Ms. American Pie, by Beth M. Howard (Race Point Publishing, 2014), shares Howard’s pie recipes for strawberry crumble, shaker lemon, banana cream and dozens more. Howard also shares her pie principles and stories of connecting with other people through pie. The following excerpt, from the chapter “Pies to Comfort,” is a recipe for sour cream raisin pie.
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Joanne Maynard, the mother of Patti Durflinger, my BFF in Eldon, makes this pie. I had it—and fell in love with it—when said BFF hosted a pie auction fundraiser. What grabbed my attention—besides the fluffy meringue, the creaminess of the pudding, and the fact that I didn’t mind the raisins—was the hint of orange zest. I found this compelling, a flavor that kept me coming back for more bites. Then again, maybe I just loved it because it was made with love by Patti’s mom.
Sour Cream Raisin Pie Recipe
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
• 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
• 1 1/4 cups flour, plus at least 1/4 extra for rolling
• Dash of salt
• Ice water (fill a 1/2 cup but use only enough to moisten dough)
• 2 cups sour cream
• 4 egg yolks (reserve egg whites for meringue)
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 tbsp flour
• 1 tsp orange zest
• 1 1/2 cups raisins
• 4 to 6 egg whites
• 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
• 1/4 cup sugar
To make the chocolate cream pie:
1. Prepare the Blind-Baked Crust.
2. Prepare the Filling: In a saucepan, combine sour cream and egg yolks. Stir in sugar, flour, orange zest, and raisins.
3. Cook over medium heat until the raisins plump up. Then pour into the pie shell.
4. Prepare the Meringue: Using a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until frothy.
5. Add cream of tartar and slowly add sugar a little at a time. Beat until peaks form.
6. Spoon on top of the filling and dab at the meringue with the back of a large spoon, pulling back with each stroke to create curlicue peaks.
7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the peaks turn brown, about 15 minutes.
Meringue can be like a sad person; sometimes it weeps . The cause—or at least the theory—for the formation of these little droplets is too much humidity in the air. And since, like many things in life that cause us grief, we cannot control the weather, the best solution is just to eat it fast!
More from Ms. American Pie
Reprinted with permission from Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House, by Beth M. Howard, and published by Race Point Publishing, 2014. Buy this book from our store: Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House.