Monday, September 04, 2006

Funeral Pie

When there was a funeral my sister Jackie had to deliver grandma's raisin pies to the family's home. Jackie would be on foot, of course, or maybe her bike. The home, where the wake would take place after the burial, could easily be several miles away. It wasn't one of her faviorite things to do.

It was a surprise to discover, recently, the pie's relationship to the German in our culture1. The following info comes from Googling "Funeral Pie."
"Also called Raisin Pie and Rosina Pie (German for raisin). For many years raisin pie was served with the meal prepared for family and friends at the wake following a funeral. The probable reason was that this pie could be made at any season and kept well when prepared a day or two before the funeral. It does not need refrigeration. This pie traditionally is served at funerals of Old Order Mennonites and Amish."

We're searching for grandma's receipe, but in the meantime, here's a typical one.
2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

My mother's piecrust receipe for a double nine inch piecrust was
2 & 1/4C Flour
3/4 C lard (or Crisco)
4 T cold water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a pan with half the pastry and chill. Place the raisins and 2/3 cup of the water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes. Combine the sugars, cornstarch, spices, and salt in a bowl and , mixing all the time, slowly add the remaining water. Add this mixture to the heating raisins. Cook and stir this until the mixture starts to bubble. Add the vinegar and butter and heat until the butter is melted. Cool until just warm. Pour into the prepared shell and top with the second crust. Bake 25 minutes or until golden. Cool.

The school photo is 13 year old Jackie, the reluctant funeral pie carrier.

1. See entry from July17, '06: Orlando's Ancestors From The Palatine

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