Sweet tea pie was created by Mississippi chef Martha Hall Foose as her entry in the Crisco State Fair Pie Baking Contest in 1987, the summer she graduated from high school. This version was adapted from the recipe used by Taff Mayberry, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Austin, TX.
Recipe Makes: One 10-inch pie
1 9-inch pastry crust, frozen, refrigerated, or homemade
1 cup hot water
2 orange pekoe tea bags
2½ tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons medium-grind cornmeal
⅔ teaspoon kosher salt
2½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
11 egg yolks
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 350° and move the rack to the center of the oven. In a coffee cup, pour the hot water over the tea bags. Set aside to brew for 5 minutes, then remove and discard the bags. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt. Set aside. In a large, heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar. Whisk in the reserved tea and lemon juice. Whisk in the flour mixture.
2. Fill a medium saucepot with water and bring to a simmer. Place the mixing bowl with the sweet-tea filling over the simmering water and add the butter in four batches, whisking until each batch is melted before adding the next batch. Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell and place in the oven on the center rack. Bake until the center jiggles but does not ripple and the top is a deep brown, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too much). Remove the pie from the oven and set aside to rest at room temperature until cool. Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.