Are you looking for a pie recipe that is somehow both traditional and fresh this Thanksgiving? Then have I got the pie for you. This vintage pie recipe fits in nicely with fall flavors but stands out from the crowd of apple and pumpkin.
This is an old-school sour cream and raisin pie, and it’s better than it sounds. It appears in 250 Superb Pies and Pastries, a 1953 recipe booklet, but the recipe is probably much older. It has serious prairie vibes.
The flavor settles somewhere between an oatmeal raisin cookie and custard, and it’s quickly become a favorite. Try it and see!
This recipe appears in my upcoming pie booklet, available for free to any and all who subscribe to my email list.
5 Unique Vintage Holiday Pies will help you establish yourself as a pie-baking expert and shine at any winter potluck. These mid-century recipes are tested and modern palate-approved, with clear instructions to make things easy as…well, pie.
It’s coming out the first week of December, and every recipe is a winner. Subscribe to get your copy as soon as it’s out.
This year, I’ve had the great fun of participating in the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. Each month, I undertake a themed food preservation project with the goal of learning something new. We’re already halfway through! Here’s what I’ve made so far:
January: Citrus–Cara Cara Orange and Meyer Lemon Marmalade
February: Fermentation–Failed Fermented Carrots (oh, so bad!) and Amish Friendship Bread (oh, so good!)
March: Herbs–Compound butters (sage and smoked salt, rosemary and shallot)
April: Use Up Preserves–Barbeque sauce, raspberry jam bars, various tomato dishes (I also took a canned goods inventory, and discovered that we need to be more diligent about eating tomatoes, because at that point I wasn’t through the 2017 ones).
May: Berries–Strawberry Balsamic Jam
June: Jam–Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (I then went into July with Rhubarb Rosemary, Strawberry Peach, Brown Sugar Peach, and Strawberry Maple Butter)
July: Stonefruit–Aforementioned peachy jams, canned cherries, cherries in bourbon
Other than learning new things, the most enjoyable part of the challenge is seeing what people all over the world do with it. The themes are pretty broad, so people are creative. I never would have thought to do compound butters without other people doing it, for instance, and now I’m in love.
Favorite recipes so far include: Strawberry Balsamic Jam (I made this twice. One small batch was not enough). Sour Cherry Preserves with Bourbon Rosemary Shallot Compound Butter (There is no recipe. Mince about a tablespoon of shallot. Crush about the same amount of dried rosemary. Beat it into maybe a quarter cup of softened butter. Store in the freezer. Use to saute sugar snap peas, lose your composure.)
In the coming months, I’ll tackle: Tomatoes, Pickles, Relishes, Chow Chows, or Piccalili, an October Wild Card, Apples, Pears, Quince or Persimmons, and Holiday Giving. Some of these will be easier to do something new (what have I ever done with quince?) than others (what else can I do with a tomato, at this point?).
This winter, I’ve been trying to dig deep into all the things that are special about winter. One of those is citrus fruit, which comes into season in Florida and California during January and February.
I’ve been enjoying Imperfect Produce, which rescues “ugly” fruits and vegetables that don’t fit grocery standards, and sells them cheaply to consumers. On impulse, I added a grapefruit to my weekly box of perfectly delicious, but sometimes weird-looking, produce.
Every couple of years, I get seduced by how pretty grapefruit is, and buy one. It’s not my favorite citrus, but it’s grown on me over the years. I decided to try something I remembered seeing in several vintage cookbooks: Broiling it.
But this one was really delightful, so I’ll share it.
Summer salads are lush and lovely, but winter invites minimalism. Lettuce forms the base of this one, but spinach, cooked greens, or massaged kale would be good, too. A crisp apple and crunchy broccoli stems co-star in an unlikely, but delicious, pairing.
When everything in the modern world is focused on convenience, and “hacks,” and recipes that take 30 minutes, there’s something to be said for slowing down every once in awhile. Tedious projects give us the chance to build our concentration, unplug from the frenetic pace around us, and test the depth and variety of our vocabulary of curse words.
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