WWII Homity Pie / WWII Homity Pai

A pie recipe from The Second World War  found on historyextra.com
WWII Homity Pie / WWII Homity Pai

No one knows where the name for Homity Pie originates from but the dish was popular with land girls during the Second World War. As well as unrationed items, the recipe also includes rationed foods like cheese, eggs and butter – the original recipe would have used these frugally. Nowadays we don’t have to be so sparing with the cheese and butter, which only make it even tastier.

In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. In this article, Sam recreates homity pie – a hearty, vegetarian dish popular during the Second World War.

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In Contex

The Land Girls

The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was a British civilian organisation created during the First and Second World Wars so women could work in agriculture, replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLA were commonly known as Land Girls. The name Women’s Land Army was also used in the United States for an organisation formally called the Woman’s Land Army of America.

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In effect the Land Army operated to place women with farms that needed workers, the farmers being their employers.

Second World War

As the prospect of war became increasingly likely, the government wanted to increase the amount of food grown within Britain. In order to grow more food, more help was needed on the farms and so the government started the Women’s Land Army in June 1939.

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The majority of the Land Girls already lived in the countryside but more than a third came from London and the industrial cities of the north of England.

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In the Second World War, though under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, it was given an honorary head – Lady Gertrude Denman. At first it asked for volunteers. This was supplemented by conscription, so that by 1944 it had over 80,000 members. The WLA lasted until its official disbandment on 21 October 1949.

Land girls were also formed to supply New Zealand’s agriculture during the war. City girls from the age of 17 and up were sent to assist on sheep, cattle, dairy, orchard and poultry properties.

In popular culture

The Women’s Land Army was the subject of:

St Clement’s Pie / St Clements Pai

A classic British pierecipe foung on BBCgoodfood
St Clement’s Pie / St Clements Pai

A very British version of Key lime pie – an indulgent, creamy pai with tangy oranges and lemons.

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Poacher’s Pie / Tjuvjeger Pai

En classic British pie recipe found on cookit.e2bn.org
Poacher’s Pie / Tjuvjeger Pai

This recipe goes back a long time but was still popular amomg middel class Brits in the thirties as their dinner habits still was rather conservative back then.

By the 1950’s, poacher’s pie had become a working class dish and used cheaper ingredients, such as just sausage meat, and was cooked with only a top made of mashed potatoes.

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Medieval Monday – Pork Pie / Pai Med Svinekjøtt

A historic pie recipe found on mediumaevum.tumblr.comHeadingMedieval Monday - Pork Pie / Pai Med Svinekjøtt

Tak fayre porke y-broylid, & grynd it smal with yolkys of Eyroun; than take Pepir, Gyngere, & grynd it smal, & melle it with-al, & a lytel hony, & floryssche thin cofyns with-ynne & with-owte, & hele hem with thin ledys, & late hem bake, & serue forth – Original recipe

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Mash-Topped Beef & Guinness Pie / Oksekjøtt og Guinness Pai med Potetmoslokk

A great winter dinner recipe found on jamieoliver.comMash-Topped Beef & Guinness Pie / Oksekjøtt og Guinness Pai med Potetmoslokk

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Medieval Monday – 15th Century Chicken Pie / 1500talls Kyllingpai

A unusual pie recipe found on Tunspit & Table
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Kim who runs ‘Tunspit & Table’ writes: Pies were sold piping hot and ready to eat by street-peddlers from at least the 13th century. According to Martha Carlin, cookshops and street vendors primarily served the poor in large, over-populated towns where cheap lodgings didn’t always have a fire for cooking, let alone an oven for baking. The cries of the peddlers, tempting their customers in, are recorded in collections or in literature.


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Medieval Monday – Fake Fish / Falsk Fisk

A virtuous lent oriented recipe found on historyextra.com
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In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. In this article, Sam recreates fake fish – a medieval apple pie for Lent.

In the Middle Ages, people were instructed not to eat meat during Lent. Yet the ban didn’t apply to fish – in fact, Dutch gourmets enjoyed serving up ‘fish’ dishes so much that they devised this fish-shaped apple pie. With no animal products, it’s every bit as virtuous as it is delicious.

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A Delicate Chewit / En Delikat Chewit

A 16th century recipe found on historyextra.com
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In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. In this article, Sam recreates a delicate chewit – a meat and fruit pie enjoyed in the 16th century.

Sam writes: Britain loves pies, and recipes for them can be found in cookbooks going back centuries. This month I’ve chosen a 16th-century pie called a chewit that mixes sweet and savoury flavours – a combination that was popular in the Tudor era. Recipes from that time often refer to coffins – robust pastry designed more to contain the filling than to be eaten. My version, including measurements, is based on a 16th-century recipe.

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Mutton Mince Pie / Pai med Kjøttdeig av Lam

A savoury pie recipe found on bonappetit.com
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A sweet-and-savory main course adapted from “The English Huswife” by Gervase Markham published i 1615.

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Hershey’s Chocolate Cream Pie / Hersheys Sjokoladekrempai

A great recipe and a great story found on lostpastrememberedHershey's Chocolate Cream Pie_post

deana sidneyDeana Sidnet (picture) who runs lostpastremembered writes: This pie probably had its roots in the depression and was served at the Hershey Hotel in Hershey PA., the town and the Hotel that chocolate built … or at least that the founder of Hershey built. Milton Hershey was a community spirited man who built quality affordable housing for his workers who loved him. This is my idea of a great industrialist and a lovely man.

Milton Hershey 1857-1945He and his wife had wanted to build a hotel for many years but his initial plan to duplicate the Heliopolis Hotel in Cairo was prohibitively expensive at $5 million (and rather mad for a tiny company town like Hershey PA) The death of his beloved wife Kitty in 1915 put a stop to the plan.

However, when he saw so many out of work in the Depression (even though he kept his factories going and his workers paid) he decided to build a less ambitious hotel (based on one he had Hershey's Chocolate Cream Pie Bseen with his wife on the Mediterranean) for his community in 1932, putting 600 men to work and taking advantage of depression prices on materials. The 2 million dollar hotel opened in 1933. The Hotel still thrives, Hershey PA is still the “Sweetest Place on Earth” (where else can you meet at the corner of Chocolate Avenue and Cocoa Avenue beneath Hershey’s kiss shaped streetlights?) and the Hershey Hotel still serves Chocolate Cream Pie!

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Spicy Chicken Pie / Spicy Kyllingpai

A delicious summery recipe found on prior.no
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A spicy pie full of goodies perfect for a picnic in the park or cosy lunch in the garden or on the terrasse.

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Cottage Pie / Cottage Pai

A classic English recipe found on essentially-england.com523_Cottage Pie_post

Cottage pie is a British classic dish. It is hearty, fillng and warming food, but frankly, is quite delicious at any time of the year.

There may look to be a lot of ingredients, but do not be put off. It is well worth the effort. Use minced beef, or be ultra thrifty, and use up leftover beef from the Sunday roast to make your pie authentic.

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Dill and Shrimp Pie / Dill- och Räkpaj

A felicious lunch recipe found on recept.nuDill- och räkpaj_recept_se_post

With all this dill, this dish could not be anything but Swedish – Ted  😉

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Lime Chiffon Pie / Lime Chiffon Pai

A recipe from “The Fifty States Cookbook” published in 1977lime chiffon pie_post

traditional badge americanA chiffon pie is a type of pie that consists of a special type of airy mousse-like filling in a crust. The filling is typically produced by folding meringue and/or whipped cream into a mixture resembling fruit curd (most commonly lemon) that has been thickened with unflavored gelatin. This filling is then put into a pre-baked pie shell of variable composition. This same technique can also be used with canned pumpkin to produce pumpkin chiffon pie.

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Medieval Monday- Dornish Cream Cake / Dorniske Kremkaker

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A medieval recipe found at innatthecrossrod.com Dornish Cream Cakes_post

Original recipe: For three tarts, which should each be about a foot wide, take one quart of the best cream that you can find, and put it in a pan over the fire. And put two eggs, which are well beaten, into it, and when it begins to boil, then take six more eggs and let them be well beaten and put them into it, and some good flour and pour it slowly into the pan. And one should stir it constantly, so that it does not burn. After that, when the eggs have been poured in, throw a quarter of a pound of fresh butter into it and let it simmer together, until it becomes thick. Afterwards let it cool, and when it is cold, then put it into three pastry shells, each of which is a foot wide. And let it bake in the tart pan. If you would put it straight away on the table, then sprinkle a quarter pound of sugar over all three, together with a little rose water. And one should serve it forth while it is yet warm.

Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin – 16th century

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