Over a Cup of Coffee: Cottage Cheese Pie

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When my siblings and I were growing up on the ranch, we couldn’t be picky about what we ate. The family worked hard. We had good appetites, and we ate what was put before us. That’s not to say that we didn’t have some dislikes — everybody does — but Mom never catered to us.

The only foods I never cared for, and still don’t to this day, are cottage cheese and raisins. I’ll eat both of them, but not if given a choice.

So that’s what I was thinking about when I came across a recipe for “Cottage Cheese Pie.” On Sunday, I was looking through two old cookbooks that have been lying on my cookbook shelf for a long time. Each is titled “1000 Recipe Cook Book” and was published by Dell Publishing Company in 1949. Cost of the magazine-like soft cover cookbook was 25 cents. I don’t remember who gave me the cookbooks.

I have never seen a recipe for “Cottage Cheese Pie” before, and I’m not likely to try it. If you have made such a pie before or if you try this recipe, let me know.

To make “Cottage Cheese Pie” you will need these ingredients: 1/2 recipe pie dough, 2 cups cottage cheese, 1 1/4 cups light cream or evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 4 egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind and 4 egg whites.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. You will need a deep 9-inch pie pan.

Press the cottage cheese through a fine sieve. Add 1/4 cup of the cream to the flour to make a smooth paste. Add to the cottage cheese with the rest of the cream, salt, slightly beaten egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and rind, and mix well. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites gently but thoroughly. Line the 9-inch pie pan with the pie dough, crimping the edges. Pour in the filling and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for about 40 minutes, until a silver knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

I remember when my mother used to make her own cottage cheese. She let the milk sour, and when it was ready — I don’t remember how long — she cooked the milk. When it curdled, she poured off the whey and added cream and onions or chives. She may have added sugar, too. I don’t remember since I never cared for the cheese.

This week’s column also features “Poor Man’s Pie.” I haven’t made it for a while, but it’s a good recipe. You will need these ingredients: 16 ounces of applesauce, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 4 tablespoons margarine, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pie shell (pastry) for an 8-inch pie.

Make the crust or use one that is already made from the store. Do not put this in the bottom of the pie pan. You will cut it for the top. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the applesauce, sugar, margarine and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for one minute. Pour it into an 8-inch pie pan.

Roll out the pastry until it’s thin. Cut into circles. Lay the circles on top of the applesauce so that the edges of the circles touch and cover most of the pie.

Bake at 350 degrees until just lightly browned. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream, whipped topping, ice cream or table cream.

Housewives of years ago made this pie because it did not call for lots of ingredients, and it was likely that they had home-canned applesauce on hand.

Another thing I learned from one of these old cookbooks: Did you know that, besides vanilla wafers and graham crackers, you can use crushed corn flakes to make a crust for cream pies?

If you have recipes that you’d like to share, call 970-824-8809 or write to P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.

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