Eight Tulsans share some of their favorite holiday recipes.
(page 7 of 8)
Wanda J. Armstrong
Wanda J. Armstrong’s passion for cooking began as a young girl. She made mud pies and snuck into the flour and butter her mother, Evelyn, stored in the kitchen. She even turned a hollowed-out Chevy into a pretend restaurant. These days, tucked away among crowded airport hangars near the Tulsa International Airport, Armstrong tempts Tulsans with crisp fried chicken and hearty soul food at the aptly named Evelyn’s.
The popular seat-yourself café was not Armstrong’s first restaurant. Many longtime Tulsans fondly remember Wanda J’s on the corner of East Apache Street and North Peoria Avenue. Another location resides today in Broken Arrow.
“Thanksgiving dinner would not be complete at our house without this sweet potato pie!” Armstrong says.
Sweet Potato Pie
Makes three 8-to-9-inch pies
For the pie crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cups shortening
Approximately 3/4 cup chilled water
For the filling:
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked until tender, then cooled (enough for six cups)
2 sticks butter, melted
3 cups sugar
1 12-ounce can condensed milk
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. For the crust, sift together flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you coat it with the flour mixture. Work it with your hands until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. Add the water a little at a time until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Divide the dough into three portions and gather each portion into a ball. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a large circle. Transfer each circle to a pie dish and crimp edges.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. For the filling, thoroughly mix potatoes, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour the filling into prepared pie pans and bake until the pie “puffs,” about 35-45 minutes, depending on the oven. Cool pies to room temperature on a rack before serving or chilling.