Specialty Baked Goods
"When you went by her house, you could have a slice of cake or a piece of pie."
Aside from biscuits, cornbread, and teacakes, southern food is also known for an army of homemade cakes, pies, and other desserts. Almost every southern cook has a special baked good that she or he prepares.
"And she used to make fried pies...She would stack 'em up. We had a whole shelf in the little cabinet for things like that."
"Pound cakes are a work of patience. It takes about twenty-five minutes just to mix up a pound cake an' then it takes an hour and a half to bake one. So, when you take a pound cake to a family who lost a loved one, it's truly a labor of love an' it's a big moist cake that serves about twenty-five people. The taste is different; they know you made it for them an' it is a way for you to minister to them."
Like other baked goods, cakes and pies were made entirely from scratch, often with ingredients raised or produced by the family. Women used hand-picked fruit, canned preserves, or home grown sweet potatoes in pies. Fried pies were also considered a southern delicacy, and like teacakes, they were made in bulk and stored as treats. Many cooks prepared banana pudding, sometimes with the recipe on the back of the vanilla wafer box. A wide variety of cakes graced the tables at the church "Dinner on the Grounds," testaments of the community's baking skills.
"Oh, fried pies. That was a big delicacy....an' apple pies....that went to the Dinner on the Grounds too."