This week, we are making a pie with cinnamon red hot candies and alphabet noodles.
This is Alphabet Pie!
- ½ cup alphabet noodles
- 1 cup red cinnamon candies
- 1 cup pear juice (drained from canned pears)
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 7 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 2 cups syrup from boiled noodles (if you don't have two cups, add extra water to make 2 cups)
- 1 cup cream or evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
- 1 cup diced canned pears
- 1 baked Pastry shell (I used a graham cracker crust)
- Whipped Cream Topping (1 cup cream whipped with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar)
- Combine first four ingredients and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and cook about 40 minutes or until noodles are tender. Drain and reserve cooking syrup for filling.
- Sift sugar, cornstarch and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt together; add eggs, reserved cooking syrup and cream; cook slowly until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter, pineapple juice, pears and all but 2 tablespoons of the noodles.
- Cool filling, then pour into pastry shell. Cover with whipped cream and decorate with reserved noodles.
This pie was originally brought to my attention by a reader, and really caused me to take a closer at the book it comes from, 250 Superb Pies and Pastries, published by Culinary Arts Institute in 1941. I had this book in my collection for quite a while before I really read the thing from cover to cover.
Or, in my case, missing cover.
After taking a really good, long look at this book, I’ve discovered that this might actually be my favorite pie cookbook. Ever. With pies like Fruit Salad, Ground Cherry, Frosted Orange, Transparent Custard, Barbara Frietchie, Sharkey Custard and Lemon Potato, I’m going to be very busy in the future testing out pies.
But I chose Alphabet Pie as my first victim, mostly because it was a pudding pie, and I love pudding pies. As a child of the 80’s, there was a period of about four years early in my culinary adventures where my specialty dessert was a intricate multi-layered pudding pie with a graham cracker crust and topped with Cool Whip.
And I was thrilled with this shade of pink! I mean…as thrilled as you can be with cinnamon red hot pudding.
Everybody in the pool!
Meet Noodles, the pie.
In retrospect, scattering the remaining noodles around on top wasn’t the best choice for garnish. It kind of looked like rice over the pie. Or bugs.
Anyway, onto the testing.
“What do you think Alex?”
“Yum! Very pie-y!”
“Well, you can’t argue with that.”
“Well, that’s not a good face.”
“This tastes like cinnamon.”
“Cinnamon breath mints.”
The Verdict: Breath Mints
From The Tasting Notes –
This pie was actually not that bad, and was kind of fun. I mean, for being completely insane. It pretty much tasted like cinnamon red hot pudding, which means it had a very…unique flavor. Like breath mints. But once you get over the shock of that, it actually kind of works and the pie ended up being not bad. The noodles tasted like…noodles in a pie. And the pears tasted like canned pears in cinnamon pudding, but overall it wasn’t a disgusting experience. It tasted very much like candy. The homemade pudding was good but a bit cornstarch-y. But even when you flavored it strangely and throw in a bunch of crazy mix-ins it still tasted good, pretty much proving that you really can’t ruin pudding pie. Plus, it actually ended up being pretty. The pink pudding was fun, and Alex enjoyed it a lot. That being said, I can’t think of any occasion where this would be an appropriate dessert except for a child’s birthday party. And that child had better really like red hots.