Sour Cream Raisin Pie – Vintage Pie July – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday

Posted on Jul 6 2014 - 8:00am by Erica

We love pie in our house. Pieathalon was a lot of fun.


And when Retro Ruth suggested we spend a whole month — Pie July — it was easy to say yes.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sour Cream Raisin Pie
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup quartered or coarsely chopped raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 well beaten egg yolks
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  1. Combine the sugar and sour cream until blended. Add the raisins, cloves, cinnamon, salt and egg yolks. Mix well. Turn into pastry shell and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven.
  2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and beat until stiff. Spread over warm pie. Return to oven and bake until meringue is golden brown.



This one was particularly fun because Paul Langlois, chief cook at a Detroit firehouse, sent in his family raisin pie recipe to the newspaper. I’ve never heard of sour cream fruit pies, but it apparently won a contest — worth a taste, certainly.


Mixing was easy. Sour cream, sugar, and everything else in one quick bowl.


Of course, I had to spend about thirty minutes quartering raisins before that easy mixing stage. Seriously, cutting little dried fruit into even littler pieces… at least I could do it while watching TV.


I screwed up the meringue a bit — made it slightly earlier than I should have, let it sit for a little, and it started to collapse. Meringue with no cream of tartar isn’t particularly stable, and it wept a lot after baking.

But it was still lovely and brown on top, and cooked through.


Buzz was rather happy that we started the month off with a sweet fruit pie, not a savory one. (I didn’t mention the sour cream at first.)


“Oooh, this is raisin pie.”

After another couple of bites, he said it was surprisingly spicy. “Lot of cloves in this, huh?”

“Well, Paul Langlois’ mother liked it. This is a pie for families, not firefighters.”

Another bite. “Mmmm-hmmm.”

Verdict: Sweet, gooey goodness.

Tasting notes:

Good raisin flavor and nice texture contrast with the meringue on top. The cloves and cinnamon were on the strong side, but did help balance out the super-sweet sugar levels. The sour cream could have been a bit less sweet, since there was meringue on top. Overall it’s a neat way to enjoy raisins.

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Erica was inspired to learn to cook by a complete lack of home economics classes in high school, and a love of old books. When using antique cookbooks to teach herself some skills, she realized a lot of the recipes were pretty strange by modern standards. All that fun testing just begged to be shared with the world. Regular recipe testing can be found here on Mid-Century Menu, on Erica's Retro Recipe Attempts blog, and also I Ate The 80's.

11 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Smartphone Kitchen July 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I've always wanted to make a raisin pie!!! Also, I LOVE this Pie July idea! (Pie is my favorite)

  2. Freezair July 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Maybe it’s just me, but raisin pie–especially with sour cream–just doesn’t tickle my fancy! I’ve never been a fan of the weird, gummy chewiness of raisins. I can totally get behind the OTHER grape-related pie recipe on this site so far!

    • Buzz July 7, 2014 at 9:16 am - Reply

      This pie had no sour cream flavor and virtually no raisin texture, so you might actually enjoy it.

  3. Dan July 8, 2014 at 7:24 am - Reply

    I like that the newspaper recipe says “his pie is exclusively for family enjoyment.” I wonder why they thought that caveat was necessary. I wonder what happened to single persons living alone who attempted to enjoy this pie.

  4. Amorette Allison July 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Where I live in Montana, we eat a lot of sour cream raisin pie because, back in the day, before refrigeration, people were desperate for fruit pies in January but didn't have much fruit. I have recipes for "mock apple" made with Ritz crackers and cinnamon pie for those fruit free days.

  5. Harvey July 9, 2014 at 3:37 am - Reply

    I told my mother about this and she warned, “be very careful serving raisin pies, make sure you have plenty of available bathrooms.” She then told me of a time when a raisin pie was served at a party and the guests were then later rushing for bathrooms. So… any feedback on the aftermath of the tasting?

    • Amorette July 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Someone did something wrong. My guess bad sour cream. I have eaten many raisin pies and never had a problem.

    • Buzz July 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Nobody experienced any negative symptoms after the consumption of this pie.

    • Harvey July 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Thank you both! I’m adding this recipe to the queue.

  6. Donna Langlois-Peters April 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    This is my grandma’s recipe and the photo is my uncle. It was a family favorite! No trips to the restroom.

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