Even though summer’s almost over there are still some warm days left and a chance to revisit one of childhood’s simple pleasures: making a mud pie. The following is excerpted from the recipe book Get Baked: The High Art Of All Forms Of Pastry by Eunice Phelan.
How To: Make A Mud Pie.
Locally sourced mud pies are best but this may not be possible if you live in a coastal area or in parts of the American southwest where the soil is too sandy to adhere properly, creating more of a sludge than bona fide mud. In these areas, or if you live in a city and don’t have easy access to topsoil, try commercial potting soil. Its dark color and perlite can give your mud pie a nice chocolate cookie quality similar to Oreo or Hydrox. Commercial potting soil tends toward dryness, though, so check on local water restrictions.
For added appeal you can blend commercial potting soil with lighter brown soil, if you can find it. This blending is a very advanced technique that requires more patience, skill, and practice than most mud pie makers are going to have, but the results are worth it.
In much of the southeast you’ll find a dense clay-rich soil that’s a perfect mud pie base. Add enough water to give it a consistency that’s easy to shape but not too soft. You can always add more water but it can take hours or even days for any excess water to evaporate. Mud pies always benefit from being served right away and can be spoiled if it rains or if you just forget about them.
Once you have the right consistency place your mud base in a pan. I find a round 9-inch metal baking pan works best. Metal is prone to rust, especially if left outside, but holds its shape better than plastic. I find mud pies in metal pans also dry faster.
Once your pan is filled add finishing touches like a crimped edge and vertical cuts in the center. Garnish with leaves for color.
I’m glad you served up this comment.
You can add candles too.
Candles would be a really good addition, although when I was of mud pie-making age I wasn’t allowed to play with matches.
Ahh yes, the mud pie. I had much fun as a kid making these, it was a long and tedious process and of course when your the only girl in a group of 11 male cousins of various ages. These pies would come in handy, before they dried of course. lol
That’s hilarious, although I thought it would be pretty funny if you hit one of your male cousins with a dried mud pie. That might be a little too much even for them, though.
I have never actually put a mudpie in a pan. That is what I was doing wrong. (Favourite part… “Serves 6-8”)
Making a mudpie without a pan is not wrong–if anything it takes some serious skill to make a mudpie without a pan.