Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Right before my 10th grade school year, our family moved from New York to Utah. At that time I don’t think I could have located Utah on a map, although geography has never been one of my strengths.

Salt Lake City was quite different to me, in so many ways. Regarding the food scene, well, there was none. Not that I was a modern foodie in 1970, but my mother certainly was.

There was no Chinatown, no German deli, not even a cheese shop. In fact, Salt Lake City remained in the culinary dead zone for a long time, until nearby ski resorts like Park City, where we lived, became popular to the world.

After graduating high school, I moved west for college, but when I went home for visits, there was one restaurant that my mother and I would lunch at when we shopped in Salt Lake City – it was our only choice – Marie Callender’s.

Because of having been raised and fed by my mother, who was a chef in her own right, I wasn’t a burger and sandwich eater. But there were a few things on the Marie Callender’s menu that I liked, especially the wilted bacon salad. Plus I always had sour cream raisin pie for dessert.

I remember it well – the creamy filling with the soft raisins and the meringue on top. And even back then I wasn’t much of a dessert eater.

So recently I was shocked to come across a sour cream raisin pie whilst browsing on Epicurious.com. It’s funny how food-related memories come rushing back.

I decided to go online and check the spelling of Marie Callender for the sake of this post, and discovered that her restaurants are still around. Sadly, neither my wilted bacon salad nor this pie is on their menu anymore.

But there is an interesting story about Marie Callender, who was a real person and a pie baker from California. I never thought about Marie possibly being a real person.

These days, if I were to pass by a Marie Callender’s restaurant, I’d turn my head and give a little chortle. Sorry Ms Callender. It’s just not my type of restaurant. But back in the days when I had no other choice, Ms. Callender satisfied my gastronomic needs.

I’m making this pie in her honor. Below, a young and older Marie Callender.

Here’s a sour cream raisin pie recipe, from Epicurious.com.

Sour Cream Raisin Pie
printable recipe below

1 cup raisins
Pastry dough
Pie weights
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a bowl soak raisins in water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Drain raisins in a sieve. I also let them “dry” a bit on paper towels.

On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a 14-inch round (about 1/8″ thick) and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate.

Trim dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, and crimp edge decoratively. Chill shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork and line shell with foil. Fill foil with pie weights and bake shell in middle of oven for 15 minutes.

Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until golden, about 8 minutes more. Cool shell in pan on a rack.

Reduce temperature to 400 degrees F.

Separate eggs. Chill whites until ready to use.

In a bowl whisk together yolks and sour cream and whisk in 1/2 cup sugar, flour, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and raisins. Pour filling into shell and bake in middle of oven for 10 minutes.d

Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake pie 30-40 minutes more, or until filling is set.

Remove pie from the oven but keep temperature at 350 degrees F.

In another bowl with an electric mixer beat whites until they just hold soft peaks.

Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks.

Spread meringue over warm pie, covering filling completely and making sure meringue touches shell all the way around.

Bake pie in middle of oven until meringue is golden, about 10 minutes. Cool pie on rack and serve at room temperature.

This is absolutely wonderful.

I had a piece of warm pie, but it was a bit too wobbly.

So I let the pie come to room temperature.

It was magnificent, and so much like what I remember. The only negative might be the amount of sugar. If I make this pie again, I would only add 1/2 cup of sugar to the pie filling.

Keep in mind how lovely this pie would be during the holidays, made with dried cranberries!

 

 

By Published On: February 2nd, 201867 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

67 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet February 2, 2018 at 6:24 AM - Reply

    I can see why you loved this pie as a child and glad you still like it. I also find some old dessert recipes are too sweet; I eat far less sugar than I did years ago. I like the cranberry suggestion too :)

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      Thank you Kay. Yes, I think the cranberry version of this pie, a pumpkin pie and a crunchy pecan chocolate pie would all be perfect for a holiday event!

  2. Linda Duffin February 2, 2018 at 6:36 AM - Reply

    How lovely to be able to reprise a childhood favourite. I’m not sure a banana split quite reaches the same level of sophistication!

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      Hahahaha! Who cares? They’re good, too!

      • Linda Duffin February 2, 2018 at 9:32 AM

        My other childhood treat was Chicken Maryland with sweetcorn … madly exotic in Warwickshire in the 1970s! Must have a go at making it sometime. :)

      • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 3:37 PM

        Do it!! Is this a dessert?

      • Linda Duffin February 3, 2018 at 4:41 AM

        Chicken Maryland?? :D

      • chef mimi February 3, 2018 at 7:05 AM

        Oh, when you said “treat” I assumed sweet! I’ve never heard of it.

      • Linda Duffin February 4, 2018 at 10:47 AM

        That’s hilarious, because over here it’s deemed to be a traditional US dish. It’s basically just breadcrumbed chicken filets.

      • chef mimi February 4, 2018 at 12:29 PM

        Hmmm Never heard of it! But I didn’t have a traditional American upbringing.

      • Linda Duffin February 6, 2018 at 3:51 AM

        It seems it means different thing to different people: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Maryland

  3. Ron February 2, 2018 at 7:18 AM - Reply

    What memories you give me today. Living in the Pacific Northwest for a huge chunk of my life, I often stopped at Marie Callender’s for lunch. I’d have the soup of the day and a slice of pie. My favorite was chocolate cream or apple, but on occasion I’d go for a slice of the sour cream raisin pie. Thanks for such a lovely food memory and a great pie recipe.

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      I wonder why it’s off the menu today? Could we have been the only two who thought much of it? Are you American and live in Sweden?

  4. Nadia February 2, 2018 at 7:23 AM - Reply

    Oh my!!!! My Italian grandmother made an almost identical tart with crème fraîche and she soaked the raisins in alcohol, cognac, rum, Armagnac. It was delicious. I have not eaten this in 30 years, since her death but now am going to make it as soon as possible. Might have to get Stuart to make it for me as my hand will be out of action for quite a while to come yet.

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 8:05 AM - Reply

      I almost soaked them in a little ruby port, but then wasn’t sure if that would affect the custard. Plus, they really needed to be dry, so I’m not sure if it’s doable, but I can’t wait to hear about your version! Hope you can use your hand soon!

      • Nadia February 2, 2018 at 8:14 AM

        I will let you know how it turns out

  5. okiewinegirl2015 February 2, 2018 at 8:25 AM - Reply

    Amazing how aromas and food bring back such wonderful memories! The pie is definitely a classic.

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 8:33 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  6. Ruchisvegkitchen February 2, 2018 at 8:38 AM - Reply

    Awesome pie…

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 6:06 PM - Reply

      Thank you!

  7. Italian Goodness February 2, 2018 at 10:14 AM - Reply

    Yum! My three daughters love raisins! I absolutely have to give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing!

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 3:36 PM - Reply

      There’s no possible way they wouldn’t love this pie then!

  8. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso February 2, 2018 at 12:19 PM - Reply

    I’m all for raisins and sour cream, but never had them in such a pie. it looks wonderful. Will keep this in mind for my next pie. :)

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 3:36 PM - Reply

      Maybe that’s why the pie is no longer on the menu at M C’s! It is a unique pie.

  9. David February 2, 2018 at 2:44 PM - Reply

    Oh, boy! This brings back memories of my one and only visit to a Marie Callender’s in Anaheim, California, although I didn’t have the sour cream and raisin pie (my memory of that pie is from Prince Edward Island). The photograph of the elderly Marie looks just like Mrs. Doubtfire!

    I have to make this pie soon, Mimi – it really does take me back to summers on the island.

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 3:34 PM - Reply

      Food memories are all so interesting! Mrs. Doubtfire? I’ll have to look again!

  10. Greg Henry (@sippitysup) February 2, 2018 at 4:29 PM - Reply

    Whether you talking of your mom (which I can totally relate to) or Ms. Callender these are the kind of memories that make food such a powerful influence on us all. Loved this post (and pie). GREG

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 5:28 PM - Reply

      Thank you Greg! That brought a tear to my eye.

  11. canelakitchen February 2, 2018 at 5:18 PM - Reply

    I love this pie ! Looks wonderful Mimi!

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 6:05 PM - Reply

      Thank you!

  12. Bill February 2, 2018 at 6:34 PM - Reply

    Love this. I wonder why some of these classics are so hard to find. We visited a roadside cafe not long ago that had buttermilk pie on the menu — I can’t tell you how long it’s been. Same for this one. Thanks for the memory.

    • chef mimi February 2, 2018 at 6:47 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome!

  13. chezlerevefrancais February 3, 2018 at 9:29 AM - Reply

    That’s a very unusual pie and I love the layers with the meringue Mimi. I would love a piece of this!

    • chef mimi February 3, 2018 at 2:07 PM - Reply

      Very simple and subtle flavors, but very satisfying!

  14. anotherfoodieblogger February 3, 2018 at 10:35 AM - Reply

    I like the idea of the cranberries for a holiday pie. What nice memories, too! I live in the PNW but haven’t seen a Marie Callendar’s restaurant around here, but I do see her pies in the frozen section.

    • chef mimi February 3, 2018 at 2:08 PM - Reply

      I think there are some restaurants still in California. I haven’t seen one in Texas or Oklahoma…

  15. Michelle February 3, 2018 at 7:32 PM - Reply

    And here I though Marie was just a fake person doing frozen dinners! What a sweet post.

    • chef mimi February 3, 2018 at 10:55 PM - Reply

      ME, too!!!

    • chef mimi February 4, 2018 at 7:19 AM - Reply

      Aw, thank you!

  16. Debra Eliotseats February 4, 2018 at 10:34 AM - Reply

    Isn’t it funny how our tastes and outlooks change? I do not believe I have ever had this variety of pie. I love the idea of swapping in the cranberries for the holidays. Great post!

    • chef mimi February 4, 2018 at 12:29 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Debra!

  17. allysonmeyler February 4, 2018 at 10:43 AM - Reply

    This looks so gorgeous! Love the rose!

    • chef mimi February 4, 2018 at 12:29 PM - Reply

      Thank you!

  18. Culinary Flavors February 5, 2018 at 3:12 AM - Reply

    Isn’t it amazing how many childhood memories are connected with food? It looks like a very creamy and delicious pie!

    • chef mimi February 5, 2018 at 6:59 AM - Reply

      Thank you. Yes, it’s quite delicious!

  19. Jeff the Chef February 6, 2018 at 5:57 AM - Reply

    I love this story. And thank you for the recipe. I have had this pie! I’ve never been to a Marie Callender’s, but I had this pie in a in a similar cuisine desert. I was in the middle of nowhere at a little tiny diner that had the most ordinary food. It was a nothing little place. But they had raisin pie, and I had never heard of it! So of course I had it and I loved it!

    • chef mimi February 6, 2018 at 6:38 AM - Reply

      Fascinating! It’s a great pie!

  20. scarletclark February 6, 2018 at 9:23 AM - Reply

    Mimi, what an interesting read – that must’ve been a culture shock for you in the extreme moving from busting New York. My husband’s actually been to Salt Lake City, to the University, and was taken to Callendars bakery. Lovely recipe too, and so well documented and photographed. Love it. xx

    • chef mimi February 6, 2018 at 10:30 AM - Reply

      Did he attend the University of Utah?

      • scarletclark February 8, 2018 at 7:28 AM

        I’m not sure I remember – I’ll have to ask him – isn’t there a Utah State too? It was about 10 years ago so all I recall is that he was at a Uni in Salt Lake City… xxx

      • chef mimi February 8, 2018 at 7:32 AM

        I think Utah State is in Logan? I guess I could have googled first!

  21. Frank February 6, 2018 at 11:36 PM - Reply

    It’s amazing how memories stay with us and how we cherish them. Great story, I like the pie recipe, it really looks delicious.

    • chef mimi March 18, 2018 at 8:28 PM - Reply

      Thank you Frank. Still having trouble commenting on your blog.

  22. FrugalHausfrau February 10, 2018 at 11:11 PM - Reply

    One of my favorite pies! I have a really, really old recipe that I make and mine has a cup of sugar! That little bit of flour appears to really help the texture, too. I’ll try it next time! Gorgeous photos, Mimi!

    • chef mimi February 11, 2018 at 7:10 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much!

  23. Jhuls February 12, 2018 at 4:36 AM - Reply

    This looks so good, Chef Mimi & photos are awesome! x

    • chef mimi February 12, 2018 at 8:14 AM - Reply

      Thanks so much Jhuls!

  24. Marie February 12, 2018 at 10:36 AM - Reply

    I didn’t know that Marie Callender was a real person either! This pie looks so delicious!

    • chef mimi March 18, 2018 at 8:28 PM - Reply

      I know. So funny!

  25. Snapshotsincursive March 13, 2018 at 8:56 AM - Reply

    This was my father’s favorite birthday dessert. 😍

    • chef mimi March 13, 2018 at 8:57 AM - Reply

      Really? I haven’t seen this pie anywhere since I had it when I lived in Utah. I mean,not on a blog or anywhere except for when I searched for it on Epicurious. Well it is good!

      • Snapshotsincursive March 13, 2018 at 11:00 AM

        My mother always made it for him. I don’t have the recipe now that she’s in a nursing home. Thanks for sharing it, Mimi. 💟

  26. Sherry Mackay July 30, 2018 at 11:58 PM - Reply

    oh yum sounds delicious tho i would use sultanas or cranberries rather than raisins. cheers sherry

  27. Paul Desrosiers August 28, 2022 at 10:06 AM - Reply

    Mimi, I too was a big fan of Marie Callender’s sour cream raisin pie. That being said, I have a question for ya.
    I noticed that some of the similar recipes on the web cook the custard on the stovetop, let it cool slightly and then pour it into the blind baked pie shell. They then finish it off with the merengue.
    Have you ever tried the recipe that way? What are your thoughts?
    I’m still an amateur when it comes to pie making…still wrestling with making a perfect pie crust. I’ll get it right if it’s the last thing I do !! LOL!
    “I’m all ears oh master….”

    • Chef Mimi August 28, 2022 at 10:25 AM - Reply

      Well, I’m not a master nor a chef. And I’m not a baker. I see no reason why cooking the custard separately would not work, and poured into a pre baked crust. You might have to sieve the custard first. Crusts are easy – use a food processor!

  28. Paul Desrosiers August 28, 2022 at 12:45 PM - Reply

    I was just kidding with you about the “master” comment. I hope you understood.
    I’m a retired man that loves to cook and bake. I enjoy the challenge that it provides. And it keeps me occupied and out of trouble 😈

    • Chef Mimi August 28, 2022 at 12:50 PM - Reply

      Oh no, I got it! I just think I made a mistake calling this the chef mimi blog, since I’m not a chef. It’s a long standing nick name in my family, and I never even want people to think I’m pretending to be a chef! You couldn’t pay me enough to be one!!! Cooking is fun and I’m glad you enjoy it.

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