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Old Fashioned Raisin Pie I

Reviewed: Mar. 10, 2015
I found this identical recipe in a McCall's magazine around 1980 and have made it several times over the years. Fortunately I have three grandchildren (two are twins just two and a half years old) and they're crazy about raisins in any form so they love this. I've always liked the flavors of orange and raisins together so I make a little orange glaze and drizzle it over the top of this and everybody likes that too. Just combine a little powdered sugar and some frozen concentrate for orange juice, or else some grated orange rind and water with the powdered sugar. I've used lemon juice in place of the vinegar once or twice but never noticed any taste difference. A word of caution: when you bake most fruit pies such as apple, blueberry etc. you don't remove the pie from the oven until the filling starts bubbling out of the slits in the top crust. That ensures that your filling is "cooked." But with this pie the filling is already cooked before you pour it into the shell, so all you're doing is baking the crust. Cornstarch reacts negatively to being "cooked twice." In fact it "breaks down" if cooked a second time. So with this pie, follow the timing suggested and take the pie out of the oven as soon as you're satisfied that the crust is browned to your liking and don't wait for the filling to "bubble up" through the slits. The second cooking may cause the cornstarch to break down and you'll have a runny filling.
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Baking Powder Biscuits I

Reviewed: Jun. 11, 2012
I think the "3 tablespoons baking powder" should be "3 teaspoons." By the way, there is no reason to grease the baking sheet. The finished biscuits will slide right off the sheet whether it was greased or not.
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Fresh Rhubarb Pie

Reviewed: Mar. 21, 2011
A nice recipe and practically the same as the one I use, although I prefer to mix the cut-up rhubarb with the flour-sugar mixture and let it stand in a bowl, stirring now and then, while I made the crust. Here are two tips (I've been making pies for over 40 years and they tell me I'm good at it): as a thickener for pies, flour can be unreliable, and I've had several failures using flour as a thickener in rhubarb pie (also in blueberry pie) although in apple pie it always works fine. So for the past 20 years or so I've used Minute Tapioca instead of flour as a thickener in rhubarb, cherry and blueberry pies, and the results are always perfect. No more rhubarb soup! Use half as much tapioca as you would use flour (in this recipe, 3 tablespoons of tapioca instead of the 6 tablespoons of flour.) Another tip: if you feel your rhubarb is not pink enough for an attractive filling, color the sugar pink before using it. Just put a few drops of red food coloring in a bowl, add the sugar and use a whisk to blend, or else put the color and sugar into a container with a tight-fitting lid that you can shake. If it doesn't blend thoroughly, don't worry--once the sugar and rhubarb are mixed and the sugar dissolves, the color will spread evenly in the filling.
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