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Published August 13, 2013, 10:00 PM

Andrea Hunter Halgrimson: Great-grandmother’s recipe leads to perfect pie

Recently, I received an email from my old friend, Jim Teigen, who now lives in California.

By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM

Recently, I received an email from my old friend, Jim Teigen, who now lives in California.

I've known him since third grade, when the students from Fargo's Lincoln school came over to Horace Mann because their school had been condemned. That was in about 1947. I haven't known his wife of more than 50 years, Sandy Kudernack from Moorhead, nearly as long.

Jim's message was about a pie his 10-year-old granddaughter, Ava, had baked. She had become interested in an old rhubarb pie recipe of Jim's mother. The recipe was written on the back of a Chicago hotel receipt from 1963 and was heavily stained from years of use. Jim said, "This impressed her so much, she determined to make a pie from scratch, using her great grandmother's recipe."

Which Ava did using a 53-year-old pie tin. Perhaps she will teach her 8-year-old brother Lucas to make a pie, too.

The rhubarb in their California yard is a transplant from Jim's family home on Third Street North in Fargo. He said it has been replanted through five moves, and plants from the original have been shared with many friends and neighborhoods.

My favorite plants in my own garden are ones that came from friends' gardens, and I’m always ready to pass on what is in my garden.

Ava put a flower on her pie for the photograph, and I didn't recognize it. I cautioned Jim that only flowers that you are sure are edible, should garnish food because someone is sure to eat them.

Sandy Teigen's Never-fail Pie Crust

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups shortening

1 teaspoon vinegar

5 tablespoons cold water

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

Cut together flour and shortening, and add vinegar, cold water, egg and salt. Makes 4 single crusts

Gertrude Teigen's Rhubarb Pie

3 eggs lightly beaten

2 2/3 tablespoons milk

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoons nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter

4 cups cut up rhubarb

Combine flour, sugar and nutmeg.

Mix eggs and milk.

Add dry ingredients and rhubarb to egg mixture.

Pour into pie shell in a 9-inch pie plate, and dot with 1 tablespoon butter.

Cover with another pie crust, pinch rim together and bake at 400 degrees F for about 45 to 50 minutes.

Readers can reach Forum Food Columnist Andrea Hunter Halgrimson at ahalgrimson@forumcomm.com