F&W’s Ultimate Guide toComfort Food

The country’s best comfort food spots, plus the most indulgent versions of gooey grilled cheese, crispy fried chicken and more.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Cheese Crisps (photo at right)

10 Classic Pie Recipes

  • Texas State Fair Pecan Pie

    This extraordinarily rich and sweet dessert was the winner at the 1996 State Fair of Texas State pie competition, which Dean Fearing helped judge. “Out of 140 pies, this one was it,” he says.

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    Texas State Fair Pecan Pie
  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

    Grace Parisi’s dough can be made with just butter, but swapping in some lard yields an even flakier crust. As for the filling, cornstarch is her favorite thickener for juicy fruit pies.

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    Deep-Dish Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
  • Lemon Ice Box Pie

    This silken frozen pie is adapted from Clancy’s, one of David Guas’s favorite New Orleans neighborhood restaurants.

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    Lemon Ice Box Pie
  • Marilyn Batali’s Blackberry Pie

    Mario Batali recalls filling the back of his parents’ car with buckets of blackberries when he was young. After getting his mother to e-mail him her recipe, Mario prepared this luscious pie.

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    Marilyn Batali’s Blackberry Pie
  • Coconut-Custard Meringue Pie

    It is essential to prebake pie crusts before filling them with custards to prevent them from becoming soggy.

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    Coconut-Custard Meringue Pie
  • Georgia Peach Pie

    When you slice into this delicious pie, don’t be surprised by the gap between the filling and the top crust. This happens when a pie is baked at high heat because the crust sets before the fruit in the filling has cooked down.

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    Georgia Peach Pie
  • Cherry-Berry Pie

    Paula Haney made pastries at acclaimed Chicago restaurants like Trio before opening her Green City Market stand. She still has a stand at the market and buys produce there, including the cherries for her stellar pies.

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    Cherry-Berry Pie
  • Chocolate Cream Pie

    This dreamy, creamy dessert started as a simple chocolate pudding made with workaday cocoa. Melissa Rubel Jacobson turned it into a homey, silky pie by adding a quick chocolate crust and vanilla-flavored whipped cream.

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    Chocolate Cream Pie
  • Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

    This is a purists’ pie that tastes of nothing but apples, with just a hint of spice and butter.

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    Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
  • Free-Form Chicken Potpie

    This luxurious chicken and vegetable stew simply gets spooned into bowls and garnished with flaky puff pastry rounds.

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    Free-Form Chicken Potpie
Comfort Food: Perfecting Layer Cake

Perfecting Layer Cake

Some people spend $4,000 for one of Tom Douglas’s superb cakes. Baking them at home is much, much cheaper.

Comfort Food: How to Make Potato and Broccoli Soup

How to Make Potato and Broccoli Soup

The doughnut masters at Seattle’s Top Pot share their tricks for making amazing fluffy doughnuts, glazes and sugars at home.