Sawdust Pie

Preparation info

  • Yield:


    9 inch Pie
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented

Baked Explorations

By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Published 2010

  • About

I just assumed that sawdust pie was a heritage recipe. The name implies a rugged backstory, one with humble or Depression-era beginnings. I imagined the recipe was steeped in great dustbowl prairie lore and passed down to each generation with a bit of history and a sprinkling of legend. I was completely wrong. Sawdust pie was created at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement Restaurant in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, sometime after 1975 (the exact date is hard to pin down) and took hold in the national conscience after a version of the recipe was published in Bon Appétit in May 1983. The pie is composed of graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and pecans, which, when thrown together, are supposed to resemble sawdust. The original recipe was a little too sweet. I reimagined it with a little less sugar, a tiny bit of white chocolate, and some much-needed salt. The pie is usually topped with whipped cream and banana slices, and I suggest you always serve it warm.