The PA Dutch love their pies (and their comfort foods!), but gathering ’round the table is not always to celebrate a joyous occasion. In the same way food lifts us up in celebration, it can comfort and nourish us in times of trial and tribulation.
When a family in the Coal Region suffers the loss of a loved one, friends and neighbors often send food to the family so that they can spend their time making final arrangements, comforting each other, and have nourishment to see them through difficult times.
My Mom often made this pie and sent took it to a grieving family., as many PA Dutch, Amish, and Mennonite cooks did and still do, It is believed that this pie was often chosen because the staples for it were almost always in the pantry and the pie keeps well.
This double-crusted raisin filling pie is pretty sweet — it is thought this pie is deliberately made cloyingly, almost painfully, sweet to allow mourners to forget, if only for a moment, the pain of their grief.
A;though often called “funeral oie”, raisin lovers should rejoice in savoring a piece of this pie at any time and it makes a great dessert for a pot-luck or picnic.
Amish Funeral PieCourse: DessertCuisine: Pa. Dutch, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate
A sweet, double-crusted raisin filling pie.
2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons butter
pastry for 9-inch double crust pie
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a pie pan with bottom crust.
- Place raisins and water in saucepan; heat on medium for 5 to 7 minutes to plump raisins.
- Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and spices in a small bowl and stir together. When raisins are plumped, sprinkle sugar mixture slowly into raisin mixture while stirring. continue to cook until mixture bubbles and thickens.
- Add the vinegar and butter and cook until butter is melted. Cool until barely warm.
- Pour cooled raisin filling into pie shell; cover with remaining shell. (or make lattice strips for top). Trim around edge of pan, crimp edges to seal. Cut 3 or 4 slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.
- Bake 25 – 35 minutes or until golden.
- Cool and serve.