Category: Lemon

Pieathalon 3 – Lemon Potato Pie

It will come as no surprise to you, wise people of the internet that this, in all it’s earthy glory, is a potato:

PotatoAnd this, is a can of beans. 

They don’t call me Captain Obvious for nothing!

Lemon Potato Pie Beans

What is probably not so obvious is that you can turn these into this:

Lemon Potato Pie4

That’s right,  lemon meringue pie made from spuds and beans.


Well, it’s Pieathalon – the foodie equivalent of Mouseketeer Surprise Day; anything can happen and it usually does!

Starting with a brand new logo (thanks Greg, it looks super!)

PieathalonPieathalon is that time of year when bloggers from all over the world swap recipes and rejoice in the kooky baked goods of yesterday.  The full list of participants and what they made is at the bottom of the post.  Why not go visit them all?  Maybe start with Battenberg Belle who is making my pie of choice, Fatty Arbuckle’s Delight, then pop over to Ruth at Mid Century Menu  who sent me lemon potato pie! 

Lemon Potato Pie 2

Lemon Potato Pie – The Pie

The recipe for Lemon Potato Pie comes from 250 Superb Pies and Pastries, a book from 1941. The use of the humble spud instead of the more luxurious ingredient of butter to create lemon curd had a feel of wartime austerity about it.  Butter was rationed right?  Otherwise….why?   No, seriously, WHY?

Let’s not delve too deeply into the minds of 1941 and get stuck right in to the pie.  Starting with some grated potato.Lemon Potato Pie 3This was then parboiled for a spell and quickly became a kind of gloopy liquid. 

Lemon Potato Pie5

After the rest of the ingredients were added and it cooked some more, the potato broke down even further.  However, at the end of the cooking there were still some small flakes of potato which were odd and a bit off putting when you tasted the….sludge.  So, even though this was not in the recipe I blended the lemon mixture to make it smooth.  Bear, in mind I have the fussiest eater in the world as my chief taste tester!

Lemon Potato Pie6

Lemon Potato Pie  – The Meringue

So, then to the meringue. And here disaster struck.  I had put the separated whites into a bowl and left them on the far side of the kitchen bench while I made the filling. When it came time to make the meringue I looked around to where I had left the egg whites and they had vanished. 

“Did you take my egg whites?” I asked The Fussiest Eater in The World.

“I gave them to the dogs.  I thought that’s what you left them for”. 

We had no more eggs.  And we had been to a rather boozy lunch that day so there was no option of getting into the car to go buy more eggs. 

“Crap…guess, I’ll have to finish it tomorrow”.

Lemon Potato Pie7

A bit later, I was making our dinner which was the Argentine Beef Stew from The A-Z of Cooking (1971). I will definitely blog about that one soon, it was DELICIOUS and I remembered something about making meringues from bean water.  A quick visit to Google confirmed that you could make meringue from the water that surrounds tinned chickpeas or white beans.  Why not give it a whirl?  It’s in the same spirit of “make do and mend” as the potato based filling. 

Lemon Potato Pie8I drained the can of beans, the beans went into the stew and the bean water went into the mixer. 

I was incredibly surprised to see that it meringued up a treat! 

Lemon Potato Pie9Ooops!  I’d over filled my pie!

Lemon Potato PieIn homage to Ruth, I thought I would let the Fussiest Eater in The World have the final say on the Lemon Potato Pie.

Lemon Potato Pie: The Verdict


Lemon Potato Pie10So, what do you think?

“The filling is gorgeous.  It’s really delicious”.

And the meringue?

“Tastes like the worst marshmallow in the world”.

Well done cooks of 1941!  And thanks Ruth for a  super recipe!   Your lemon potato pie is delicious!  

Sadly, vegans and egg intolerants, the aqua fava meringue was not. It was much more marshmallow-y than meringue-y. It was very gooey and a bit stringy – think mozzarella cheese on a pizza. 


Lemon Potato Pie11

Here is the recipe for the pie:

Lemon Potato Pie recipeGiven the bean meringue was a failure, here is the proper recipe for the meringue from Ruth.

“The recipe for Meringue 1 is 2 egg whites, 4 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Beat eggs until frothy, add sugar gradually, and continue beating until stiff.  Add flavoring.  Pile on pie and bake in 325 degree oven for 15-18 minutes”

Pieathalon 3 – The Bloggers

Here is the full list of the wonderful crazy people who participated in Pieathalon this year.  I’m heading off to see  their creations!  Why not join me?

Thanks as ever to the wonderful Yinzerella for making it all happen! 

Have a wonderful week.  Now go eat some pie!

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History Happy Hour 1764 – The Leland Palmer

It’s baaaaacckkkk!

And what a way to bring it back, even if I do say so myself.  Today we a celebrating the 1764 birth of a British Lord, with a drink inspired by our favourite filicidal maniac!

Leland Palmer1Charles Grey, born 13 March 1764 was the Second Earl Grey and the Prime Minister of Britain from 1830 to 1834.  And yes, he is THE Earl Grey that gave the tea it’s name.

Earl Grey Tea, which is traditionally black tea flavoured with bergamot, is reputed to have been made for the Earl by a Chinese Mandarin to offset the taste of the dodgy water at the Earl’s ancestral home.

And today we are celebrating the Earl with my version of a drink named after Leland Palmer, which in turn is a twist on the Arnold Palmer.  I know, it’s like going down a rabbit hole isn’t it?

For those of you not of a certain age, Leland Palmer is a character from the tv show Twin Peaks.  He is the father of Laura Palmer and ****spoiler alert***** (if you can still have spoilers on something that is 25 years old) later revealed to have killed her whilst under the possession of an evil entity called Bob. 

The Leland Palmer cocktail is the creation of Daniel Boelte who was inspired to make it after being hungover at his girlfriend’s house and watching an episode of Twin Peaks.  The original Leland Palmer uses jasmine tea, whilst, in honour of the day, I used Earl Grey Tea –  as well as being Charles Grey’s Birthday, it’s also my wedding anniversary.  So I guess I can switch up my cocktails however I want. 

So, did my twist on the Leland Palmer result in unleashing a Bob of cocktail?  I am totally, utterly may be slightly biased but I think not.  This was delightful!

Leland Palmer 3

The bergamot in the Earl Grey combined beautifully with the fresh citrus and the limoncello.  The herby notes of the tea also works really well with the botanicals in the gin. 

The bitterness in the grapefruit and the tea is balanced by the sweetness of the honey and the limoncello with the lemon adding some zing. 

Leland Palmer 4

This is totally gorgeous.  Everything balances beautifully and you can add as much or little soda as you like depending on your needs.  We drank them quite long (ie with lots of soda) over a summer afternoon and it was perfection however I can also envisage drinking it with just a splash of soda in winter in colder months. 

Leland Palmer 2Happy Birthday Charles Grey, Happy wedding anniversary to me and the fussiest eater in the world, thank you Daniel Boelte for the original recipe and to Leland Palmer for inspiring you to make a drink.

Here’s the recipe!

Leland Palmer (My Way)
A delightfully well balanced and refreshing cocktail made from gin, l[imoncello and Earl Grey Tea
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  1. 1/2 cup honey
  2. 3 cups freshly brewed Earl Grey Tea
  3. 3/4 cup gin (I used Hendricks)
  4. 3/4 cup limoncello*
  5. 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  7. Chilled club soda
  8. Ice cubes
  9. 6 lemon wheel (for garnish)
  1. Stir the honey into the Earl Grey Tea, whilst it is still warm. Set aside to cool in fridge for a few hours.
  2. Mix honey tea mixture, gin, limoncello, grapefruit juice and lemon juice.
  3. Fill glasses with ice cubes
  4. Pour in the tea mixture.
  5. Top with chilled club soda to your taste. More for weaker drink, less for a stronger version. Mine was about 50/50.
  6. Garnish with a lemon wheel
Adapted from Daniel Boelte
Adapted from Daniel Boelte
Retro Food For Modern Times
 Have a wonderful week!

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The Salty Gin Hound

As you may already know, in our family we have a scent hound, Lulu and a half greyhound, Oscar. 

Oscar Lulu 2

And now we have a third.  Welcome the Salty Gin Hound! 

Salty Gin Hound

Mmmmm….the 6 week no alcohol challenge is over.  Welcome  back booze!   Possibly.  To be honest, I think having that break has changed the way I feel about alcohol and certainly the way that I want to re-engage back with it.  Oh, and we went to the dog beach, so whilst I prattle on about my six weeks of ahem “no” boozing whilst I sip my Salty Gin Hound, how about I show you some photos of our day at the beach?Dog Beach 280220162

The challenge was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be – I did take Valentine’s Day weekend off and I had the wine I spoke about last week which were both good breaks.  The February Fast website says that quitting alcohol can help you to increase focus, sleep better and lose weight. I  experienced all of that albeit not nearly as much weight loss as I would have liked  – primarily due to a dodgy foot that has limited my ability to go to the gym.

Dog Beach 280220163I felt really good not drinking – fitter, healthier, more focussed.  Having said that, I think it also made me a bit more moody.  I think feeling more in control of myself made me less tolerant towards people around me acting like dicks – whether they were drinking or not.  I feel it also made me a bit more introspective – which, you know,  it’s not like I wasn’t already halfway there to start off with! 

I also really started to think a lot more about events from my past and try to resolve a few unanswered questions.  For instance, I spent way too many hours thinking about my first boyfriend, the one I spoke about in the Valentine’s Day post – why did he dump me?  How has that impacted the rest of my life and the choices I have made since then?  Etc, etc.  Ad nauseam.   It’s not like I came to any life changing (or even just any) conclusions about any of the things I was navel gazing about.  Except maybe that I’m ok with not knowing and I am totally ok with the way things have turned out. 

Dog Beach 5Another thing I noticed after the sneaky vinos with my friend Aiden was how much alcohol can depress me.  Not in a way that makes me sad or maudling but just sucks my energy and motivation.  That evening I was like a zombie.  I had no energy or drive to do anything except veg out in front of the tv.  Not that I am averse to vegging out in front of the tv but I guess I want to do that when I choose to not because I can’t be arsed to so anything else.

Dog Beach 6

Another benefit was that we returned to one of our favourite  restaurants.  It is an Indian/Pakistani restaurant which, last year decided to become an alcohol free zone.  I  like to have a glass of wine when I go out for a meal; I think it helps to add to the ambience and the enjoyment of the meal, so we had not been there for some time.  Not drinking was the perfect opportunity to head back there for some of the best tandoori in Melbourne.

Dog Beach 7One of the tough points for me was cooking. Particularly on the weekend, if  I need to add some wine to a sauce or something, I will generally pour a glass for me.  Then we would have a glass or two with our meal.  Not pouring that “glass for the cook” was really hard the first few times! 

Socially was also hard. Going out for meals or even to people’s houses for a meal. There was one evening we went to my mum’s and everyone else had a glass of wine with their meal and I had a Fanta, like a six year old.  Othertimes, I felt like I had to explain why I wasn’t drinking. 

Next time maybe I’ll be cooler about it.

Dog Beach 10Because there will be a next time.  The benefits far outweighed the negatives.  I’m thinking I might do a four- six week stint every season. 

Oscar & Lulu Dog BeachYou might  be wondering why, given the obvious benefits why I am not quitting altogether.  One reason is that I do enjoy the social aspect and I love doing the research and making the cocktails for history happy hour. 

However, I think that I will be a lot more mindful about how I drink from here on in.

Dog Beach 17

Speaking of which….let’s talk about the Salty Gin Hound!

Gin, grapefruit juice and lemon with a splash of sweet vermouth!  Yum!  That is the Gin Hound.

Dog Beach 50

I had an awesome merlot salt which I used to rim the glass making it a Salty Gin Hound.  I also increased the lemon from the initial recipe, just cos that’s how I like it.

Dog Beach 19The Salty Gin Hound was delicious.  Just the right blend of sweet, salty, bitter.  So refreshing for a hot summer day!   It would have been perfect down at the beach with that tang of salt air on the breeze.

And speaking of salty hounds…we had the two schnooziest of schnoozers on the way home.  So tired after so much fun!

Dog Beach 20Salty Gin Hound 2Salty Gin hound 4

Salty Gin Hound
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  1. 3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  2. 2 tablespoon lemon Juice
  3. 4 ounces gin
  4. 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  5. Vintage Merlot or other salt to rim the glass
  1. Sprinkle the salt on a plate.
  2. Wipe the rim of your cocktail glass with the lemon rind.
  3. Swirl into the salt to rim.
  4. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  5. Add the gin, lemon and grapefruit juices.
  6. Shake, baby, shake.
  7. Pour over ice.
  8. Add a splash of sweet vermouth.
  9. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Gin Hound
Adapted from The Gin Hound
Retro Food For Modern Times
 Have a wonderful week! 

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Sussex Pond Pudding

In a weird coincidence, the last three cookbooks I have read have all contained recipes for Sussex Pond Pudding. I had never heard of such a thing  before and suddenly, it was stalking me!  The universe was absolutely, positively telling me something.  And I took that message to be that I should make one.  Because that’s what the universe does right?  Offers a gentle guiding hand to point you in the direction of where you need to be going. 

But first, somewhat of a digression.  The cognitive bias that had me seeing Sussex Pond Pudding everywhere has a name – The Bader-Meinhof Phenomenom.  It occurs when a word, name or thing comes into your attention and shortly afterwards it reappears with what seems like greater than normal frequency.  I’d love to know if, after reading this any of you randomly hear the words Bader-Meinhof or Sussex Pond Pudding over the next few weeks.   Let me know if you do. 

My most recent sighting of a Sussex Pond Pudding (kinda makes it sound like the Loch Ness Monster) came from Big Table, Busy Kitchen by Allegra McEvedy.

I find Allegra McEvedy immensely likeable and all of her recipes that I have tried have been successful.  She describes the Sussex Pond Pudding as follows:

“This classic English Steamed Pudding is definitely of a superior nature to most of it’s steamy brethren…it’s the only steamed pudding I ever make and I need to make it at least once a winter”

High praise! 

The next reference came from  The National Trust’s Complete Traditional Recipe Book by Sarah Edington.

She offers some the following explanation of the name.

“Sussex and Kent extend their rivalry to puddings – the most famous being Sussex Pond Pudding and Kentish Well Pudding.  The former consists of a suet crust enclosing butter, brown sugar and a whole lemon, and in the latter currants are added.  Either way, when the pudding is cut open, a rich sweet syrup, the well or pond  – oozes out.”

The final book (which was actually the first book I read containing those three words was Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking.  Which you can read more about here.

You may have noticed that thus far, you have not seen any of my photos of the Sussex Pond Pudding.  I thought I would intersperse my pictures with Laurie’s commentary.

By the way, Laurie Colwin calls it Suffolk Pond Pudding.  For the sake of consistency, I will refer to it as Sussex Pond Pudding throughout.

But first.  Can we talk about suet? OMFG – was a more disgusting substance ever invented?  This has to figure right up there with the civet pooping coffee and that bird embryo they keep getting people to eat on Survivor and The Amazing Race.  I had to look it up because I was actually not too sure what it was.  I wish I hadn’t

Suet – raw beef or mutton fat, especially the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys. 

I am really sorry British people who eat this stuff all the time but that is just disgusting.  Raw sheep kidney fat.  Exactly what I want in my sweet pudding. 

Turns out you can buy (fake?) suet in the supermarket and it looks kind of like breadcrumbs of butter.  So not as bad as you might think.  Just try not to think where those buttery breadcrumbs come from. 

And that pastry?  Was a bastard of a thing to make.  And I was not at all happy with the finished product. It was very both heavy//thick and fragile.  Getting it to line the pudding bowl was a nightmare. 

Suet PastryAnd now, over to Laurie Colwin.

“Sussex Pond Pudding although something of a curiousity sounded perfectly it splendid….it never occurred to me that nobody might want to eat it”

No one wanted to eat mine either.  The fussiest eater in the world took one look at it.

“What is that?”

It’s a Sussex Pond Pudding”

“It looks disgusting”

He comes from Kent.  Maybe I should have added currants.

Suet Pastry2Back to Laurie:

“My suet crust was masterful.  When unwrapped from it’s cloth, the crust was a beautiful deep honey colour”

Mine too, at least at the bottom, which became the top where all the butter and sugar had soaked into the pastry.

Sussex Pond Pudding

“My hostess look confused.  “It looks like a baked hat”, she said.

“It looks like the Alien,” my future husband said.

“Never mind, ” I said.  “It will be the most delicious thing you ever tasted”. 

Sussex Pond Pudding2

“I cut the pudding.  As Jane Grigson had promised, out ran a lemon-scented buttery toffee.  I sliced up the lemon which was soft and buttery too.  Each person was to get some crust, a slice of lemon and some sauce.  What a hit!  I thought.  Exactly the sort of thing I adored.  I looked around me happily and my happiness turned to ash”

The buttery lemony sauce was by far the best thing about this .  It was actually quite delicious.  And the soaked buttery pastry was not awful either. 

Sussex Pond Pudding4My host said: “This tastes like lemon-flavoured bacon fat”

“I’m sure it’s wonderful, ” said my hostess.  “I mean, in England”.

The woman guest said “This is awful.”

My future husband remained silent.

Mine did not taste like bacon fat, maybe because I used the fake supermarket suet. If you got it in the right ration of sauce (lots) to pastry (not much) it was actually not too bad.  It was not the “weird inedible sludge from outer space” Laurie Colwin describes however it is also not something I will feel compelled to make at least once a year like Allegra. Or ever again. 

Although I am going to have to find something to do with the rest of that suet!

Sussex Pond Pudding5I guess that sometimes, instead of being that gentle guiding hand, the universe is a smartrase little jokester who is six steps ahead of you laying down banana peels for you to prat fall on. 

And then, just as you are shaking your fist at it, it gives you a little wink and a grin and holds out its hands in a let’s be friends gesture.  In my instance, remember a couple of weeks ago  I said this:

I have a real hankering to go back and watch some early XFiles. I have yet to scratch that particular itch but it’s there….

And lo and behold, I was flicking channels on Saturday night during an ad break in, ok, I admit it, The Hunger Games and look what was on my telly:XfilesJust a couple of minutes before this scene Mulder was examining Scully’s butt for alien probes.  It was AWESOME!  I can’t wait for next Saturday!

Have a great week!

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History Happy Hour 1558 – The Gloriana

We’re  stepping into the waaaaaay back machine for today’s history happy hour, all the way back to 1558 when, on 17 November, Queen Elizabeth I ascended the English throne.


“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too”
Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth’s parent’s were Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  However, maternal bonds were not really allowed to develop as her father had her mother’s head lopped off when Elizabeth was just under 3 years old.

By the standards of the day, Elizabeth was a beauty with the lovely Tudor red-gold hair.  I wondered if  this might not be the be the reason for the apricot brandy in the Gloriana. 

Gloriana2Elizabeth ruled for 45 years and her reign saw the voyages of Drake and Raleigh and the defeat of the Spanish Armada.  The position of the Church of England was stabilised and the arts flourished.  Elizabeth even attended the première performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. 

Elizabeth was the last Tudor Monarch.  She died without an heir to the throne and the crown  passed to James I. 

Gloriana1The Gloriana is traditionally ungarnished.  Given our subject was the Virgin Queen herself, I thought my garnish was appropriate.  (In a totally inappropriate way!)

If you feel like raising a toast to Good Queen Bess, Gloriana herself, I can think of no better way than with this delicious cocktail.


History Happy Hour 1558 – The Gloriana

History Happy Hour  1558 – The Gloriana


  • 30ml Apricot Brandy
  • 15ml Gin
  • 15 ml Lemon Juice
  • Maraschino Cherry to garnish (optional)
  • Ice


  • Place the ice in a cocktail shaker and shake with the Apricot Brandy, Gin and Lemon Juice.
  • Strain and pour into a cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with the cherry if using.
  • Enjoy!


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