Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

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~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, April 1, 2013

Amber Pie

Happy April! I'm excited to be part of the A to Z Challenge for the 4th year in a row. My theme this time is recipes from A to Z-- all to be included in my upcoming recipe book, The House of Diamonds Cookbook: Hearty Meals for Active Families.

First up is Amber Pie, a sweet and spicy pie that's really easy to make and uses basic ingredients-- which is one of the themes of my cookbook. When I'm ready to prepare a meal I want to start cooking, using what I have on hand without having to go to the store and spend $20 on special ingredients. Ease of preparation and basic ingredients are key to all the recipes I'll be sharing here and in my cookbook.

Amber Pie

Something different, sweet and spicy, Amber Pie is best in a homemade pie crust, but works well in a prepared one if that’s your best option. Because sometimes life calls for pie.

Pastry for 9” pie
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated, saving out the whites
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour

Bake pie crust according to directions.
Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Combine sugar, flour, spices, egg yolks, butter, raisins and buttermilk in saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Pour into baked pie shell. Cover with meringue and brown slightly at 400 degrees, for about five minutes. Watch closely, do not burn.

Beat the three egg whites until light and fluffy. Add ¼ cup granulated sugar and beat well. Top pie with meringue and bake as instructed.

And the first piece goes to Arlee Bird, the founder of the A to Z Challenge, now in its 5th year. Here's to you, Arlee, for the amazing accomplishment of putting this event together and making it better each year.


  1. Hi Karen,
    That pie looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Oooo this looks yummy!

    Dani @ Entertaining Interests

  3. I like simple. Because if I lack the ingredients, I won't even go buy the proper ones - I substitute. (And that doesn't always work.)

  4. That does sound yummy! I can't wait to see all the new recipes I can try on my family this month!

  5. That looks quite yummy! And the sweet/spicy combination is usually one I enjoy!

  6. Mmmm, that pie looks really good. I wish I could bake like that. I'd try making something with the ingredients I already have, like you do, but I don't know of a recipe that includes Cheetos, Froot Loops, and frozen pizza. :)

    1. Neurotic, When I decided to start this cookbook I had to go out and replenish all my basics, because with it just my husband and me (and both of us trying to lose weight) I didn't have the kinds of ingredients I always had around when the kids were home. Back then I needed to be prepared for making regular meals for hungry appetites, and I had no time to run to the store every day to get ingredients just for dinner. But seriously, if you live alone or with only one other person, why would you have, or even need, a fully stocked pantry?

  7. Never heard of Amber pie, but it sounds delicious. I thought meringue was more complicated to make than that. What an easy recipe.

  8. A most yummy A!!!!! And I love love love meringue!! Take care

  9. An A-Z challenge about food! What a great idea. I'm a rubbish cook, which is probably why I love blogs about it. I sit her and salivate while someone else does the hard work. But this might be possible, even for a cooking-dunce like me!

    1. Jo, I'm sure it would be, especially if you go with a pre-made pie crust. The hardest thing is to stir the filling until it gets thick-- that can be kind of boring. I usually read a book while stirring, so I'm not tempted to walk away and thus ruin it. I hope you do try it!

  10. Aah, lemon meringue is at the top of my list of favourites. We OF COURSE had one with the desserts served yesterday for Easter meal, however; I would indeed try the "Amber" - sounds delicious.

  11. I love the idea of recipes that don't require $$$ in special ingredients, and this amber pie looks delicious. I'll definitely be back for more recipes during the month ^_^


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  12. Oh, this looks delicious! I love the sweet and spicy combination. I will try it.

  13. Oh my gosh- I'm so hungry now! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Yum! I'll have a slice for breakfast please.
    Nice start Karen

  15. Yum is right! I'll have the rest of that pie since Pat (above me) only wants a slice. P :) :)

    I'm so looking forward to your posts...salivating as I read! (it's a good thing this is cyberspace otherwise I'd have to keep my drooling in check)


    1. Jenny, LOL. I promise to post a few healthy items as well-- not just desserts haha!

  16. Karen! I'm totally going to make this! Going to a dinner next week and it is in the plan! Thanks.

  17. That dessert sounds amazing. I normally only put meringue on a lemon filling but I'd be more than happy to give this pie a try ;)

  18. Ah, I love meringue. Unfortunately no one else in my family does :(
    Looking forward to more lovely recipes.... ~Miriam

  19. Hi Karen .. yes - it's similar to what I remember from my childhood - apples from the tree, or extra fruits from the hedgerows ... topped with meringue .. delicious.

    I imagine your book is full of good wholesome easy quick recipes!! Cheers Hilary

  20. Looks so good! Congrats on your lovely cookbook!

  21. I've never heard of this...and I happen to have some buttermilk I need to use up!

  22. Life always calls for pie. :-) This looks really tasty, never heard of this combination. Great theme - food!
    from The Dugout