There’s nothing like an heirloom recipe! Comfort food at its finest! And my Grandma’s Sour Cream and Raisin Pie with its thick sour cream custard and soft, juicy raising, topped with mile-high meringue will give you all the feels!
My paternal Grandmother, Clara, was a hard-working woman. Born in 1906, she grew up and married my Grandpa Cornelius, and they had 12(!) children, so naturally, her work was never done. There is a story of 3 sick children in 3 different hospitals at the same time (in different towns no less), each of whom she would visit daily while simultaneously maintaining the rest of her brood, a testament to her loving nature as well as her inherent grit. When I was a kid, we would travel to Kansas each summer to visit. She always made us her M&M Cookies that were so good, I wish I had the recipe. I’ve tried to duplicate it, but no luck – yet.
But best of all, each and every visit, she would make for my Dad her famous (in my family anyway), and his favorite, her Sour Cream and Raisin Pie. Always taking care of others. I wish I had gotten to know her better. One thing about her that this Sour Cream Raisin Pie illustrates, though, is her knowledge that simpler is often better. Face it, if you had 12 children, when would you have time for any added complication? The custard of Sour Cream Raisin Pie is made so quickly and easily with just a few simple ingredients that you likely have right now in your pantry and fridge. It is prepared in a single saucepan – no crazy methods or multiple steps. Just a simple sour cream custard, studded with soft, juicy raisins and walnuts. Delicious. Comforting. Simple. Love.
As a kid, I often passed over this pie for the aforementioned cookies, but as I got older, I would give it a try and always liked it. As an adult, I love eating it! I also appreciate its family history and the fact it is about the simplest pie ever to make from scratch. When she wanted to make the pie, Grandma would ask Grandpa to to out “to the farm” for a cup of fresh cream. I know Grandma would often “sour the cream” herself by adding a spoon of vinegar to a cup of cream, wait a few minutes, then stir.
The only thing I do differently from her recipe (with the exception of going to the grocery for sour cream, to adapt to my own taste, is to heap the salt on the 1/2 teaspoon, for just a touch of salty with the sweet custard.
So be like my Grandma Clara. Know that simple ingredients, prepared in a simple way, are often the best. This Sour Cream Raisin Pie is evidence of that! This recipe is a true Heirloom! Enjoy!
If you’d like to make an heirloom recipe dinner to go with this pie, take a peek at my Grandma Alice’s Slow Cooker Slow Cooker Beef Stew. I also give Instant Pot instruction if you prefer a quick cook!Print
Sour Cream and Raisin Pie
This pie was made by my Grandma for my Dad every time we visited her. It is a simple sour cream – vanilla custard, studded with raisins, topped with fluffy meringue. You could substitute any dried fruit, I’ve used dried sour cherries, but I do like the raisins, as that’s what my Grandma used.
Feel free to use your own pre-baked single pie crust or a store-bought one if you like. Likewise, you can top the custard with a simple meringue of 2-3 egg whites and a few Tablespoons of sugar, or you could use the more complex one I’ve included, from Allrecipes, which creates a fluffy meringue that doesn’t deflate or weep, even when refrigerated. (It is fantastic!)
- Prep Time: 15-20 min
- Cook Time: 20-25 min
- Total Time: 35-45 min
- Yield: 1– 9” pie 1x
- Category: Pies
- Method: Stove and Oven
- Cuisine: American
For the Crust
- Single, pre-baked pie crust of your choice
For the Custard
- 1 c Sour Cream
- 1 c Raisins, stewed (Pour boiling water over the raisins, let stew for 5-10 minutes,drain)
- 3/4 c Granulated Sugar
- 2 lg egg yolks
- 1 t Natural Vanilla Extract
- 1 T AP flour
- 1/2 t Salt (I use a heaping 1/2 t)
- 1/2 c Walnuts, chopped
For the Meringue
- 1/2 c Water
- 1 T Cornstarch
- 8 T Granulated Sugar, divided
- 3 Lg egg whites
- 1/4 t Cream of Tartar
- Pinch Salt
- 1/2 t Natural Vanilla Extract
Make the Custard
- In a medium saucepan, mix the sour cream, sugar, egg yolks, and flour over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until thick, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add vanilla, salt, drained raisins and walnuts. Stir. Pour into pre-baked shell.
Make the Meringue
- In a small saucepan, heat the water, cornstarch, and 2 T sugar over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. This should take just 2-4 minutes or so. Mixture may remain cloudy. This is ok. Once mixture is thick and smooth, remove from heat and let cool a bit.
- Place the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt into a metal (or glass) bowl attached to a stand mixer. Mix until frothy. Once whites are frothy, add the vanilla extract, and slowly stream in the remaining 6 T sugar and continue to whip until soft peaks are formed.
- Slowly stream in the water-cornstarch mixture and continue to whip until stiff peaks are formed.
- Pile meringue atop the custard. Brown in 350F oven for 10-15 minutes or until it is browned to your liking.
- Cool pie at room temperature, then store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
This looks and sounds delicious, Laura! I’ve certainly baked the things were sour cream was one of the ingredients. But I don’t think I’ve tried a tart/cake where sour cream was the star. The custard looks so light and, thus, innocent too 🙂 Well done and good luck with those cookies!
Thanks, Ben! And thanks for visiting and enjoying the thought of my “innocent” little pie. If you think about it, it does have a significant amount of fruit. And some nuts. And it is sour cream, as opposed to butter, so – there’s that…..
heather (delicious not gorgeous) says
i’ve never had anything like this before, but it sounds so cozy with all that sour cream and plump raisins. the meringue sounds like it’d balance the richness of the sour cream filling really well too (:
I always thought this pie originated right in my Grandma’s kitchen, especially because no one I’ve ever known has even heard of it. Ha! But I’ve seen versions that also include spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, so I guess it may be something of a holiday pie in some places. Thanks for visiting!
What an amazing story behind this great recipe.Your Grandma really sounds like a wonderful person. We truly cherish the beautiful recipes our grandparents loved spoiling us with. This is a simple and absolutely delicious looking pie which I will love to try.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much, Ashika! I think family traditions are so important, and help us remember the amazing people who shaped us. Enjoy! And Thanks for visiting!
Dear Laura, I am so touched with your memories. It is so important that we pass the stories, photos and recipes to the young ones; it is so very important in my family too. I will do the pie and will let you know how it came out ! Thank you for sharing and enjoy the day !
You are so sweet! Thanks so much. Memories like this are so important to me, as well, family recipes included! I hope you love this pie as much as I do!
David | Spiced says
What a wonderful story, Laura! I love heirloom family recipes like this one, and I also appreciate developing a taste for things as you get older. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a sour cream raisin pie before, but I am super intrigued. I can see how the flavors work together, and it sounds delicious! And I bet it’s even more delicious given its family history. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this one!!
Thanks, David! This is one of my favorite family recipes. It’s so simple I wonder why I don’t make it more often. Maybe it’s because I end up eating the better part of it. ?
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Awwww grandma recipes are the best! Clara sounds like an amazing person so I just know this pie is amazing too 🙂
Thanks, Kelsie! I agree with you about Grandma’s recipes. Thanks for visiting!
Your grandmama sounds like an incredible lady! By far my favourite recipes on any blog are those that come from the archives of our grandparents and the stories that come with them. This looks like a beauty! Thank you for this lovely read 🙂
Thanks so much, Ruby! I, too, love all of the stories of grandparents, which, for me, are always accompanied by recipes. The gift of appreciation often doesn’t come to us until we are old enough to regret not having it when younger. Thank you for visiting!