Utah's Pickle Pie Lets Cucumbers Play A Starring Role In Your Dessert

Pickles are a wonderful thing, and pie might be one of the most beautiful creations of man. When you think of pickles and pies, they aren't typically together — unless you're thinking about Utah Pickle Pie. Yes, pickle pie. You may be thinking, "Why would you put pickles in a pie?" We understand! But pickle pie is a testament to the power of two incredibly different and wonderful things coming together to make something entirely transcendent; an enigma wrapped in a pickle, baked in a pie.

It's no shtick — pickle pie is entirely for real and apparently as delicious as it is fun to say. It also happens to be one of the most popular items on the menu at a little diner off UT-24 highway in Bicknell, Utah. Cula Ekker is the brain behind pickle pie. Known as the Pie Queen of Wayne County, Cula grew up in the small Utah town of Thurber. Just a couple of miles down the road from Bicknell, where her brother Milton Taft opened the Sunglow Motel and Restaurant in the mid 1960s, Cula developed her recipe from a recipe for pickle pie she saw in a 1970s magazine. That recipe was a bust, but with the help of Marva Baker, a cook at the restaurant, the Sunglow pickle pie was perfected.

What exactly goes into a pickle pie?

So what in the world goes into a pickle pie, you may ask? It's mainly a spiced pie that features cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon extract as co-stars to accompany the sweet pickles. Some people describe it as having a mince-pie texture attributed to the processed pickles. The flavor is warm and spicy, at first, then tangy as the pickles make an appearance on the finish. Pickle pie is a little more complex and sophisticated than its name suggests. 

If you can't make it to the desert of southern Utah anytime soon, you can make this surprisingly simple pie at home. You'll start by beating eggs and sugar until thick. Whisk in cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon extract, cornstarch, cream, and butter. Stir minced sweet pickles and pour the mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour to one hour and 15 minutes. Serve with a little minced sweet pickle garnish and whipped cream.