This weeks pie is another first for me. Over the years I’ve made many varieties of custard pies, pumpkin, coconut, sweet potato, but never WHITE POTATO. I would imagine most of you have never heard of such a pie either. I decided since this was my 10th state and I don’t live far from Maryland, I would celebrate the milestone by crossing the state line and try my very first bite of MARYLAND’s White Potato Pie in the state it hails from.
White Potato Pie, or as it is sometimes called, Eastern Shore White Potato Pie, appears in cookbooks all across The Free State. Originating in England, this pie was brought to America by the early English settlers. It was even enjoyed by George and Martha Washington. With an abundance of potatoes grown on the Eastern shore, this pie gained its popularity in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and some called it, ‘the poor man’s dessert.’ Before Summer harvests were on hand, white potato pie helped preserve a crop that was readily available.
By 1983 cookbooks and magazines officially named white potato pie ‘Maryland’s White Potato Pie.’ I have to say I was very curious about this one. Basically you start out by making mashed potatoes. I peeled the potatoes, cubed them, and boiled them. I added butter and mashed them. Mmmmmm those mashed potatoes smelled good. I could have just stopped there.
I added a layer of cinnamon and sugar to the bottom of the pie crust. Next I sweetened the potatoes. For some reason this wasn’t as weird to me as sweetening tomatoes for the green tomato pie. Sugar, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and evaporated milk, created a creamy, custardy consistency. The nutmeg and cinnamon added some warm color and flavor to the pie. As it baked it smelled like Thanksgiving Day, whether it was the potatoes or the Fall spices it had my mouth watering. I brought the pie to the Virginia/Maryland border for my first taste. Overlooking the Potomac River as the sun was beginning to set I ate Maryland’s White Potato Pie in Maryland!
This pie was reminiscent of a Pumpkin pie, similar in flavor and texture. It had a bit of a potato aftertaste, not sure if that was partially in my mind because I knew there were mashed potatoes in there. I love how versatile the potato is. To be able to take something so basic and bland and turn it into something warm and delectable. If you’re from Maryland I would love to know if you’ve ever tried this pie. Thanks for following along on my pie journey.
A little pie crimping
My Pie was featured on The official Site for Maryland Tourism, Visit Maryland and Maryland Road Trips
Originally published October 25,2019