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28 February, 2018

1912 Molasses Pie

Posted in : antique, baking, dessert, food, intermediate, pie, sweets, vintage on by : Jeanette Schramm Tags: , , , , ,

This recipe was quite an adventure. The recipe for molasses pie that I found was tucked away in a 106 year-old book that I picked up at an antique store. The recipe consisted of the ingredients for filling and topping two pies, and the instructions for baking amounted to “bake in one crust, remove from oven, top with egg whites, and brown in oven.” Needless to say, I had a lot of blanks to fill in if I wanted to make this pie, let alone publish the recipe on my blog. Sometimes with old recipes, I can find a modern analog that I can use for baking instructions, but in this case, I really couldn’t. The closest I could think of was a lemon meringue pie, since all modern versions of molasses pie call for flour, whereas this recipe is more like a caramel pie.

The end result, as I found out, was very sweet and very gooey. Make sure you don’t take too big of a slice, or you’ll feel it later. The filling tastes like nutmeg-flavored caramel and it’s so sugary that the meringue is almost a relief. I don’t know if I would make this again, but if I did, I would have to change something to make it more bearable and less overpoweringly sweet — it may be why modern recipes cut it with flour. The filling might make good candies, but I’ve never made candies before, so I wouldn’t know where to begin there. It’s definitely a pie worth making, and it was a really fun problem-solving challenge, but it’s SUPER sweet, which isn’t to my liking anymore (younger me would have loved this pie, but now-me can’t handle that much sugar at once without getting nauseous, though, granted, I did eat two slices since the fiancé told me he didn’t want his after I’d already cut it. I’ve made a lot of sweets this week, so I can’t really blame him).

I’ll need to take a bit of a break from pies for a little while, but the next pie I make will likely be another experiment from the book. There are a few other unusual-looking pies in there I want to eventually make, like shoo-fly pie, vinegar pie, and transparent pie. They also have a mincemeat pie I want to try, but I need to figure out how to properly cut the recipe so I don’t make, like, ten pies-worth of filling and have to can it all (which is what they want you to do). Naturally, there’s also an apple pie. Maybe by autumn I’ll have had enough practice with these odd pies that I’ll feel confident enough to attempt apple pie again (last time wasn’t so successful, though I’ve improvised since then and had better luck). I’ve got a few months to decide whether or not I want my first wifely attempt at making pie to be a faceoff with my culinary kryptonite. Stay tuned.

Ingredients
3/4  cups Maple syrup
1 /2 cup Sugar
2 Egg yolks
2 tbsp Butter
1.5 tsp Ground nutmeg
2 Egg whites
2 tbsp Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and line a pie pan with crust. In a medium saucepan, combine everything but the egg whites and 2 tbsp sugar. Simmer on low and whisk for ten minutes. Pour the mixture into the pie dish and cover the edges of the crust with foil before placing on a cookie sheet and baking for 20 -25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar and mix just long enough to incorporate the sugar or until the peaks return if you lose them. Top the pie with the egg whites and finish in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Let the pie cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature and then refrigerate it until chilled. Serve in small slices with tart yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or on its own.

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