Raisin pie

This recipe is our very first contribution from a man!! And our first from New Zealand! Yes, we've ventured 'across the ditch' to add a little variation to the Sofia's kitchen gene pool!

Sean Mulcahy has kindly contributed the recipe for a family favourite that his mother used to make. It's a great alternative to other fruit pies, and is wonderful hot as well as delicious cold for a picnic. No-one seems to know the origin, but Sean is pretty confident that he and his sister are alone in using this particular recipe − their very own unique family tradition. 

A key part of the recipe is the use of seeded raisins which are different from the seedless variety. Seeded raisins have had the seed mechanically removed. Owing to the process they have a small almost invisible incision that enables them to remain large and juicy. Sean generally buys seeded raisins on his regular visits to Australia, as they're hard to find in New Zealand.

Sean readily admits that pastry is not his strong suit. However, he highly recommends the aesthetic results gained by dusting his less than perfect creation with icing sugar. The image at right is prior to adding the icing sugar to illustrate the lattice effect than can be achieved with left over pastry.

Sean's wife Anne is Sofia's cousin. They live in Carterton, around 90 kilometres north of Wellington, near one of New Zealand's large wine and olive growing areas. Carterton, known as the daffodil capital of New Zealand, has a population of around 7600 and is the centre of a farming community. The area is so idyllic, Sean and Anne feel as though they're living in a holiday resort

Sean and Anne have named their home 'Mytilene' after the town where Anne’s mother hails from on the Greek island of Lesvos (see image of 'Mytilene' at right). 'Mytilene' was also mentioned in the Bible during St Paul’s journeys in the Mediterranean.

Serves 8

Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 pkt of seeded raisins (about 400g), (Sean uses Sunmaid raisins in the packet as they're big and juicy)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1¾ cups of water
  • Sweet short pastry
  • Icing sugar to dust pie after cooking.

Method

  • Mix all except pastry together in a pot breaking up raisins and heat slowly until they are in a nice thick sauce. (Be careful not to boil it!) 
  • Allow to cool
  • In a standard pie dish, line with sweet short pastry and blind bake for around 10 minutes at 180°C or until golden brown
  • Add raisin mixture and place pastry over the top and bake to for around 20 minutes at 180°C or until golden brown.

Sean's suggestions

  • Serve hot with cream and ice cream
  • Serve cold with or without cream and ice cream for picnics, or for afternoon tea in the garden