Lemon pie & Waitress

At the week-end, he and I went to see a preview of "Waitress".
I L I K E D it, made me cry and laugh simultaneously. I defy any woman out there not to recognise a little bit of her own life in Jenna's. And before you think that it is a "girly film", I need to tell you that he liked it too. The director, Adrienne Shelly, adds her original voice to a time-immemorial subject.
In short, it is a slice of Jenna's life, she invents pie-recipes which are named after the events in her life. The filming of the food is luscious, only problem which has troubled me since Sunday, the tag line: "if life were as simple as pie".
Now I ask you : "is pie simple?", if it was, would not the name be universal, we would have no need words such as cheesecake, tarte, quiche, tourte.
Is a "tarte tatin" a pie? can't even establish with certainty that cake is not a pie, since some cakes seems to be pie and some are not.
So what is a pie? I've dived in the "American pie council" official site to find out. Pies have been around since about 2000 BC, Pharaohs ate pies, it took its time to arrive to our shores, as it landed in the 12th century. That is quiet a trip and when it did it was in a "coffyn", after 14 centuries that makes sense.
Pie had crust on top, when it took its top off was it still pie? It is all very confusing. And if you have got an answer, I would love to hear it.
In the meantime here is :

Tarte au citron/Lemon Pie :
Make one tart/ prep 25 minutes/ cooking time 30 minutes
It is better to use a metal tin, there is a "scientific" reason why which has got to do with water but more to the point a metal tin gets the pastry crispy, lovely.

for the pastry:
125g plain flour
pinch of salt
55g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
Mix by hand all the ingredients in a bowl until you get a ball of dough, leave it to rest until you are ready to pour the filling in.

for the filling:
150g sugar
150g unsalted melted butter
3 eggs
2 lemons


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  • To make the filling, whisk the caster sugar to the eggs until it is smooth and white.

  • Add the juice of 1 lemon, the zest and mix.

  • Melt the butter slowly and add it to the mixture (if you feel virtuous halve the amount of butter)

  • Taste and add the rest of the lemon if necessary

  • Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface, the thinner the nicer.

  • Line a normal (26 cm)size tart tin with the pastry

  • Carefully pour the filling mix into the case and bake for around 30 minutes until the filling is set

  • Keep an eye on it during the last 10 minutes allowing it to brown just a little
    Let the tart cool at room temperature

If you like Meringue, cover the cooked tarte with meringue mixture made with 2 white eggs whisked until hard, 100g of sugar, bake again on low oven till the meringue colours slightly

Waitress is out on the 10th August, more info about the film : "Waitress"

Blueberry Muffins & Royal Naval Mess so that is the film set fuel

They are filming around the corner. I am being told Nicolas Cage is there. It is a sequel of "Treasure hunt", well, I think it is more like "National hunt 2" but does it really matter? When all what you want to know is "what are all these people eating?".

Yesterday as I was passing by, the ginger bread men waved at me. So today I could not resist; But, I was not going to go alone, I asked Sue. Our mission was to discover what fuels the silver screen workers.

It was not very difficult to find out, the caterer was charming and more than happy to show us around, the caravan over there in reality is a giant fridge and goodness me, they run on bottled water, not the caravans, the crew and lots of water. And come this way, here are: the ovens, the sandwich toaster, massive, the juicer, the coffee machine which never stops purring, they run on coffee too, lots and lots of coffee. Hang on, somebody just asked for "an apple, celery and "something else very green" juice" to boost his energy level.

In fact, the reality is that they are fed non-stop lovely yummy food, healthy as well by the look of it, no more hesitation, Sue and I are going to tuck into that Royal Naval Mess which is, in fact, an Eton mess renamed to refer to the filming location. Thanks to the great friendliness of the canteen crew you get the blueberry muffins recipe, delicious they were, mission accomplished.

Blueberry Muffins


250g Plain flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 Egg

175 ml Milk

150g Sugar

60g Melted butter

170g Blueberries


Personally I use a mixer, put all the ingredients (except the fruits) in and give it a whirl but here is the more traditional way.

preheat oven at 180 C/350 F/ mark 4

  • In a small bowl, mix the egg and the milk

  • In a large bowl, mix the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate and mix

  • Add the egg and milk to the dry mixture

  • Melt the butter, when slightly cool, mix in the sugar

  • Add the butter mixture to the rest and mix again

  • Finally add the blueberries.

  • butter a rectangular tin

  • bake for 15 minutes

  • rest in the tin for 10 minutes.

fantastic for kid's snacks, if they know that Nicolas Cage ate from the same recipe you may have to bake more than one batch.

Tarte à la moutarde & Tour de France

This was one of my first posts Tarte a la Moutarde and for long it was also my my signature dish. For theses reasons, I want to share it with #InheritanceRecipes and pass it down to the food-bloggers family. This month the challenge is hosted by Margot at Coffee 'n Vanilla

Original post:
I'd never been a VIP before.
Serge said: "pick your badges up and do NOT forget to return them". OK, so off we trotted and, ended up in the people's village in Hyde park, NO VIP here, free beer, though. So off we trotted back and by the time we located the "non-people's village", which was full of people, the prologue was in its epilogue. Story of my life. It all goes too fast include the "tour de France" 

even he whose pictures are usually very good, did not quite managed, to catch the cyclist in the frame. Got better luck on the next day.

Friends + France = Tarte à la moutarde

It is really simple to make and so delicious that in time, you will have to make 2 at once, as one is never ever enough

should make 6 people

300g shortcut pastry (ready to roll)
3 to 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
200g grated cheddard (or gruyère)
3 medium tomatoes, sliced

  • pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • roll out the pastry, butter a 25 cm round tin
  • spread the mustard on the base, there should be enough to cover generously the base however too much will be overpowering, pepper that's right no salt
  • cover with cheddar (and a little more cheddar if you wish)
  • place the tomatoes slices on the cheddar
  • cook for 40 minutes in the middle of the oven

Strawberry Jam

Today, David turned up with a pot of delicious strawberry jam. I had never met David before.

Before you jump to conclusions let me tell you about freecycle. It is an online forum where people give away and receive unwanted "things". In this fashion, a bookcase, an old computer and others found their way from my cupboard under the stairs to a better home instead of adding yet more to the landfill. It is recycle at its best and you get to meet people like David.

At the moment, their household is jam crazy. That happens to me at times, I love the idea of all theses pots, in reality limited to 4 or 5, lined up nicely in the kitchen waited to be sealed, bliss.

Right, so David, was pot-less after experimenting with "cherry, Port and chocolate jam", "strawberry and sloe gin", "marmalade and cognac". Yes, me too, I spotted the theme .....in their choice of fruits.

So, David posted a message on freecycle, cunningly I offered the pots which are waiting for my "milk jam" (more of this later). A sound recycling act, because not only was I kindly offered a sample pot, but he will at a later stage share the recipe with us.
in the meantime here is the recipe I use, it will make 4 large jars (400g each)

Making Jams can be problematic, too runny, bubbles over, but it is easier than it seems at first


1kg ripe strawberries

1kg jam sugar

juice of 1 lemon


  • rinse & tail the fruits, if they are large cut in 2,
  • layer them gently in a large salad bowl, sprinkle sugar in between layer.
  • leave them to marinate over night, or for a least 5 hours, give them a stir once or twice
  • pour the salad bowl content in a large non-stick saucepan, cook on low heat, stirring the content but not too much so that the fruits do not get damaged.
  • when the mixture is at boiling point, add the lemon juice, turn the heat up and leave to boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat
  • pot slowly so that the strawberries do not raise to the surface, leave as little air as possible in the pot
select jar which have a large opening as it is much easier to fill them up

the strawberries need to be full of flavour

using labels gives the jar a little extra

Soda bread

When I have a "down day" I bake a bread, it reverses the trend. This is one of my favorite, the recipe was handed down to me by Phil, she now lives in Ireland but used to bake proper Irish bread long before moving across the waters.

It is yeast free and incredibly easy to make but
As for everything, there are a few tricks:

The mixture should be slack but not too thin, add a little more water if the mixture is too thick.

When baking a bread, always put a bowl of water in the oven, it will give you that lovely crust.

When the bread is baked, get it out of its tin straight away, set it on a grid to cool and if you are so inclined, listen to it sing.


375g wholemeal flour
125g porridge oats or medium oatmeal
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp full baking powder
1 tsp full salt
300 ml natural live yogurt or even better buttermilk if you can source it
150 ml warm water
1 small handfull of sunflower seeds


Mix all the dry ingredients, I use a mixer with a dough attachment but by hand is fine.

Add the buttermilk or yogurt and the warm water

and mix the lot again

That's is it for the preparation

Butter a tin square, oblong, round which ever take your fancy, bake for 35 minutes up to 45 minutes in a pre-heated oven temperature: 190.



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