My family has not been a pie making family. We were more of a get the ice cream from the freezer type of family (my mom does make a wicked cheesecake though, and we do know how to make brownies and cookies). For a long time, I thought I was impartial to pie, we usually made it at home with frozen crust from the store (sorry mom but I have been enlightened and that is not the way to a good pie). N’s family however are big pie people, like N can be a pie snob, especially about crusts. So when we make pie it’s from scratch.
Pie from scratch, yummy!
There are a couple pies I remember from my younger days where the filling was so good that you still wanted to eat the pie, even though it was in terrible crust. Those were applesauce rhubarb pie with gramma Hazel and sour cream raisin from grandma Dee (which to me means that people in Kansas must really like pie and not make it so much down south, both those grandma’s are great grandma’s on my Dad’s side).
N is the one to form the crust to the plate, I have little skill/patience for that part.
I promise to someday post about gramma Hazel’s pie, but right now I really wanted that sour cream raisin pie. I only remember having Grandma Dee’s a couple times as a kid but it was so wonderful that it stuck in my memory bank for later. So when I saw this recipe, I thought I would just add raisins and get the same awesome I had as a kid. Which I did, plus I remember my mom and Grandma (the grandma who was Dee’s daughter btw) lamenting that they couldn’t duplicate Dee’s pie because sour cream nowadays is thickened and not actually soured cream. I think the buttermilk custard aspect that is stolen here from Heidi resolves that weirdness that the pie had when mom made it after Dee was gone and we just couldn’t get the same custard-like texture.
I also made this awesome cake, to use up most of the extra whites.
Recipe (adapted slightly from Heidi of 101 cookbooks):
Grandma Dee’s Raisin custard pie
crust (I halved what Heidi had since I only wanted a single crust)
1/3 cup rye flour (you can totally use all purpose instead)
3/4 cup all purpose
1 (8 Tbsp) stick salted butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup maple syrup, grade B is best it has the most flavor esp. for baking (please use REAL maple syrup, after moving out east I have been converted and cannot stand anything else)
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
generous 1/3 of a cup of raisins, divided into two portions (also make sure they aren’t all stuck together)
For the crust I used this method, I’ll just let you head there, she has some great videos. Once your crust is mixed and chilled, roll it into a circle dusting with flour as needed (it doesn’t have to be perfect) until you get roughly 11-12 inches diameter so that you have the needed hangover for the sides. Set this into your pie plate and cut the crust around the edges, using the overhang to fill in any cracks. Fancy the crust however you like (we aren’t too fussy here) and prick the crust a few times with a fork. line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans (we use dry beans, these beans will never be cooked, they are forever used for blind baking pie crusts). Bake 20 minutes at 375, until just beginning to color, remove the beans/weights and bake another 10 minutes until golden.
The pie is full of beans! (make sure to use the paper, N didn’t do this the first time we blind baked a pie crust and had to hand pick the beans out of the half-baked crust, not the most fun ever)
While the crust is blind baking combine the 1st 3 filling ingredients until all the flour is combined, a whisk may be a good idea. Then add the other ingredients, except the raisins. Pour this custard filling into the blind baked pie shell and bake at 325 (note the temp change!!!) be careful transferring the filled pie back to the oven that you don’t spill any (it’s best to have it on a baking sheet just in case). This will bake for about an hour till the custard is set and doesn’t jiggle much if at all when you gently shake the pie plate). The trick with the raisins is to add them in two portions during the baking of the custard, this allows them to fall within the baking custard such that they aren’t all at the bottom of the pie, so I just sprinkle them in at a couple of random times while the filling is baking (as you see in the pictures below our pie looks slightly pox-marked, I waited a little too late into the baking and the custard had formed its skin on top, so make sure you add your raisins earlier in the baking time so they actual sink in at least a little).
Not the most photogenic pie but totally tasty!