IDEA ALLEY: Old newspapers deliver recipes for Hickory Nut Pie

1 month ago The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

"While visiting my mom in Fremont, Ohio, over the holidays I met a new friend who used to live in Joplin, [Mo.]" writes Tanya Collins. "He asked me if I'd ever had hickory nut pie. He recalled loving this delicious dessert from Stevens Cider Mill that was in Jane, Mo. In fact, he said if I could track down the recipe he would make one! I am enlisting your help to try to find this recipe, or a recipe, for Hickory Nut pie."

I could be wrong, but I think the restaurant Collins' friend is referring to is Stephenson's Cider Mill or possibly Stephenson's Apple Farm. I found no record of Stevens Cider Mill in Jane, Mo., but I did find news articles that mention Stephenson's. As far as hickory nut pie, all the recipes I found sound pretty similar to pecan pie, but with hickory nuts, which isn't surprising if you remember pecans are a member of the hickory family.

If you have one that is different, please send it to the email address below.

In chronological order:

Arkansas Gazette, Dec. 6 1964 — "This 'Nutty' Story Is Pretty Tasty" by Maxine M. Wasson

An unnamed Washington County woman mused to Wasson:

“Hickory nuts are my favorites for the kernels are so sweet and delicious tasting.

“I still get a hankering to go out into the quiet woods and race Mr. Squirrel and pick up the hickory nuts and tear off their four-parted husks and crack them and eat them in the autumn sun -- or take them to the house and use the goodies in oldtime chocolate fudge or a hickory nut pie. I have a real good recipe for hickory nut pie. You just mix up one cup of dark Karo syrup and one cup of white sugar. To this you add three lightly beaten whole eggs and a pinch of salt — about one-fourth of a teaspoonful — and one heaping teaspoonful of vanilla. To this you add one-fourth of melted butter. You take and put three-fourths cup of hickory nut goodies on an uncooked nine inch pie shell and pour your mixings on the hickory nuts. Bake about an hour, more or less, in a moderate hot oven.

“It's really good eating. I tell you, I don't believe a body could make a failure on this hickory nut pie.”

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Arkansas Democrat, Oct. 13, 1968 '"Hicker' Nuts Good for Hunting and Eating" by Jewell Kirby Fitzhugh

Hickory Nut Pie2 cups light or dark corn syrup3 eggs, beaten¼ cup butter, softened1 tablespoon vanilla½ cup creamy milk¾ cup chopped hickory nut meatsUnbaked pie crust

Combine ingredients in the order given and pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake in moderate oven about 30 minutes, or until a silver knife inserted in the center of pie comes out clean.

  ■  ■  ■

Arkansas Democrat, Jan. 27, 1982 "Front Burner: How to stay warm in the kitchen" by Kathy Harlan (Front Burner was the Democrat's version of Idea Alley.)

"Dorothy Wright writes, 'Mrs. Jo Landis of Fayetteville wanted a recipe that uses hickory nuts. I have used the following for years.'"

Hickory Nut Pie1 cup white corn syrup1 cup white sugar¼ teaspoon salt2 tablespoons softened margarine3 tablespoons canned milk1 cup hickory nuts1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell, chilled (do not use flavoring)

Mix all ingredients; adding the nuts last. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Bake on lower shelf in moderate oven. When pie is done, outer edges of filling should be set, center should be slightly soft. Ms. Wright says she uses the same recipe for pecan pie, except she adds a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring.

Email recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to:

[email protected]

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