Poppy and Pie

It has been so long since I managed this whole farmette by myself that yesterday I lost track of time as I trotted about and ended up coming up to the house way too late to make any dinner so we went out to The Local for fried chicken and by the time I got home and sorted out some family business it was way too late to start loading pictures and thinking about writing and I got an early head start on everything this morning because it is not raining  and now I have time to post.  (Was that really all one sentence!?)

Everything is settled down this morning and well in control. More relaxed today.

Yesterday I started to make my Mothers lemon meringue pie. You know that saying Don’t cook like your mother cook like your Grandmother. Well I took this recipe of Mums and turned it back into my Grandmothers recipe.

It called for a can of condensed milk, a packet of cookies to crumble and yellow lemon juice. Yellow?

So first I had to make the condensed milk.  To make this I mixed 2 quarts  of milk with 4 cups of sugar and half a vanilla bean (basically Dulce de Leche from Fede’s cook book) and cooked it on low for four hours (popping in and out to check on it) until it was thick and caramel coloured. Then I put this aside to chill and went back outside to work.

This morning I took the last of Allison’s breakfast cookies crumbled them and added 90 g melted home made butter. Sorry Allison but they are so tasty!poppy-and-pie-3

Then mixed the condensed milk with 4 eggs yolks and 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

poppy-and-pie-4Then I whipped the 4 egg whites with 1/2 cup of sugar. Spooned on top. poppy-and-pie-6

Cook at 350 for 15 minutes then down to 300 for twenty minutes then turn the oven off.  Back away slowly. Do NOT open the door. As the oven cools the meringue with crisp up. (This works better in an electric oven and in the winter when it is not so humid).


A lovely pie for our Sunday lunch. I will cut it when cold and let you know the result.

Poppy’s farrowing area and Piglet Baby Cradle Warm Spot are all in place. She spends all her time lying quietly these last few days. She has extra rations now we are into her last week and she is locked out of the mud so she stays clean. Her straw will be  replaced with wood chips so we don’t have that problem with hiding piglets getting stepped on. I have a peep hole to observe her without causing her to get up and while she is sleeping I can see her piglets lurching about in there, her belly rippling. The pig pregnancy calculator say she should be due July 3rd or 4th.

Her udder is beginning to take on a starfish shape. (She is lying on it in these images – that can’t be comfortable!)

I think we might get some piglets in a week. Maybe. Fingers crossed. Touch wood – all that stuff. And if I am not imagining things.

I will chat again in the morning – we have sun again so back out I go to shift some chickens.

Love your friend on a farm,



47 Comments on “Poppy and Pie

  1. I was wondering where you were! Glad all is in hand, and with a lovely homemade pie at that! Have a wonderful day!

  2. OMG That pie has me swallowing and swallowing it is SOOO delicious sounding and delicious looking.
    Oh I hope everything goes well for dear little Poppy. Well she IS little in comparison to Sheila. I love that you have a peephole. Thank God you don’t have to worry about the sou ds of fireworks. In Chicago it is an abomination to the poor dogs and cats, birds and all sensitive creatures who are forced to endure the terror.

  3. You inspire me Celi, HOMEMADE condensed milk… 🙂 I cannot wait to see piglets and how Poppy does with them.

  4. Count down has just begun… – Hope that all goes well with poppy & birth…
    I’d like to have one pie like this – right now.
    And I hope you can take a little rest today, you have earned it very much.
    Have a nice day, Celi.

  5. I have never heard of making lemon meringue pie with condensed milk and cookies! We make it with a lemon curd made from egg yolks, sugar, butter and lemons and then use the whites for the meringue. We also make a lemon sponge pie which has the whites folded into the curd. Wish I could stop by to taste your version…

  6. Squeals to both. I’ll take a slice of pie and be on piglet patrol for you 🙂 Can’t wait to see the babies. XOXO – Bacon

  7. I am wondering how your pie tastes… it looks and sounds wonderful. However, and this may not be the case with kiwi baking, for me there is a huge difference between ‘condensed milk’ and ‘sweetened condensed milk’ and I do believe you made the latter. A regular tin of condensed milk here can have water, plain water, added to it half and half to bring it back to regular milk for baking… even drinking if one is desperate, I suppose. But the sweetened condensed milk is what I have used to make the dulce de leche with; it is thick and sticky and sweet, very unlike regular condensed milk. Now you didn’t say you added sugar to the mix of egg yolks, lemon and condensed milk, so perhaps you already had that in mind. 🙂
    Having new baby piggies to fawn over will be exciting, specially for the Cadet. For some reason, I am today remembering how Johnny Carson (of Tonight Show fame) had a long running debate with his side kick, Ed McMahan (don’t know how to spell it, sorry) about how pigs were the most intelligent of animals, more so than dogs or cats or any others. I think Ed used to argue that horses were the more intelligent… but Johnny Carson was convinced it was piggies. Not terribly relevant but fun, nonetheless… heh heh
    Hope it is staying dry and sunny for you today! ~ Mame 🙂

    • What you are calling “condensed milk” is called “evaporated milk” in the U.S. But obviously, the pie is being made with sweetened condensed milk, or a homemade version thereof. I absolutely can’t speak for the New Zealand usage.

        • Yes, Mum just wrote condensed milk which in my memory was always sweetened. This recipe only uses a small amount of the one I made so is not as sweet as it sounds – with half a cup of lemon juice in there. And yes the evaporated milk is the unsweetened camping version of milk and quite dreadful!. And interesting discussion though.. c

      • Ahhhhh, thanks so much for the explanation! I have always thought of evaporated and condensed to be the same thing… I guess not… lol And it must just be my mistake and not one of region because it seems English and U.S. and New Zealand all have in their minds they are quite different. Right, evaporated milk is quite disgusting in flavour but it works just wonderfully for baking and, as I don’t drink milk myself, I usually have a small supply of it on hand for that purpose. Again, thanks for the clarity 🙂

        • Interesting how we are all different in our different countries – this is what i love about the fellowship – we are all teaching each other all the time/.. c

  8. Sounds like a delicious crust! Good idea. Nothing like REAL butter!

  9. I have my mother’s old cookbooks. The cookbooks themselves are nothing special – it’s the recipe cards tucked in, some in her writing, some for our dear friend Mildred’s pickles. Some much loved recipes like Hand Me Down Chocolate Cake, much loved and stapled into the cake book. These are the recipes I love the most. I suppose I could pull them out of the books and tuck them into my own book. Some I’ve sorted into the digital age. But there is something special about those written down on cards with Mom’s notes that makes them so much more valuable.

  10. It sounds as if Poppy is settling at last. You certainly have all the arrangements well in hand. All she has to do is push! I love that we both made lemon meringue pie on the same day! Mine uses pastry and no condensed milk, just an egg, lemon juice and butter curd, and it takes perhaps a little less time, but I’m sure they are both equally gorgeous. I’m glad to see your heritage recipes are on the same sort of sticky, spattered pages as mine! Makes you feel they’ve been well used and well loved…

        • Curd is versatile — I have made delicious raspberry curd, and blood orange curd, as well as lemon and lime. Oh, and blackberry curd. To use berries, just mash them and strain the seeds out.

          • You can do it with gooseberries and rhubarb too! Same process as with berries, and just add enough sugar so the juice is still fairly tart. It’s just a shame the curd doesn’t last that long, or I’d be making *huge* jars of it!

              • 3oz butter (unsalted, ideally), 3 large eggs, half a cup of fine sugar (you can use brown, but it changes the flavour), half a cup of rhubarb juice made by cooking 2 cups of rhubarb with a cup of water and sieving it. Melt the butter in a heavy pan, add all the rest of the ingredients, and whisk to custard consistency over a low heat. Don’t walk away from it, or you’ll get rhubarb flavoured scrambled eggs… Allow to cool, then fill a 7oz jar and keep in the fridge. You may need to adjust rhubarb and sugar levels depending on how much juice you get from your cooked rhubarb and how tart it is.

  11. Given that you are managing solo, at a very busy time of year, we are very lucky indeed that you post anything at all, let alone such a great post. I never thought about making condensed milk from scratch – I bet it tastes gorgeous. My lemon meringue pie is made with a kind of extra thick lemon curd type filling, but I bet you Mum’s/Gran’s/Kim’s/Alison’s/Celie’s is something extra secial There’s nothing like teamwork and invention for makinggood cooking.

  12. Typing with crossed fingers is difficult! Never mind it will not be much longer until we hear the squealing of little piglets! Enjoy the remainder of your day, I am off to bed. night night from across the pond.

  13. soooo… giving up sugar…. how can I go on after reading your recipe for LMP… divine.. stuff of childhood dreams… and made for my grand children… am now about to try your version… sounds like heaven…
    Go well Poppy …

  14. Somehow never thought sweetened condensed milk could be made at home: shows how ignorant a non-sugar user and non-baker can be 🙂 ! Must have a far superior flavour to the tinned variety! Do hope the fireworks on the 4th won’t be close enough to spook the animals . . . . basically does not happen in Australia as firework shows [at least legally] can only take place in designated areas and be let off by trained officials! Too many children got hurt before, too many careless people lost eyes or were burned . . . perhaps in the country ’cause the police are around to stop and fine elsewhere and none are officially for sale . . . . . .

    • Here they have fireworks warehouses.. piles and piles of fireworks sold all year round I think.. though I had better check that.. not in this state though – you have to drive over the border.. so everyone does.. c

      • No doubt a thrill for the kiddies, but I remember pages full of news in the papers of lost eyes and dangerous burns: parents oft were too dumb or intoxicated to help the younger fry! Had a quick Google: the only place in Australia one can let off fireworks is the [mostly empty] Northern Territory. From what I can make out one may apply for a licence at least 14 days ahead and if given permission the licence costs $3000 ! But Celi: remember our ‘gun laws’ are totally different to the US also . . . my American friends oft do not believe . . . when I tell them two of our Olympic swimming champions nearly lost their places in our team for just visiting a SF gun shop out of curiosity – most don’t believe . . .

  15. My mother made fabulous lemon meringue pie too and I used to make one from her recipe. But now I’m not eating sugar, and so a surrogate virtual tasting of yours will have to do. (My memory is so much better, and my energy too, since going off sugar, so it’s worth it)

  16. Oh how exciting .. Little piglets soon Celi. That lemon meringue pie sounds too good to be true! Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog …

  17. Yes, that was a long sentence, but jam packed with great information! Bind that baby and you could publish it. Make a bit longer and it’ll be a real page turner! …. I kid. can you tell it’s very hot here today? ug.

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