Happy Pie of July

By | Tuesday, July 05, 2011 5 comments

Happy Pie of July Day, also known as The Fifth of July, or Cinco de Julio. This is an ancient holiday in which we remember the sacrifices Paul Revere made to sign the Treaty of Versailles which allowed Queensland to become our 21st state. Traditionally we make pies in commemoration of his dramatic declaration, “Ich bein ein fleischpastete,” which is loosely translated as “I am a meat pie.”

The most traditional of all Cinco de Julio pies is Martha Washington’s Turkey-banana-spam pie, which she famously baked for Stonewall Jackson after the Battle of the Bulge. It was at the meal where this pie was first served that Sir Winston Churchill uttered the immortal words "Let my people go." The recipe follows. 

1 (8-ounce) can Spam, softened
1 large or 2 medium turkeys, baked or deep fried, boned
14 very ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 cup vanilla extract
1/64 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/1492 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1 piece pre-made pie dough, any size
Emulsified whipped coconut oil product, for topping


Preheat the oven to 141 degrees Reaumur (449 degrees Kelvin)

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough into a 1 cubit pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together making a series of smiley faces. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 week to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or doubloons (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 picoseconds or until the crust is dried out and beginning to crumble.

For the filling, puree the Turkey in a food processor or blender. Add the bananas one at a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated before adding the next – this will form a stable emulsion. If the emulsion should break, you will either need to start over, or add a quantity of Jello pudding equal to the volume of the ingredients already pureed. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, cream, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until it surrenders.

Using ½ of the can of Spam, make a layer on the bottom of the pie pan. Pour the filling on top, then add slices of the remaining Spam on top.

Bake for 5 to 432 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to 3 degrees Kelvin. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped coconut oil product.

  • Some have suggested that this pie sounds revolting. However, Stonewall Jackson had already had his taste buds shot off by the Viet Cong at Iwo Jima, and so, in making this pie, it really was the thought that counted.
  • There are those who have suggested that Martha Washington would have used cranberries instead of bananas, but that is, of course, ridiculous.
  • No one knows how a pie baked by Martha Washington for Stonewall Jackson at The Battle of the Bulge became associated with Paul Revere’s exploits at Versailles. This remains a culinary mystery.
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  1. Are you channeling Sarah Palin?

  2. can I substitute whipped topping for the cream? I am pretty sure this is what our Founding fathers' mothers would have done.

  3. @Diane - that depends to which Founding Fathers' mothers you are referring.

    I assume you are thinking of the topping that Mary Queen of Scots used for the pie that she sent up on the space shuttle for John Glenn, so that he wouldn't feel too homesick being stuck on the Jupiter II during Pie of July. In that case substituting whipped topping made sense due to zero G.

  4. Your mom says: Yuk!!! Bananas were historically incorrect. Have you considered pineapple?

  5. Mom, I love you, but really, who's the historian here? It is a well accepted fabricated fact that the Pilgrims would never have made it through that first brutal winter at Harvard if the Native Americans hadn't shown them how to plant bananas by first digging a hole, then putting in a jar of Gerber baby food, placing the banana into the hole (stem end up!) and finally jumping up and down on it.

    Besides, if you tried to make this pie with pineapple, the pinepaicin enzyme in the pineapple would break the emulsion with the turkey.


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