Monday, August 22, 2011
Sour Cream Raisin Pie
I wanted to make a pie for a friend, as a thank-you gift. She mentioned a few months back that she loved sour cream raisin pie. I had never made one before, and the combination honestly sounded a bit bizarre. But, wanting to make something I knew she liked, I looked into it, and actually was struck by how good the pie sounded. I was even more struck at how good it was, after I made one! It's a nice, creamy, custardy pie studded with decadent, boozy raisins. Maybe this recipe will change your mind, too.
I soaked a cup of raisins overnight in a mixture of water and butterscotch schnapps. I initially wanted to soak them in brandy, but we didn't have brandy.
If you don't have time to soak your raisins, you could skip this step. Or you could put them in a pot and cover them with your soaking liquid, bring the liquid and raisins to a boil, and then allow them to cool a bit.
Nothing says delicious like some juicy, plumped-up raisins smelling of schnapps.
You'll be using the whites later to make a meringue. And they won't whip if there's any yolk present.
I put the egg whites in the fridge for later.
If anyone has noticed, my sugar is a bit brown. That's because it's evaporated cane sugar. White sugar would be perfectly okay too.
Butterscotch schnapps and pie spices? Feels a bit like Christmas!
I always almost forget to add the vanilla. I need a huge sign in my kitchen that says VANILLA.
But then I'd probably still almost forget.
Look how fat and juicy they look.
Then pop the pie in the oven. It'll take about 40-50 minutes.
With about 20 minutes left on the clock, you can start your meringue. You want to make sure the meringue is ready to go when the pie is done; it's important that the meringue be spread onto a hot pie.
It's very important that your bowl and beaters are very clean. A tiny bit of grease, and your whites won't whip properly.
If you're especially worried about making meringue, a tiny bit of cream of tartar will ensure that your whites whip and stay whipped. I didn't add any, but I know some people feel better when they do add it.
Wow, this picture came out blurry. But you get the idea, right?
Give this often-neglected pie a chance. Once you've tasted the creamy custard, the schnapps-spiked raisins, and the sweet-but-soft meringue, you'll be completely sold.
Recipe: Sour Cream Raisin Pie
1 c. raisins
2-3 c. liquid (water and/or any other liquids you might want to soak your raisins in)
1 premade pie shell
3 eggs, separated
1 c. (1 small container) sour cream
2/3 c. sugar
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
5 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Soak raisins overnight in water or other soaking liquid. Drain before use.
Prick pie shell all over the bottom and the sides with a fork. If using a frozen crust, allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before pricking. Blind bake the shell in a 350F oven for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks, sour cream, sugar, flour, spices, and vanilla. Mix well. Add raisins.
Pour pie filling into crust. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, until filling is set.
With about 20 minutes left on the pie, pour egg whites into a large bowl. Add 5 tbsp. sugar. Beat well until the whites form stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla.
Remove pie from oven and immediately spread meringue over the top. Take care to spread meringue all the way to the edges of the pie to create a seal.
Use a knife to make small peaks all over the meringue. Bake for another 10 minutes until meringue is golden brown. Let cool completely before serving.