Nanny’s Kahlua Pie

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by Amber on September 6, 2011

Kahlua Pie has always been a big deal in our family. Nanny made it a lot, especially at Christmas time, when my Uncle Charlie would request it as his “birthday pie” – he was born on Christmas Eve.

One thing I’m grateful for is that my family recognizes the special bond Nan and I had over cooking, and they have allowed me to be family keeper of all recipes and cookbooks that once belonged to her. As I poured through the hundreds of cookbooks (gee, I guess that cookbook addiction is genetic!) in the library of her house, it was like taking a trip through my childhood.

What I loved finding most were the handwritten recipe cards and notes in the margins of some of her most used books. I don’t know.. I feel this way about seeing either of my grandparents’ handwriting – it’s like there’s a piece of them still here, calling out to me. Reminding me of who they were, and who they were to me.

So finding this Kahlua Pie recipe stuck in the pages of an old VFW cookbook might have made me tear up a little. It was like Nan was reaching out saying, “Here, Am, make this.”.

Of course, Nan always made this as one giant 9 inch pie, and you can do that. But I had this really cool Cup Pie Set from Chicago Metallics, so I thought, why not give it a go?

When I was talking with friends about this recipe, they were surprised to hear it uses a regular pastry crust, rather than a cookie crust. I have to tell you, I don’t think this pie would be quite right without the pastry crust. It’s just savory and buttery enough to cut some of the sweetness of the pie, and to me, the texture is perfect.

Besides, this is the way Nanny always made it. And so to me, it’s perfect. I’d love to hear your results if you did try it with a cookie or graham cracker crust.

The individual pies were quite a treat. The original recipe makes about a cup too much extra filling for the individual size, but you can either make 2 more pies, or stick the filling in the freezer and eat it like ice cream.

I hope you love Nanny’s Kahlua Pie as much as I do.

Disclosure: I am a Chicago Metallics Baking Partner. I was provided with the Chicago Metallic Cup Pie Set free of charge, but the choice to use the recipe and the experiences baking with it are my own. I was not compensated for this post monetarily.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray September 6, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Love this! Can’t wait to try them. So nice that you got to keep all of her recipes.


Amber September 6, 2011 at 9:43 AM

It really is, Rachel. I think you’ll love the pie – it’s creamy and rich and just the right amount of boozy.


Amandam September 6, 2011 at 9:34 AM

You have got the coolest grandma ever. :) She left you the most amazing gift!!!


Amber September 6, 2011 at 9:43 AM

It’s true. I’m blessed that she was my grandma. I miss her, but it’s easier to not feel sad knowing I’ll keep cooking with her for the rest of my life.


TidyMom September 6, 2011 at 9:34 AM

DELICIOUS!! I’m a BIG fan of Kahlua!! Thanks Amber


Amber September 6, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Aren’t we all, Cheryl? ;)


Rita September 6, 2011 at 9:50 AM

My grandmother and I share the same love of baking and recently I’ve followed in her footsteps decorating cakes.


Rita September 6, 2011 at 9:54 AM

…..She has cookbooks at her house that already have my name written in the front of them. She told me it’s because she want’s to make sure I get the ones she loved/used the most. Several years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and while she didn’t have the energy for much during chemo I’d take the lap top and we started compiling a list of family favorite recipes. I have notes and slips of paper that I can’t stand to part with even though the recipes are recorded simply because they are written in her hand. She’s still with us so I’m bless to still be able to bake with her and bounce ideas off her, but I know one day I’m going to be so grateful to have all those hand written notes of hers. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!!


Casey@Good. Food. Stories. September 6, 2011 at 6:01 PM

@Rita – that’s such a great story about your grandmother. I love that the two of you actively passed the recipes down through the generations!

@Amber – I didn’t know you had tiny cup pie pans! Those are the coolness.


Miss September 6, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Mini pies are awesome and these look so darn delicious. I have my a recipe that my grandmother wrote out for me when I was first on my own. I treasure it. So glad your family recognized the connection between you and your Nanny and made sure you have her recipes. Really special.


Brenda September 6, 2011 at 11:20 AM

I can’t tell you how much I love my recipe cards written from special people in my life. Beautiful post and beautiful pie – I love Kahlua!


Tina@flourtrader September 6, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I am so glad you shared this treasured recipe from your grandmother! My mother has a big tin full of handwritten recipes from my grandmother which will be handed down some day, I am sure they will bring back memories.
I have saved this recipe to make on a special occassion, simply delicious.


Katrina September 6, 2011 at 2:56 PM

This sounds awesome. I love making old recipes from the family. Yum!


Tracy September 6, 2011 at 4:09 PM

This pie sounds like nothing short of perfection. Grandmas’ recipes are definitely the best. And how wonderful that you’ll be able to keep on cooking with her through all of her notes and cookbooks. :-)


SMITH BITES September 7, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Amber, I am sooooooo happy you got the collection of cookbooks . . . to me, there just isn’t anything better than that – and seeing the hand-written recipe cards?? makes my heart happy, happy, happy!! Will definitely mark this one to make – wow!


Baker Street September 8, 2011 at 1:18 AM

Amber! So happy you got to keep the cookbooks and recipes! I love it when a hand written recipe cards is passed on. Its just so much more personal.

The pie looks scrumptious. You had me at Kahlua. Bookmarked. :)


Stefanie September 12, 2011 at 8:50 AM

These look really good! It must be so nice to find all those old recipes and be able to share your grandma’s love of cooking and baking. Thanks for sharing the recipe!


Sheila September 15, 2011 at 1:18 PM

This might be my new favorite pie. Your Gran was a great lady. I am glad you use her receipes and share them with us.


Kim October 2, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Just made this for my husband tonight. He really enjoyed it! He said it was light, fluffy, and not too rich…or in his words, “You can eat a whole slice without feeling sick.” Uh, thanks, husband! And he said true to the drink itself! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!


Lulu December 6, 2011 at 8:58 PM

I was following the ScharffenBerger chat today. Thanks for posting this! I just loved seeing the well-loved, hand-written recipe card in your photos. So reminiscent of many of my family’s recipes that I cherish so much. I can’t wait to try this! I also can’t wait to see what tweaks you will be making to this.


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