Tastes Like Way Back When

Saturday, November 14, 2009

-This is a ride on the way-back machine for me.-

"I really, really, really need a slice of that right now! Ok, who am I kidding? I could eat half at this very moment!"

This was the response that the recipe you see above elicited from my blogging buddy, Matt, after he had edited the image for me. It is a common and expected response when it comes to Oreo cream pie. One taste is all it takes before you become willing to submit yourself to the weeks it will take to jog a slice of this off year after year.

My mom clipped this recipe from the back of a box of Oreo cookies back in 1970. The retro tablecloth peeking out above, the positioning of the pie, its perfect rim of crust and piped whipped cream just jive right with me. It's a pie that tastes like listening to The Kinks belt out "Lola" over the radio. It tastes like watching the flow and ebb of neon orange blobs in a lava lamp. It tastes like nights up late lying on the floor gossiping with friends. It tastes like laughing till you cry at a dirty joke with your family around the dinner table.

-A more updated photo of this groovy pie.-

For me this pie is about as seasonal as you can get. It can only be served during the coldest days with coffee strong enough to strip your floors. If you happen to have a tree twinkling with tinsel and an aluminum star in the background too, even better. This pie is more than just tradition for me - it's memory suspended in thick cream and marshmallow. Nostalgia in an Oreo cookie crust.

I recently called and asked my mom if she would send me a copy of the recipe. She scanned it in and E-mailed it over to me within the hour, along with a reminder not to add the whipped cream and cookies to the top until moments before I serve it. After getting over how trippy it was that she scanned me an image of a recipe clipping from nearly 40 years ago I went to the store to get the supplies.

This pie is about as simple as it comes: butter, milk, cream, Oreo cookies and marshmallows. A dessert with enough fat and sugar that a diabetic will explode upon contact with it. I switched out the margarine for butter and added a smidge of vanilla to update it a bit (remember that in the 70's America thought margarine was going to save us all?). Overall though it's the same pie as ever. Simple and delicious; and one that mom, Matt, and I'm sure Lola, would approve of.

Oreo Cream Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie

41 Oreo cookie
1/4 cup of butter, melted
24 marshmallows
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Roughly chop 10 of the Oreos and set them aside. In a food processor or using a rolling pin finely grind the remaining Oreo cookies into a sandy consistency. Mix ground Oreos with the butter and press into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Place in the fridge to chill.

2. In a 2 quart sauce pan place the marshmallows and milk. Place over medium heat and mix with a spatula until melted and smooth. Do not leave unattended as mixture can easily scorch. Take off heat.

3. Whisk the heavy whipping cream and vanilla together until it forms stiff peaks. Fold 2 cups of the whipped cream into the marshmallow mixture. Fold in the chopped Oreos. Spoon into the chilled pie crust. Chill for 4 hours. Pipe on remaining whipped cream and add extra Oreos for garnish if desired before serving.

-It's a pie that walks like a woman and talks like a man.-


  1. I got teary-eyed just reading this post - your mom can scan AND send it in an email?! Lucky guy! Loved the trip down memory lane - this pie will definitely be on our Christmas Eve menu... North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  2. I'm not a dessert girl, but damn, this food porn is making me HUNGRY! How far away do you live?

  3. Any insight into why it calls for 41 cookies? That's just such an odd number.

  4. I'm not particularly fond of oreos, me being from Au they aren't something I have grown up with. However I can relate as us Aussies are just as smitten with our TimTams.

    @ Anon - Maybe the 41 cookies is how many cookies used to be in a packet in the 1970's... or maybe it was a marketing ploy to get people to buy more than 1 packet to make up the 'required' number of them? It's food for thought! lol

  5. I have never had this recipe before, but I have to agree that there is just nothing like an Oreo dessert to take you back.

  6. What is interesting to me about this recipe is that it was way before ice cream parlors like Stone Cold starting mixing in all of these special treats into ice cream - and I remember my first discovery of mixing oreos in back more than a couple of decades ago!

  7. Wow this looks amazing! thanks for posting it, and I love the scanned copy of the recipe. As I was reading your post I was wishing Oreo pie was a holiday tradition for me, but I can make it one for my own boys. So you can bet as the Christmas tree goes up this year, this pie will be made!

  8. my oh my oh my.
    What more can I say?
    Will show Freddie when he comes back from school this evening.

  9. Garrett, your writing just makes me happy. Thanks for that.

  10. I'm assuming this is the same pie that is available as a packaged mix nowadays? If so, thank you so much. I've been trying to recreate this thing for 2 years and while my results were tasty, they weren't the original. I'll go make it right now.

  11. Sally - My mom is quite talented with electronics for someone in their 60's.

    Cazadora - Close enough to you. ;)

    Annony- Maybe for luck?

    Charlotte - But how will you add vegetables? ;)

    Dawn - Welcome.

    Julia - Yes. You can buy pudding mix and premade Oreo crusts (at that point why don't they just sell the pies pre-made?), but it is SOOOOO not the same thing.

  12. "Walks like a woman, and talks like a man"? Oh Garret--you're a man who talks like a gentleman and cooks like a primal wildebeest in heat!

    *By the way, that's a sexy, glorious thing!

  13. for the crust, did you remove the cream filling from the oreos? i'm having a hard time imagining a sandy consistency otherwise.

  14. Jen - You do not have to remove the cream. Trust me, it works out just fine. =)

  15. I have to say, this looks incredible, especially because I've been having mad Oreo cravings lately - unfortunately at my local store one pack of Oreos is $4.50... what?! for the sake of the holidays, though, I just might have to try it out! :)

  16. Oh my, this is lovely. Silly little technical question: what size marshmallows???

  17. Omg! I've literally been looking for this recipe for 10 years. I used to make it for my friends in college...weekly! I lost it and couldn't find it on line anywhere. So lucky I feel upon your post. Thanks!


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