Retro Food and Recipes: Tuna–au-Gratin
This is a recipe we wouldn’t encourage anyone to actually try. No offense to Pillsbury or the Bride Second Prize Winner of their baking contest for submitting this recipe in the mid-1950s. There are many old recipes for foods that may have been considered tasty or fashionable when they were first published, that just aren’t palatable to people today. Could it be that modern tastebuds have become more sophisticated? Whatever the reason for the change, some foods are just not appealing to us anymore. It’s also possible that a dish such as this was never that popular to begin with, but homemakers prepared it for their families because it was an economical, hearty meal that could be made on a budget.
Makes a 9-inch pie
1½ cups sifted Pillsbury’s Best Self-Rising Flour and ½ teaspoon Morton Salt into mixing bowl.
½ cup Crisco until particles are the size of small peas.
4 to 5 teaspoons cold water over mixture while tossing and stirring lightly with a fork. Add water to driest particles, pushing lumps to side until dough is just moist enough to hold together.
into a ball. Flatten to about ½–inch thickness. Smooth edges.
on floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit loosely into 9-inch piepan. Trim pastry from edge of shell and place extra pieces in small baking pan. Fold edge to form a standing rim; flute. Pick generously with fork.
crust and pastry pieces in hot oven (450°F) 10 to 12 minutes until light brown. Crumble pastry pieces for a crumb topping.
Combine in saucepan:
1 can (10 ½ oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons flour and
2 tablespoons French’s Onion Flakes. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat.
1 package frozen peas, thawed and drained
2 cans (6 ½ oz. each) tuna, drained and
1 can (4 oz.) pimento, chopped. Turn hot filling into baked pie shell.
1 cup grated American cheese (or 4 slices, halved) over filling. Top with pastry crumbs.
in hot oven (425°F) 12 to 15 minutes until cheese melts.
* If you use Pillsbury’s Best Self-Rising Flour, omit salt and decrease water to 3 to 4 teaspoons. Decrease baking time to 8 to 10 minutes for pastry.