Edna Lewis Caramel Pie

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A brown sugar caramel pie, that was a classic favorite of Freetown, Virginia. 




  • 1 ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 egg (separated)
  • 1 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 2 tbsp dark Karo syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk (room temperature)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup cold water


Make the pastry

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the salt.
  2. Cut in the butter, either using two forks, pastry cutter or your hands. The dough should have have a meal-y consistency with flour/crisco no larger than the size of a pea. Stir in the water to make a crumbly dough. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Gently pat the dough in to a round disk and cover in plastic wrap and put the dough in the refrigerator. Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes. Press the dough into 6 4 ½ inch tart pans or 1 9 inch pie pan and return to the refrigerator to chill.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350

Make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour and salt. Add the beaten egg yolk, melted butter, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until the brown sugar begins to dissolve.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg white until it reaches “soft peaks”. The egg white should be quite frothy, but should not quite hold a peak when the whisk is turned upside down.
  3. Fold the egg white into the filling and then pour the filling in the tart pans.
  4. Bake. 23-25 minutes for tart pans; 35-40 minutes for 9 inch pie pan.
  5. Serve warm garnished with powdered sugar.