In the days before refrigeration and air cargo shipments of fresh produce from all corners of the globe, fruit was almost considered a luxury item in winter. Times were tough during the war years, people lived on much less and were forced to ration. I can remember my dad telling me that one of their biggest treats at Christmas was getting an orange in his stocking. Preserves and dried fruits were usually the only options for the much needed nutrition and flavours that he and his family would crave for during those long winters. One recipe that dates back to those days is one of his all time favourites, raisin pie.
Old Fashioned Raisin Pie
- 2 cups sultana raisins
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 double crust pastry for a double crust pie
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Add raisins and water to a medium saucepan. Boil 5 minutes.
- In a bowl, blend brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together; add to saucepan with raisins.
- Cook on medium and stir until syrup is thick and clear (about 10 minutes).
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and butter.
- Cool slightly.
- Turn filling into a pastry lined pan. Cover with top crust. Seal edges and cut slits in the top crust.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes.
- Reduce oven to 350° F and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Remove the pie from oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.