Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Pieathalon 9: Veal, Ham and Tongue Pie

That's right, it's pie time again!  After Yinzerella sent out the announcement, I perused my cookbooks and chose chocolate angel pie as my contribution, which sounded really nice to me. I sent it in and eagerly awaited my assignment.  What delectable confection was I going to be asked to re-create in my kitchen?  Oh, what could it be?

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd (January 1, 1968)
    Copyright Robert Carrier 1968

Oooh, it's something British!  They have all sorts of great desserts.  What will I get to make?

What the...???

Tongue Pie - the pie that tastes you back!

Hmmm.  Not exactly what I was expecting, but I'm not scared of a little tongue!  

I was able to find a tongue easily, but I did have a problem finding gammon and veal.  Those do not exist in this part of Texas, as far as I can tell.  A little internet searching told me that I could substitute chicken for the veal and regular ham for the gammon, so we were off!

Yep, that's a tongue

Day 1

The first step in creating this pie involved cooking the tongue.  I put it in the pressure cooker for 50 minutes with water, salt, pepper, onion powder and a bay leaf.  It smelled amazing, but it came out looking like this...

The visual appeal is not improved with cooking!

Farm Boy kindly offered to remove the skin from the tongue for me while I was out.  I immediately accepted that offer because "skinning a tongue" just isn't very high on my bucket list.

Day 2

The following day, I boiled some eggs, chopped up the now skinless tongue and mixed it with the other ingredients. I did all this first so I could deal with my first attempt at a hot water pastry.  As I've mentioned before, pastry is not something I do very well. 

Meat, meat, meat and onions.

I didn't take any photos of the crust-making process, but it was pretty easy, except for one error on my part: the mixing bowl was waaaaay too small for the amount of flour and water involved. Oh well, what's one more bowl to wash?

The recipe instructs me to, "Line a rectangular pie mould with two-thirds of the dough," but I have nothing as tall and narrow as the mould in the picture.  Big loaf pan it is. 

Now I am supposed to top it with the rest of the pastry and then decorate it with small leaves cut from the leftover dough.  Well, I don't have a small leaf cookie cutter, so my choices were tiny hearts or flowers. 

Alas, no leaves.

To the oven!

Chambers gas range stove oven
Crusty goodness!

It had to bake for an hour and forty-five minutes.  Somewhere around the halfway mark, it started to smell and that smell was amazing!  Imagine the best beef pot pie bubbling away in the oven and that's what it smelled like.  Mmmm.

At this point, it has to cool until "quite cold" and them be removed from the mould.  Around 11:00 PM it was finally cool enough and I bravely tried to pop it out of the pan, but it wouldn't budge.  Farm Boy and I discussed various ways to get it out, but in the end I chickened out and just left it.  I poured my "aspic jelly" (the broth from the tongue, thickened with gelatine) in the holes and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Day 3

Finally, we get to taste this beast!

So I can totally see how it would have been nice to have it removed from the pan for both the presentation and the cutting.  It took quite a bit of effort to get that first slice out and it was mangled beyond repair, but after that it was fine. I think I should have poured in more aspic jelly, but I was still pleased with it overall.  Look at that cheeky little egg hiding there in the center.  Surprise!


And now for the taste test. As usual, Queen Lily was there to offer her services and opinions.



Yes, this pleases us.

Give us more!  Now!

I mean it!

Meatball says, "WTF! Where's mine??" 

Verdict: It's really good!  The hot water pasty crust is delicious.  The filling was really good, but it mostly tasted like the tongue - very beefy.  I can see how this would be a great picnic food. It's sturdy enough to take with you, can be eaten cold, and it's very filling. It's very labor intensive, so I don't know that I would make it again, but if I did, I would probably use leftover roast or something as the filling, instead of going to the effort of using three different meats.

Thanks once again to Yinzerella for organizing this event!  Now go check out all those other pies!

Yinzerella at Dinner is Served 1972: Candy Apple Cheese Pie

Dr. Bobb of Dr. Bobb's Kitschen: Praline Pumpkin Pie

Battenburgbelle of Kitchen Confidence: Zucchini Pie

SS of A Book of Cookrye: Yul Brenner's Pie

Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers: Sagittarius Hamburger Pie

Surly of Vintage Recipe Cards: Lime Pie with Creme de Menthe

Taryn of Retro Foods for Modern Times: Lime Pie with Creme de Menthe

Poppy Crocker of Grannie Pantries: Apricot Mallow Pie

Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Chocolate Angel Pie

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Pieathalon 8! Tarte au Petit Suisse

Grab those forks, it's time for pie!

To recap the rules of Pieathalon:

1) You choose a vintage recipe and send it in
2) You receive a vintage recipe submitted by someone else
3) You make that recipe
4) You post about your experience

My contribution to Pieathalon was a Farm Boy family favorite, Osgood Pie. I was trying to play nice this year, so hopefully the recipient likes pies with nuts and raisins! 

My pie to bake comes from battenburgbelle at  Kitchen Confidence.  The recipe, La Tarte au Petit Suisse, comes from French Country Cooking by Elizabeth David, originally published in 1951 and still in print as recently as 2013.  After reading reviews online and trying this recipe, I am sorely tempted to buy a copy for myself.  Because I need another cookbook!

I like the cute cover illustration!

Pie pastry is my culinary nemesis, mostly because I get such inconsistent results.  I considered using a refrigerated pie crust, but since this recipe included a recipe for the crust (or paste) and I was feeling brave, I decided to give it a go.  I did have a purchased pie crust in the refrigerator (along with a beer), just in case things went sideways. 

The recipe calls for blind baking the pastry and recommends keeping a jar of dried beans on hand to use as weights for this purpose.  As it happens, I have been using the same old pinto beans for years, although mine are in a plastic bag, not a nice jar.  Farm Boy is of the opinion that they are still edible, but I have serious doubts about that.

Some very well-baked beans

Ta-da!  Blind baked and ready for the filling.

The recipe calls for Petit Suisse cheese, which I could not find.  Some Google searching suggested that I could substitute cream cheese thinned with a little milk.  I chose to use buttermilk, to add a little more flavor.  I also used orange zest in place of the orange flower water, as suggested in the recipe.

The filling, before adding the beaten egg whites

It took significantly longer to bake than the 15 to 20 minutes listed in the recipe.  I would say it was closer to 40 minutes before it started developing some browned bits on the top.  By the end, it had puffed up dramatically and smelled divine!

It smelled soooo good!

The puffiness didn't last long, though. By serving time, it was much thinner.

Pie baking day was also Serafina's birthday, or rather her found day.  She was found as a 3 week old kitten in someone's yard.  Our vet's office apparently keeps a list of gullible people and immediately called us.  How could we say no to this face?

I showed her the pie and sang happy birthday to her.  She was not impressed.  For all that floofiness, she can be a harsh critic sometimes.

Please stop, Mom.

By serving time, the pie was really thin, but great googley-moogley it was good!  It is lightly sweet, really creamy, with just a hint of orange, but the crust is what really makes it.  It is completely different than a normal pie crust.  It is thin and crunchy, reminiscent of a Norwegian krumkake or a pizzelle. 



All of the taste testers liked this pie, including Queen Lily.  I gave her a tiny bit first, then had to eat the rest of my piece while holding her back with one arm.  Someone around here has taught her some bad habits.

Give me all the pie!

That is mine!

Thanks to Yinzerella at Dinner is Served 1972 for another fun Pieathalon! 

You can read about all the other fabulous Pieathalon pies at the links below:

Osgood Pie at A Book of Cookrye

Chocolate-Crusted Coffee Pie at Grannie Pantries

Tarte a l’Orange at Recipes 4 Rebels

Surprise Fudge Pie at Silver Screen Suppers

Rum and Butterscotch Pie at Vintage Recipe Cards

Save Your Marriage Meat Pie at Dr. Bobb's Kitschen 

Ozark Pie at Retro Food for Modern Times

Mahogany Pie at Dinner is Served 1972


Friday, June 4, 2021

Strawberry Ice Cream from The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, 1942

After watching a video about making strawberry ice cream, I decided that I must have some!  I'm not a big fan of most commercial (aka, artificially flavored) strawberry ice cream, but homemade ice cream with real strawberries is one of my favorite things.

The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, 1942

I opened this book first and was happy to see a really simple recipe.  I decided I didn't desire the egg whites, so I left them out.  I also misread the instructions and mashed the berries with the sugar at the first.  Since they released their juices so quickly, I only let it stand for about 30 minutes.

Oooh, the mashed, sweetened strawberries smell good!

Starting to freeze!

I would say this recipe makes significantly more than one quart.  My ice cream maker was almost full and I believe it has a two quart capacity.  It was still really soft, so we froze it in a container for a couple of hours.  Even then, it was softer than Farm Boy likes, but I thought it was just right for homemade ice cream.

Final result?  Delicious!  There is no vanilla to compete with the strawberries, so it is a full-on strawberry flavor.  After two hours in the freezer, it was the consistency of a soft-serve custard.  By the next night, however, it was rock hard, and the strawberries were little icicles that froze my teeth.  So I would recommend letting it sit out for a bit to soften slightly, if you're trying to keep it for more than one day.  

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Variety Corn-Cake

This little book has been in the bookshelf for a while, but hasn't had much - if any - use.  I told Farm Boy that he could help it earn its keep by choosing between two recipes: Sweet Potato Biscuit and Variety Corn-Cake.  

Fortunately for me, he chose Variety Corn-Cake.  I say 'fortunately' because after reading through the biscuit recipe, it seemed like kind of a pain to make.  

Variety, as it turns out, means coconut (and a boatload of baking powder). As I've said before, I am all about the coconut, so I was excited to try this.  Reading through the recipe, it seemed like a pretty standard cornbread recipe, except it is fairly sweet and contains no eggs.  

My slight deviations from the recipe: I used unsweetened coconut and baked it in an 8" cast iron skillet, (a #6 Wagner).  I also placed the pan in the oven while it was heating.  Just before baking, I added about a tablespoon of butter to the pan to melt before pouring in the batter.  This makes for some crusty goodness.

So let me just explain the greige-ness of the following photos...  The last time I purchased cornmeal, my choices were a blue cornmeal milled and packaged by a local company or a yellow cornmeal that is labeled as "medium grind" that I know from past experience is really better suited for use as concrete aggregate than for eating.  So I chose blue.  And let me tell you, it is the best tasting cornmeal I have ever had!  It has a really nice, intense corn flavor and is much softer than the gravel yellow cornmeal.  But I haven't quite adapted to the color.

Chambers stove range
Okay, this one isn't too greige.

Chambers stove range
There's some definite greige going on here.

I had some concern that it would be a crumbly mess without the egg, but while it is slightly more crumbly than a standard cornmeal, the overall texture is very light and fluffy.  The flavor of the unsweetened coconut really came through.  I think a sweetened coconut would be too much, although you might be able to cut the sugar a bit, if that's all you had.  I also now think you could add some sugar and coconut to any regular cornbread recipe and get something pretty tasty.  

Farm Boy and I both really liked this.  It was good warm, cold and even waffled!  With lots of butter and honey, of course.  We will definitely have this one again.

Mmmm, waffled Corn Cake!  And look, it's less greige!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Popovers from Any one can Bake, 1929

Apparently the Canadian weather decided to take a vacation here in Texas!  We had around 8" of snow, followed by several inches of sleet/freezing rain and several days of below freezing, all the way down to -1F one morning.  I know that a lot of the world deals with this every winter, but in this part of Texas we don't.  Normally we get maybe one snow per year.  We shut everything down, ooh and ahhh for a day, then it melts by late afternoon.  This snow/ice combo overstayed its welcome!


We were fortunate that we didn't lose electricity or water, like so many people did.  And we were very happy that one of the extras we decided on when we built this house was a wood-burning stove.  The cats were also pretty happy about that choice during all this!

Gil and his adorable toe beans!

Another thing we were happy about is that our Chambers stove uses propane.  We had just had the tank filled, so we were able to cook without worrying about using too much electricity.  And as cold as it was, I was looking for any excuse to turn on the oven.  

One one of the coldest evenings, I was making some soup and looking for something to go with it.  I pried this gem, Any one can Bake by the Royal Baking Powder Co. (1929) out of the overstuffed bookshelf and spotted the recipe for popovers, which start with the oven at 450F.  Yes, sign me up!

I don't remember how I acquired this book, but I do remember thinking that for an older book, the quality seems to be really high - glossy paper for the pages, a lot of (charming) color illustrations.  The outside of my particular copy has taken a beating, but the pages are pristine.  


The Green Corn Gems sound interesting

I'll be trying that Cocoa Bread one of these days

I had exactly 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour left, so I opted for the whole wheat version mentioned below the recipe.  I don't think I have ever had popovers before, so I don't have a basis for comparison, but I liked these.  I am guessing that the whole wheat flour made them a little more dense than usual, but Farm Boy and I liked them.  

The recipe says it makes six popovers, but it filled nine of the eleven cups (11?  why 11??) of my cast iron muffin pan.  I wasn't sure how full I could fill them without the batter running over, but I think I could have gone a little higher.  

Chambers stove oven range

So warm!

This is the first recipe I have tried from this book.  Since we were pleased with the results and there are quite a few other recipes that look promising, it will be bringing it out again.