Don't turn up your nose at Raisin Pie. It's delicious and it's really a dried grape pie if you want to get technical over details. You can make it any time of the year as raisins are readily available and the cost doesn't vary by season. My mother liked Raisin Pie and I like Raisin Pie. I don't know if any of my children like Raisin Pie because I never made it often when they were living at home. Why that was I don't know because it's not hard to make, especially if you bake and make pies. I shall serve Raisin Pie next time everyone visits and humbly apologize for not making this more often when they were children. (That's a lot of times to write "Raisin Pie".)
The reason I bring you this recipe is because of Tammy. Tammy works as a cashier at the local Colemans grocery store where I shop and the other day we got into a conversation at the checkout. I was
buying the beloved Fussell's Cream and she commented that the cream was good with pie, especially Raisin Pie. This, of course, led to a discussion of the virtues of a good Raisin Pie and how a homemade pie was way better than the store-bought varieties. Which led me to comment that I hadn't had Raisin Pie in years but it was easy to make. Which led Tammy to tell me she'd probably make the pie if she had a recipe. Which led me to say I'd make the pie and blog the recipe so she could make it. Which led her to say that only she and her father liked Raisin Pie but he'd be happy if she made one. Well, it went something like that so here's the recipe for Tammy and her dad (and for me too, of course). I can't wait to get my teeth into this one.
Although a fairly standard recipe, the addition of both juice and peel of lemons and oranges makes it a particularly tasty filling with a lovely citrusy flavour. The lemon cuts the sweetness as well, and gives a little tang to the taste buds. I've adapted the recipe from one of my old cookbooks, the Farm Journal's Country Cookbook. I've had the book for years, probably before I was married.
Use your own pie crust or you can link to Aunt Amy's No Fail Pie Crust.
2 cups raisins (choose your favourite kind of raisin)
2 cups water
⅓ cup white sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon corn starch
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
½ teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
Pastry for 2-crust pie
In a saucepan over medium heat simmer raisins and water for about 5 minutes. The raisins should become plump and tender. You are actually cooking and rehydrating the dried grape.
Combine the sugars and salt with the cornstarch. Mix so the sugars and cornstarch are well incorporated. Add the sugar mixture into the hot raisins and stir constantly until it thickens and comes back to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. This cooks the cornstarch thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon and orange rinds and juices. Stir in the butter.
You may now pour the filling to your prepared pie crust or if you are making your pie the next day, place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use the filling.
To make the pie:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out the pie crust into two disks to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Carefully lift one piece of crust and fit into the pie pan. Let the edges of crust hang over the pie plate. Brush the edge with a little water or milk. This will help seal the top crust to the bottom crust.
Fill with the raisin filling and lay the top crust on top of the filling gently pressing the top edges together. Trim off the overhang of crust close to the pie pan. You may turn the excess under or push together in a fancy fluted edge. Cut 2 or 3 vents on top of the pie. I like to sprinkle a little sugar on top of the unbaked pie. That isn't necessary but I like the crunch when I'm eating the pie.
Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes. If edges are browning too fast lay a loose cover of foil over the pie.
Remove pie from oven and let cool on a rack. The pie may be served warm or cold accompanied by a lovely scoop of ice cream or a drizzle of pouring cream or a dollop of whipped cream or if you live in Newfoundland I would recommend Fussell's Cream for a topping.
I've given you the recipe for the pie crust as well. Click on the link if you want to see how it's made.
Aunt Amy's No Fail Pie Crust
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1 cup shortening (I sometimes use half butter.)
½ cup milk
Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until the shortening resembles coarse crumbs about the size of small green peas. Add milk and gently mix together to form a ball of dough. Can be used as is or place in refrigerator until cold and roll out for pies.
Makes 2-3 single crusts or 1 double crust pie crust with possibly enough left over for another single crust. It all depends on how thick you like your crust and the size of your pie pans.
To make the filling place the raisins in water and bring to a simmer. Mix the sugars, salt, and cornstarch together. My little measuring spoons have a "dash" which is exactly ⅛ teaspoon salt. Combine the sugar mixture with the hot raisins and bring to a boil. The mixture will thicken. Remove from heat and add the grated orange and lemon rind, the juice and the butter. The filling is now ready to use.
Pour the filling in a prepared pie crust. Lay the top crust on top of filling and seal around the edges. Cut slits in the top to let the steam escape while baking. You may want to flute the edge of the crust by pinching the edge between the index finger and thumb. Your pie is now ready for the oven.
Today I made two pies. Can you tell which one is the dried grape pie and which one is the raisin pie?