The Amish Pie Perspective: A Good Dough & Funeral Pie

The Amish Pie Perspective: A Good Dough & Funeral Pie

Our pie contest may be closed for submissions, but the pie love keeps going for another couple of weeks. Just in time is a new book called The Amish Cook at Home (Andrews McMeel). It's not a pie book (just a few pie recipes) but it captures the spirit of sharing that pies are all about, and what pie recipes it has are worth sharing here.

The author, Lovina Eicher, writes a syndicated column called "The Amish Cook" that she inherited from her mother. She has eight children. One pie, one meal, no leftovers. I trust her.

Funeral Pie is a tradition in some Pennsylvania Amish Communities where the pie is given as comfort for a grieving family. In other Amish communities like the one where the author lives in Michigan, a raisin pie like this is actually served at happier occasions, like a wedding.

Funeral Pie
Serves 8

2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons butter
2 disks My Homemade Pie Dough (see below)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Put the raisins and 2/3 cup of the water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes

Combine the sugars, cornstarch, spices, and salt in a medium bowl and, stirring constantly, gradually add the remaining 1 1/3 cups water. Add this mixture to the raisins. Cook and stir until the mixture starts to bubble. Add the vinegar and butter and heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the oven and let cool until just warm.

Roll out 1 disk of dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the dough. Trim to a 1/2-inch overhang. Pour the filling into the crust. Roll out the second disk of dough, place on top of the pie, and trim to a 1-inch overhang. Fold the dough under and crimp the edge. Cut decorative slash marks into the top crust. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

My Homemade Pie Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup lard
1 large egg
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Stir to blend. Add the lard and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg, water, and vinegar and stir with a fork until the dry ingredients are moistened. Form the dough into a ball and divide that into 3 balls. Form a ball into a disk and roll it out to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface.

Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges to a 10-inch overhang. Fold the dough under and crimp the edges. If not using now, form the remaining 2 balls of dough into disks, place each in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.

From The Amish Cook at Home by Lovina Eicher with Kevin Williams, Andrews McMeel Publishing

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