U.S. Presidents Had Some Pretty Weird Favorite Foods

U.S. Presidents Had Some Pretty Weird Favorite Foods

Ronald Reagan And Three Tons Of Beans

Legend has it that after he was inaugurated as the 40th President of The United States, Ronald Reagan, a man well known for having a tremendous sweet tooth, wanted to make sure The White House would have his favorite food readily available. So he had nearly three tons of Jelly Belly jelly beans shipped to the residence. Reagan claimed he started eating large quantities of jelly beans when he gave up smoking in the 1960s.

Bill Clinton Had A love Affair With McDonald’s

Clinton also had a reputation for being a terrible eater in the media, once leading paparazzi and reporters on a jog to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger. It’s unsurprising, then, to learn that the former President had a quadruple bypass in 2004.

FDR Served Hot Dogs

Perhaps Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s favorite food was not hot dogs, but his wife is well known for serving them to a king and queen. In 1939, at a state dinner, Eleanor and FDR hosted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at their residence at Hyde Park. As reported by The New York Times, it was the first time the king and queen had ever seen a hot dog and neither knew how to hold it, much less eat one. One can only imagine how hilarity ensued. Bravo, Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt! And yum!

Richard Nixon, Eating Cottage Cheese And Ketchup

President Richard Nixon gets the award for the oddest food combination among all commander-In-chiefs, with his daily request for cottage cheese drizzled in ketchup. Nixon would often eat this combo for breakfast while he was in The White House, sometimes substituting different “toppings” on the cottage cheese based on his mood, like pepper, pineapple or other fruit.

JFK, Boston Born And Bred

The 35th President of The United States, John F. Kennedy came from a well known Irish Catholic family, with roots deeply embedded in New England culture. New England Clam Chowder was a dish that Kennedy is said to have frequently requested during his time in the White House, hailing back to the President’s early love of fishing. White house staff recount stories of JFK strolling through the White House kitchen and dipping his fingers in the chowder cooking on the stove, tasting it and nodding his head in approval.

George Washington Really Did Love Cherries

Every school aged child has heard the story—be it fact or fiction—of the first President of the United States admitting to chopping down his father’s cherry tree, but George Washington really did love his cherries. He was especially fond of cherry pie, but even more so, he often imbibed in a glass of homemade cherry wine. Washington was particularly fond of all spirits, including madeira and beer, which he drank throughout the day, starting with breakfast. And continuing with lunch. And dinner.

William Howard Taft Loved Nuts

Almonds. So. Many. Almonds. The 27th president, William Howard Taft, loved salted almonds so much that he carried them with him wherever he went. While in the White House, Taft struggled with his weight. Rumors that he once got stuck in a bath tub in the family residence due to his large size were rampant; by all accounts, at just under 6 feet tall, President Taft weighed between 300 and 340 pounds.

James Garfield Loved Squirrels. Eating Them.

Perhaps the most “gamey” of all the presidential food choices was that of James Garfield. Garfield would serve as President for only 200 days before he was assassinated, but during his time in The White House, the staff was often called upon to prepare his favorite meal when guests came to dine: Squirrel soup and fresh bread.

Ulysses S. Grant And Pickled Cucumbers

It seems that many Presidents enjoyed starting the day with their most favorite meal, and Ulysses S. Grant was no exception. The former West Point graduate and Civil War general often requested cucumbers soaked in vinegar for breakfast, a food that he had loved since his boyhood. He also enjoyed pickled herring, according to many sources.

Jefferson Enjoyed French Food

Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, was what modern hipsters would classify as a “foodie.” He spent time in France and fell in love with the food there, bringing back many of the delicacies and making them part of his daily dining repertoire, including champagne, french fries, and ice cream.




U.S. Presidents who were really weird people

Abraham Lincoln: booze slinger

Long before Abraham Lincoln became president or hunted any vampires, he briefly paid the bills by running a combination store and bar in partnership with his friend William F. Berry. There was only one problem with this scheme—Berry was a notorious alcoholic. After owning the store for several months, Berry applied for, and received, a “tavern permit” for their business—he may even have forged Lincoln’s signature on the joint bond application.

It should be noted that Lincoln was not a fan of selling booze by the drink in their store, and this disagreement ultimately led to the end of their partnership. But for a period of about three weeks in 1833, you could have walked into “Berry & Lincoln” in New Salem to load up on gingham fabric and seeds for your farm, all while slamming down a peach brandy or Holland gin, possibly served up by the future President himself.

After Berry started drinking up all the profits himself, Lincoln noped out of the situation—selling his share in the store to Berry, who died just a couple of years later—saddling Lincoln with all the store’s accrued debts. Lincoln ended up taking a job as the New Salem postmaster to pay back all the debt. Apparently, Honest Abe had never heard the old adage, “never go into business with friends.”

John Quincy Adams: skinny dipper

Now, here’s something that could have only happened in the age before the Internet and smartphones. According to many reports, including one from the New Republic, John Quincy Adams — who, for those who did not pay attention in history class, was our sixth President — had a thing for skinny-dipping. Indeed, one of the forty-plus men to hold office in the White House loved to take off his clothes and go for a quiet dip in D.C.’s famous Potomac River.

According to the Huffington Post, Adams’ daily ritual, which began at 5 a.m., had less to do with a weird sexual fetish, and more to help him deal with the stress of, you know, being President of the United States. Ironically, Adams’ penchant for nude swimming was actually quite known among the press. Case in point: journalist Anne Royall was able to secure her history-making interview with Adams by hiding his clothes until he agreed to answer her questions, according to The Huffington Post. Strangely enough, Adams was not the only President who loved to take his clothes off and go for a dip. Among the others, according to The New Republic: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and, perhaps less surprisingly, John F. Kennedy.

Grover Cleveland: former hangman

Way back in the day, the law stated that anyone found guilty of first-degree murder must be hanged by the neck, and that the execution must be carried out by the sheriff of that particular county. According to a New York Times article published all the way back in July 1912, Grover Cleveland actually had to carry out this law while he served as the Sheriff of Erie County back in 1872. At one point during his term, a young Irishman named “Jack” Morrissey was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing his mother. The Times writes that Cleveland “surprised the community and his friends” by announcing that he would, in fact, go through with performing the execution. Much of Cleveland’s motivation was fueled by the fact that he was sick of people passing off the “obnoxious and degrading” task of executing murderers to the office’s Deputy Sheriff, Jacob Emerick, to whom the public had nicknamed “Hangman Jack.”

“Jake and his family have as much right to enjoy public respect as I have,” Cleveland was quoted as saying, “and I am not going to add the weight that has already brought him close to public execration.” After performing Morrissey’s execution, Cleveland was reported to have been sick for several days. “He was not so stolid and phlegmatic as very any persons have been led to believe,” the Times wrote.

Jimmy Carter: UFO-observer

Is the truth really out there? According to former President Jimmy Carter, maybe. Politico writes that in 1969, the then-Governor of Georgia claimed he saw an Unidentified Flying Object during a visit to the Lions Club in Leary.

“It was the darndest thing I’ve ever seen,” Carter later said of the alleged sighting. Carter actually filed a report on the incident for years later, and made UFO research a big component of his successful Presidential campaign in 1976. Carter ultimately backed off on said research by the time he got to the White House — releasing that information to the public, he thought, would have been a threat to national security, which only made him seem that much more paranoid. However, decades later, Carter stood by his alleged sighting, recounting his experience in a 2007 interview with CNN. By that point, though, Carter claimed it was “impossible” that the unidentified object was actually aliens. Which, yeah, crazy.

Thomas Jefferson: extreme stage fright

He may be immortalized on Mount Rushmore, but when it came to public speaking, even a nervous first-grader could have wiped the floor with him. Who are we talking about? Oh, just Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.

That’s right, while Jefferson was an excellent writer — as evidenced by the Declaration of Independence — he reportedly suffered from crippling stage fright. As a lawyer, he struggled to even present cases, and he never even spoke during the monumental Second Continental Congress. “I never heard him utter three Sentences together,” claimed John Adams.

From what we can tell, Jefferson may have only delivered two speeches himself — his two presidential inaugural addresses. Today, these speeches are among America’s most famous inaugural addresses, but anyone who actually attended these speeches would have had a hard time telling you what they were about. Jefferson spoke so quietly, the people in the audience had to strain to hear him. Duke University actually did a study, and found that Jefferson likely suffered from undiagnosed social phobia. So, for all you shy folks and shut-ins out there, you too can become president! If Jefferson could do it, so can you.

Lyndon B. Johnson: proud of his dong

While Lyndon Baines Johnson was well-known for things like his “War on Poverty”, signing the Voting Rights Act, or escalating the war in Vietnam, one part of his legacy is decidedly more perverted. According to information from Robert Caro’s exhaustive biography The Years of Lyndon Johnson, LBJ wasn’t remotely shy about his bodily functions—or his private parts. If the need to pee hit him, he’d whip out his member—which he affectionately dubbed “Jumbo”— and let loose right then and there, even if “there” was the parking lot of the U.S. House office building. He even was known to give dictation to staffers while moving his bowels on his private office toilet, but there’s no word if this practice included unwavering eye-contact.

According to notes by book reviewer Marshall Frady, if another legislator walked into a public restroom while Johnson was finishing his business, he’d turn around while brandishing “Jumbo,” exclaiming, “Have you ever seen anything as big as this?” He also was fond of scratching or adjusting his dangly bits whenever the need struck, reaching ostentatiously into a pocket and unabashedly jiggling things around until everything was arranged to his satisfaction. So basically, it sounds like LBJ was a lot like our Uncle Earl—the one who can be counted on every Thanksgiving to drink an entire bottle of Canadian Mist before passing out pantsless on Grandma’s couch while watching the big game.

John F. Kennedy: lots and lots of drugs

John F. Kennedy may have been one of the most charming and good-looking presidents in U.S. history, but behind closed doors, he was battling multiple illnesses, and used just as many drugs to treat them. Kennedy’s secrets were uncovered by Boston University history professor Robert Dallek, who revealed in his book, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, that Kennedy suffered from colitis, prostatitis, Addison’s disease and osteoporosis of the lower back, among other things.

“There was hardly a day that went by that he didn’t suffer terribly,” Dallek told Good Morning America. According to Dallek, Kennedy frequently took drugs ranging from codeine, to Ritalin and a thyroid hormone. “To fight the pain, Kennedy took as many as 12 medications at once, taking more during times of stress,” ABC News reported. In fact, during the both the Bay of Pigs scandal and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Dallek says that Kennedy was on multiple drugs to treat his various pains and illnesses. At one point, he even took anti-anxiety medications to treat the side effects of some of his other drugs, according to the report.

Shockingly enough, Dallek says that, despite Kennedy’s overflowing medicine cabinet, he was mostly able to keep his ailments a secret from the public, often out of fear that the news would damage his political campaigns. Fair enough. But we’re pretty sure there’s a pill for that.

Ronald Reagan: obsessed with the stars

Astrology—it’s not just for girls reading Teen Vogue or your crazy Aunt Linda. That’s right, even one of our former Presidents was a horoscope devotee. For years, the Reagans were known to be fans of the astrological arts. This interest in stargazing goes as far back as the ’60s: when Reagan took office as California’s governor in 1967, he was sworn in at a strange time: 12:10 AM. Supposedly this time may have been chosen because the stars indicated it was particularly fortuitous.

What started as mostly an innocent New Age hobby turned into an obsession for Nancy Reagan after March 30th, 1981 — the day Ronald Reagan was shot. Reportedly, astrologer Joan Quigley had warned Nancy something bad would happen that day, and after the assassination attempt, Nancy became obsessed with her husband’s safety, telling Quigley, “I’m scared every time he leaves the house.” The Reagans came to depend on Quigley, with Nancy admitting in her memoir that the astrologer was consulted to help in “determining Ronnie’s schedule.”

If the idea of a sitting president turning to a pseudoscience so to set his schedule scares the crap out of you, it may go even deeper than that. Another astrologer, Joyce Jillson, claimed she even helped pick George Bush as Reagan’s running-mate. Additionally, Quigley alleged in her own memoir that her role was much larger than Nancy had let on. While President Reagan claimed that “No policy or decision in my mind has ever been influenced by astrology,” in 1990 Quigley told the anchors of CBS’ This Morning that “through Nancy, I really had a direct line to the president.”

To be honest, Quigley’s claim makes a lot of sense in retrospect — if “Reaganomics” was actually inspired by messages in the stars, that could explain why it was such a disaster.

Calvin Coolidge: Ol’ Vaseline Head

We’ve heard about plenty of people resorting to alternative medicine to stay healthy, but Calvin Coolidge may ultimately take the cake. According to the (admittedly) sleazy-sounding book, White House: Confidential, our 30th President “enjoyed having petroleum jelly slathered on his head” every morning while he ate breakfast in bed. The reason: Coolidge apparently believed that somehow, some way, slabbing a bunch of Vaseline-esque jelly on his head over breakfast would be great for his health. Incidentally, various reports also claimed that, while serving as Vice President, Coolidge acquired the nickname “Silent Cal” because he wasn’t much of a casual talker. Which, after hearing about Coolidge’s love affair with petroleum jelly, actually totally makes sense.

Benjamin Harrison: afraid of electricity

When president Benjamin Harrison first took office in 1889, there wasn’t yet electricity in the White House—all illumination was provided by gaslights. But even though Harrison oversaw the installation of electric lighting into the executive residence in 1891, he and his wife refused to touch any of the light switches themselves. This wasn’t out of vanity or disdain for menial tasks—the couple were genuinely afraid of being electrocuted by the newfangled technology.

According to White House History, “few people at the time had enough faith in electric lighting to use it exclusively–its use was barely a decade old.” Put that way, we can kind of understand Harrison’s fear of going boom just because he wanted a little extra light—we all know that one old person convinced their cell phone is going to kill them, or that going outside with wet hair will give them pneumonia.

Ulysses Grant: not as bloody as we thought
Getty Images

Would you believe that former General Ulysses S. Grant—commonly called a “bloody butcher” because of his battle tactics—was actually a would-be pacifist? Reportedly, Grant was not as much of a fan of violence as you might expect from observing just about anything he ever did. He claimed that he detested war, and even had an aversion to guns. Additionally, according to a PBS biography of the 18th President, “He despised killing animals and hated blood so much he refused to eat meat unless it was charred.” When he ran for election, his campaign slogan was actually “Let Us Have Peace.”

When he won, America had a Republican president, with anti-war and anti-gun views, who despised killing animals and hated eating meat. It just goes to show you how much the political parties of the U.S. have changed since then.

William Howard Taft: too big for his bathtub

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A man walks into a store and gets the largest tub of butter he can find. When he checks out, the cashier asks him, “what are you going to do with all that butter?” The man replies, “it’s a secret, and I’d butter not spread it around.”

That’s a bad joke, but one White House staffers during the Taft era might’ve used to conceal the embarrassing truth. That’s because, for the last century-plus, a story has gone around that William Taft, our largest president, once got stuck in a bathtub and had to be prised out by four men and the aid of a pound of butter. The rumor has been so pervasive, it’s even spawned its own children’s book.

There’s no hard evidence this actually happened, as it’s based solely on the claim of a long-time White House usher in his autobiography. But there’s plenty of evidence that Taft did have oversized bathtubs made for him. The USS North Carolina had to outfit a cabin with an extra-wide bathtub for Taft’s trip to the Panama Canal and, according to a 1909 issue of Engineering Review, a Manhattan company custom-made the tub with “pondlike dimensions” for the journey. You know you’ve eaten too much ham when your bathtub gets accurately described as a pond.

After Taft’s return to the States, the 7’1″ long tub was removed and sent to the White House, where it faithfully served him for the remainder of his presidency.

Herbert Hoover: trapped in the closet

No, that title doesn’t mean what you think it means—Hoover wasn’t secretly gay, and he wasn’t an R. Kelly fan (that we know of). Actually, it refers to the primarily African-American servants who worked at the White House during Hoover’s term in office. According to long-time White House correspondent Kenneth Walsh, Hoover and his wife didn’t want to see the staff doing their work in the executive residence, and didn’t wish for the staff to see them, either.

As a result, workers in the White House developed a system for avoiding Hoover or the First Lady. Walsh explains, “sometimes they’d ring a bell a couple of times that it was the president, three times if it was the first lady. And they’d pile into closets, they’d hide behind bushes so the president couldn’t see them.” This set a precedent, with servants hiding from the President and his family through the next several administrations, until Harry Truman noticed and put a stop to it.

What we want to know is, what was a maid to do when cleaning the presidential bathroom and they heard Hoover’s footsteps coming. Did they risk his wrath by being spotted, or did they duck behind the shower curtain while he did his presidential business?

Warren Harding: terrible poker shark
President Warren Harding often felt overwhelmed by the pressures of his job, and he turned to more recreational pastimes to blow off steam. When he needed a break, he’d call in his “Ohio gang,” a group of crooked politicians that he enjoyed playing poker and drinking booze with. Because who makes for a better gambling buddy than a crooked cheat with no morals and fewer scruples?

Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice, described the atmosphere at these games: “The study was filled with cronies, the air heavy with tobacco smoke, trays with bottles containing every imaginable brand of whiskey, cards and poker chips ready at hand — a general atmosphere of waistcoat unbuttoned, feet on the desk, and spittoons alongside.” While President Harding certainly enjoyed himself, there was just one big problem — he wasn’t that great at poker. Apparently Harding didn’t know when to hold ’em, or when to fold ’em — he got in so deep during one game, he ended up gambling away the official White House china. Oops!

Harry S. Truman: no-middle-name-haver

Nancy Reagan’s Persimmon Pudding, Brandy-Whipped Cream Sauce, and Monkey Bread

That Ron and Nancy Reagan brought to Washington four years ago was, in a word, polish. They infused California chic in a southern town that often plays poorer second cousin to New York or L.A. The formal state dinners and glamorous entertaining continue at the White House today, especially around the winter holidays, when — if you should be so lucky to have your presence requested at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — you’d be sure to be served some of the First Lady’s elegant Persimmon Pudding with Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce, and perhaps a slice or two of Monkey Bread. Do watch the crumbs.

Nancy Reagan’s Persimmon Pudding

• 1/2 cup melted butter

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 cup flour, sifted

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

• 1 cup persimmon pulp (3 to 4 chopped nuts (optional) ripe ones)

• 2 tsp. baking soda

• 2 tsp. warm water

• 3 tbsp. brandy

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• 2 eggs, slightly beaten

• 1 cup seedless raisins

Stir together the melted butter and sugar. Resift the flour with salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and add to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the persimmon pulp, sold dissolves in warm water, brandy, and vanilla. Add the eggs, mixing thoroughly but lightly. Add the raisins and nuts. Put in a buttered steam-type covered mold and steam two and a half hours. Flame at the table with brandy.

Brandy-Whipped Cream Sauce

• 1 egg

• 1/3 cup melted butter

• 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

• Dash of salt

• 1 tbsp. brandy flavoring

• 1 cup whipping cream

Beat the egg until light and fluffy. Beat in the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and brandy flavoring. Beat the cream until stiff. Gently fold it into the first mixture. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Stir before spooning on the pudding.



Monkey Bread

• 3/4 oz. yeast or 1 package dry yeast

• 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk

• 3 eggs

• 3 tbsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. salt

• 3 1/2 cups flour

• 6 oz. butter, at room temperature

• 1/2 lb. melted butter

• 2 9-inch ring molds

In a bowl, mix the yeast with part of the milk until dissolved. Add two eggs and beat. Mix in the dry ingredients. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, mixing thoroughly. Cut in six ounces of butter until blended. Knead the dough, let it rise one to one and a half hours until double in size. Knead again and let it rise forty minutes. Roll the dough onto a floured board and shape into a log. Cut the log into twenty-eight pieces of equal size. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and roll it in melted butter. You’ll use half of the balls in each of the buttered, flour molds. Place seven balls in each mold, leaving space between. Place the remaining balls on top, spacing evenly. Let the dough rise in the molds. Brush the tops with the remaining egg. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until golden brown, about fifteen minutes.

Cherry Coke Salad Recipe

Bill Clinton insisted on cherry Coke salad.

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + chilling
MAKES: 10-12 servings


  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) cherry gelatin
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 3/4 cup cola


  1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set fruit aside. In a saucepan or microwave, bring pineapple juice and water to a boil. Add gelatin; stir until dissolved. Stir in pie filling and cola.
  2. Pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in reserved pineapple. Refrigerate until firm. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Barack Obama serves six different pies, including huckleberry.

Barack Obama serves six different pies, including huckleberry.

OK, that’s not weird, it’s just really impressive. The full Pie Lineup is apple, huckleberry, sweet potato, cherry, banana cream, and pumpkin.

Scrumptious Apple Pie

  • Prep Time45 MIN
  • Total Time2 HR 20 MIN
  • Servings8
  • Ingredients

    Double-Crust Pastry
    1/3to 1/2 cup sugar
    1/4cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
    1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8teaspoon salt
    8cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
    2tablespoons butter or margarine


    • 1 Heat oven to 425ºF. Prepare Double-Crust Pastry.
    • 2 Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Stir in apples. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
    • 3 Roll other round of pastry. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
    • 4 Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Serve warm if desired.

    Huckleberry Pie

    TOTAL TIME:2 hr 45 min
    Prep:25 min
    Inactive Prep:1 hr
    Cook:1 hr 20 min
    YIELD:One 9-inch pie



    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup shortening
    • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • 5 to 8 tablespoons ice water


    • 6 cups fresh huckleberries, or frozen thawed and drained
    • 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons orange zest
    • 2 tablespoons orange juice
    • 4 tablespoons instant tapioca
    • 1 large egg
    • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving


    For the crust: Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the shortening and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is coarse and a few pieces of butter are still visible. Add the apple cider vinegar and 4 tablespoons ice water. Pulse to combine. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a dry surface and divide into into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

    Roll the larger disk on a lightly floured surface about 11 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick, to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place in the pie plate, trim to 1/2-inch, and do not crimp the edges. Refrigerator while preparing the filling.

    For the filling: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup huckleberries with 3/4 cup sugar, orange zest and orange juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until the berries begin to burst and the mixture is saucy, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Combine the remaining 5 cups huckleberries with the tapioca in a large bowl. Add the cooked huckleberry mixture to the bowl and gently fold them in.

    Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Roll the smaller disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick and place on top of the filling. Fold the edges over and decoratively crimp the edges. Cut slits into the top crust to allow steam to escape. Whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.

    Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the filling is thick and bubbly, 50 minutes to an hour. Cool completely before serving. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

    Cook’s Note: Fresh berries will hold their shape better than the frozen ones.

    Cherry Pie

    Total Time:
    1 hr 30 min
    20 min
    1 hr 10 min
    Yield:1 (8-inch) pie
    4 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries
    1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    4 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/8 tablespoon almond extract (optional)
    Your favorite pie crust or pie dough recipe for 2 crust pie
    1 1/2 tablespoons butter, to dot
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle
    Watch how to make this recipe.
    Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the cherries lose considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract, if desired, and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch.
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan. Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar.
    Bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.
    Recipe courtesy of Peter Sterk

    Banana Cream Pie

    Total Time:
    3 hr 25 min
    3 hr 5 min
    20 min
    Yield:8-10 servings

    For the Crust:
    10 sugar cones
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    For the Filling and Meringue:
    2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
    4 large eggs, separated
    3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    2 bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

    Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pulse the cones, salt and sugar in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes; let cool completely.
    Make the filling: Bring 2 cups milk to a bare simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl until smooth and pale. Whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture, then pour into the saucepan and return to medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; set aside to cool, stirring frequently.
    Put the remaining 2 tablespoons milk and the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate melts, then let cool slightly.
    Spread the chocolate over the bottom and up the sides of the crust. Press the bananas into the chocolate, then pour the custard over the bananas. Cover and chill until set, at least 1 hour.
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and half of the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until opaque. Add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 more minutes.
    Swirl the meringue on the pie with the back of a spoon. Bake until golden brown in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Let sit at room temperature until set, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

    Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

    BEST homemade pumpkin pie recipe! With fresh or canned pumpkin purée, cream, brown and white sugar, eggs, and pumpkin spice

    • Cook time: 1 hour
    • Yield: Serves 8


    • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
    • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
    • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée (can also use puréed cooked butternut squash)
    • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
    • 1 good crust (see pâte brisée recipe or our no-fail flaky pie crust recipe)

    * To make pumpkin purée from scratch, cut a medium-small sugar pumpkin in half. Scrape out the insides (reserving the pumpkins seeds to toast) and discard. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or foil. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F until a fork can easily pierce them, about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove from oven, let cool, scoop out the pulp.

    Alternatively you can cut the pumpkin into sections and steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft (strain before using). If you want the purée to be extra smooth, press the pulp through a food mill or chinois.


    1 Preheat your oven to 425°F.

    2 Beat eggs, mix in sugars, salt, spices, lemon zest: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, spices—cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest.

    3 Add pumpkin and cream: Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.

    4 Pour into pie shell and bake: Pour the filling into an uncooked pie shell. Bake at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes. Then after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (About half-way through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)

    5 Cool on a rack: Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.

    Serve with whipped cream.