Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss, and sometimes a pie is just a pie, and in this case, it’s a Shaker Jam Pie. I was riffling through “Cooking with Herbs,” by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead, a book written during the herb garden renaissance of the sixties and seventies. (Yes, there was such a thing, and it will happen again.) While riffling, I ran across a recipe for Shaker Jam Pie, and felt it call me, even though the temperature is the eighties, the ceiling fan is whirling, and I have an oven like a blast furnace. The recipe has that beautiful simplicity fundamental to all things Shaker, and I had to try it. It’s basically what might be called a sugar pie, but a dollop of jam has been stirred into the sugar/egg filling. The recipe called for rosehip jam, but such a rarity is not to be found hereabouts, so I tried a Peach Ginger Jam, instead. Yum.
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons jam + more
1 unbaked 8-inch pie crust
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
First, make the pie crust. Toss the flour with the salt. Cut up the cold butter into cubes, and toss with the flour. Rub the butter into the flour, making a sandy-textured mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the flour mixture, and lightly knead, and add a bit more, if necessary. I used about 2-1/2 tablespoons water. Knead lightly until dough comes together, and place onto floury surface. Roll to a rough circle to fill an 8-inch pie dish. Pat the dough into the dish. Smooth the edges, and crimp with tines of a fork. Place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cream the softened butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add a bit of the beaten egg, mix well, and keep adding a bit more of the egg and beating, until incorporated. Add the 3 tablespoons jam. (If the jam is firm, stir to loosen before adding.) The recipe did not call for this, but I spooned about three tablespoons more jam onto the bottom crust. Just to make the jam pie jammier!
Pour the batter in. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until crust is golden, and surface of pie is dark gold. This took my pie about 33 minutes.
Baking notes: The pie dough recipe came from Fannie Farmer, but I substituted butter for the shortening. This results in a buttery, shatteringly crisp crust that showcases the simple filling. The crust is so shatteringly crisp, that a shard came off every time I cut a piece (see below), but that’s okay! The recipe called for the pie to be served with dollops of heavy cream, but everything, including shoe laces, taste better with dollops of cream, and serving the pie plain is fine. I can say this after eating two pieces!
The little earthenware cup with flowers, above, purchased at a plant sale, has three tubes in the center. You fill the cup with water, and place the flower stems in the tube. I’ll be using it all summer.
Still iris season, thank goodness. I wish it were iris season all year.
A little sparrow, full of dignity and life.
Silence is the dwelling place of the saints and silence is their language. Author Unknown
Peace to you, Fran