Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pinehaven Milk Pie

Throughout my life, I've heard Dad often mention his own grandmother's "Milk Pie". He always talks about with it with a little sadness - not to have tasted it in the past 70 years - and a good deal of drooling. His talk about this special pie has become almost a family tradition in itself.
A week or so ago my cousin found the recipe and sent it to us in the mail. My great-grandmother, Amelia Schmidt, is someone I never met as she died before my parents were married. But here, all these years later, comes her original recipe to our mailbox.
Actually, Amelia's recipe had no amounts shown. So the recipe is a compilation of two family rceipes.

I decided I'd give it a shot and here's a picture of the result. My Dad said his grandmother's Milk Pie "was a little sloppy" and that's certainly not something we wanted. This pie turned out to be more of a traditional custard pie. In fact, some old-time recipes call this a "Buttermilk Pie".

Above is a shot right after the pie came out of the oven. Though the recipe makes two 9" pies, I cut in in half and made just one. Better to see whether we like it first. We do!
Dad remembers his grandmother cooling the pie on their back porch. Once it had cooled, it was quickly finished off.
Because the recipe is an antique family-favorite, we're adding the Pinehaven name to it! Here's the recipe along with my notes:

Pinehaven Milk Pie

2 unbaked pie shells (Pet brand is great unless you want to make your own)
1 stick margarine - softened
1-1/2 cup sugar (probably too much; cut to taste)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grated nutmeg; pinch of salt

Mix butter, sugar and cream well
Add flour, eggs, buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla, pinch of nutmeg and salt
(eggs can be pre-beaten if desired)
Whisk thoroughly
Pour in pie shells; sprinkle top with more nutmeg (it'll be really juicy!)
Bake at 350 degrees; 1 hour (I found this done in 50 minutes when baking one)
Test with a knife in the center; filling should not stick
Top should be golden brown
Makes 2-9" pies

Note: The filling will not seem to fill the pie shell. It will expand when baked and contract again when cooled. I put a pan beneath it to catch any overflow though there was none. The end result is a rather thin pie.