Wednesday, December 9, 2015

From a Clear Lake Kitchen -- Great Holiday Pie

This is Clear Lake on December 9, 2015. Not a bit of ice in sight. The lawns are still sort of green. Highly unusual. We did have a mini-freeze two weeks ago. The bald eagles were out on ice flows by State Park Beach. I saw nearly a dozen. We've had two teenaged eagles and one adult perch on the old oak tree off our deck. They were just twenty feet or so above our heads. When we got close to the windows to try and take a picture, they looked at us as though we might be lunch, and, finding us wanting, took off.

With the lake trying to decide what season it is, I thought it would be appropriate to make one of my favorite seasonal pies. It can't quite decide what it wants to be either. The filling divides as it bakes into a creamy custard and a spicy light topping layer. Good cooled to room temperature and even tastier chilled for an hour or so in the refrigerator!

It is called Bob Andy pie and I found the original in the Evangelical United Brethren Treasury of Personal Recipes published in Swanington, Indiana in the 1950s. The recipe was credited to Mrs. George Mann who lived in Otterbein, Indiana.

I have no idea why it is called Bob Andy. I do know it is downright delicious. The recipe makes two pies and I took the extra one down to the good folks at Woodford Lumber and Home. The sandwich-board sign at the front announced the availability of environmentally safe ice melting products. Good to know. We might just need them if winter does decide to show up.


Bob Andy Pie bakes into a luscious creamy custard layer topped 
by a spicy froth made from 2 tablespoons of spices. 

Recipe makes 2 8-inch pies

2/3 cup very, very soft butter -- not melted
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups milk, room temperature
2 9-inch pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Put the 9-inch crusts into 8-inch pans and pinch the top to make a nice decorative edging. In a large mixing bowl combine the butter, sugar, flour, and egg yolks. Mix either by hand or with an electric mixer on low. Stir in the spices and milk. In a separate bowl with sparkling clean beaters whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then fold them into the butter, egg, milk mixture. Keep folding gently until all the egg white lumps disappear.  To make sure that you get filling for both ingredients evenly into each pie, stir and ladle the filling into the pie crusts. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Lower the heat and continue baking until the filling sets so that a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. This should be another 30 to 40 minutes.  NOTE: the filling will still be jiggling although the knife will come out cleanly.  Cool until room temperature. NOTE: You just may have to sample for quality control at this point. Then put pies in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Leftover pie will keep for a day in the refrigerator.

If you only want one pie it is easy to divide most of the filling ingredients in half.  The eggs are tricky. Break the yolks into one dish and the whites into another. Beat them just to break them up then divide the yolks and the whites in half. Use the remainder for scrambled eggs.