I enjoy finding old cookbooks and studying how cooks used to make dishes we consider standard today. Or, looking at foodways from the past and wondering how certain traditions fell out of favor.
In reading old cookbooks, I often find myself stumped at what a certain ingredient is, or even what the entire recipe is creating. What, for example, is a sponge pie?
Turns out, it's like a meringue pie, but with the meringue heavy and flattened. Or, was it because I put this pie together when it was over 110 degrees outside. Also possible.
Pineapple Sponge Pie
For one 9" pie
1 (#2) can pineapple, crushed (I drained the syrup out)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c cold water
1 pie crust
1 T butter
1 c sugar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tsp cold milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon rind, grated
1 tsp lemon juice
3 T flour
1/2 c cold milk
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
To make the filling, combine pineapple with sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over heat. Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in water.
Gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the pineapple, stirring constantly until thick and clear; remove from the heat and pour into a shallow container to let cool quickly.
When cold, pour pineapple filling into prepared pie shell. Let stand while making the topping.
To make topping, cream butter and sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 tsp milk, salt, lemon rind, and juice. Blend well.
Alternately add the egg yolks and the lemon mixture to the creamed butter.
In a separate bowl, combine flour and remaining milk and whisk until smooth. Gradually add this to the creamed mixture.
Spread topping over the uncooked pineapple filling. Bake 10 minutes at 450. Then, lower heat to 350 and bake 30-35 minutes longer.