Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Comisars have officially left the building

Golden Lamb's Shaker Sugar Pie, $3.25 (Photo: Roadfood)

Sad, really sad. Now it's official. The Comisar family has completely left the restaurant business after 75 years with its sale of the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio (See Golden Lamb up for re-do, Cincinnati Enquirer). Stevens Hospitality, based in Blue Ash, will take over management of the Inn starting at the end of this month. The Portman family will continue to own the building, which has a rare collection of Shaker materials including documents, literature and furniture and, over the years, has played host to 12 American Presidents. "The inn has been operating continuously since 1803. The Portmans' grandfather Robert Jones bought it in 1926 and ran it into the 1960s. The Comisars took over the operating business in 1969."

"The Comisars also ran the Maisonette and LaNormandie downtown and Chester's Road House in Montgomery. Chester's was sold in 2002, and the downtown restaurants were closed in mid-2005."

Sister Lizzie's Shaker Sugar Pie
(from the Golden Lamb site and memory)

2 T butter
1 c brown sugar
2 c light cream or half and half)
1/3 c flour
1 t vanilla
9" unbaked pie shell

Put the brown suger and flour into an unbaked pie shell. Mix the flour and suger together, by rubbing the dry mix back and forth between the palms of your hands. After it is thoroughly mixed, spread it out even into the pie shell. Pour the cream and vanilla over the sugar/flour mixture, but DO NOT stir (during baking it bubbles and mixes on its own). Evenly place the butter slices atop the creme, and sprinkle the entire top of pie with nutmeg.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees, for at least an hour. The pie is done when it becomes firm; another way to test for doneness is give the pan a twist back and forth, if the shell moves easily in the pan, it's done.

*The Golden Lamb used pizza ovens, and the pie pans sat directly onto the floor/base of the oven. In this style of oven the cooking time is 40-45 minutes.


Anonymous palate said...

I am so distraught to hear this; I guess the end of an era. I have to admit when it comes to shaker cooking I am a bigger fan of Shaker Lemon Pie than this sugar pie. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t eat a piece if you were making it. As for the Portman’s ownership of the building I am even more distraught. How much of the profits of all that good eating went to fund the Portman’s politics of anti choice/anti woman conservativism. Talk about a double-edged steak knife.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Willa Frank said...


i feel confident that the menu won't change too dramatically--at least when it comes to these shaker things. i'll try to rustle up the lemon pie recipe for you. at one time i had a recipe for the golden lamb's persimmon pie, but have no clue what i did with it. i think it was published in gourmet magazine...

but what I couldn't believe is that that piece of pie is still only $3.25! that's probably where the change will be!!

3:45 PM  

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