Rich Man’s Pie


One of the streets that bordered my college campus was, not-shockingly, totally packed with loud and crowded bars. But, somehow, it also housed the most magical used bookstore.

The hours were completely unpredictable. A lovely elderly couple owned and ran the shop, and whenever they felt like it, they’d unlock their itty-bitty building packed with literal piles of books. Stacks and boxes, and narrow shelves. And the owners knew where absolutely everything was.

So if I found myself walking Mill Avenue and the doors to Old Town Books were open, I went in, almost always. And one day, I stumbled into their used cookbook section.

“Inglenook Cook Book” rhymed, so I picked it up–but once I started flipping through, my curiosity was super piqued. Wait, this book is from 1911? These recipes are all crowdsourced. Are they all written by nuns? Why the “Sister” in front of all the names?

Now, this book lives happily with me, covered in Post-It notes that mark interesting (and sometimes ill-advised) recipes.

And deep in the “Pie” chapter, Sister Mary E. Crofford lays out a pie recipe that she straight-up admits is weird; “It will make a queer-looking pie to those who have never seen it, but will taste far better than it looks. Try it.”

It’s called Rich Man’s Pie, and to make it, you need five ingredients (not counting the crust): melted butter, sugar, flour, nutmeg, and milk.

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