Easy as pie? Not when it’s raisin

Monday was Pie Day.
Not to be confused with Pi Day.
Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 (3/14) to recognize the mathematical symbol “pi” or 3.14.
I admit that’s kinda cool, but it can’t compare to Pie Day, which celebrates pie.
National Pie Day has been observed on Jan. 23 since 1986. The holiday, I learned, actually was started in the mid-70s in Boulder, Colorado, by teacher Charlie Paparian. Why Jan. 23? It’s his birthday. I don’t know what Charlie’s favorite pie was but it’s clear it wasn’t humble.
According to the American Pie Council’s website, apple pie, the choice of 36 million Americans, is the nation’s favorite, followed by pumpkin and pecan.
Epicurious.com agrees on the first two but has pecan at number six. This site lists chocolate creme as third, cherry fourth, apple crumb fifth, followed by pecan, lemon meringue, blueberry, key lime and peach.
I like peach pie, particularly the one my friend Marie Rovinski made for me last fall. I ate the whole thing myself over a couple of days. And I do enjoy apple, blueberry and pumpkin.
But my favorite pie I almost never can find.
It’s raisin.
Yes, raisin.
My grammy, my father’s mother, made raisin pies. A second generation German-American, she made hot German potato salad that my mom raved about all her life. But it was her raisin pies that I remember.
Unfortunately most of the time that’s all I am able to do … remember them.
Ever try to find a raisin pie? It’s practically impossible.
They were almost always on the menu at Saylor’s Restaurant in Allentown but that was back in the early ’80s. I’m not sure Saylor’s even exists today.
The last time I had raisin pie was a few summers ago. A family from Lancaster brought their baked goods to the Pittston Farmers Market and, lo and behold, they always had raisin pies. And I always bought them.
But I haven’t seen one anywhere since, not even at the Amish bakery in Reading Terminal in Philadelphia. I check every year when we attend the Philadelphia Flower Show.
The closest I can come these days are the raisin squares at the donut shop on Laurel Street near the intersection of William Street and the Pittston Bypass. Not quite what Grammy used to bake, but they get me by.

Ed Ackerman