My family has a house on a lake in a very small town in Arkansas. My great grandparents built the place in the late-1940's, and my dad has gone up there every summer of his life. When my dad was a boy (1950's-ish) there was a one-room restaurant in the town called Vance's Villa. Mrs. Vance, the proprietor, used her living room as the restaurant and cooked for patrons out of her kitchen. This was her signature dessert - Abe Lincoln Pie. Vance's Villa burned down in the late-1950's or early-1960's, but not before my grandmother coaxed the recipe for Abe Lincoln Pie out of Mrs. Vance. My family has been making it ever since and it's my dad's favorite pie in the whole wide world.
MRS. VANCE'S ABE LINCOLN PIE
Recipe makes 2 pies. I recommend using a pre-made graham cracker crust (can be purchased in just about any grocery store). My grandmother noted in her recipe that it is better to freeze the crusts before adding the custard filling.
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 c. milk
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 package plain gelatin (such as Knorr)
- 1/4 c. cold water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 pint whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form
- Graham cracker crusts - 2
- Unsweetened chocolate (for grating over the top)
1. Beat sugar, milk, egg yolks, and salt lightly in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Allow the mixture to thicken and then set aside.
2. Dissolve gelatin packet into cold water in a small bowl. When fully-dissolved, add to hot custard.
3. Add 1 tsp. vanilla.
4. Allow custard to cool completely.
5. When cool, fold in three egg whites, beaten stiff. Also fold in whipped cream.
6. Pour into two cold crumb crusts. Grate unsweetened chocolate over the top.
7. Refrigerate until serving.