Recipe :: Cajun Sweet Dough Pies
If you are from south Louisiana, you know the magic I speak of when I say the words “sweet dough pie.”
Sweet dough pies are a staple dessert/breakfast (we often confuse those two) in my homeland, but it’s actually not something a lot of people make at home. Any bake sale, party, or even truckstop you run across will feature these treats in a variety of flavors, but I can’t really remember ever making them at home with my family. Needless to say, this is one of the many recipes I had to figure out how to re-create after moving to the Midwest, once I realized my supply had been abruptly cut off.
The reason it’s taken me so long to post this recipe is that I’ve had the hardest time finding options for a rather crucial component–the filling. Sweet dough pies can be filled with any number of things–lemon curd, fresh fruit pie filling, chocolate–but I’ve searched high and low for pie filling-type-items that don’t contain loads of High Fructose Corn Syrup (which I never willingly buy, and I couldn’t in good conscience write a recipe that would lead people to it). But NOW, after many months of scouting and eating pies, I have an ample list of filling options that are as wholesome as they are delicious.
Enjoy the pies of my labor. Please.
Note: The dough needs to chill for 2-3 hours or overnight before you bake it. Plan your prep time accordingly.
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 5 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (non-hydrogentated)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- optional: fresh fruit to match filling
- For Filling:
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat sugar into butter and shortening, a little at a time. Add vanilla. Beat mixture until it is nice and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Stir in flour mixture and milk alternately. Use the electric mixer for as long as possible, but toward the end of the process you will probably have to switch to mixing in the last of the dry ingredients with your hands. The dough should form a large ball; if it is too crumbly, add splashes of milk or water until you can make it all into one ball. If it gets too sticky, add flour a little at a time until it no longer sticks to your hands.
- Let dough chill uncovered 2-3 hours or overnight, until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into circles of about 3 inch diameter. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of filling (and fruit if you’re using it) into the center of each circle. Fold over to form a half-moon shape. Pinch the seams or press with a fork to seal.
- Place at least 2 inches apart in a greased baking sheet.
- Bake 10-15 minutes until tops are barely golden and pies are still spongey to the touch. The crust of these should be very soft and doughy. Store in an airtight container to make sure they stay this way.