Saturday, June 2, 2012

Funeral Pie

Funeral Pie
(Did you ever eat Funeral Pie?)

A sweet story and recipe from The White House Cook Book, 1964 Janet Halliday Ervin

This Pennsylvania-Dutch dessert can be made well in advance of serving; it’s a good “keeper.”  Years ago, when a death in the family seemed inevitable, the pies were baked several days ahead.  When the sad event finally occurred, mourning relatives and friends were sustained, if not consoled, by the popular delicacy.
The story is told of a Pennsylvania-Dutch father who had been given up by his physician.  Mother and daughters sadly began to bake Funeral Pies.  When the delicious aroma drifted into Father’s bedroom, he called his wife to his bedside.
“Mama, I thought I was a goner,” he said, “but now I think I get well.”
“Papa, you can’t!” exclaimed Mama.  “The Funeral Pies is made!”

Soak one cup of raisins in two cups of warm water about two hours.  
In a double-boiler top combine one and a half cups sugar and four level teaspoons flour, mixed.  Add one well beaten egg, juice of one lemon, a bit of grated lemon rind and one-fourth teaspoon salt.  Add raisins and soaking water.  Cook about fifteen minutes, then cool.
Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Top with lattice-strips of dough.  Bake at 375⁰ about three-quarters of an hour, or until well browned.

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Funeral service faces a crisis of relevance, and I am passionate about keeping the best traditions of service alive while adapting to the changing needs of families. Feel free to contact me with questions, or to share your thoughts on funeral service, ritual, and memorialization.