Kentucky Transparent Pie

The name of this pie kind of freaks me out. I don't really like foods that are transparent so much. Those transparent, see-through noodles...what are those things? Rice noodles? They get my gag reflexes going in a matter of seconds. (shivers up my spine, as I write that.)
But back to pie...it has been on my mind lately. I've written a few articles about some of my favorites and learning a ton about others. Namely, this guy. Mr. Transparent Pie.
He falls into the category of a custard pie and there doesn't seem to be many differences between him and some of those other famous ones like chess, buttermilk, sugar or even the oddly named Jefferson Davis Pie.
This pie, despite its name, is not transparent. Thank God.

Transparent Pie is incredibly sweet ~ the old timey cookbooks I've read say to serve just a fine sliver. It's a cinch to make and really has this amazing crunchy, sugary topping that is new to me and oh-so-delicious.
It is said that this pie is a favorite of famous Kentuckian George Clooney who has them delivered from Magee's Bakery in Maysville, Kentucky to his movie sets. Not sure if that's truth or not but I like to think that the likes of Pitt, Roberts, Clooney, Damon and Garcia were putting away a few thin slices of this pie between takes on the Ocean's Eleven set.


Transparent Pie
(recipe is the same from multiple old time Kentucky cookbooks)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked (9-inch) pie shell

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan with unbaked pie shell (either homemade or refrigerated.) Place in freezer while you prepare filling to prevent shrinking while baking.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add cream, and mix until smooth. Beat in eggs until combined, then stir in flour and vanilla. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake at 375°. for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top. 
** I found that I had to bake mine longer than 40 minutes. You need the pie to "set", not just get brown on top.



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35 comments:

  1. Looks great. But, in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I adore rice noodles.

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    1. I agree with you on the rice noodles!

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  2. Is it weird that I am a KY native and I've never heard of this?? I've had chess pie though. I'm going to have to give this recipe a try. I may even have to check out Mr CLooney's fave local spot!

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  3. This looks lovellyyy, and I have rather a mean sweet tooth so this might do the trick by the sounds! Gorgeous :)

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  4. Linda Ishmael11/6/12 10:24 AM

    It is true George loves this pie but in the smaller tart version. You haven't heard of this dessert because it has been a regional (Fleming/Mason Counties) dessert until most recent years. We call these transparent tarts or the more homey transparent puddings. Our receipts do not use milk or cream but do add a tablespoon of vinegar. If you'd like to start a new Kentucky feud ask where this receipt originated in Fleming or Mason County!! No family get-together would be worth a dime without these darling little pies!!!

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    1. Born in Mason County, grew up with transparent pies (puddings) and tarts! Love love love me some transparent pies.

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  5. Thanks Linda! You seem to definitely be "in the know" on these pies! Did you grow up eating them?

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  6. I grew up in Maysville. I think I still have the lnewspaper article where he was filming Batman (whichever One he wastin, Bat,an & Robin?) and Alicia Silverstone fell in love with the pies.

    Anyway, when the movie wrapped he brought her to Maysville to the bakery.

    I miss their brownies and lemonade. Childhood treat, we'd walk to the bakery after going to the library.

    Thanks for a stroll down memory lane!

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  7. Apparitions~ I love that note. What fun memories for you! Isn't it so great to have such sweet and simple memories like brownies and lemonade after a library trip? Those are the kind of memories I cherish most and want to give my boys as well.
    Blessings!

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  8. Yes, George loves the pies. We all do. I grew up on my grandmother's recipes. Loved them then and would give anything for one of hers now.

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  9. The Transparent Puddings, as far as I know, were originated with Magee's Bakery, which is in Mason Co. So delicious! I am 63 years old, and never remember not having them! lol

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  10. As a child (who lived in Rowan County, next to Fleming County), we would travel on special occasions to Maysville to get the Transparent Puddings or if we knew someone was going there, they would bring them back to us. They really are better made as tarts, and everyone who lives in this part of KY knows about them...those who live elsewhere in KY have no clue LOL LOL...the recipes are varied somewhat...cream/vinegar/lemon juice are sometimes seen in the recipes, but I would think the simpler recipes are more the norm...simple times; simple recipe; simply delicious...

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  11. I worked at Magee's bakery for a short time, and while everything they made was yummy, the transparent tarts always outsold all the other baked goods.

    I vaguely remember the recipe, but I don't recall that it had cream in it.

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  12. Hi there! I was recently at a family reunion in Maysville, and as is custom, had to eat transparent puddings and pies; This time, however, I ensured bootlegging some back to my home in Indiana. So, a kind relative drove me the most scenic route to the new location of Magee's Bakery. I felt like I was in a grandmother's property in her outbuilding slash bakery! Perfect. They do a LOT of business. You'd better come around opening time, and you'd better have cash or a check. No credit cards. I heard about Transparent Pie from my husband before we were even married--and that's 21 years ago now. It makes an impression. Taste one, and you'll see why even--Yes, Mr George Clooney (from neighboring town Augusta)--orders up a slew on the internet from Magee's. He's your biggest competition, I'd say....

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  13. This is interesting - found an 1891 recipe from a woman (Byrd Spilman Dewey) published in a Florida paperwho grew up in Maysville - her recipe:

    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    3 eggs (reserving the white of one for a meringue)
    1 pie crust
    Cream together sugar, butter, 2 eggs and one egg yolk. Bake in the piw crust at 350 until ste. Beat the one egg white with one tablespoon of sugar to make a merigue; spread over top of the pie and return to oven to brown.
    From the June 1891 Tropical Sun Newspaper, page 5

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  14. I grew up in Maysville, and I was just there this weekend for a family reunion. I couldn't believe no one brought a transparent pie! I have my great-grandmother's recipe, and it's one that calls for flour and not vinegar. It also calls for evaporated milk instead of cream. However you make it, it's rich and delicious, and I've promised to make one for son tomorrow.

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  15. I am from Maysville and this is true!! Magee's bakery is amazing!

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  16. I was born in Maysville and my father worked at Magee 's bakery. Every Christmas my mom would make transparent pies they are the best. Both my parents are gone now so I also make a pie at Christmas brings back such wonderful childhood memories.

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  17. **I love transparent pie, my grandmother used to always make it, and it was the best pie in the world. She grew up in the Ewing/Cowan area, and we have a lot of family in Flemingsburg and Maysville...I didn't realize that this pie was really only known in those parts, lol. She never used lemon or vinegar, that I remember, and never put fruit in it...I wish I could find her recipe, guess I'll have to try this one, thanks! :)

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  18. I've got to say, I love that you're getting the word out there about transparent pudding/pie/tarts BUT I agree with what some of the others have said - milk or cream is a "no go." Adding those things keeps your dessert from being transparent. The idea behind the name is that if you hold it up to the light you could see through it, because it's that close to being transparent. I've lived in Maysville my entire life and I've never seen anyone add dairy and still claim that it is a "transparent pie." That just doesn't make sense!

    If you don't like translucent foods, that's no problem, you can add cream. But then you've made a custard pie, not a transparent pie. :)

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    1. You're right original transparent pie is made with vinegar not cream.

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  19. My family is from Maysville and Flemingsburg and it's not Family Reunion without Transparent Puddings! I'm a Rice and proud of it!

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  20. I love this pie, in a tart version. We get it at the Amish store when we go into Lewis County. I haven't made one myself and there are many versions online. Really without getting a recipe from someone local I think I will just hold off. But they are lovely.

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  21. My mother makes these tarts and they taste exactly like Magee's tarts. Her recipe has lemon juice and Karo Syrup.

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  22. I'm developing a family tree whom most of the members seem to be from Fleming County for many generations, this recipe will add some "flavor" to the gift! I will be careful to include all versions so as not to offend anyone. Thanks ever so much!

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  23. I come from Georgie about every 4 weeks to work in Bracken, Mason, Fleming and Lewis counties and a trip to Magee's is the highlight of my week. The first time I went there by myself I was a little loss and my GPS was lost to. I stoppen and ask a young boy for directions and he said, yah you go rigiht up there to Aunt Sues house and turn around, go pass the barn and I looked confused. He quickly said you buy me one and bring it back and i will draw a map for you. Oh how I love kY and simpler times.

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  24. I am also from Maysville and cannot remember any Holiday without Magee's transparent puddings! Nothing compares to them. I recently came across a recipe that is very similar to Magee's and it does not include cream but it does include vinegar.

    The funny thing is, I moved to Michigan for a few years and could not find anyone who knew what transparent pie is!

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  25. I'm from Fleming Co. I was born and raised there that's not authentic transparent pie. Real transparent pie is made without milk or cream. My family has been using the same recipe that has been handed down by my great grandmother.

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  26. I agree Lisa. I grew up in Tollesboro and I have both my Grandmother's recipe and one from another wonderful cook who is now in her 80's. Neither one has cream or milk. I live in Atlanta now and will have someone bring me Magee's transparent tarts whenever I can catch someone heading this way. BTW: That George person was in my English class at Maysville Community College....many, many years ago.

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  27. Wow I've made transparent pies dozens of times but I've never seen a recipe for it that said use any kinda cream at all this recipe is more like one I've made called butter milk pie which is made the same way except you use buttermilk where this one says use cream....

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  28. Those of you that use recipes with vinegar, do you use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar? My family was from Breathitt county but my dad went somewhere in Northern KY as a kid and had transparent pie. He loved it and once as a teenager, I made it for him but I can't for the life of me find the recipe (heck that's been 40 years ago lol) Thanks!

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  29. I'm frm Maysville and there's nothing better than a transparent pie/ tart. They are around for every occasion : Christmas,Easter,birthdays and just because you NEED one! And George is a distant,very distant cousin. Magees are the BEST. They ship all over our great nation.

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  30. I have been eating transparent puddins all my life. My mother's side of family is from maysville and I summer ed there every year. The creme harns are great as well but, you'll never beat the puddins! Another hot item of magees was their salt risin bread.....sooooo delishus!! I live in seattle now and have to wait for my mom to send them, or until I make it home. Now I think I'll have them ship some to me!!! MAYSVILLE RULES!!!!

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