How to make Funeral Pie
Before we became accustomed to having every staple we needed on hand whether in or out of season our pantry or larder held just a few things such as flour, sugar, salt, coffee and the rest of the time we cooked whatever was in season and most of the time we preserved, canned or dried our seasonal excesses of produce and that included grapes which gave us raisins.
When it came time to bring something to a funeral it usually had to be something that one could cook or bake quickly using what was on hand and often that was raisins. The Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch often called Rosina pie (which is Dutch for Raisins) Funeral pie.
I enjoy a funeral pie as much as I enjoy mince pie. Both pies call for a double crust and sometimes the top crust was latticed. However, there was always a top crust.
In today’s world we either eat a lot of snack food caring not for their contents or we are health conscious. I try to enjoy a pie now and then and because I am diabetic I have learned to adapt my recipes to become sugar free using Splenda or something similar. When one does that one has to realize the measurements are going to be different. With that in mind, here is my favorite recipe for Funeral Pie.
Old-Fashioned Funeral Pie Recipe
2 Cups raisins
2 Cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed or 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter
Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts to be stirred in with the lemon juice and butter.
Pastry for double-crust pie (I find for those who do not want to conquer the art of pie crust making that the Pillsbury pie crust in the refrigerator section is quite satisfactory.)
Combine raisins and water in saucepan; boil 5 minutes.
Blend sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Add to raisins and cook, stirring until clear. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and butter. Cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out half of pastry into a circle large enough to fit bottom and sides of 9-inch pie pan. Place in pie pan. Turn slightly cooled raisin filling into pastry-lined pie pan. Roll remaining pastry, and cover pie with a solid circle, or lattice strips. Trim and crimp edges.
If using solid top crust, cut slits into it. I find if I brush with milk and sprinkle either some sugar or regular Splenda on the crust it gets a better golden brown sheen to it. Bake 25 minutes, or until crust is brown and filling is bubbly. Cool pie completely before slicing.
Makes 1 pie.