Instead of a dedicated dessert cookbook, we'll look at the dessert section of a cookbook with advice from one of our most questionable recipe sources: '70s home ec teachers.
This "Life-Saver" Cookbook (1976) is from teachers who thought of "life-saver" as a more positive way to say "cheap."
Surely there are some interesting cheap pies! One of my first thoughts when I think of budget recipes is crackers. Are there cracker pies?
Yep! Graham cracker crumbs are not just for the crust anymore. Fold 'em into meringue with a few pecans, spread in a pie pan, and bake, then call it a pie (even though it's really just a giant graham cracker meringue in a pie pan). I'd really like to see this in a graham cracker crust, but I guess a double graham cracker pie just isn't in the budget.
If you can afford to be a little Ritz-ier, you can try this one:
I'll bet you thought it was going to be one of those mock apple pies made with Ritz crackers! Nope. "Miracle Pie" is also just a giant, cracker-strewn meringue in a pie plate. I'm not sure what the miracle is. Maybe it is that people considered these things pies at all?
What other ingredient might I expect in vintage pies for pennies? If you're thinking "cottage cheese," then you have been paying attention.
Yes, cottage cheese was in everything, including lemon pudding mix for a pie, apparently. Why it was better to throw a carton of cottage cheese and some extra sugar into instant lemon pudding than it would have been to just make two packages of pudding, I don't know.
I was hoping to find a cracker and cottage cheese pie for the ultimate budget dessert, but this is as close as I got:
More instant lemon pudding! More cottage cheese! I'm calling Grape Nuts honorary crackers in this case... and I know it's not a pie, but neither are the first two "pies." We could throw it in a pie plate and pretend! Home ec teachers wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Happy Cookbook Wednesday! Thanks to Marjie of Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet for hosting, as always.