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November 29, 2008 / Tony

Sour Cream Raisin Pie


Unbaked Sour Cream Raisin Pie

I think I first had a piece of sour cream raisin pie at a restaurant named the “Norske Nook.”  It’s a small chain of restaurants in Northern Wisconsin that specialize in pie making.  Their website states that they make 38 types of pie including sour cream apple raspberry, sour cream blackberry, sour cream lingonberry and sour cream raspberry.  I was on my way to a Moot Court competition in the Twin Cities while I in law school in Madison.  My driving partner insisted on stopping at the Norske Nook because of the exceptional quality of their pies.  And, he made sure that one of the pieces of pie we ordered was a sour cream raisin pie.  It was a great pie.  The crust was perfect and the filling was a phenomenal balance between the intense flavors of the raisins and sour cream and the relatively bland airiness of the meringue. 

Yet, as good as the pie was, I wasn’t motivated to make one.  I think at that time in my life, I still thought pie crust was out of my skill set.  (I think this is still true to some extent today.)   But then I had the pie again recently at The Shack in northern Fargo.  That restaurant is a charming , old-school diner with homestyle food and a nice selection of pies.  After seeing that they had sour cream raisin pie on the menu, I forced Katelyn into shairng a slice with me.  She had some initial misgivings but all was forgiven when she had her first bite. 

So, this past Thanksgiving, we decided to make a sour cream raisin pie as one of our contributions to the feast.  While ours did not have the mounds of fluffy meringue as a topping (which was by design, not faulty egg white whipping), it had all the characteristics of a good sour cream raisin pie.  Here’s the recipe:

Sour Cream Raisin Pie, from this recipe at Epicurious

1 cup raisins

Pastry dough for one pie, (try my favorite pie dough)

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 T all-purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

In a bowl, soak raisins in water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours and up to one day.  Drain raisins.

Roll out pastry dough and fit it into a 9 inch glass pie plate.  Trim dough and crimp edges decoratively.  Chill shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork and line shell with foil or parchment paper.  Fill will pie weights and bake shell in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and weights and bake shell until golden, about 8 minutes more.  Cool shell in pan on a rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Separate eggs.  Chill whites until ready to use.  In a bowl, whisk together yolks and sour cream.  Whisk in 1/2 cup sugar, flour, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and raisins.  Pour filling into shell and bake in the middle of the oven 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake pie for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until filling is set.

Remove pie from oven but keep temperature at 350 degrees.  In another bowl with an electric mixer, beat whites until they just hold soft peaks.  Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks.  Spread meringue over warm pie, covering filling completely and making sure meringue touches shell all the way around. 

Bake pie in the middle of the oven until meringue is golden, about 10 minutes.  Cool pie on rack and serve at room temperature.

Enjoy!  Here’s the final product:

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

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