Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dan's Raisin Pie

Lately there's been a lot of "pie talk" at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. We just held a homemade pie sale to benefit the Wednesday Community Meal and in planning for that, we "talked pie" with a lot of people, asking "what's your favorite kind?"

Cherry, Apple, Chocolate Cream and Strawberry-Rhubarb definitely led the pack, but in asking, I discovered there's quite a few old-fashioned pies I'd never made before like Chess Pie, Shoo-Fly Pie and Raisin Pie.

The latter is a pie that my friend Dan told me he loves but hasn't tasted in 60-years! ... That is until yesterday, when I presented him with one at the Wednesday Community Meal where he volunteers.

You see, Dan, who is in his 70's, told me that his grandmother made the most delicious Raisin Pie and he sure would love to taste one again. It was a fond 60-year-old taste memory that he hadn't forgotten and I knew I had to make him one.

So I researched Raisin Pies online and devised a recipe. I have to admit that I was skeptical about how Raisin Pie would taste but it's very good. You boil the raisins in water so that they soften and break down and the texture becomes more jam-like. And, the filling wasn't too sweet. It is rich though and a small slice is enough to satisfy.

The best part though is that Dan loved his pie. For him, that Raisin Pie was a taste-time-machine.

And, as an added surprise, I found out that Dean, who serves coffee alongside Dan on Wednesdays, also loves Raisin Pie and he got to have a slice. They are both dear to me and it was a joy to see them so happy.
Raisin Pie fans Dean and Dan serving coffee at the Wednesday Community Meal.

Here's the recipe:

Raisin Pie
(makes one 9-inch pie)

2 1/4 cups raisins
2 cups water
1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine the raisins and the water and heat until boiling. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring and keeping and eye on them. Reduce the heat to low.

Blend together the dark-brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt and add to the hot raisins. Increase the heat to medium and cook and stir until the syrup is clear.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and butter.

Adding the butter and apple cider vinegar to the cooked raisin filling.
Cool slightly and pour into a pastry lined 9-inch pan. Cover with the top crust and seal the edges and cut slits in the top crust. Or, top with a lattice crust.
Cutting strips for a lattice top-crust.

A Raisin Pie ready for the oven.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is done and golden brown. Let the pie cool before slicing and serving.

A just-baked Raisin Pie.

A slice of Raisin Pie.

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