Funeral Pie

Syd from Adrenaline’s Shadow made a comment about wanting pie on my last post regarding lemon yogurt. So now, I must share the recipe (and the story) about the only food item thing I learned how to make from my paternal grandmother, Helen.

Helen was a Presbyterian minister’s wife in a small, North Carolina town. I believe she probably had an IQ of at least 150. While I have no doubt that she loved my grandfather to distraction, I also believe that the life she led having to be “the example” chafed on her from time to time. (Of course, she WAS a Virgo, so she could handle it!). I grew up living at least 2 states away from her, so never really knew her as “gramma”, just that rather stiff, formal woman who was so fond of saying, “We just don’t do that in this house!” and serving cold baked chicken, crunchy white rice, and mushy canned peas. Ahh, Sunday “dinner” at gramma’s! No wonder my mother always cooked when we visited!

But, my grandmother could make a lemon pie! It was to die for, which is good since she always called it “Funeral Pie”. I never really thought much of it until probably around my high school years, then I realized it was kind of an odd name for a pie. When I asked my mom about it, she said my grandmother called it that because she always took it to the houses where people had passed away. You know in the South everybody brings food when somone dies. And since even my grandmother would not inflict her chicken/rice/pea horror on a grieving family, she took Funeral Pies. Now, you could call it Lemon Cream Pie, or Lemon Icebox Pie, or something a bit more appetizing, but in our family, it’s Funeral Pie, and will be till the last one of us has our own funeral (at which time, I do hope a friend will carry on the tradition and make Funeral Pie and celebrate). It’s tart, it’s sweet, it brings on that “squeaky” feeling in the sides of your mouth that only something really lemony can do. Plus, it’s so easy it’s like cheating. So, without further ado, here is Helen’s Funeral Pie (this recipe makes two pies):

Note: this is NOT for the sugar-conscious!

2 pre-made deep-dish frozen pie crusts (you can make your own, but Helen wouldn’t so why bother?)

1 can of SWEETENED CONDENSED (not evaporated) milk.

1 12 oz can of frozen lemonade concentrate. (NOTE: The original recipe called for 1 6 oz can of concentrate, but as near as I can figure, they don’t make 6 oz cans anymore, so use HALF of the 12 oz can, and make lemonade with the rest. Or, double the other ingredients and make 4 pies. You won’t regret it.)

1 regular-sized container of Cool Whip, thawed. If it’s still frozen, it won’t work.

Bake the pie crusts according to directions and let cool. In a large mixing bowl combine the can of SWEETENED CONDENSED milk and the lemonade concentrate. Whisk together well. Once this is fully mixed, use a rubber spatula to FOLD the container of Cool Whip into the mix until all the liquid has been incorporated. Fill the 2 pie crusts, smooth the tops with the spatula and set in the fridge to chill. Garnish with lemon slices and/or grated lemon zest (if you want to get that fancy). Chill for a couple of hours or overnight and prepare for a lemon FEAST.

Syd’s right, I need PIE!!



10 thoughts on “Funeral Pie

  1. Wow. I am truly humbled! Have to admit a few “pie” jokes crossed my mind when I was writing this, but Helen’s ghost just wouldn’t let me put them in!


  2. I don’t even LIKE lemon and this sounds good!

    Well, I don’t hate it so – maybe I can make it anyway. 😀

  3. Hi! Been lurking for a spell, love your writing. I just had to “show my face” for a comment on this post. I love love love lemon pie, but baking my own pie has always intimidated me. However, I think I’ll be trying my hand at this one. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  4. Pingback: Nineteen Years and a Life « Grumpygranny’s Weblog

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