I've spent a lot of time leafing through my older cookbooks as of late. Right now, while we're still on a severe budget with no end in sight, I am constantly looking for new recipes to try that use ingredients that are in my pantry. Part of my thinking is that in the past, people ate well on very little, so it stands to reason that older cookbooks, from a time gone by, may be a good resource. And while there are some scary recipes out there (aspic anyone?) there are quite a few that look quite good. Yesterday's recipe was a perfect case in point.
I was flipping through my 1960 Women's Day Collector's Cookbook when one particular recipe caught my eye for Sour Cream Raisin Pie. I don't know what it is, but just thinking about what that might taste like made me drool. How could that be bad! I mentally made a note of it and kept flipping through, in my mind adding raisins to my shopping list. Yet sometime between that recipe viewing and the time I was in the grocery store, that pie (in my mind) became a Buttermilk Raisin Pie. So I picked up the buttermilk and the raisins, and pulled a pie shell that I'd previously made out of the freezer. I opened up the book and there it was- Sour Cream Raisin Pie. Well, I'm out of sour cream, and by now I wanted a buttermilk raisin pie. And learning that there was no such creature, I decided to come up with my own.What do you think? Just look at that! It's a baked custard-like pie with plump and juicy raisins studded throughout that custard. The top caramelized while in the oven, and the flavor was exactly as I'd imagined it to be. Sweet, very sweet, with a lingering bit of acidity that you just can't quite place. I am very pleased with how this one turned out. And while it is very good, it is in need a of a few changes for next time. The first being that the sugar is going to be reduced by 1/4 cup. The raisins add plenty of sweetness to make up for it. And the second change is going to be to add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon with the flour. Just thinking about the addition of cinnamon is enough to start me swooning. This pie has comfort written all over it.
Buttermilk Pie is a southern tradition (as far as I know). It is a way to make a spectacular dessert with very little. Since buttermilk was a by-product of the butter making process, I suspect that this was just one of the ways to use it up instead of wasting it. I seldom have buttermilk to waste because I just love using it. I use it in my Baked Potato Soup, Banana Bread, Buttermilk-Oatmeal Bread, and another pie- Warm Buttermilk Apple. And I have a new favorite way to use it. My Buttermilk Raisin Pie can be found in the Recipe Trove, my new changes included in the recipe.