About twelve years ago, I stayed with a friend’s family in Burley, Idaho for Thanksgiving. I think they were the first foodies I ever spent serious time with, and in only four days, I gained five pounds. I was amazed at how delicious everything was. Instead of making their old standbys every Thanksgiving, their tradition was to find the best new recipes every year, and make them together.
One recipe they made stands out more in my memory than any other thing that weekend, and surprisingly, I was the only person who actually liked it (Well, maybe it isn’t surprising to people who don’t like raisins). I found this sour cream raisin pie to be perfectly balanced in flavor, and dangerously addictive. I remembered they had down-loaded the recipe from Epicurious.com, and over the years, I would go back and check on the website, just to be sure that it was still there. I actually never made it myself until yesterday, as I knew it would be a threat to my waistline.
I adapted it a little, though, leaving off the meringue topping, which I thought was unnecessary. I also used golden raisins, as opposed to regular, as I thought it might remind some readers just a little too much of the ’80s movie Better Off Dead (“It’s got raisins in it… you like raisins.”)
Finally, I bulked up the recipe so that it would fill the pie shell a little better, and changed the cooking temperature. Other than that, I stayed pretty true to the recipe. The spices they used—cloves and nutmeg—were so perfect, and I wonder if I would have even thought to use only those two on my own.
Sour Cream Raisin Pie
1 1/2 cup golden raisins
1 pre-baked pie crust (see recipe here)
1 1/2 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
pinch kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Put raisins in a small mixing bowl and cover with water. Allow to plump up overnight (If you don’t have time for that, microwave the water and raisins for about a minute, and allow to cool.). Drain and set aside.
2. Follow the instructions to prepare your pre-baked pie crust. Allow to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium size bowl, whisk together sour cream, egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt, and spices. Stir in drained raisins.
4. Pour mixture into the pie crust. Cover the edges of the crust with a narrow strip of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until set. Turn off the oven and allow to cool in the oven. When pie is completely cool, refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or until ready to serve.