Nana’s Kitchen: Grape-Nuts Pie
Greetings, home cooks, welcome to Nana’s Kitchen,
I have Grape-Nuts cereal for breakfast from time to time. Usually eaten cold. Supposed to be good for the digestion. However, served cold is not the only option. It can be eaten hot, on ice cream, and in various recipes, made into muffins, dessert bars, and even meatloaf. My favorite is Grape-Nut Pie. This little box of cereal has some versatility.
There are no grapes or nuts in Grape-Nuts! It is a breakfast cereal made of wheat, barley, salt, and dried yeast. Introduced in 1897 by C.W. Post. Originally baked as a rigid sheet, broken into pieces, and run through a coffee grinder. It’s first use was as a hot drink mix for a coffee. That did not work. Advertised as a cold cereal did. Later in production the vitamins we see in the cereal today, were added.
The name for the cereal has several theories, the broken pieces looked like grape seeds and the nutty flavor suggests the name. The word grape came from ‘grape sugar’ what Post called glucose.
Several interesting history notes of the cereal:
- Post was the first to introduce coupons for cereal in 1909. They were worth a penny. Customers could redeem them on purchase.
- The plant where Grape-Nuts was first manufactured is still in operation in Battle Creek, Michigan.
- In New England, especially Maine, Grape-Nuts ice cream is popular. The recipe is over a century old.
- According to company lore Grape-Nuts were part of the jungle rations provided for soldiers during WWII in tropical areas. The cereal was functional, required no cooking. Could be eaten dry.
- The cereal was not coated in sugar till the 1940’s.
- Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had Grape-Nuts cereal in their backpacks when reaching the peak of Mount Everest.
- The expeditions to the North and South Poles by other explorers included the cereal.
- The “Andy Griffith Show” was sponsored by General Foods, in the 1950’s, which owned Grape Nuts at the time.
1/2 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Unbaked pie shell ( home made or store bought)
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Soak Grape-Nuts cereal in water till absorbed. Combine well, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, beaten eggs, vanilla. Add soaked Grape-Nuts.
Place mixture in unbaked pie shell. Bake for 50 minutes or until filling is puffed completely across the top.
Add whipped topping to pie slice after cooled.
One of the recipes I reviewed had you bringing the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a boil in sauce pan then adding eggs, vanilla and Grape-Nuts before placing in pie shell. This is ok except you must let the mixture cool before adding eggs or being very cautious to temper the eggs and add to hot mixture slowly. Otherwise you have scrambled eggs. This method might make the pie a little creamier.
Extends preparation time a little. The mixture comes to a boil quickly.
Takes only a few minutes for the cereal to absorb the water.
If you do not like Grape-Nuts you may not like the pie. It has a Grape-Nut flavor when eating with a slight brown sugar after taste. The consistency is like pecan pie. The Grape-Nuts come to the top of the pie during baking.
Plain white sugar can be used for the brown sugar.
Due to the egg content in the pie refrigerate after cooling.
‘Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I can eat eight!’ – Yogi Berra