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Sour Cream and Raisin Tart (or Pie)


Imagine this:  a buttery, graham-like crust almost overflowing with smooth, rich, creamy filling, studded here and there with plump, sweet raisins and infused throughout with the heady fragrance of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Top it all off with some coconut whipped cream, and what you’ve got is the perfect dessert for–December?  What the heck am I doing baking a wintery pie in July, for goodness sakes?

Allow me to explain.  You see, there’s a perfectly good reason why I found myself wandering into tart territory on this seventh month of the year, and it involves bunnies. Dust bunnies, that is. 


[The HH’s preferred way to eat the pie–as an accessory to whipped cream.]

My tendency when cleaning the house (okay, if I’m being honest, that phrase should read, “My tendency when I used to clean the house. . .” .  You see, ever since the heinous candida reared its ugly spores, I’ve been easily fatigued, unable to concentrate, etc.  and just haven’t had the energy to clean.  Okay, if I’m being really honest, I wasn’t the greatest house-cleaner even before the candida appeared.  I mean, who wants to spend their days dusting and Swiffering when it’s 28C (82F) and sunny outdoors?  Okay, if I am being ONE HUNDRED PERCENT honest, who feels like cleaning at any time of the year?  Because, basically, I’m just really lazy.)

Okay, so, back to the bunnies: when they threatened to seize control of the house the other day, I decided to start cleaning (I did consider training Chaser to crawl under the bed on her belly, military-style, so I could pick the dust tumbleweeds off her fur once she emerged, but for some reason she wouldn’t go for it).  Now, everyone has their own unique style of cleaning; mine would be classified as “distracted.” My well-intentioned disinfecting frenzy might go something like this:

Scene: KitchenRicki dons rubber gloves, fills sink with soapy water and wrings out a cloth.  She begins to wipe the counters.

Ricki:  La dee da. . . la da da da. . . Hmmm. . . [cloth stops before a pile of papers on the counter.]  Oh, my, what are these?  [riffles through the pile]: Ah, yes, the bills I opened yesterday and meant to take upstairs to the office.  Well, I may as well clear the counter and take them now.  [Removes gloves, grabs pile of bills and heads upstairs.]

Upstairs. Office.  [Ricki heads to desk and places pile of bills on top of existing pile of even older bills. ]

Ricki: Oh, geez, these are nearing their due dates.  Better pay up.  [goes online and pays all the bills.  Glancing down at desktop:] Ooh, look at this, that’s where I left that pair of black earrings.  Gee, I love these earrings; I should really wear them more often.  Better put them away so I don’t forget about them. [Picks up earrings and heads to bedroom].

Bedroom. [Placing earrings in box]: Hmmm. . . I sure do love those pearl earrings the HH gave me a few years back as well. . . hey, look, here’s that funky pair I love to wear in the summer!  Love those, too. . . . [begins to pull out various pairs of earrings and examine them.]

[Twenty five minutes later. . . ]

Ricki:  Okay, now, time to get busy!  Let’s fold some of this laundry that’s been here since yesterday. . .  [pulls T-shirt from laundry basket, folds it and places in dresser drawer.]

[Glancing at framed photo on dresser]: Aw, look at that photo of Mom at her wedding. . . I’ve always loved that photo. . . hmm, let’s just see. .. . [walks back to office and pulls photo album from bookcase] Ah, ha ha, what a great pic of the HH and me at that first party we went to together! Was that really twelve years ago?? Was I really that much slimmer then?  Did the HH really have that much more hair then?  Oh—tee hee giggle giggle just look at that pic of Elsie as a pup!  Oh, she was just the cutest thing. . . ”

[One hour and seven minutes later.  Ricki’s legs are cramped from sitting cross-legged on the floor leafing through photo albums. The house is still a mess.] Oh my gosh!  It’s almost dinnertime!  Where do the days go–??

Well, you get the idea.  I suppose it’s true what they say: the course of true lave never did run smooth.  (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

As in cleaning, so in blogging, it seems.  Which leads me to raisin tart.

I have saved something like 200 recipes from other blogs, all of which I definitely intend to try.  In fact, some have been on my computer since 2007.  I know I will eventually make Andrea’s Hot and Sour Soup,  Happy Herbivore’s Cajun Chickpea Cakes, Ashley’s Lemon Miso Tofu & Eggplant, Johanna’s vegetarian Haggis, and approximately 196 other recipes I’ve saved.  Yet somehow, the allure of novelty can wrench me away from my predetermined plan, just as when I’m “cleaning.” 

A few days ago, I sat leafing through an old cookbook I’ve had since the 1980s (I must have been cleaning the kitchen at the time). The American Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Cookbook (Part II) was a gift from the CFO when I moved into my first apartment as a single professional gal!  I hadn’t even glanced at the book for years, but for some reason, that day I happened upon a very fetching Sour Cream and Raisin Pie.

Now, you may think that Raisin Pie and summer–much like Madonna and Guy, red wine and seafood, Sarah Palin and public office, or a gas leak and cigarettes–is not the most auspicious pairing.  And yet, something about that pie called to me, and I had to capitulate.  Besides, the fact that the original recipe contained dairy sour cream, two eggs white sugar and massive amounts of butter was like dangling a stick in front of Chaser–I was immediately compelled to seize the opportunity (though, unlike our Doodle Girl, I chose not to use my teeth).

Mum, you’re wrong! It’s not that I am compelled to seize that stick.  It’s that I’m exerting my canine free will and deliberately grabbing that stick. Oh, and about helping you out with those dust bunnies under the bed? You know, I might consider it, but couldn’t you at least sweeten the deal some peanut butter or a biscuit on the other end?”

So I began to play with the original, and came up with this.


[My preferred way to eat the pie, in its naked glory.]

The tart is, indeed, very rich and sour-creamy.  I opted to use Celine’s recently-posted graham-like crust (which I discovered the other day while I was dusting the office), and the combination of slightly crumbly, slightly shortbready crust with the velvety smooth filling is a perfect marriage of textures and flavors.  The HH declared the dessert reminiscent of pumpkin pie, but I thought it was more like a lightly spiced cheesecake.  Either way, it didn’t last long; I’ll definitely be making this again in the fall.

Another Winner, and Another Giveaway!

Dr. Winnie has announced the winner of her Sweet Freedom giveaway–go see if you won!

And a fellow holistic nutritionist in Toronto, Laurie, has generously decided to give away a copy of Sweet Freedom as well!  Check the contest details here.


Last Year at this Time: Corn Cakes with Quick Tomato Tracklement

© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs



36 comments to Sour Cream and Raisin Tart (or Pie)

  • Oh my! I know what you mean with the huge number of saved recipes that you fully intend on trying one day… I, too, have so many of these saved in my “must-try” folder (lots of them from your blog) that I’d need to eat quite a few more times a day to get to them all in a timely manner!
    I’ve never been a huge fan of raisins, but the filling of this tart is quite appealing. I’m thinking it would be great with apples. Sending the recipe to the must-try folder for this Fall!


  • That pie crust caught my eye, too. Were you able to actually taste this pie? It would be awfully hard to bake it and then resist! 😀


  • Jes

    Oh yes, I do think this works perfectly! Although it’d be fun to experiment with fresh fruit too, maybe even grapes. I’ve been really interested in playing around with fresh grapes in desserts and this might be a good way to start!


  • Cleaning is such an unnecessary waste of time when you could be cooking up a storm! 😉


  • Wow! This sounds so yummy! Cleaning…not my forté. We don’t live in squalor or anything, but let’s just say that when I prioritize, cleaning isn’t oft at the top of the list.


  • that is exactly the way I clean – usually ends very quickly when I pass the computer and decide to have a quick look my blog reader – just like now! and it is exactly the sort of tart I would love to have in my life


  • Looks AMAZING!! I’m impressed with your modifications, I love taking old recipes and doing something different with them.


  • I cant wait to see if I can make this filling w/o the crust in ramekins… it looks SO good! Are you off the SCD then?


  • Haha love you describe your cleaning style as “distracted”. And I love how you modify recipes to better suit you and come out with amazing things like this. Most inspiring! This tart looks delicious and I’d happily eat it anytime of year.


  • That tart looks really scrumptious! A wonderful idea!




  • kitchenspoon

    Sour Cream & Raisin Tart….does that sound/look delicious, or what??? Wow! Into “the file” it goes…


  • What a unique pie! I’m thinking it would be especially awesome with dates instead of raisins, too… Must try that!


  • Courtney

    You clean like *I* do! I like it…”distracted” cleaning…I think I am gonna use that in my defense in the future :o)

    I have never understood sour cream and raisin pie. While yours certainly looks amazingly beautiful and delicious, I just cannot imagine sour cream in a pie. And with raisins?! Really?! Either way, I am impressed with your adaptation!



  • i am one of those weirdos who loves to clean all the time! ahahhahhaha! i blame the OCD! tee hee! picture albums are super distracting – my parents have all of mine from when i was wee and every time i visit i love getting lost in them! your sour cream & raisin tart looks rock’n, Ricki! it sounds like something i’d adore! gonna try making this gluten-free, too – i just need to snag a tart pan so i can get started! superw00t!


  • Interesting tart, though I’m not much for raisins at any time of year! lol! I do, however, like red wine and seafood, and you have most definitely described the way I clean house…


  • Oh yes, I have had many of those days! Oh wait, was that today?

    The pie looks awesome!


  • This is a great recipe R. Have I mentioned how nice it is to have you back posting again? 😉


  • Whoa, this looks amaaazing! Perfect compromise too, as my own HH loves cheesecake and I love pumpkin pie…Do you think this would work with some full fat Kefir yogurt instead of the sour cream?

    Ps. I also made the kale-seaweed salad this past weekend and it was fantastic. Arame’s going to be hanging out in my kitchen more often…


  • Your story about cleaning made me laugh. You and I are completely opposite. I am pretty anal when it comes to cleaning and I am constantly cleaning. The scary part is that I actually like doing it.

    Glad you’re posting again!


  • Ha, we have many things in common! I also feel fatigued the minute I only think about cleaning. And those saved recipes…I have hundrets of them. The pie looks fantastic and the recipe sounds very interesting.


  • Yummy! That looks great (and yes, I will eat it “out of season” LoL).


  • I hear you on the saved recipes. I was just commenting on another blog about that. I’m definitely going to give the crust a try. My mom has made raisin pie before and I’m not a huge fan, but your tart looks totally different. It is something I just might like.


  • Josiane,
    I know what you mean–I could probably never make all those recipes! But I love your idea of apples, so will probably do this one at least once more. 🙂

    Actually, I just tasted–and spit. Not allowed to eat a piece just yet (but am awaiting the day. . . ).

    Grapes sound intriguing–and, after all, they’re just hydrated raisins! 😉

    You are indeed a very wise woman.

    I’m with you! Though didn’t want to give the impression that we’re in squalor, either–just quite messy sometimes (for which I take total blame–the HH is MUCH neater than I!)

    Yes, cleaning doesn’t usually last too long for me, either! Glad you like the pie, though. 🙂

    Well, you already did, sort–the crust, anyway! 😉

    Yes, playing around with old recipes is fun–and a good way to use them again!

    Yes, I actually baked a bit of the leftover filling in a ramekin and it came out just great–a cross between a custard and “cheesecake”.

    Aw, thanks! Come to think of it, that’s sort of my “do everything” style, not just cleaning!! 😉

    Thanks so much, and thanks for reading!

    Thanks for your comment, and for reading! Glad to make the “file.” 😉

    I bet dates would be good, too. I’d cut the Sucanat a bit in that case, as I found the raisins a nice contrast to the very sweet filling.

    It’s yummy, really! And doesn’t taste at all sour in the baked product–just very rich and delicious!

    This would be easy to do gluten-free; you could do a GF cookie crust or just sub GF flours. And a pie plate will do just fine!

    I’m not a huge raisin fan on their own, either, but somehow they work in this. The red wine, though–well, I’ll have to work on a tart with that! 😉

    Hee hee–hope you managed to finish up at least some of the tasks! Glad you like the pie, though. 🙂

    Aw, thanks so much! And of course it’s great to BE back. 🙂

    The only kefir I’ve seen is very liquidy, so I don’t think it would work. You need something the same texture as sour cream. If you eat yogurt, that would work, or if you have thick kefir, that might work. If you give it a try, let me know! (Of course, I suppose you could always use dairy sour cream, too, since that was in the original recipe). And I’m thrilled you liked the salad! Yay! 🙂

    I used to be more like you–but then I met the HH (sure, blame it on him!). Now my life is a little more. . . chaotic.

    Thanks so much! And maybe one day we’ll both get to all those other recipes. . .

    Thanks so much! And glad to hear the season isn’t an issue. 😉

    The raisins aren’t actually the main focus here–it’s the filling. You could always try it with one of the other suggestions (such as apples–mmm!). 🙂


  • Hey there! Just wanted to let you know that I’m linking you now cause I love your posts. I look forward to reading more in the future!


  • I have hundreds and hundreds of recipes bookmarked that I mean to try and I won’t even tell you how many cookbooks I own, nor the number I continue to borrow from the library! This is a beautiful recipe Ricki and it’s worth turning the oven on in the heat for I am sure!


  • I have very similar cleaning habits. I like to think of it as being a good multi tasker, but usually nothing ever gets completely finished.

    The pie looks great for summer, especially if it’s like a good cold cheesecake. And I like the dark look. It makes me think it’s nice and cinnamony!


  • I’m with the HH 🙂 I will have it plain sometimes 😀

    Thanks for the well wishes on my post yesterday!


  • i often choose the kitchen over cleaning 🙂 looks great!


  • Porky,
    Thanks so much for your comment, and for reading! And I appreciate the link, too. 🙂 Glad you like the blog!

    Glad you think so! And I can only imagine how many cookbooks you have–I’ve counted quite a few just from reading your posts!

    I love your take on this–YES, it is actually like a nice cold cheesecake! And so the autumnal pie now becomes–SUMMER Sour Cream and Raisin Pie. Yahoo!

    Thanks so much! And congrats again–hopefully, this is a monumental event that only happens once in a lifetime! 😉

    Yep, kitchen versus cleaning: is there really a choice? 😉


  • I love your method of housecleaning! So much more fun, if you ask me… 🙂 I’m the same way when I’m trying to “sort through” something, such as a closet or a bookshelf… The temptation to read a book, magazine, or album is always too strong for me! 🙂

    Ohhhhh, I am sooooo glad you decided to fix a raisin tart in the summer… Really, if you ask me, any season, actually, any day, is perfect for this raisin tart… It looks SO incredible – I absolutely can’t wait to try the recipe!! Your healthful makeover is truly ingenious!


  • I recently started seeing a client in my home for the first time. At first I hesitated…but finally agreed because it will make me clean my house!!! I am the ultimate laziest person when it comes to cleaning. Ugh!


  • pie as accessory to whipped cream? your DH and mine could be best of buds!


  • No lie–a raisin cream pie is my absolute favorite dessert. My mom always makes me one when I come home. She uses yogurt in place of sour cream. This pie just says “LOVE” to me. 🙂


  • This is original and it looks yummy!


  • I can almost smell the nutmeg and cinnamon. Yum!


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