Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Because the Amish Like It: Oatmeal Pie

And I am somewhat fascinated by the Amish. Why? Well...

#1 Because Devil's Playground was probably the most interesting documentary I have ever seen. If you have not seen it, go rent it. Watch it. Then watch it again with the Director's Commentary.

#2 I may be related to some Amish. Due to their practice of shunning people who leave, I will never know for sure but apparently my Great-great-grandfathers last name is a common last name among the Amish and we don't know anything about where he came from. So there is a family suspicion.

#3 I have a tendency (as my friends out their know) to become fascinated with random things for no particular reason.

So when perusing the pie section of Tasty Kitchen and finding Oatmeal Pie, which the poster described as popular among the Amish, I knew I had to make it.

The original recipe called for currents, as an optional ingredient. I think of currents as very similar to raisins. And I hate raisins. I think thats what it would taste like to eat ants (I don't know why, they just make me think of ants OK!?)

But I had these delicious fresh Medjool Dates that I had picked up at the farmers market so I used those instead. So I just chopped them into pieces. I probably used about ½ to ¾ of a cup.

First I mixed together the filling:

2 whole eggs

½ cup Honey

¾ cup Quick Cooking Oats

¾ cup Flaked Coconut

¾ cup packed Brown Sugar

½ cup Unsalted Butter, softened

½ cup Walnuts, chopped

At this point it looked pretty delicious. Very sweet. The author suggested cutting back on honey or coconut if you want it less sweet. The coconut is good for texture though, so I wouldn't opt for less of that.

I rolled out my single 9” crust and added half the filling. Then I kind of smashed my dates and spread them out into one layer across the pie like this.

I had this idea that with-in the pie there could just be one tasty layer of date, like a date bar, that would be really pretty. It did not work. It seemed to just melt into the pie while it baked and no layer was visible. But I took all these pics so I decided to tell you about it anyway.

As you can see, I also decided to flute the edges of the pie crust. I never do this. I AM a perfectionist about my pies, but this usually just seems like a waste of time. It doesn't make the pie taste better. And it's not even that much prettier then just trimming it off or folding it over for a rustic looking edge. I guess I was just feeling really motivated the night I made this. Anyway, fluting didn't work for me either. Live and learn.

Then I filled it with the rest of the filling and baked at 350°. The posted recipe said to bake for 40-45min until the top browned and a knife inserted came out clean.

In my oven, the top browned rather quickly, with-in the first 20-25 min and I was worried it would burn so at that point I just covered the whole thing with foil and kept baking until it was done, which took a long time. I'm not sure how long. At least an hour. I just kept checking and eventually I had a clean knife.

And here is what came out:

A beautiful, golden topped, loved by the Amish oatmeal pie (sans fluted edge).

When I started this pie I really had no idea what the resulting pie would be like. It turns out this pie is very sweet (I knew this once I was done mixing the filling) and very similar to a pecan pie. Similar enough that more then one person asked me if it was a pecan pie.

I have not made pecan pie yet, I don't know hard or easy they are to make, but this one was pretty easy. And different. No one I served it to had heard of oatmeal pie, therefore providing me lots of opportunities to talk about the Amish.

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