Two ounces of cheese and some sliced onions, sprinkled over the top, go a long way in adding flavour to this simple, tasty and comforting wartime dish. Don’t limit yourself to just potatoes though. Throw in any leftover root vegetables to add to the potatoes and it will be delicious! Today I added chopped carrot and turnip.
Cheese, Potato & Onion Pie
3 lbs of potatoes chopped (or make up to 3 lbs with any chopped root veg)
2 onions chopped in half and very thinly sliced
2 oz grated cheddar cheese
tablespoon of margarine or butter (or fat saved from bacon)
Thyme, salt and pepper
Scrub vegetables and scrape or peel if necessary.
Chop into smallish pieces (carrot needs longer to cook so if mixed with potatoes make sure the carrot pieces are smaller).
Simmer vegetables until tender in boiling water.
Meanwhile add sliced onion to a pan with a little butter/margarine/fat and saute gently until golden.
When potatoes/vegetables are cooked and tender drain well and then mash with a tablespoon of margarine/butter and lots of seasoning. At this stage you can add extras such as some garlic powder or some chopped sauted garlic to add extra flavour. Mix well and when you are happy with the flavour add to a pie dish.
Sprinkle over the top with some grated cheese and finally the sauted long onion slices spreading out evenly over the top.
Place in a pre-heated hot oven at 220 C until the top is golden. This will take about 20 minutes.
Serves 4 as a main dish with a few green vegetables on the side or 6 as part of a meal.
Simple. Quick. Frugal. Delicious. This wartime pudding is basically summer sunshine on a plate.
Using some nectarines from my ‘Riverford Organic Fruit and Veg Box’, freshly picked wild blackberries and two slices of bread, I was able to make a mouth-watering, sweet pudding in no time at all. I whisked up the double cream I had left from a week ago (during the war you would have had to make mock cream unless you had a cow!) and added a generous splodge to top it off. Let me tell you the combination of warm pudding and fresh cream was delightful. It made me smile…
Any fruit can be used but I always think the addition of berries to the dish adds so much taste and colour.
Baked Fruit Pie
2 lbs fruit, bottled or fresh
4 oz stale bread (about 4 slices)
3 tablespoons of milk or water
2 level tablespoons of sugar
(I used half of all the above measurements to make less pudding)
If using fresh fruit stew and sweeten to taste (I chopped my 4 nectarines and added the blackberries and once bubbling, stewed for about 5 minutes with about 3 teaspoons of sugar).
Put the fruit and juice in a pie dish.
Cut bread neatly into small cubes and place on top of the fruit.
Sprinkle the milk over the bread until damp.
Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes.
I took some photos of the process on my mobile phone including the best bit, tasting it!
I’m in love with this wartime cookie recipe. These oaty, sweet, buttery, wartime biscuits really make you appreciate a 15 minute break with a hot cuppa tea in some old vintage china.
This recipe is super simple and quick.
4 oz (115 g) margarine or butter. (I used half and half as butter really adds that extra flavour)
3 oz (85 g) of sugar (I use unrefined caster sugar)
7 oz (200 g) of rolled oats
5 oz (150 g) self-raising flour or plain flour sifted with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt
1 reconstitued dried egg or fresh egg (I didn’t use an egg at all and it was fine)
A little milk
* Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F) or Gas Mark 4.
* Grease two baking trays well or use parchment/baking paper instead.
* Cream the margarine/butter with the sugar until soft and light.
* Add the rolled oats and mix.
* Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add the egg (if used) into the * mixture and mix well again before adding in a little milk to moisten. The dough should be stiff and quite dry but sticks together. Knead together.
* Divide out mixture into about 20 lumps the size of a walnut.
* Press between palms to flatten to about 1/4 inch thick and place on baking tray and press into shape.
* Bake for about 15 minutes until edges are golden.
* Leave on baking trays to cool.
Makes about 20.
EXTRA TIP: I divided the dough into half. The first half I left plain. The second half I sprinkled on some sultanas and some lemon extract and kneaded in. The lemon/fruit/oat biscuits were absolutely delicious!
So here is the first promised Wartime Christmas themed recipe for our ‘Wartime Christmas Countdown’ here on www.the1940sExperiment.com.
This is a recommended Christmas Cake recipe from the Ministry of Food in the mid 1940’s and the rationed ingredients make a very acceptable cake. My son works in Tesco’s so I was able to go shopping last night with him and get a 10% discount on my shopping! (he has a staff discount card!). Every little bit helps!
Wartime Christmas Cake – Ministry of Food
4 oz (115g) margarine
3 oz (85g) of soft brown sugar
1 lb dried mixed fruit
2 reconstituted dried eggs or 2 fresh eggs
3 level tablespoons of warmed treacle or golden syrup
8 oz (225g) of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
3 tablespoons of cold strained tea
(I also added a slug of dark rum!)
Line a 7 inch (18cm) cake tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.
Pre-heat oven to 150 C (300 F), Gas Mark 2.
Cream the margarine and sugar.
Gradually add the beaten eggs then the syrup or the treacle.
Sift all the dry ingredients together then add to the creamed mixture and then add the fruit and tea. Add a slug of rum or rum essence if you wish.
Spoon into the cake tin and make a hollow in the centre so the cake will be flatter on top.
Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the top is firm and the sides are slightly sinking away from the side of the tin. (You may need to cover top with foil half way through cooking).
Cool in the tin.
When cool remove from the tin and place in airtight container.
Over the coming weeks you can feed the cake with rum/whisky/sherry and nearer Christmas you can finally ice and decorate!
“Do you enjoy my blog and recipes? I’m raising money for the Royal British Legion by running the London Marathon in April. Please consider giving a few £’s – thank you 🙂 “
I haven’t baked or consumed much in the way of sweet puddings or cake for ages. Infact I’m just not using any of my sugar ration and hardly any of my margarine or butter either. I’ve therefore got plenty in my cupboard to do some baking and this is what I’ve done on this bank holiday weekend!
As I am preferring to poach my one shell egg a week, my baking normally has to be egg free. When I came across this wartime recipe online it was perfect! No eggs!
This particular recipe is suitable for vegans too if you use a dairy free margarine or oil.
Was VERY pleased with the taste and consistency of this simple cake and greedily enjoyed a couple of generous slices with hot tea, using my pink vintage china of course!
Hope you enjoy it!
200g caster sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
175g raisins, currants or sultanas
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease one 7 or 8 inch cake tin.
In a saucepan over medium high heat combine: the sugar, margarine or oil, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, salt, raisins and water. Bring to the boil and continue to simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together. Add the flour mixture to the cooled raisin mixture. Stir until just combined. Tip mixture into prepared tin.
Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 30-40 minutes until skewer comes away clean from middle.
Here’s a super frugal wartime recipe made out of stale bread and fruit that’s going a little soft. As I had two of these things in my kitchen and I’m always finding ways to make ends meet, when I saw this recipe I knew it was just what I needed.
As I’m trying hard to reduce my weight and become healthier, I reduced the below ingredients by half to make a small pie that would make two generous portions (and this also ensured that if in a moment of weakness I gobbled it all up then not so much damage would be done). By the way I didn’t. I ate half with no custard. It was absolutely DELICIOUS! I really did want to eat it all though…
The cost of this dish was about £1 and calories about 800 for the whole pie ( if making the full size pie using the ingredients below it will be around 1600 kcals so about 400 cals per serving)
1 lb (450g) fruit, weight when prepared (eg. several plums and 1 large apple)
3 oz (75g) sugar
8 oz (225g) bread
2 oz (50g) margarine.
Cut apples into small slices, no need to peel. Half and stone the plums. Place fruit into a saucepan with half the sugar and a couple of spoonfuls of water and simmer for 5 minutes.
Heat margarine up in a saucepan until melted and hot. Break up the bread into coarse breadcrumbs with your fingers and add to the margarine in the saucepan and stir, add the remaining sugar and a couple of spoonfuls of milk to ensure bread is mixed and slightly damp.
Place fruit mixture into pie dish, cover with breadcrumb mix.
Place into a pre-heated oven (180C or 350F).
Cook for 30-40 minutes until top is brown and crisp.
PS: A BIG THANK YOU to JOY who knitted me a lovely tea cosy for my teapot. Doesn’t it look GREAT!!!
Lets get this straight right away. This doesn’t taste like crab in any shape or form BUT it was very tasty and so very simple to make and used up 1/2 a weekly egg ration per person (serves 4).
When I say it serves 4, it’s enough filling for 4 rounds of sandwiches with some cucumber, grated carrot, tomato or salad leaves…. but only just.
I served mine on a carrot and swede mash with some peas on the side. All my egg ration is used up for the week now as I had half of it.
Costs about 60p to make.
I got this recipe from yes another of Marguerite Patten’s books, “We’ll Eat Again”. More info here…
Wartime Mock Crab
1/2 oz of margarine
2 eggs or 2 reconstituted dried eggs
1 oz cheese
1 dessertspoon salad dressing
few drops of vinegar
salt and pepper as you like it
Melt the margarine in saucepan, add the well beaten eggs.
Scramble until half set then add the rest of the ingredients.
Serve as a sandwich filling, on hot toast or over mashed potatoes.