was they were easy to make, but don’t let your family know or you could end up making them all the time.

 

You'll need milk, eggs, butter, vanilla, sugar, cinnomon and graham crackers.

This pie is easy to make and you may already have all the ingredients.

I’m Sold

 

By now, you should know this was and still is the go-to pie of a dessert picky family, it’s super delicious and it’s easy to make.  If that doesn’t convince you to try it, I don’t know what will.  Oh, and one last thing to be aware of:  Though you can technically eat it after it’s been chilled, the pie just tastes better the next day.  I recommend you make it the day before you want to serve it and refrigerate overnight.  And yes, I know it’s hard to wait.   Okay, here we go…

 

Vanilla Cloud Graham Crumble Pie

You'll want 8 whole graham crackers or 16 halves.

Crush the graham crackers, until all the crumbs are a uniform size.

(a.k.a. Graham Cracker Cream Pie)

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

 

Crust Ingredients

 

8 graham crackers (whole crackers)

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon  flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup melted butter

 

 

The butter helps the crumbs stick together.

After mixing the crumbs with the butter and other ingredients press into a pan.

Prepare The Crust

 

Crush the graham crackers fine.  I put crackers between wax paper and use a roller, but you could also do this in a food processor or blender.  Once crushed, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add melted butter. Combine well and press into pie pan (reserve a small amount for dusting the top of pie).

Use the egg shells to separate the yolks.

Separate the yolks from the whites and save the whites for the meringue.

 

 

Filling Ingredients

 

3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups milk

 

Make The Filling

 

The scent of vanilla cooking is divine.

When the filling is done it sticks to the spoon.

In a medium pan, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon until blended. Add corn starch and stir again. Add milk and vanilla.  Now, cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.  When it’s done it should coat the spoon (i.e. stick to it).  Pour it into the crust.

 

Meringue Ingredients

3 egg whites (left over from the filling)

1 dash of cream of tartar or powdered sugar

The meringue goes on thick.

Whip the meringue until it holds its shape, and then spread it on the pie.

 

Whip Up The Meringue

Beat the egg whites with a dash of either powdered sugar or Cream of Tartar. Beat until stiff peaks are formed.  Spread the meringue over the filling and sprinkle it with the remaining graham cracker crust. Bake in 325 degree oven until meringue is lightly browned (approximately 10-15 minutes, but check often so you don’t accidentally burn it).

This pie is almost done.

For a final touch, sprinkle crumbs over the top and then bake.

Let the pie cool briefly and then store it in the refrigerator overnight. Like I said, this is best served the next day—if you can wait that long.

 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also enjoy:
The Frosting Straight From Heaven
Chocolate Dipped In Chocolate

 

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