Farmersgirl Kitchen

Ration Book Cooking with Great British Bakeware by George Wilkinson- Saturday 10th November

Uncategorized | November 10, 2012 | By

Only a couple more days to go on my rations and I must say I won’t be sorry when it is over,  it’s a bit of fun to try to cook with rations for a week but British Families had 14 years of these strictures, I can only imagine how much people must have craved something different.

I was lucky that last night I attended a Gala Dinner and was able to feast on three courses of delicious food which I didn’t have to cook and which featured strawberries, blueberries, ratatouille and a lovely boef bourguignon.  Back to ‘old clothes and porridge’ as we say here!

Menu for Saturday 10th November

Breakfast – Porridge

Lunch – Lentil Soup, slice of Wartime Loaf

Supper  – Beef Stew with Dumplings, Blackberry and Apple Pie with Custard

No dumplings yet!

 I didn’t use a war time recipe as it’s just a basic beef stew/casserole with lots of root veg added to bulk it out, I had some celery in the fridge so threw that in too in the interests if thrift.

Beef Stew with Dumplings (serves 4)

0.6 kg Stewing steak
5 Parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 small swede, peeled and cut into chunks
2 oxo cubes
salt and pepper to taste

50g suet
100g self-raising flour
5 tbsp cold water

 1. Heat a little oil (lard) in an ovenproof casserole, cut the stewing steak into chunks and brown in the fat.
2. Add the sliced onion and cook for a minute, then add all the other vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Cover the meat and vegetable mixture with hot water from the kettle and add the two stock cubes and the seasoning.
4. Bring to the boil, put the lid on and then cook at 150C for 11/2 to 2 hours, checking every now and then to make sure it doesn’t dry out.  You need to be sure you have enough liquid in the stew to steam cook the dumplings.

5. About 15 minutes before serving, mix the flour, suet and water together and form into 8 balls.
6.  Bring the stew to a simmer on the hob and add the dumplings, put the lid on and cook for 10-15 minutes until they have fluffed up.
7.  Serve with mashed potato and a green vegetable.

Blackberry and Apple Pie with custard

Blackberry and Apple pie

Made with Bramley cooking apples, delicious blackberries and cinnamon,
this pie is truly irresistible. Cooking times will vary depending on how
fresh your apples are. For best results, cook them until they soften

Great British Bakeware by George Wilkinson

To help make my pie a success, I was lucky enough to receive this Deep Pie Plate from the latest collection from British bakeware manufacturer George Wilkinson, Great British Bakeware features a superior new coating, GlideX, guaranteed not to flake or scratch.

The ultimate performing non-stick, pies will simply glide out of the
plate and best of all will need a simple rinse to clean, eliminating the
need for heavy duty scrubbing, especially molten fruits and jams
leftover from your wonderful winter pies.

The GlideX coating is virtually indestructible and has been bonded
directly onto the bakeware to ensure it performs like new with each use –
perfect when nothing else will do but a piping hot bowl of comforting
pie.  Prices from £7.00

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry my usual recipe but 25g butter/25g margarine/25g lard
50g butter, plus extra for greasing
100g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 large Bramley apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 16 wedges
4 Cox apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
150g blackberries
1 large egg, beaten
 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Roll out pastry, wrap in
    cling film and rest it in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  • Put the butter and sugar into a saucepan and when the butter has
    melted, add the apples. Slowly cook for 15 minutes with a lid on, then
    add the blackberries, stir and cook for 5 more minutes with the lid off. 
  • Remove the pastry from the fridge. Dust the work surface with
    flour, cut the pastry in half and, using a floured rolling pin, roll one
    of the pieces out until it’s just under 1cm thick. Butter your pie dish
    and line with the pastry, trimming off any excess round the edges
    carefully with a knife.
  • Tip the cooled apples and blackberries into a sieve, reserving
    all the juices, then add to the pie dish. Spoon over half the reserved
    juices and brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg.
  • Roll out the second piece of pastry and lay it over the top of
    the pie. Trim the edges and crimp them together with your fingers. Brush
    the top of the pie with the rest of the beaten egg, sprinkle generously
    with sugar and the cinnamon, and make a couple of slashes in the top of
    the pastry.

  • Place the pie on a baking tray and then put it directly on the
    bottom of the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until golden brown
    and crisp.

To serve, slice the pie into portions and serve with a generous dollop of custard.

I love how making the filling in this way creates a really well filled pie.  The bakeware performed really well, as you can see there is nothing left stuck to the tin. On the other hand my ‘wartime’ pastry was not particularly well behaved, it was very short, so broke and crumbled.  The decorations were to cover up the gaping holes that the cracked pastry created!

What’s left?

WW2 Rations 1940 for
three people
Margarine: 255g
Cooking fat/lard: 120g lard 
Sugar:  425g 
Meat:  660g
Milk:  4 pints
Tea:  30g
Jam: 125g
Dried Eggs 3 packets 
(36 eggs every four weeks)   9
eggs for one week
Sweets: 262g (3oz) per week.

I received the Deep Pie Plate from Great British Bakeware by George Wilkinson to review, I was not obliged to give a good review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  1. Elaine Livingstone
    November 10, 2012

    The thing was back in the day they truly did not have an alternative and did not know about convenience foods and microwave meals so they had nothing to compare it to unlike us. All eating in those days was frugal and home made, and we were a healthier nation for it.
    Well done on the challenge

  2. Rebecca Subbiah
    November 10, 2012

    what a fun event and your pies are awesome love the decor on the crust

  3. Janice
    November 10, 2012

    Thanks Elaine, we ate pretty much like that as children, only with added fish fingers!

    Thanks Rebecca, I enjoyed making the little apples!

  4. Karen S Booth
    November 11, 2012

    I LOVE this menu Janice, it smacks od childhood memories and comfort food! I also received a pie tin, and I must make a pie soon…..I LOVE your pastry decorations and the whole meal is just hearty and tasty! Karen