A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 17, 2008
Osgood Pie (Oh-So-Good Pie; Allgood Pie)

The “Osgood pie” is something of a naming mystery. Most all of the evidence indicates that there was no one person named Osgood, but that the original name was “Oh-so-good pie” (or “O-so-good pie” or “Allgood pie"). The origin of the pie is also in dispute, but recipes appear most frequently in Texas cookbooks. The Osgood pie’s popularity appears to have faded from the 1950s-1960s, however, and the pie is seldom seen today.

Osgood pies usually contain raisins and nuts, and some people claim that the pie is simply a chess pie with raisins added.


Practically Edible
Osgood Pie
Osgood Pie is closely related to Chess Pie and Vinegar Pie.
Some people say it is Chess Pie with raisins added.
Others give a distinct recipe of egg yolk, sugar, and butter creamed together, with vinegar for tang (1 to 3 tablespoons depending on recipe) with stiffly beaten egg white folded in, and baked in a pie shell.

16 February 1911, Indianapolis (IN) Star, pg. 8, col. 4:
OSGOOD PIE.
Take four eggs (reserve the white for frosting), one and one-half cupfuls of sugar, one-half cupful of water, one cupful of raisins chopped fine, two tablespoonfuls of butter, one tablespoonful of cinnamon, one teaspoonful cloves.
Enough for two pies. Put in one crust and cook, remove from oven and put frosting on and return to oven to brown.
MRS. AUSTIN SHAW.
636 Warren Avenue, Indianapolis. 

June 1924, Fruit, Garden & Home (later Better Homes & Gardens), pg. 48, col. 1:
Osgood Pies
4 eggs
1 cupful of raisins
2 cupfuls of sugar
3 tablespoonfuls of vinegar
2 tablespoonfuls of butter
1 teaspoonful each of cloves and cinnamon
Line pie tins with rich crust and cover bottoms with the raisins. Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. To the yolks add the sugar, butter, spices, and vinegar; mix thoroly and then add to this mixture the well beaten whites. Mix well and pour into the crusts. Bake in a slow oven.—Mrs. K. R., Iowa

14 October 1926, Port Arthur (TX) News, pg. 5, col. 2:
Pies will include egg custard, apple pie, lemon pie, cocoanut pie, chocolate pie. pumpkin pie, mince pie, osgood pie and cream pie.

24 May 1927, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Practical Recipes: Chef Wyman’s Answers,” pg. A9:
OSGOOD PIE
A. B. M., Indio, Cal.: One and a half cupfuls of seeded raisins, three eggs, one cupful of sugar, one small cupful of cream, one lemon. Beat the yolks of the eggs, add the sugar, cream, grated rind of the lemon and then the juice of the lemon.  Stir well while mixing in the lemon juice, beat the whites of the eggs until stiff, then add the raisins, pour into the pie crust and bake.

26 July 1927, Bridgeport (CT) Telegram, pg. 14, col. 4:
Mrs. V.C.T. My Osgood Pie. Some time ago another Reader asked for the recipe. One cup sugar (white), four eggs, one cup seedless raisins, three tablespoons of vinegar, one-fourth teaspoon each of ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice and three tablespoons of butter. Beat the eggs, butter and raisins together, add sugar and spices and last the vinegar, then bake in an open crust.

29 January 1934, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Here Are More Pie Recipes of the Southland; They’re Typically Creamy and Flavorful” by Mary Meade, pg. 15:
And did you ever hear of Osgood pie?  ‘Twas a new one on me not so long ago. It also seems to belong to the same spicy, egg bound custard family.
OSGOOD PIE
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks until light and fluffy. Add to this the melted butter, sugar, vinegar, and cinnamon. Stir in the raisins and nuts and turn into two pie pans which have been lined with pastry. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) until firm.

The Portal to Texas History
50 Selected Recipes by 50 Denton Women
Creator (Sponsor): Young People’s Organization of the Central Presbyterian Church
Original Creation Date: Unknown (Probably late 1930s—ed.)
Coverage:
(Place) United States - Texas - Denton County - Denton
(Era) Into Modern Times, 1939-Present
Description: Cookbook compiled by members of the Central Presbyterian Church of Denton, Texas. The cookbook contains 50 recipes from Denton women and advertisements for local companies.
Pg. 6:
Mrs. W. C. McClung
ALLGOOD PIES
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup nuts
4 eggs, beaten separately
1 cup seedless raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon cloves.
Cream sugar and butter, add other ingredients. Stir the whites into the pie last (as for a cake). Bake slowly in uncooked pie crusts. This makes two pies.
Pg. 56:
OH! SO GOOD PIE
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup cream
1 cup raisins
3 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
Beat egg yolks, add sugar, then other ingredients; add the beaten whites last. Put in an uncooked pastry and bake one-half hour.

2 July 1948, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 2, pg. 4:
OSGOOD PIE
Beat four eggs well. Add two cups sugar, then add one-half teaspoon cinnamon, one-half teaspoon cloves, one cup raisins, six teaspoons vinegar, four teaspoons butter and four teaspoons sweet milk. Pour the pie filling into an unbaked pie shell. Bake twenty-five to thirty minutes at 325 degrees or until a knife blade inserted comes out clean.

28 April 1957, Denton (TX) Record-Chronicle, section 3, pg. 4, col. 4:
ALLGOOD PIE
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins (partly cooked)
1 cup pecans
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
2 eggs, beaten separate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 stick margarine
Mix all together; fold in egg whites last and put in unbaked crust and cook slowly at about 350 degrees.

1 April 1958, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Recipes of the Day” by Julie Benell, part 3, pg. 6:
This is a pie that is ancient in beginning and has been called by many different names, including Osgood Pie.

OH-SO-GOOD Pie
You’ll need 3/4 cup light or dark raisins, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoon melted butter or margarine, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup sugar, pastry for a single 9-inch pie.

Cover raisins with hot water and soak 15 minutes. Drain. Separate eggs and beat yolks lightly. Stir in vinegar, butter, spices, walnuts and raisins. beat egg whites until stiff and gradually beat in the sugar. Fold in raisin mixture. Turn into pastry-line pie pan. Bake in hot 425 F. oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate 350 F. and make 35 to 45 minutes longer or until pastry is browned and filling set. Makes one pie. Serve warm, or cold.

Google Books
The Texas Cookbook:
From barbecue to banquet—an informal view of dining and entertainment the Texas way

by Mary Faulk Koock
Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press
2001
Boston, MA: Little, Brown
1965
Mama’s Osgood Pie
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups chopped nuts
1 cup chopped raisins
Pie shell
Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten yolks of eggs, nuts, and raisins. Lastly, stir in beaten egg whites. Put in pie shell and bake in 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes.

7 March 1969, New York (NY) Times, “Dining Out Where the Menu Is ‘Tex-Mex’” by Craig Claiborne, pg. 32:
Among the desserts, the Osgood pie crowned with whipped cream tastes like a fruitcake baked in a pastry shell.
(Casa Laredo at 551 Hudson Street and Perry Street—ed.)

16 April 1970, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “New Osgood Pie the Epitomy of Luscious Tex-Mex Cuisine” by Cecily Brownstone (AP Food Editor), section E, pg. 4:
A Greenwich Village restaurant in New York City, specializing in Tex-Mex cuisine, serves an interesting dessert called Osgood Pie. When we first ate the pie there we didn’t remember ever seeing a recipe for it. But searching among our 3,000 cookbooks yielded results: two cookbooks from Texas and one devoted to Southern cookery had versions of the dessert.

Just to add variety, here’s a new way to make Osgood Pie. Although other Osgood Pies call for a baked pie shell, our recipe uses an easy-to-put-together and mighty good Oatmeal Crust. All our tasters were enthusiastic about this pie and we think you will be, too. (Recipe follows—ed.)

3 August 1972, Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, “Osgood Was ‘O-So-Good’Pie First” by Pennie Boyett, pg. 3B, col. 1:
It started out being called “O-so-good” Pie.

Three Recipe Exchange Readers say that’s where “Osgood Pie” came from.

Google Books
Way Back in the Country:
Recipes from six generations of East Texas farm cooking and the stories behind them

by Kay Wheeler Moore
Garland, TX: Hannibal Books
2002
Pg. 46:
Osgood Pie
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup pecans
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 baked 9-inch pie shell

Melt margarine. Add sugar, eggs, raisins, pecans, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Pour into baked pie shell.

Posted by Barry Popik
(0) Comments • Saturday, May 17, 2008 • Permalink