Saturday, January 14, 2017

Heritage Pie

A long lost cousin I've reconnected with on Facebook posted a scan of an old recipe she found recently. Apparently she has been sorting through things and eliminating clutter, just as I have been doing.  Sorting recipes always slows me down because I have way too many of them and I try every year to find a way to get them more organized and get rid of duplicates. She was having a problem too, but it was more because some needed to be rewritten before being tossed. And how do you toss away a piece of paper with your own Grandmother's handwriting on it, even if it is damaged by oil and time? Such things tug at the heart.

The recipe was for a Butterscotch Pie and for some reason I downloaded it. Probably because I have my own fond memories of Vera Coughlin.

 It wasn't easy to read, so I tried running it through some editing software, but all I really succeeded in doing was to get the yellow out of the paper and changing the size. I printed off my best effort and went about trying to decipher the words that had nearly faded away. I had just rolled out the last of my Christmas pastry and needed a filling for a single crust pie. I decided this was a good time to try this heritage pie.

As I began to mix the ingredients together, I was suddenly aware that the dear lady had not spelled out tablespoon and teaspoon as even tbsp and tsp. I had to hope that "T" was tablespoon and "t" was teaspoon and that it wasn't just a quirk of her handwriting that caused her to capitalize one of the T's and not the other.

There was another part of the recipe that confused me. It looked like she wanted me to add the warm milk to the egg yolks, but if you've ever made lemon pie filling from a package, you know you would add the egg yolks to the mixture in the pot, along with some of the cold water, before adding the hot liquid. I decided to do this the same way.

In the end, it all worked out, and I will write out the recipe in a manner I can understand for future reference.

Butterscotch Pie
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for meringue)x
2 cups of milk, divided

Cream together butter, brown sugar, flour, salt and vanilla in a pot.
Beat egg yolks with a 1/2 cup of the milk and stir into sugar mixture until well blended. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk until it's hot but not boiling and pour into the pot with the rest of the ingredients.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When bubbles break the surface, cook for another 30 seconds. Pour into cooled 9" pie shell and top with meringue.

Beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually add 1/4 cup of white sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes until stiff peaks form.

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