Aloha Meringue Pie: #Pieathalon Hawaii-Style

FullSizeRender 1 300x209 Aloha Meringue Pie: #Pieathalon Hawaii StyleMad Men style baking has been underway for the 2018 #Pieathalon, hosted by Dinner is Served 1972. Bloggers select pie recipes from pre-1990 cookbooks,  submit recipes and bake fellow pieathletes’ chosen recipes.

Over twenty bloggers baked, including Mad Men party bloggers Eliot’s Eats, Silver Screen Suppers and Velveteen Lounge Kitchen, who (we are not surprised to learn!) sent our Aloha pie  Aloha Meringue Pie: #Pieathalon Hawaii Stylerecipe, from Prudence Penny’s House of Values Tested Recipes.

Prudence Penny was a pen name for multiple food writers, authors from Hearst newspapers across the country.  “Prudence” wrote columns, recipe and cookbooks, and provided household advice. Kimberly Wilmot Voss, author of The Food Section: Newspaper Women and the Culinary Community, explains that “because it would have been expensive to wire recipes around the country, there were different ‘Prudence Penny’ reporters at the individual Hearst newspapers.”

We’ve written about America’s infatuation with Hawaii in the late 50s and early 60s on our blog and in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Hawaii gained statehood in 1959, and as statehood approached and for years thereafter, Americans were simply gaga for anything that smacked of these exotic Pacific islands half way between Japan and the mainland.

bh Aloha Meringue Pie: #Pieathalon Hawaii Style

Meghan enjoys a Blue Hawaii on the beach in Waikiki

We were excited for this Aloha Meringue Pie, but not sure of the origin. We asked Hawaii food blogger Deb of Kahakai Kitchen if she’d heard of such Aloha Pie and she had not (she did mention Hawaiian Millionaire’s Pie and Hula Pie, and those are now on our future pie list).
The Aloha is essentially a lemon  Aloha Meringue Pie: #Pieathalon Hawaii Stylemeringue pie with a few twists: first, a meringue crust is swapped for the topping. A hot, humid day in August was not the best to attempt the Aloha meringue crust. A lemon meringue pie style filling, with the addition of crushed pineapple tops the meringue, followed by an layer of whipped cream with flaked coconut,  and a final topping of crushed pineapple.

The pie, as we expected was very sweet and rich, and it didn’t exactly take us to the tropics! We cut the sugar in half throughout the recipe and it was still very sweet. We opted for canned crushed pineapple and coconut flakes for 60s authenticity, but if making again, we would use fresh pineapple and coconut to boost the flavor.FullSizeRender 300x225 Aloha Meringue Pie: #Pieathalon Hawaii Style

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Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

We loved this chance to learn about undiscovered vintage cookbooks and recipes and to check out all the pies! Aloha and Maholo, Dinner is Served 1972, Velveteen Lounge Kitchen, and fellow Pieathletes!



Aloha and Hau’oli Lanui!

If you were a kid in the late 1950s or early 1960s, as we were, chances are you owned a Hula Hoop.hula Aloha and Hauoli Lanui! And chances are your parents, or someone they knew, owned a Don Ho album or had a muumuu dress in her closet. At some point your family probably tried Japanese food at a Benihana Steak House or faux-Polynesian cuisine at a Trader Vic’s where the cocktails were adorned with orange slices, cherries, pineapple slices and a little umbrella or swizzle stick vaguely shaped like some Pacific island totem. After dinner, maybe you went to the drive-in to see Elvis in Blue Hawaii or Girls! Girls! Girls! also set in Hawaii.

Hawaii gained statehood in 1959, and as statehood approached and for years thereafter, Americans were simply gaga for anything that smacked of these exotic Pacific islands half way between Japan and the mainland. “Backyard luaus, the traditional native feast, are likely to become as popular as the hula hoop last summer,” declared New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne in 1959. That same year the Associated Press reported that tourism to Hawaii was expected to increase from 100,000 to one million visitor a year.

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Victor Bergeron, a/k/a Trader Vic, at work in Oakland, California

Mad Men, with its meticulous attention to detail, captures this slice of American life, especially when it comes to food and drink. Remember Don Draper’s first date with Bethany Van Nuys in Season 4, Episode 5 (“The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”)? They’re seated at a teppanyaki table at a Benihana, which lacks the intimacy Bethany is seeking. But the Mai Tai she’s drinking looks delicious. The Mai Tai makes several appearances in Mad Men, a cocktail widely attributed to Victor Bergeron, the California-born restaurateur who founded the Trader Vic’s chain.

On New Year’s Eve 1964, Joan Holloway welcomes fiance Dr.Greg Miller home after a hard day at the hospital, places a lei around his neck, and leads him to a Hawaiian-style dinner she’s prepared (Season 4, Episode 3, “The Good News”). There’s a glazed ham decorated with pineapple and a mysterious blue liquid in a glass which we took to be a Blue Hawaii cocktail.

There’s also a nod to the 50th state in Season 2, Episode 11 (“The Jet Set” ) when Don Aloha and Hauoli Lanui! and Pete Campbell travel to Los Angeles for a meeting and Pete is seen poolside at The Beverly Hills Hotel sipping an orange-yellow cocktail. For The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook we asked the hotel to help us identify the concoction. They dug into the archives and determined it was a Royal Hawaiian, a cocktail popularized at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.

If you want to host a Hawaiian-style luau to welcome back Mad Men this March, or a Hawaii-themed holiday party this winter, there are a host of recipes in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook to choose from: Mai Tais, Blue Hawaiis, Royal Hawaiians, Rumaki, egg rolls Sterling Cooper-style, pineapple-glazed ham, and, to top if off, pineapple upside down cake. Even in New York in winter there are ways to bring the Hawaiian islands home. Hau’oli Lanui! (Happy Holidays!)