Have you ever stumbled upon an old family recipe that piques your curiosity? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me this winter when I found my mom’s Mennonite Community Cookbook among her old recipe books. Leafing through its yellowed pages, I stumbled upon a recipe for Montgomery Pie that caught my eye.
To my surprise, I had never heard of Montgomery Pie before. Intrigued, I turned to the internet for some research. It turns out, Montgomery Pie is closely related to the famous Shoofly Pie. There are various stories about its origins, but the one that resonated with me suggested that the pie was invented in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania – the same place where the author of the Mennonite cookbook, Ida M. Gable, lived.
With all the necessary ingredients already in my pantry, I couldn’t resist the urge to whip up this intriguing dessert. It got me thinking about how many old recipes call for simple ingredients that most of us already have at home.
Naturally, I decided to put my own spin on the recipe. While the original called for sour milk, I had a jug of buttermilk in the refrigerator, so I decided to use that instead. Who doesn’t love a bit of rebellion in the kitchen?
The recipe itself was simple and straightforward, reminiscent of traditional old-fashioned recipes. It consisted of two parts, and it was during the preparation of the first part, which contained sticky molasses, that I wanted to share a handy tip – always spray your measuring cup with cooking spray when dealing with anything sticky. Trust me; it makes a world of difference!
After mixing up the Montgomery Pie Part One, I poured it into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell. Then, with a hint of nervousness, I prepared Montgomery Pie Part Two and gently poured it over the liquid layer in the pie crust. I was worried that Part Two might sink to the bottom, but to my delight, it floated on top.
Hallelujah! Everything was going smoothly so far. I proceeded to bake the pie at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Since this was my first time making Montgomery Pie, I had no idea how it should look when finished. So, I relied on my instincts and took it out of the oven once it seemed firm enough. To me, it looked perfect.
However, as I eagerly cut into a piece after it had cooled, I encountered an unexpected glitch. The bottom layer was runny, and the crust remained partially unbaked. Disappointed but determined, I put the piece back in the pie pan and back into the oven it went, for what felt like an eternity.
During this quest for the perfect Montgomery Pie, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the recipe, my oven, or even myself was to blame. In the end, I made the executive decision that it had to be completely baked, so I finally took it out for the second time.
The piece looked much more like the pictures of Shoofly Pie I had seen – a promising sign. As for the taste, well, it was a bit bland but still acceptable.
If I ever decide to make Montgomery Pie again, I’ll definitely add extra lemon zest and juice to give the flavors a bit more oomph. But what struck me most was the realization of how fortunate I am to spend quality time in the kitchen with our grandkids, teaching them how my recipes are meant to look and taste. No guessing involved!
So, dear readers, if any of you have made a Montgomery Pie before, please do me a favor and leave a comment. I’d love to know how this elusive pie is truly supposed to turn out – both in appearance and taste.
Yup, I’m crossing my fingers, hoping to hear from my subscribers in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. I bet they hold the key to unraveling the mystery of my Montgomery Pie!
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Discovering old family recipes can be like unearthing hidden treasures. The journey of making my first Montgomery Pie may have had its ups and downs, but it gave me a newfound appreciation for the art of baking and the joy of sharing family traditions.