This is one of my favorite pies. It is simple and highlights the main ingredient--raisins!
- Tom Truex ↩
Raisin pie was called “funeral pie” by some people. My mother-in-law, who grew up near Pittsburgh from the 1920’s, was the only person I could find who knew about this alternate name. In fact, her source was having seen it in an old cook book. In researching the matter further I discovered the Old Order Mennonites and Amish (and probably others) applied the description “funeral pie” to raisin pie. It seems the ingregients required for this simple pie were non-seasonal and usually on hand. So a pie could be whipped up on short notice, should a friend or relative pass away without giving any advance notice. The pie could also remain out, without refrigeration, as visitors visited the home of the mourning family during the course of the day. I found one source who claimed raisin pie / funeral pie does not need to be refrigerated. I’ve never tested this claim, and don’t think it merits a test. Common sense suggests raisin pie might withstand a day without refrigeration better than other types of pie — but leaving a pie out on the counter indefinitely is asking for trouble, not to mention insects.
The black appearance of raisin pie filling also matches the somber mood of the typical funeral.
This recipe replaces the raisin pie recipe posted on April 18, 2010, which is identical except for the addition of this footnote.