This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!

The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.

I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Parsnip and Lemon Pudding

I couldn't resist trying out this recipe, it was the word 'parsnips' in the list of ingredients, which drew me in.  

Lemon Pie

1/4 lb flour
2 oz lard
2 or 3 parsnips
2 lemons
1 gill milk
2 egg yolks

Make pastry in the usual way and line the base of a tart dish.    
Peel the parsnips and slice them thinly.  Gently cook them in the milk until very soft, you may have to add more milk part way through.    Pound them into a paste and add some honey and a large spoonful of honey, beat well.   Add the egg yolks and beat, then beat in the grated rind of the lemons and the juice.  Put into the dish and bake in a fairly hot oven until set - 20/30 minutes at about 200 degrees C.

Sounded nice and easy, and it was easy to make and bake.

The resulting tart resembled nothing more than the base for a lemon meringue pie, in fact I was tempted to whip up some meringue and pop it back in to bake.    I resisted doing that because then it wouldn't have been as close to authentic as I could make it.

So, the taste test.   It was very lemony, slightly soft, but delicious.   I served it with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and the combination worked well.

It was an interesting experiment but I think that it would have been a lot better with potatoes, rather than parsnips, I may try it some time.  

This was the Potato Pudding-Pie which I baked a few weeks ago - that one got 10/10.  The lemon and parsnip tart is awarded a 7/10.  

A week or two ago I made a carrot pudding, when I remember which book the recipe is in, I'll post about it.   That was definitely an 8/10.  

I have enjoyed this exploration of the ways in which vegetables were used in sweet dishes, with the exception of that totally disgusting cauliflower pudding, which really was the stuff of nightmares whereas the pies and cheesecakes made with ordinary white potatoes have been the most popular with my family.  

(ps For Poppy and Miles ~ I really like the wall lights you have chosen. xx)



  1. ohhh I bet I would like this. Parsnips are sweet tasting arent they. Maybe they were used when the potatoes ran out. When was this recipe from? In the war they used lots of things in the place of sugar etc... very interesting

    1. Hello Sol, This is taken from one of my Victorian recipe books, but it could be much older. I love the creative ways in which vegetables have been used in cakes and puddings...I found one using spinach the other day. Still debating whether to try that one out, Max says I should give it a go!

  2. Normally anything Lemony gets my 'thumbs up'. Lady Magnon makes a stunning Lemon Meringue Pie; the Parsnip sounds superfluous.

    1. Hello Cro, I'm sure Lady M's pie is sublime.