I love the library. If it weren't for the library, I think I'd have to get a second job to pay for my cookbook addiction. I love how all of the books are together by subject too. I've recently been boning up on Christmas cookies and low and behold, right next to the book I'm looking for are other wonderful books on Christmas cookies. It was while I was searching for Christmas cookie books, that my eye fell upon Pie by Ken Haedrich. Being a cookbook addict, I naturally picked it up. At 639 pages, this is one enormous book devoted to all things pie. Flipping through, I was filled with giddy wonder as I found delicious sounding recipes for pies I had never imagined or heard of. Every few pages there was a new recipe for a pie I am going to have to try. From his notes, it sounds as if the author has personally tried all 300 of the pie recipes this book contains. Not wanting to regain the 34 lbs. I have lost, I know I have to reign in my desire to make all of these at once, but the author did have the fabulous idea of sharing your pies with neighbors. This makes for good neighborly friendships, and keeps you from devouring the whole pie alone. This idea kept in line with "French" living and enjoying small amounts of desserts so as not to feel deprived. After an enthusiastic reassurance from a neighbor yesterday that she would OF COURSE eat pie, I started out to make something called an Osgood Pie. The author wasn't sure of the origin of the name, but after tasting the pie, I thought it might be named after some hard working midwestern farmer, who after tucking into this pie, responded with a full mouth, "Os good". Translation for those of us who aren't dentists: "That's good".
The pie was creamy and very sweet, studded with pecan and raisins in a custardy middle. My favorite part was a crunchy meringue topping which floated to the surface during baking. It was yummy, yummy and well worth consideration for gracing your Thanksgiving table.
Osgood Pie adapted from Pies by Ken Haedrich
1 recipe worth of single pie crust (I used refrigerated pie crust)
1 cup dark raisins
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Place pastry in a 9 inch pie pan. Sculpt the edge into an upstanding ridge. Line with foil, place beans or pie weights into the foil and partially bake your pie crust in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove the foil and the beans and set the crust aside to cool.
2. Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside for about 10 minutes.
3. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, butter, and vinegar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed for a bout 2 minutes. Drain the raisins and stir them into the egg mixture along with the pecans, vanilla, and spices.
4. In a medium-size bowl using clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add to the filling, folding them in gently but thoroughly with a large rubber spatula. Slowly pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Using a fork, gently rake through the filling to distribute the raisins and nuts more or less evenly in the shell.
5. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the filling is set, about 35 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees , so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward, about 15 minutes before it is done. Give the pie a little nudge and watch the surface carefully. The filling should not move in waves, not even slight waves. If in doubt, bake 5 minutes more.
6. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool thoroughly. Serve at room temperature or cover with loosely tented aluminum foil and refrigerate it before serving.