Saturday, June 26, 2010

Frances Hurt's Vinegar Pie

Dedicated to Rachel Ann Bottorf (also known as Muddah)

Your favorite pie dough
4 large eggs
2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup water
½ c cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Blind bake pie crust 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350°.
Beat eggs in large bowl until foamy. In a heavy saucepan, mix flour, sugar and salt. Add water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Slowly drizzle boiled mixture into eggs, whisking constantly. Return filling to saucepan and cook (do not boil) over medium heat, stirring constantly for 15 minutes or until mixture reaches custard consistency.
Pour hot filling into baked pie shell and bake until filling is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
(Cut a collar from foil and place over rim of pie shell to protect edges from burning.)

About Frances:

When I was growing up, our housekeeper Frances Hurt had a huge influence on our family. She believed good cooking was important, and she was a master of the art of making something from nothing. If you’re put off by the name “vinegar pie”, think “lemon custard”. This is a delicious pie!

This recipe courtesy of Rebecca Patterson

©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short

NOTES: During college vacations I was not always able to fly back east from Chicago. I frequently stayed at my friend, Rebecca's parent's home. One morning when the house had emptied and I was the only person still snoozing in bed, I heard Helio barking loudly. Then I heard the front door open. My heart started pounding. Footsteps were coming up the stairs. I thought it might be over for me. The house is being robbed, I thought, in broad daylight. I had no weapon. I lay as flat as I could with the sheets just over my head with a space to breath and peek out. Suddenly the door opened. A sweet voice asked, “Oh, did I scare you, Honey?” Yes, I nodded. “I'm Frances, the housekeeper,” she said. “Ooooh!" I said, much relieved to know this was not my dying day.

I got to know Frances over the years. I learned she was a great cook and a lovely person, and not nearly as scary as I imagined whoever that was coming after me up those stairs.

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