Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Raisin Pie (Good Pie, Good Memory!)

This posting really proves how easily I can be distracted from 'work'-- well, not usually, but it did happen yesterday, and here's proof!  (LOL)

As I was sitting here typing up some minutes about a youth group's year-long activities, I came across the accounting of a fun kind (is there any other kind?) of carnival they helped put on for children ages 3-12. 

CARNIVAL!-- it's crazy how seeing that one single word took me back to August of 1991 when I was sort of in charge of putting together the same kind of carnival held in the same location.  Well, what about it!?!-- in particular, I remember seeing Glenn walk in with a pie that night and saying, "Here!, Shirl made this and it came out of the oven a short while ago."  It was a warm raisin pie.  Here, I thought raisins were only for grabbing by the handful, for putting in cooked cereal, for making cookies, or for cinnamon-raisin bread, etc.  For sure, I didn't know that raisins could/would be made into a pie! 

I made sure I tried a piece of that raisin pie-- and-- oh, my!, it was SO GOOD!  I never grabbed an opportunity to ask if the recipe was available.  Instead, I started collecting recipes for raisin pie whenever I'd see them in magazines or farm papers.  This is the particular pie I made while on my 'distraction trail' yesterday:

I have no idea as to which magazine or paper I got this from, but the forward to the recipe is as follows.

"Bunkhouses were not comfortable.  Rows of double or triple bunk beds crowded the walls.  The beds were placed so close together that loggers had to climb in from the end.  Two men sometimes shared a bunk.  Straw or pine needle mattresses often held lice and bedbugs.  The bunkhouse smelled like wet socks, wood smoke, tobacco, and lamp oil.

"Companies charged loggers up to one-third of their wages for meals and a bed.  At the end of each day, the camp clerk recorded each logger's wages in the camp books.  Early loggers earned between $1 and $1.50 each day.  The cooks and the foreman made between $2 and $2.50.  A bull whacker could earn $100 to $150 each month."  

Okay, after that, I'm thinking the 'here 'n now' for us is feeling very good!   Now,---- to the pie information:

  • 1 double-crust pie dough recipe, OR 1 package of refrigerated pie crusts.
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (some recipes ask for 1 WHOLE CUP! = too sweet!)
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Prepare pie crust dough, OR remove pie crusts from refrigerator
  • In medium saucepan, mix raisins and the water.  Heat to boiling. Reduce heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add brown sugar and flour to raisin mixture; stir well.  Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat.  Stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, butter and vinegar. 
  • Let this cool for 10 minutes.
  • Place one pastry into pie plate.
  • Pour raisin mixture into the pastry.
  • Cut small slits/openings in the other pastry crust.  As shown below, and BEFORE laying the top crust on the layer of raisins, I used the end of a drinking straw to make random little 'holes' in the dough-- that worked great!

  • Cover pie with top crust.  Trim, and seal edges
  • Press edges with the back of a fork, or do the 'pinchy/wavy' thing.
  • Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  (With my oven, bottom pie crusts bake best with the rack one notch lower than center.)
  • Watch to see if the top edges of the crust need protection with a ridge of foil, etc.
  • Let cool till only slightly warm and serve with a 'dump' of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.   I like the pie equally as good after it has been refrigerated.  Because of this pie's sweetness, a little piece goes a long way.
I really LIKE how this pie turned out.  Some recipes I've collected call for double the amount of sugar that's in this one (wouldn't that make it almost unbearably sweet?).

Last night as I was enjoying a piece of this pie, even if it wasn't "Shirl's Pie", I was re-living August 21st of 1991--  I was again standing by the end of the long serving table, and Glen was walking in from the left of me.  (I take that to mean he parked in the east lot.)  How's that for details about how his raisin pie STOPPED TIME for me!!!??!!   Also,... even though I didn't check with the mirror, re-living the moment like this could mean I was a whole 20 years younger while I was enjoying this treat last night.  WooooHooo!!!!! for however long that lasted.

Although the late Glenn was mostly known as being a self-employed 'lifelong' cattle picker-upper and hauler, I was now rembering him as a 'pie bringer'.   And,...a special thank you to Shirley for making that pie.

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