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.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Apricot, Raspberry and Potato Tart

The pastry is made with mashed and sieved potato, so is the topping.   Both taste wonderful, have a great texture, and do not taste of potato.

A pastry base, raspberry filling and a sponge topping with apricots and ground almonds.  Scrumptious and very easy.    Can you tell that I am still enjoying my small forays into the use of vegetables in sweet dishes?

My real life is filled from morning to afternoon with cottage renovations;  in less than three weeks Miles, Poppy and the cat will be home from China and living in their cottage.    

Playing about with these old recipes is how I choose to relax - Max enjoys eating the fruits of my labour.

Potato Pastry

12oz plain flour
3oz butter
3oz vegetable fat or lard if you prefer
6oz potatoes mashed and sieved
30g caster sugar

Raspberry Jam (or any flavour you prefer)
Pre-soaked apricots, soft and moist - as many or as few as you like

Sponge Topping

3oz mashed and sieved potatoes
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
3 medium eggs
1 tsp almond extract
4oz sr flour
3oz ground almonds
Milk if required to give a good consistency - you could also add the grated rind of a lemon for a little extra zip.

Make the pastry by mixing all the ingredients together, no liquid required.  You could use a food processor, a fork, or my favourite implement, no idea what it is called, it has a wooden handle and several sharp and mean blades to cut through the fat.

Merry's favourite is the flour shaker...

Roll out the pastry and line a 10 inch flan tin.  I used my perforated flan tin, so need to bake blind, otherwise I would suggest baking it blind for 10-15 minutes.

Spread the pastry base with jam and then add the soft apricots.

Cream the potato, butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy and then gradually beat in the eggs and almond extract.  Gently fold in the flour and ground almonds, add a couple of tablespoons of milk if necessary.

Spread the mixture on top of the jam and apricots, smooth the top.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 200 degrees C/400 degrees F or until golden brown.

Delicious eaten hot or cold, served with cream, custard or ice cream.

I had some pastry leftover, I'll tell you what I made with it next time - and for once it wasn't a sweet dish, despite the sugar in the pastry mixture.


  1. Once I have a new kitchen with an oven I can trust to work, I am going to try a few of these vegetable cakes and pudding s you are baking.

    1. Hi Sol, Isn't it funny, I really dislike everyday cooking, routine mealtimes, etc. yet I love these little experiments. The faddiest eater around here, Hector, tried the tart (with the apricots removed) and he loved it.

      Your home is going to be amazing - so worth all the chaos, dust and disruption.