BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Loraine Ladner uses her mother's recipe to make coconut pies during the holiday. That recipe is apparently quite tasty, because this morning on Good Morning Mississippi, Ladner became South Mississippi's "Pie Champion."
Ladner said her sisters urged her to enter WLOX's Pie Wars contest to honor their late mother. During the holidays, their mother made Coconut Pie for their family of fourteen. That's right, Ladner is one of twelve children.
"From as far back as I can remember, my mom would bake 80 to 100 pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas," explained Ladner. "She began weeks ahead making each pie crust from scratch and freezing them till closer to the holidays. She spent countless hours in the kitchen after working all day in a garment factory where she worked for over 30 years, while raising twelve children."
"Mom could not afford to spend much money during the holidays, so she gave her pies as gifts," Ladner said.
And now, Ladner is the one carrying on her mother's tradition.
"The last Christmas we had with her, I spent the whole day helping her bake pies," said Ladner. "That is how I got her recipe."
She uses her mother's Coconut Pie recipe every year to bake pies to send to each of her siblings, and closest friends.
Ladner won a $100 gift certificate to Salute, two passes to play golf on the Robert Trent Jones Trail, four passes to Bellingrath Gardens, a WLOX golf shirt, and a WLOX coffee mug. The judging was done by recently named Master Chef Whitney Miller of Poplarville.
To see Loraine Ladner's recipe for Coconut Pie, click here.
Teresa Stratton's chocolate chip pie finished a very close second. Stratton said she learned how to bake by reading cookbooks and watching lots of YouTube videos. Stratton created her recipe for chocolate chip cookie pie while she and her husband were stationed in Hawaii.
"I found that creating some of the old dishes I remember my grandmother, aunts, and mom making made me miss home a little less," explained Stratton.
She said during her husband's last deployment, he sent her a blank cookbook.
"Matt had become so impressed with my creations that he wanted me to have a place to store all my goodies. The very first entry in my book is my Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie."
She said the idea came easy to her because she loves chocolate chip cookies, and she loves pie. So she decided to combine the two. The result?
"It is gooey, loaded with chocolate, pecans, and the crust will melt in your mouth. It's a cross between a pecan pie and a chocolate chip cookie!"
To see Teresa Stratton's recipe for chocolate chip cookie pie, click here.