Mohammed Ali’s favourite knockout pie

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Mohammed Ali’s favourite knockout pie recipe

This recipe was printed in the Toledo Blade newspaper in September 1979. The recipe was created by Lana Shabazz. Whether it helped him to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee is mere conjecture.

Muhammad Ali

At the time of publication of the recipe,Lana had been Ali’s dietician for fifteen years. In 1971, Mohammed Ali lost a fight to Joe Frazier. The story does that was because he had eaten too much of this pie.

This is a sweet pie although initially the ingredient list might make it appear to be savoury. The quantities below will make three pies. Mohammed Ali didn’t do anything by halves, after all.


3 cups sugar
¼ lb unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 well-beaten eggs
3 cups cooked navy beans*, mashed through a strainer
2 cups evaporated milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract

* Carrots or butternut squash can be substituted

For the crust

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup corn oil
3 tablespoons ice water
1 egg


  • In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and the butter. Add cinnamon, cornstarch and blend well.
  • Add the eggs,one at a time and beat to blend
  • Add the beans.Beat. Add the milk and lemon extract
  • Blend well. Set aside while you prepare the crust.
  • Preheat the oven to 450º. Sift together the flour and salt.
  • Blend in the oil. Add water and beaten egg. Mix until it can formed into a ball of dough.
  • Divide into three and roll each out.
  • Place dough on three greased, eight-inch pie pans and crimp the edges Pour in the filling.
  • Bake at 450* for five minutes then lower the heat to 325º and bake for a further forty five minutes.

I’d like for them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then, he mixed willlingness with happiness, he added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well, then he spread it over his span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.




Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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