Take a bite of days gone by, and know the pleasures of Osgood Pie. Apologies for corny rhyming, but I did make it all the way into the double-digits of October without wordplay around the word ‘pie’, but now the gloves are off. Osgood Pie gives me such homespun, back-porch, milk-bottles and henhouse vibes that I can’t stop myself. A pie that did not make it into my cookbook, this is another simple, elemental dessert that found great favor throughout the South and into the midwest and beyond, up until the shift in the kitchen which becomes visible to me in the 1960’s. The old-school signature is the use of raisins in a prominent role, something common through until rationing days of World War II. Like oranges, raisins had culinary credibility and status, but as the grocery store shelves filled up with New! Improved! Packaged to the Max! items, and cooks moved ever further from kitchen gardens and appreciation of tradition and economy, raisins got shoved off to the side. In Osgood Pie, they are right out front, and they make for a textural delight and flavorsome combination that I for one adore. My recipes never said to chop them, a practice common in older recipes such as Lady Baltimore Cake, and so I did not, but I will try this pie again soon and do so, and I’ll let you know how that works out. While I do not consider the urban/rural legend which holds that “Osgood Pie” gets its name because people took a bite and cried out, “Oh! So GOOD!!!” with reckless abandon, I do agree that this pie is indeed, oh so good.
Nancie’s Osgood Pie
Pastry for a 9-inch single-crust
3/4 cup (4 ounces) raisins
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (3ounces) chopped pecans
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the raisins in a small bowl and add hot water to cover them. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combinethe sugar and butter. Use a fork or a whisk to mix them well.Add the eggs 1 by 1, beating well each time. Add the vinegar and salt and stir well. Drain the raisins and add them to the filling along with the pecans, and stir well to combine everything into a thick, chunky filling. Pour it into the piecrust and place the pie on the middle shelf of the 400 degree F oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the pie is puffed, lightly browned, and firm, 30 to 40 minutes more. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature.