Red velvet cake, peach cobbler and pecan pie are classics that you should be familiar with, but the South has birthed many desserts that are just as delicious and much less well-known. Here, F&W Test Kitchen pro Ben Mims, author of the newly released, Sweet & Southern: Classic Desserts with a Twist, shares five of his favorites.
Growing up in Mississippi, my mom made this pie—an odd concoction of peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar crumbles and vanilla pudding in a vanilla wafer crust—virtually every week during the summer. Served ice-cold and with its crowd–pleasing flavor profile, it was the perfect ending to a barbecue or outdoor picnic in the sweltering Southern heat. Our friends and family did—and still to this day—gasp when they eat it. When I set out to make my own, I amped up the peanut butter flavor and swapped the wafer crust for a pâte brisée. It makes for a slightly more sophisticated pie, but one that still elicits wide eyes and even wider smiles from those who eat it.Recipe: Peanut Butter Pie
There’s not much you can do to a cinnamon roll to improve upon it, except take it in the most unexpected direction and see what magic comes out. That’s the best way to describe these orange breakfast rolls. Many Southerners first got their taste of these treats—a sweet, yeast-risen dough filled with orange zest, butter and brown sugar, baked and then glazed with an orange icing—from Sister Schubert’s, a convenience brand of freezer rolls. Made homemade, however, you can bypass the sometimes one-note sweetness and go straight to the bold and bright orange flavor that will have you wondering how you ever settled for just cinnamon and sugar. Recipe: Orange Breakfast Rolls