It’s the first weekend in months where I haven’t had to be somewhere, go somewhere or do something and consequently I actually have time on my hands to do something I REALLY REALLY love and that is recreating wartime recipes! I’ve had a lovely day so far! I’ve so desperately needed down time.
So I have yet to find out why this pie is called ‘Hunt Pie’. The closest I have come is finding a business called ‘John Hunts’ which established itself in 1860 manufacturing pie making equipment. Could this possibly be linked?
Anyway, I made the pie for lunch and I have lots of portions left for tomorrow and because I love vegetables and pastry and added a little more seasoning than the recipe called for, I found it quite delicious!
So please enjoy the original recipe below (and my slight modifications to suit my palette in brackets).
3/4 pint of water
1 onion or small leek
3/4 lb of chopped root veg and cabbage (I used a couple of potatoes, carrots and spring greens)
4 oz lentils (I used red/orange lentils as they did not require soaking)
2 oz minced beef (I am veggie so instead I used 2 oz of marinated tofu)
1/2-1 teaspoon of meat or vegetable extract (I used a teaspoon of marmite)
salt and pepper (I also added garlic salt)
2 oz porridge oats or oatmeal
2 oz of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
water to mix
(I added an oz of margarine as I cooked the pie in the oven rather than in the pot)
Chopped parsley (I hate parsley so used chopped chives)
Bring water to boil.
Add onions/leeks, vegetables, lentils, vegetable/meat extract and seasoning, put lid on pan and cook on medium for about 10-15 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking.
Make pastry and press into a round shape enough to cover the top of the mixture in the saucepan. (I prefer a crispy pastry so once the mixture was soft and thickened which took about 30 minutes in total, I added it into a pie dish and rolled out the pastry on top and placed it in the oven).
Replace saucepan lid and cook for a further 15-20 minutes.
Lift pastry with a slice and set aside.
Remove mixture and place in pie dish and put pastry back on top.
Sprinkle with parsley.
You had to really think ahead on the home-front during WW2. Bottling hedgerow fruits during the late summer months would have enabled you to use many of those berries to make Christmas mince pies. The fruits bulked out the dried fruit which was much harder to get hold of in the quantities most housewives were used to.
This recipe comes from ‘Woman Magazine’ and makes about 3-4 jam jars or at least a large litre kilner jar and will be enough to fill 24 mince pies!
I made this today and as I had no blackberries and obviously wasn’t forward thinking like many bakers during WW2, I was able to just pop along to my local Sainsbury’s a buy a frozen basics bag of forest berries which includes blackberries. They’ve worked very well!
I tasted a spoonful before bottling and it tastes very much like a mix between traditional mincemeat and apple pie mixture. Very tasty!
Blackberry Mincemeat for Christmas Mince pies.
1 lb blackberries (or mixed berries). Use fresh, frozen or bottled.
4 cooking apples
4 oz (100 g) butter, margarine or shredded suet
4 oz (100 g) of chopped mixed nuts
1/2 lbs (200 g) of dried mixed fruit
2 – 3 rounded dessertspoons of soft brown sugar (or granulated)
8-10 drops almond essence
2 rounded teaspoons of mixed spice
Honey or golden syrup
Chop up apples and place in saucepan with a spoonful of water and soft brown sugar and simmer until apple is soft and getting pulpy.
Add berries, spice and almond essence and simmer on low for another 15 minutes stirring now and again. Switch off heat.
Add your margarine/butter/suet and stir in until melted
Add chopped nuts and dried fruit and stir (at this stage if you wish you can add a dram of whisky or brandy.)
Spoon into clean, sterilized jam jars and once filled drizzle the top with a little warm honey or golden syrup to seal before adding lid.
Store in the fridge or somewhere cool until needed when you make your mince pies at Christmas!
Should keep for 3 – 6 months in the fridge!
This easy and delicious recipe was taken from the WW2 ‘High Teas and Suppers’ Ministry of Food Leaflet No.7. I’ve just eaten two bowls of this with a slice of bread and butter and thoroughly enjoyed every single mouthful.
Leek and Potato Soup
4 medium sized leeks
1/2 oz of fat or dripping
3 medium sized potatoes sliced
1-2 pints of vegetable stock
4 tablespoons of dried household milk
Salt and Pepper.
Cut the leeks in half long ways and after washing chop finely.
Melt the fat in a saucepan and gently fry the leeks without browning, keeping the lid on.
Add the potatoes and 3/4’s of the stock and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Mix the powdered milk to a smooth paste with the remaining stock and add to the soup.
Bring to the boil and sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.
Calories per bowl 200 cals.
My modifications: I’ve made this soup several times and usually make it with the following modifications which I feel not only fits in better with my daily diet but also I found by making these modifications the soup turned out even more delicious. Using alternatives to dairy below make the recipe suitable for vegans.
Parsley: I just don’t like parsley. Instead I use a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs when cooking.
Milk: I use wholebean soy milk on a daily basis so used 1/2 vegetable stock and 1/2 soy milk for the liquids used in the recipe.
Fat: Dairy free margarine
Potatoes: I always mash the cooked potatoes up and add them in to the soup. Sometimes the mash is a mixture of potato and carrot. I find this thickens the soup.
My breakfast this morning came from WW2 Ministry of Food Leaflet No. 33.
As always, the recipe is simple, quick and frugal and pretty good for you!
Summer Breakfast Dish
4 oz of rolled oats, barley flakes or kernels
4 tablespoons of milk
1/2 to 3/4 grated apple
Sugar or golden syrup or honey to taste
Soak the rolled oats, barley flakes or kernels overnight with barely enough water to cover.
In the morning beat up well with the other ingredients.
Editors Note: This dish makes enough for two people. I used my normal rolled oats, mixed all the ingredients together and warmed through and then sprinkled a little extra grated apple on the top.
In Marguerite Patten’s “Victory Cookbook” there is always one pudding recipe that is an absolute ‘go-to’ when one needs comforting and one has spare eggs.
All becomes good in the world when you take that first spoonful of sugary topped, eggy, bready, sultana sprinkled, nutmeggy deliciousness, especially if served with a little hot custard.
It’s so moreish that one simply finds it’s addictive charm and charisma extremely hard to fathom, due to it’s rather plain and dumpy exterior and the fact the main ingredient is stale bread. But as we all know, in real life, sometimes the less bling the more zing!
The cost to make this, about £1.50 (not including custard) which isn’t bad seeing it will feed 4-6!
Bread and Butter Pudding (from the Victory CookBook)
During VE Day country celebrations in 1945, the farmers wife may have decided to make a REAL Bread and Butter pudding using shell eggs which would have been a bit of an extravagance.
- 4 large slices of bread
- 2 oz butter
- 3 oz sultanas
- 3 eggs
- 2 oz sugar
- 1 pint milk
For the topping:
sprinkling of sugar
a little grated or ground nutmeg
(to veganize use a 1/4 cup of soft tofu, blended, per egg, use a nut or soy milk and dairy free margarine)
Spread the top of the bread with the softened butter and then cut each slice of bread into 4 neat squares and place buttered side up into a 2 pint (1.2 litre) pie dish.
- Sprinkle the sultanas on top. Beat the eggs with the sugar. Warm the milk, pour over the beaten eggs and sugar and pour over the bread and butter. Leave to stand for 20-30 minutes until the bread is swollen.
- Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) Gas Mark 2. Sprinkle a dessertspoon of sugar over the top with the nutmeg and then bake for an hour until just firm. If you’d like a crisp top turn the heat up to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4 for the last 10 minutes.
Victory Cookbook: Nostalgic Food and Facts from 1940 – 1954
This meal was easy and yummy!
Being vegan I couldn’t use regular cheese but I used a dairy free cheese ( Daiya – the best dairy free cheese I’ve come across).
I try and eat as much RAW food as possible every day so I served my “cheese potatoes” on a bed of baby spinach and it was quite delicious.
- Bake one large potato per person.
- Cut in half when cooked and carefully scoop out each half.
- Mix the scooped out mixture with a little margarine/butter, some salt and pepper and dried mixed herbs and a sprinkling of cheese and fill the potatoes again
- Place on baking tray, sprinkle a little cheese over and some more pepper
- Cook on a slow grill until a little browned