I found lots of stories about how it was served at funerals, often giving it the name Funeral Pie and stories of the pies being made for loggers and how it was once a large part of the American Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner - often in the South although we did have it here in Canada as well. I'm sure part of the reason it was so popular in the past was because it doesn't need refrigeration and keeps well for a couple of days. I found several comments about how it was "dad's favorite pie that Grandma made"or "I liked it was kid but haven't had it for years" etc. But what I couldn't find out is why it fell from popularity - was it because it was so common everyone got tired of it and gravitated to new flavours or perhaps because in general we just don't make as many pies as we used to? It seems that every now and then it shows up somewhere, now being called "Old Fashioned", "Heritage" or "Vintage". None of my current cookbooks had recipes for it - I could only find it in my cookbooks that my mom gave me, dating back to the 50's and 60's - apparently the recipe itself dates back to the 1800's. It seemed that many of the poorer cooks would squirrel away the ingredients throughout the fall so she (typically mom or grandma) could make it for the holiday dinners. And of course, a recipe that has been around that long doesn't escape ingredient variations - some include sour cream or maple syrup or molasses, some add cranberries or apples or walnuts.
I thought I would start with a simple straightforward recipe and Jp said the one I made was exactly how he remembered it.
So here it is:
*yes I see my top crust was a little too thick, and I should've had more raisin filling
- but that didn't stop anyone from eating it!
Do you remember this pie? What key flavours were in it?