McKinley Pie

I know nothing about this pie. Google has a few references, a mention by a Reading Eagle columnist, a line in a short story. The couple of recipes vary between something that sounds like a Jefferson Davis Pie (hearon referred to as Traitor Pie) and what I baked. I have two versions in different cookbooks that basically sound like a spiced cream pie. It’s the holidays, and a nutmeg-cinnamon-clove pie cream pie fits, so why not?

The pie itself is lovely. My wife has taken to calling it Christmas pie because the custard is spiked with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and/or allspice. After asking around, Kate McDermott suggested its from Alaska and named after Mt. McKinley (now Denali). This sounds plausible, since it’s essentially a Flapper pie with spices added. If you wound up here looking for McKinley pie, and you know anything about the name, please drop me a note.

As to the name, one recipe says “[Traitor] or McKinely Pie” and the other, almost exactly the same, is simply named “[Traitor] Pie.” However, the consensus on [Traitor] pie seems to be that it's in the chess pie family, spiked with dried fruits and spices, topped with a meringue. Despite the name (which I’ll go into in it’s post), it sounds delicious.



  • 9” Parbaked Crust


  • 2C Milk

  • 1C Sugar

  • 2T Cornstarch

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 3-4 tsp total of spices (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice)

  • 1tsp Vanilla

  • 1/4C Butter


  • 3 egg whites

  • Sugar


It’s a simple pastry cream topped with a meringue, which are steps 6 through 14 for the Flapper Pie. Add the spices to the cornstarch/sugar/yolk mixture.