Want to try a new — or old — pie recipe for Pi Day? Take a look at these pies from Church history

To celebrate Pi Day today, we've compiled several archived pie recipes from historic Church publications — everything from a "pi"oneer-era Swiss apple-cherry pie to a butterscotch Cheerio pie from a 1959 Relief Society Magazine. Bake away!

Winnifred C. Jardine, who served as food editor of the Deseret News for many years, collected several pioneer-era recipies for an Ensign article in July 1972. The recipies, which were taken from Daughters of Utah Pioneers lessons compiled by Kate B. Carter, include this recipe for a Swiss apple-cherry pie and pie crust.

National Pie Day fell on Jan. 23, 2019 this year.
National Pie Day fell on Jan. 23, 2019 this year.

Swiss Apple-Cherry Pie

  • 4 large cooking apples
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups pitted sour pie cherries, fresh or canned
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Make pastry for two-crust pie. Pare, core, and slice apples. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush on bottom of pastry shell. Arrange a layer of apples on bottom of pastry shell. Mix dry ingredients and sprinkle portion over layer of apples. Arrange layer of red cherries, then sprinkle with some of dry ingredients; then layer of apples and dry ingredients; layer of cherries and dry ingredients; and end with layer of apples. Top with dots of remaining butter. After top crust is added to pie, rub crust with cream or evaporated milk and sprinkle with mixture of 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Bake at 425° F for 30 to 40 minutes.

101-Year-Old Pastry

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup lard or shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Cold water

Cut shortening into flour and salt. Beat egg lightly in a 1 1/2-cup measure; add vinegar and fill cup with cold water. Add just barely enough liquid to dry ingredients to hold dough together—about 4 tablespoons—reserving remaining liquid for next batch of pastry. Handle dough as little as possible. Roll out into pastry and use as desired. Makes two 9-inch pie shells.

Find the recipes here.

The September 1955 issue of The Improvement Era featured a story on Lena Glaus, a "natural-born cook and baker" who served with her husband, President Arthur Glaus, as he presided over the East German Mission from 1950 to 1953. The story included several traditional German recipes, including wiener schnitzel, kaper sauce and sour pot roast (German style). And for dessert, enough lemon pie to feed an entire ward.

Lemon meringue pie, by Lena Glaus

Lemon meringue pie.
Lemon meringue pie.

According to the magazine, this recipe is to be made for ward dinners and yields "15 big pies."

Lemon pie filling

  • 20 egg yolks
  • 32 lemons, juice
  • 16 grated lemon rinds
  • 5 quarts sugar
  • 4 quarts water*
  • 1 1/2 lb. corn starch
  • 1/2 lb. butter

Juice the lemons, grate the rinds, and add to juice. Let juice and water come to a good boil and then slowly add corn starch, mixed in sufficient ice water for a smooth mixture, and stir constantly. When this mixture is cooked just to the point you can see the corn starch, add beaten egg yolks, continuing to stir constantly, and let the mixture come to a boil in an ordinary pan without a lid. Remove from stove, add butter, and beat well. Let cool and then pour into pie shells. Let stand in a cold place.

*Original recipe listed 4 quarts of sugar, but it was updated to 4 quarts water in a later issue.


  • 20 egg whites
  • 1 quart sugar
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg whites until stiff, add sugar, salt, and vanilla, and beat well. Spread on top of cold pies, and put in hot (400°F) oven just until brown.

Crimping the pie crust for decoration keeps the filling in place. This year, National Pie Day fell on Jan. 23, 2019.
Crimping the pie crust for decoration keeps the filling in place. This year, National Pie Day fell on Jan. 23, 2019. Credit: Amy Wilde

Pie Crust

  • 5 lbs. flour (weigh exactly)
  • 1 1/4 lb. ice cold shortening
  • 1 1/4 lb. ice cold lard
  • 1 rounded teaspoon salt

Sift flour and salt together, and rub with combined shortening and lard until like sand. It must be in tiny grains, well-mixed, for good crust, and the combination of lard and shortening is recommended because shortening alone makes crust dry. Before rolling take just enough of this mixture for one crust, sprinkle with just enough water to hold dough together sufficiently to roll, mix, then roll out. Lena warns not to have too much flour on bread board because it will make the crust tough. Bake crusts in a 250° F. oven.

From the article:

"Lena's instructions for baking are very specific and important. Prick the pie shell to prevent rising, but also place within the crust another pie tin until shell is about half-cooked. Then carefully remove the inside pie tin with a knife, return the crust to the oven for one minute, remove again, and brush evenly with beaten egg white, then finish baking. The egg white will keep the crust crisp and prevent it from getting soggy. Lena also advises that the pie tins should be placed on a large bake sheet inside the oven in order to accomplish her admonition, 'Never, never, never touch the pie shell until after completely baked.'"

Find the recipe here.

In a "Kitchen Krafts" feature, Janet Peterson shared with Friend readers a recipe she inherited from her Grandma Matheson.

In the November 1985 article, she wrote, "From my earliest remembrance of Thanksgiving Grandma Matheson always made her special pies — light and fluffy and topped with mounds of whipped cream. Although Grandma Matheson is dead now, pies made from her recipe still accompany our turkey dinner."

National Pie Day fell on Jan. 23, 2019 this year.
National Pie Day fell on Jan. 23, 2019 this year.

Grandma Matheson’s Chiffon Pumpkin Pie

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 envelopes gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 9″ (22 cm) pie shell, baked
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Beat egg yolks lightly. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and milk; cook in double boiler until thick. Dissolve gelatin in water and add to mixture. Cool. Beat egg whites till stiff, then gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Fold egg whites into pumpkin mixture and pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with whipped cream.

Find the recipe here.

While introducing this unique pie, Florence B. Pinnock advised hostesses to graciously accept compliments on their offerings.

"When nice things are said to one, a person with charm will answer in the same spirit and not with a reply that is like a slap in the face. A simple 'thank you' said in a pleasant way, is adequate in return for a compliment," she said.

For this Butterscotch Cheerio Pie, which was included in the February 1967 issue of the Improvement Era, no compliment to its goodness "would be entirely adequate."

A screenshot of the February 1967 issue of The Improvement Era from archive.org, featuring "A Valentine of A Pie" by Florence B. Pinnock.
A screenshot of the February 1967 issue of The Improvement Era from archive.org, featuring “A Valentine of A Pie” by Florence B. Pinnock.

Butterscotch Cheerio Pie, by Florence B. Pinnock

Pie crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups fine Cheerio crumbs (3 1/2 cups Cheerios)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Make fine crumbs of the Cheerios by crushing with a rolling pin or by putting in the blender. Combine the crumbs, sugar, butter, water, and vanilla; mix well. Press in an even layer over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in a 350° oven for 5 minutes. Remove and cool before filling.

Pie Filling:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar, gelatin, and salt. Stir in the milk and beaten egg yolks. Cook over water in a double boiler until thickened. Stir constantly. Add the vanilla; chill until mixture begins to set, but do not let it become too thick. Beat the egg whites until they hold a peak. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. Fold into the gelatin mixture. Pile into the crumb crust. Chill until firm. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Find the recipe here.

In a collection of recipes submitted from the Central Atlantic States Mission, Lovell W. Smith included a Butter Pecan Pie from Wilmington, North Carolina, in the February 1959 issue of the Relief Society Magazine.

A screenshot of the February 1959 issue of the Relief Society Magazine from archive.org, featuring "Recipes From the Central Atlantic States Mission" submitted by Lovell W. Smith.
A screenshot of the February 1959 issue of the Relief Society Magazine from archive.org, featuring “Recipes From the Central Atlantic States Mission” submitted by Lovell W. Smith.

Butter Pecan Pie

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 c. pecan meats
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell

Put first six ingredients together in order listed. Then sprinkle one half of the nut meats in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour in pie mixture. Sprinkle remaining half of nut meats over top. Bake in 350° oven about 45 minutes, or until set.

Find the recipe here.

On the other side of the country, Virginia Maughan Kammeyer collected a variety of recipies from the Pacific Northwest for a July 1971 Ensign article. Included was a different sort of pie — a Salmon Potato Pie.

Salmon Potato Pie, by Virginia Maughan Kammeyer

  • 6 to 8 medium potatoes
  • 1 pound canned salmon, flaked
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 recipe pie crust

Peel potatoes and cut in very thin slices. Fill a 2-quart baking dish with alternate layers of potatoes and salmon, sprinkling potatoes with salt, chopped onion, and parsley. When dish is filled, dot with butter and season with pepper. Combine the cream and milk. Pour 3/4 cup of the liquid over the potatoes and salmon. Cover with pastry, cutting two slashes in the top. Bake at 375° F for about one hour, or until potatoes are tender. Turn off the oven. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the pie through openings in the crust. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until cream is absorbed.

Find the recipe here.