Pastry picks: pies made of oatmeal, prunes

RECIPE FINDER

March 15, 2000|By ELLEN HAWKS | ELLEN HAWKS,SUN STAFF

Anna Mary Upholster of Latrobe, Pa., requested a recipe for oatmeal pie. She wrote that none of her cookbooks has such a recipe. Tester Laura Reiley chose the recipe sent in by Mary Ann Peeples of Stedman, N.C.

Peeples wrote that she found the recipe in a newspaper, the Kansas City Star. "It is easy to make and resembles a pecan pie."

Pearl F. Lewison of Beresford, S.D., requested a prune pie recipe. Her answer came from Carol Reeves of Westport, Ore.

Oatmeal Pie

Serves 8-12

3 eggs, well-beaten

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2/3 cup quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Combine all filling ingredients and pour mixture into the prepared pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until the center of the pie is firm.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The texture of this pie is indeed a lot like a pecan pie. The oatmeal is obviously softer than nuts, but the texture still has the lush filling of a pecan pie studded with firmer bits of oatmeal and coconut. I think the coconut is a great idea, as the pie might be a little bland without it."

Prune Pie

Serves 8-12

2 cups stewed pitted prunes

1 orange, divided into segments

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup prune juice plus

2 tablespoons, if desired (divided use)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 baked 9-inch pie shell

Meringue (see recipe)

Cut prunes into quarters. Add orange segments (membrane removed), sugar, butter, salt and prune juice. Heat to boiling. Mix cornstarch with equal amount of cold water or prune juice, add to hot prune mixture and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep smooth. Cool, pour into cooked pie shell and cover with meringue.

Spread meringue, making sure the meringue touches the edges of the pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until meringue is firm, fully cooked and golden.

Meringue

3 extra-large egg whites (about 1/2 cup), at room temperature pinch cream of tartar

4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a deep bowl and beat with a mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Tester Reiley's comments: "The lightness of the meringue provides a nice contrast to the density and intensity of the prune layer. This is a very rich dessert, so I'd recommend serving rather small wedges. People can't quite believe it's made of prunes, although it has a rich, fruity flavor imparted by the prune and the orange."

Recipe requests

Susan Harrell of Eldersburg is looking for a recipe for Hash-Brown Casserole, which is served at Cracker Barrel.

A. Smith of Rapid City, S.D., wants a recipe for the bread sticks made by the Olive Garden. "They are soft and so delicious."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number.

Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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