On this Halloween, you can put a skeleton in your oven. Sharlene Russell and her family from Rising Sun requested a Skeleton Pie recipe like the one their mother made "using half-and-half cream, sugar and cinnamon. It was a bony, skinny white pie," she wrote.
The response sent in by Blanche Cox of Longview, Wash., "is one and the same recipe but I call it a cream pie. A friend gave me this recipe about 62 years ago," says the 76-year-old Ms. Cox.
"There were no specific amounts of ingredients at the time just simple instructions that began with a generous dotting of butter on an uncooked 8-inch pie crust. Depends on how much fat you want to use," she laughed. She has recalled the amounts.
Cox's skeleton pie
1/2 stick (more or less) butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon flour (mixed with the sugar)
1 container (8 ounces) half-and-half
1 (8- or 9-inch) unbaked pie crust
Dot the bottom of the pie crust with butter and sprinkle half the sugar and flour mix on top. Pour half the cream over the sugar and repeat the sugar and cream layer one more time. Bake in a 325-degree oven until it sets, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Ms. Cox says the addition of 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg may be added to the flour mix but she does not use that.
"Some recipes also called for the addition of 1/2 teaspoon salt to the flour mix but I don't use salt either," she added.
No bones about $10 cost
Another Skeleton Pie mimic came from Lori Kantziper of Baltimore whose recipe was called a Jeff Davis Pie and was printed in "The Best of Postal Recipes." "The book was sold as a fund-raiser in 1983 by the National Association of Letter Carriers Auxiliary and it was the best $10 I ever spent," she wrote.
Kantziper's Jeff Davis pie
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 stick margarine
1 (8- or 9-inch) unbaked pie shell
Warm milk and margarine enough to melt margarine. Mix first five ingredients and add eggs. Add milk and margarine mixture and mix well. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Fresh pear butter
Want to enjoy pear butter all winter? The preparation is well worth the time. Veda Collier of Godwin, N.C., requested the recipe and Carolyn D. Hodges of Hope Mills, N.C., responded.
Hodges's pear butter
Makes about 4 pints
20 medium-size pears (enough to make 2 quarts of pear pulp)
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
To prepare pulp, quarter and core pears. Cook until soft adding only enough water to prevent sticking. Press through a sieve or food mill. Measure.
Add remaining ingredients, cook until thick, about 35 minutes. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot mixture in clean hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps. Process pints or quarts for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
Chef Gilles Syglowski advises leaving the pear skins on: "They contain the pectin. Also I used only 15 pears to make 2 quarts of pulp," he says.
Dot C., of Baltimore recalls "a sweet potato which had a coating of some sort, breaded maybe, and deep fried and cut in wedges that were sold at the A&P; before it became Super Fresh. Would anyone know how to make these?" she asks.
Anita T. Strickhausen of Fayetteville, N.C., wants two recipes, a cranberry vinaigrette dressing and a key lime cheesecake.
Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.
If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings which each recipe makes.