Free Book Friday: New Arkansas Pie Book Will Whet Your Thanksgiving Appetite

Free Book Friday: New Arkansas Pie Book Will Whet Your Thanksgiving Appetite

“I don’t want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies.” ―Paula Deen

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, and turkey/stuffing comas pending, it may be the perfect time to rekindle your relationship with the sweeter side of the holiday.

For centuries the meal’s crowning glory, pie, has signaled the conclusion to a time of relaxation, to an atmosphere of community and to heartwarming stories and family recipes. Jane Austen echoed this sentiment when she said, “Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”

Author Kat Robinson believes that Arkansas pies, in particular, have the power to forever preserve the dessert’s place in history.

Cherry crisp at Miss Anna’s on Towson in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Grav Weldon.

Cream, meringue, chocolate, fruit or fried: Arkansas loves its pies. The variations are endless. On most any restaurant menu from the Delta to the Ozarks, you’ll find one or a dozen different crust-borne delights to sink your fork into, and almost every one of them is a masterpiece.

What’s your favorite kind of pie?

Read the free chapter excerpt below (which features a delicious possum pie recipe) and then comment on this post by Sunday, November 18 (12 a.m. EST) for your chance to win a free copy of Arkansas Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State, by Kat Robinson. The drawing will take place Monday morning. Happy reading/eating!

Join food writer Kat Robinson and photographer Grav Weldon on a tour through an Arkansas culinary tradition. In Arkansas Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State, dozens of different pies on restaurant menus from the Delta to the Ozarks await hungry diners, each a delectable creation of southern baking.

“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.”  ―Yogi Berra

Brown sugar pie at Ashley’s (left, top). Strawberry icebox pie at Susan’s Restaurant in Springdale (left, bottom). Black walnut pie at Boardwalk Café in Jasper (right).

Discover the new and innovative pie-making methods of chefs in Fayetteville and Hot Springs, and meet the man who made and sold one hundred different pies in a single day. Learn where fried pie is king and why a pie called possum should be the official state pie.

Charlotte Bowls dollops meringue onto chocolate pies at Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets. Kat Robinson.

Share the stories of the great pie makers, and learn about the marvelous Ms. Lena and her DeValls Bluff legacy; why the Batten family still makes the ‘old fashioned’ in Paragould; what inspired the Chipman family of Little Rock to spread the sweet goodness of their personal recipes with pies at a barbecue joint; how a single popular pie sweetened the reputation of a political troublemaker; and how the desire for good pie sparked the community of Keo to insist that a woman start a restaurant.

It’s all here in this mouthwatering and informative collection.

Bourbon chocolate chunk pecan pie at Greenhouse Grille in Fayetteville. Grav Weldon.

…And if anyone knows pie, it’s Kat Robinson. Kat has traveled the state, sampling more than four hundred different varieties and absorbing stories along the way. She started researching pie in particular after a national website declared the ‘jelly pie’ to be the official food of the state.

To this day, Kat has yet to find ‘jelly pie’ on a single Arkansas menu. She has written about great pie for the Arkansas Times and Serious Eats and continues to gather more material each day. You think she’d have a pie chart for that.

Read today’s FREE excerpt. Be sure to comment for your chance to win! [issuu width=550 height=412 embedBackground=%233b1c1e printButtonEnabled=false backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=121115174910-e62a76a7d0d44fe181022bd923ef2921 name=8764-arkanas-pie-excerpt username=historypressusa tag=arkansas unit=px v=2]

Kat Robinson is a food and travel writer based in Little Rock and a communications manager for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Her credits include life as the “Eat Arkansas” girl for the Arkansas Times, an eight-year stint producing Today’s THV This Morning (CBS Little Rock), three years producing for KAIT-TV in Jonesboro and a college career in novelty music radio. Kat is a featured blogger with Lonely Planet, an explorer with Arkansas Wild, a hamburger and sweets correspondent for Serious Eats and a contributor to publications both inside and outside Arkansas. She’s been a bi-weekly columnist with Sync Weekly, an adventurer for 2njoy Magazine, a writer for Deep South Magazine, an eco-conscious journalist for GreenZine, a blogger for Savvy Kids and a contributor to Food Network Magazine.

Kat’s work has also appeared in Little Rock Family Magazine, Living in Arkansas Emerald City of the South, the Arkansas Times, as well as the Arkansas Free Press, Let’s Go Magazine and Today’s Man. Her latest work has included Forbes Travel Guide’s, USA Today and Cat Fancy.

She was recognized by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism in 2011 with a Henry Award for Media Support; with the 2011 award for Best Freelance Writing for a Large Daily by the Arkansas Press Association; and numerous times by the Arkansas Times as a runner-up for Best Local Blog. Kat continues to blog at her personal websites, and, and also blogs for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at

“But I, when I undress me/Each night upon my knees/Will ask the Lord to bless me/With apple pie and cheese.” ―Eugene Field

You may also like these other American Palate titles from The History Press.


  1. avatar Jeffrey Whitler says:

    I grew up in Arkansas, but (sadly) now live in Illinois…I so miss all the amazing and different tastes of “true” southern pie! (pie being my all time favorite dessert!) I would love a copy of this book as I do some baking myself and would die for the recipes!

  2. avatar Suzanne Shivers says:

    Yummy! There’s nothing better than good pie .
    My Mothers were beautiful too. I’d love to win the book!

  3. avatar Jennifer S. says:

    I am an Arkansas wannabe, currently stuck in Nebraska! We travel down there as much as possible and enjoy so much your beautiful state has to offer. Pie, wine, and the outdoors are ALWAYS on my list! And, I am always desiring publications that give me direction on where to find the next yummy or beautiful corner of your state!

  4. Pie and Thanksgiving memories! This book will help make new ones!

  5. avatar Sherry Wilkins says:

    Very interesting! I call my version Chocolate Layer Pie and I use homemade chocolate pudding instead of instant. I also make it in a 9×13 pan.

  6. We visit Arkansas twice a year to visit my parents and take several mini-trips with them while down there.It would be awesome to read about all the pie we have tried in the last 22 years.Pictures just make the mouth water.

  7. avatar Jennifer Doyle says:

    Possum pie has been a standby at our family get togethers for as long as I can remember. It can ONLY be made by my Aunt Beth, and there is much sadness when-for whatever reason-it doesn’t make the event. She may get tired of making it, but we never get tired of eating it. :)

  8. avatar Mitzi Brock says:

    I have lived in South Arkansas all my live. I had never heard of Possum Pie or Jelly Pie!
    I love to make my friends and family happy with my homemade fried pies. I’ve been making them for 25 years. I make cho, peach, apple and coconut and my next one to try will be fried pecan pie! I’d love to win the book!

  9. avatar Reita Miller says:

    I can’t wait to have a copy of thenew Arkansas Pie book to start planning a road trip. Yummy!!!

  10. I’m a simple girl. I love pecan pie with fresh, local nuts. The best!

  11. What an awesome cookbook! Would love to have one…my mother-in-law in Hope always made the most awesome fudge tasting chocolate pie. Please enter my name in the drawing!

  12. I really loved the explanation of the possom pie.I’ve lived here and ate Possom Pie all my life.Can’t wait to read the rest of the book.

  13. That cherry crisp looks quite delicious, though my favorite pie has always been pecan pie. My grandparents had a wildly productive pecan tree, which produced hundreds of pounds of pecans every year until its untimely demise due to Hurricane Ivan.

    There was an article several years ago, I believe in the Oxford American magazine, which discussed the heirloom cookbook collection at the University of Alabama Library’s special collections department. If I remember correctly, the article mentioned an extremely rare cookbook that discussed how to make boisenberry pies, among other gastronomic oddities (macaroni and brains was another receipe mentioned in the article).

    I would certainly enjoy receiving a copy of Kat Robinson’s “Arkansas Pie.”

  14. Help, I need this book! I am the child of Mexican and Italian immigrants who gave me fabulous, sticky-sweet bunuelos and zeppolas but alas, no pies. Now I live in the South and have developed a hankerin’ for flaky, succulent goodness. I have only recently been introduced to History Press, but your blog is making me a devoted fan!

  15. I can’t think of anything better to do that read this book while eating pie!

  16. “Pie, pie, me oh my…”

    As a major foodie, baker and writer, I loved the sneak peak to Kat’s book! My personal favorite is my family’s cushaw pie at our Thanksgiving that would even make the editors of Garden & Gun desire an extra piece! However, I’m certainly interested in Kat’s book and the pies of Arkansas, too!

  17. avatar Tamra Kinzel-Wood says:

    I lived in Arkansas for years…moved off to pursue my education…must say…as many pies as I have tried….I miss the good ole days…Arkansas pies are the best….

  18. avatar Sheila Nichols says:

    I’ve always heard of Possum Pie but I’ve never had the pleasure of trying it. Since I grew up and live in Arkansas you would think that I would have had the opportunity by now. Jelly Pie? I’ve never heard of it! Pie is my favorite of all desserts, and I would really like a copy of this book!

  19. avatar Marilyn Brenner says:

    I just had some chocolate pie today, and all of these recipes look delicious! I would love to try them all! I’d love to win this book, and do some serious baking!

  20. avatar Margaret Walker says:

    I love pie! To me, it is all about the crust. I love to make them, smell them as they are cooking, then share them with my neighbor.

  21. avatar Ivaleine Cooper ("Kay) says:

    I have been following your journey through Arkansas pies this year on Facebook’s Arkansas State Tourism. What a dream job you have! I live in California but my roots are Arkansas (Cleburne County mostly.) My best friend (whose roots are as deep in Arkansas as mine,) and I always planned to retire and open a pastry shop where we would sell our pies, tarts and cookies from our heritage. Well, life sometimes has a way of changing those plans, but we still have our love of “pies” from our Arkansas heritage. We make the best Walnut Tarts around and our Moms made the best Chocolate Pies and Bannana Puddings, not to mention our Aunt’s Chess Pie! I will have to buy at least 3 copies of your book for our sisters. I only wish I could still travel to more of the places you mention -

  22. When I was a child, whenever my mom would ask me to roll the lemons, I knew that meant homemade lemon icebox pie. She would crush the graham crackers, add sugar and real butter for the crust..mmmmmmmmmmm. I have such happy and wonderful memories of my mom making her pies. I would love this book to be in my kitchen. But even if I don’t win this one, I am sure I will be buying a copy. But I hope I win this one. :) Happy pie making everyone!!

  23. avatar Rose M Jackson says:

    Tie for my favorite pie because I just love both – possum pie and pecan pie. Thanks for sharing the first chapter.

  24. avatar Ruby Dildine says:

    Possum Pie has always been a favorite with all our little redneck children..they love it with the chittlins, and hog head chees sandwitches….the last is just a put on but my Grandad loved himself a good coon in the pot…never tried it. I have been keeping up with the Natural States pies and they are from the Land of Oppertunity….Thank You God for the land of the free and the ones that have kept us that way.
    I would love to win a cook book and I love to make pies.

  25. Possum pie is amazing! I am dying to get a copy of this book as well as a few for gifts…so a win would be great! Great gift for Christmas!

  26. Possum pie sounds great. And I’ll bet you had a blast tasting and sampling each and every pie along the way for this book. Will have to put this on my wishlist. :)

  27. I haven’t ordered a cookbook in years (you can find recipes for anything on line). But your photos make me drool, and I’m getting your book for Christmas… unless I win it tonight.

  28. I’d love to win the cookbook!

  29. avatar vicki Williams says:

    Can’t wait to get a copy of your book!

  30. This book looks fabulous. I need to get two copies – one for me and one for my mother for Christmas.

  31. avatar T. Roberson says:

    The book looks fantastic and a fun read. I too love love love pie and am on a particular diet right now which does not include pie so I am inhaling the pictures. :-) My mom says she wishes I had told her when I was 5 that I didn’t like cake. I would have much rather have pie any day and for any occasion. Thanks for putting this book together and for being a great advocate for our state.

  32. avatar History Press says:

    Hi everyone–thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on this week’s giveaway! We hope you enjoyed the free excerpt and that you’ll subscribe for more blog-exclusive excerpts, specials and local history features. Congrats to this week’s winners (we had such a great response we decided to pick two!) Sherry Wilkins and Hank Martin! Everybody else, Happy Thanksgiving! Please note that we are offering a special for your participation. You will receive an extra 20% off when you order “Arkansas Pie” through and enter coupon code FOOD12 at checkout.

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