The southern region of the country is well known for its rich culture and history, but its claim to fame may be the rich home-cooked foods that originated there. Classic southern baking typically calls for some type of fruit and the generous use of butter, sugar, and warm spices. These iconic southern desserts may not tie into your diet, but they are unquestionably comforting and delicious.
Sweet Potato Pie
Since the early colonial days, sweet potato pie has been a staple southern dessert. In some parts of the south, sweet potato pie is served during the holiday season in place of pumpkin pie due to their similarity in taste and texture. This might also be because the best tasting sweet potatoes grow in the late months of the year. To make this pie you will need sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a few other essential ingredients. Many southern bakers swear by using lard as a secret ingredient for creating the flakiest pie crusts.
A cobbler is a fruit based dish which is baked under a crust made of batter, biscuit, or dumpling. Cobbler in the south is typically made deep dish style and with peaches. This is probably because the south is famous for their juicy peaches, which thrive there during the humid summer months. Peach cobbler is relatively easy to make and is created using ripe peaches, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and other yummy ingredients. You won’t have to wait long to dive into this dessert because peach cobbler is meant to be eaten while it’s still warm.
Banana pudding is a sweet layered dessert that has been around since the late 1800’s. It typically consists of layers of sweet vanilla custard, cookies, and slices of fresh bananas. According to many southern cooks, a simple wooden spoon is essential in determining the perfect consistency for custards. Coat the spoon with the mixture and run your finger across the back of it. If you’re left with a clean trail and a very thin film underneath, then it’s ready to go. Finish it off with a dash of whipped cream or top it with fresh meringue for the ultimate experience.
Southern baking is a labor of love. Baking tends to be especially tough because of the precise process that must be followed for proper results. When you want authentic southern soul food and want it now, head over to Mama Sheila’s House of Soul. To learn more about the history of soul food see this article.