For Christmas, my mom gave my dad The Amish Cook: Recollections and Recipes from an Old Order Amish Family by Elizabeth Coblentz. My dad was a fan of Coblentz' column, The Amish Cook, which she wrote out longhand by candlelight every week in her Indiana home in an old order Amish community. She mailed or directly delivered the column to her editor, Kevin Williams, who edited and published her words. Though Coblentz passed away in 2002, many of her recipes and domestic wisdom live on in this cookbook. On my last night at home in Indiana, I thought it only appropriate to try a pie from her book. As they say, when in Indiana...
All of her pie recipes sounded intriguing, if not all appetizing. There was cracker pie (mock-apple), and rhubarb custard pie (out of season), and whoopie pies, but we finally decided on an oatmeal pie, as my dad said it was a favorite, similar to pecan pie, that he used to order from the nearby Amish restaurant, Das Dutchman Essenhaus. We had all the ingredients, except for pecans instead of walnuts, so I whipped up my version, an "Indiana" Amish oatmeal pie. Here's the recipe.
"Indiana" Amish Oatmeal Pie
Nothing-in-the-House pie crust, halved (I noticed that Coblentz's was very close to ours)
1/2 c. (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. light corn syrup (could use brown rice syrup or agave)
3/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. pecan pieces (the original recipe uses walnuts)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Follow the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust recipe (halved, as only a bottom crust is needed), roll out chilled crust and place in a greased and floured pie pan. Flute edges decoratively.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine melted butter, sugar and eggs. Add corn syrup, oats, nuts, and combine. Pour into pie shell and bake for 1 hour until thickened inside and golden brown on top.
This pie whips up in no time and has the flavor of pecan pie (though less syrupy sweet) combined with baked oatmeal (one of my favorite dishes from the Mennonite summer camp I attended as a kid). It would be a great breakfast pie, but was also a hearty dessert, especially when paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a fiddle tune or two around the fire with my dad (and alright, several bootleg episodes of Downton Abbey season two!) on my last night at home for a while.