5th Annual Pieathalon: Kate’s Pie (1985)


Can you believe it’s been 5 years?

I can’t. I really can’t.

In the five years since I’ve been the mastermind behind Pieathalon:

Another Pieathalon later and I am still in the condo with Brian Boitano and Margot, but we’ve added Mr. Sauce, Esq. (and his plethora of belongings) to the mix.

And now all together we are celebrating Pieathalon 5 with the oddly named Kate’s Pie!

This recipe comes from the British cookbook  Marvellous Meals With Mince (1985) authored by Josceline Dimbley and it was assigned to me by Sally at My Custard Pie.

So let’s get started!

If you were paying attention in my last post, Male Chauvinist Chili, I was cooking the ground beef for both the chili and this pie at the same time. Because I am a multi-tasker, goddamnit!

Since this was a melding of both dishes, the meat mix included onion, garlic, oil, 1.3 pounds ground beef, and chili powder. The onion was from the chili. Not the pie.

Anyway, since I am such a multi-tasker while the beef cooked, I chopped the assorted peppers for the chili and chopped the hard boiled eggs for the pie.

When the meat mix was done, I removed 1/2 lb of the meat and put it in the crock pot for the chili. Into a casserole dish (I didn’t have a pie pan big enough!!!!) went the remaining meat, corn and the chopped egg.

So this recipe is weird, right?

To make the butter/flour/milk mix, I didn’t want to use another pan, so I just used the beef pan. That mix then went on top of the beef/egg/corn mixture.

But seriously, this is still a weird combo, right?

So I let the “pie” cool for 3 hours or so before covering it with puff pastry.

The recipe said to “use the trimmings for decoration.” So I may have gone bonkers with my tiny little aspic and hors d’ourvers cutters.

It’s like the Lucky Charms leprechaun vomited on it.

Now one of the things I know about puff pastry is that it needs more than 30 minutes to fully do it this thing. I learned this because of Chopped. So many times the contestants get to the 3rd round and choose puff pastry as a dessert. It never cooks all the way.

So the judges either get raw dough, or nothing at all.


Anyway, I had ample time for the puff pastry. Perhaps more time than necessary.

I charred the edges. I even covered the edges with foil and everything. Whatevs.

So, how was it?

Odd. Not bad. But odd.

A little Mexican-y because of the ground beef and the corn and the chili powder.

But quiche-y because of the milk custard.

And the puff pastry is totally British-y pot pie.

I don’t know where the hell the chopped egg fits in. Mr. Sauce said it was kinda like tofu because there was no flavor. So I guess the egg was just filler. For the filling. Filling Filler.

This is the only explanation for this weird combo–which is provided by the book’s author:

My youngest daughter Kate has always loved pies. For weeks I had been working on recipes for this book ad every evening her suppers had been made up of rather exotic experiments. “I just want a pie,” she begged. So I made this one, a sort of Southern pie: beef with a slight bite of chilli mixed with eggs and sweetcorn, topped with a fresh parsley sauce and puff pastry. She like it, so did her friends and so did the “grown-ups.”

OK, this still makes no sense to me. But you do you, Josceline.

Now everyone go check out the other TWENTY THREE pieathletes and see their pies!

It’s not from a Vintage Recipe Card! Surly made a Dutch Peaches and Cream Pie

Kelli at Kelli’s Kitchen whips up a Chocolate Mousse Pie

Dr. Bobb experiments with Ritz Cracker Mock Apple Pie

Marguerite Patten’s Cheese Pie is on the menu over at Kelly’s Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers put Sweet Onion Pie to the test

Kari, The Nostagic Cook, presents The Tansey

The Granny Pantries are open as Poppy Crocker tries her hand at a Strawberry Ginger Pie

The Battenburg Belle gets her bake on with a Frosty Vanilla Pie

What is Mock Pecan Pie? Find out with Sally at My Custard Pie

Taryn tries her hand at Vincent Price’s Pineapple Meringue Pie at Retro Food for Modern Times

Camilla goes on another Culinary Adventure by making a Peaches and Cream Tart

Peter Fuller, the curator of Vincent Price Legacy, UK gets all cute with a Puddin n’ Pie

Say ‘bon jour’ to Renee’s French Raspberry Pie over at Tortillas and Honey

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook goes Hawaiian with Aloha Meringue Pie

A pie called The Millionaire? What? Mimi at Once Upon a Salad will find out!

Sue, of Vintage Cookbookery (and the world record holder for the largest privately owned cookbook collection) serves up Yul Brenner’s Walnut Pie

I don’t know who Tyler is, but he has a pie. Go visit Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Go inside the Heritage Recipe Box with Clara and an Olde English Egg Nog Pie

Open the Book of Cookrye and discover Cool Mint Cookie Pie

Debra at Eliot’s Eats gets fruity with an Apricot Meringue Pie

Join Judy, Vicki, and The Book Club CookBook for the questionable “Almost a Pie”

The classic Seafoam Cantaloupe Pie is what’s for dessert at Recipes4Rebels

Kaci, the Homicidal Homemaker, presents Lemon and Beer. In a sponge pie!

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26 Responses to 5th Annual Pieathalon: Kate’s Pie (1985)

  1. Poppy says:

    I like the way you went all out with the puff pastry! You’re so right about “Chopped,” too. Glad you had time to actually cook the pastry.

    Thank you for organizing the Pieathalon! It’s so much fun every year.

    • yinzerella says:

      I love to plan it. And I’m so happy that everyone has fun doing it!
      I’m sorry the links got so messed up this year. Blarg.

  2. Taryn says:

    Love the decorations!
    I had so much fun this year, thanks for organising! xx

  3. Greg says:

    Not sure this is at all what Kate meant when she begged her mom for pie! I feel a little sad for poor Kate. Very entertaining read! That Chopped reference haunts me often…2 nights ago, after a couple of hours prepping, making, boiling, frying, and saucing my gnocchi, I said to myself “How much time have I got left Ted?” Loved the posting! Thanks for another great Pieathalon!

    • yinzerella says:

      Chopped can be so stressful!!! I could never do it–because I’m always 15 minutes behind from my targeted seating time. I mean, every single time!
      Thanks for being a part of it—and thanks again for your beautiful artwork and entertaining videos 🙂

  4. I love it! It challenged you and well — it wasn’t bad, right? I enjoyed making my pie and thanks so much for a lovely time once again in the Pieathalon! Look forward to next year!

  5. Wendy Klik says:

    I wonder if it would have been less weird as a quiche, leaving off the puffed pastry? Always fun to try something new. Thanks so much for hosting and for including me in the mix.

  6. mae says:

    It’s interesting how you made this recipe work for you by adapting some parts, and how you saved work by time-sharing with another recipe. And how you applied your knowledge of baking puff pastry to make up for a dubious recipe.

    And there sure are a lot of dubious recipes out there! I’ve been reading through the linked Pieathelon participants’ posts and amazingly many of the pie recipes were either frankly bad or sort of mediocre like yours. Sad waste of good ingredients and time, though many of the bloggers made up for it with very nicely written sort-of humorous posts. Quite a few of the bakers figured out how to improve the recipes, which is quite impressive. I suspect, as I’ve said to other bloggers, that those vintage cookbook authors didn’t have a good test kitchen behind them.

    Also I found a lot of broken links in the list, including the one to your blog which goes to a “Not Found” page instead of to this post.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Brian Justin Crum says:

      Did you miss the point of PIEATHALON?

      They aren’t making apple and chicken pot pies.

      Trying dubious recipes is kind of the point!

      Applying knowledge to unknown recipes.. is what you gotta do!

      It appears every bloggers used their ingredients smartly (such as using the weeks they had to do it to plan it around others meals they could make use of the spare ingredients with) and their time was used in a fun way (such as failing horribly at making a vintage recipe)

      Loosen up a bit!

    • yinzerella says:

      Hi Mae.
      Yes, there were some glitches with the links. The bloggers have been updating all day since not all were live at the same time. This happens every year, without fail.

      The whole point of Pieathalon is to try vintage recipes that may or may not work! Some are from Better Homes & Gardens (which definitely had test kitchens) and some are from church/community cookbooks. That is what makes the project fun–exploring recipes from other countries and other decades. So many of the bloggers take the time to research the background of their dishes, the authors, the ingredients, the methods that were used. What better way to learn about history than through food?

      If the participating bloggers thought that it was a waste of time, there wouldn’t be people who return year after year. I hope you enjoyed all of the posts you read, but I fear you are the one who wasted time by making the same comment on every post (but you are getting that url out!)


  7. Kari says:

    I kinda like the edges of pastries to be extra brown, so I think the puff pastry looks fantastic. I wonder if it would have been better had it been seasoned more like a pot pie than trying to work in that tiny amount of chili powder? Although my mom (a North Dakota girl with Norwegian heritage) would have probably declared it, “Zippy!”

    I think my favorite part of this recipe is the author’s name: Josceline Dimbley. I might have to name my next foster cat after her!

    • yinzerella says:

      Zippy! Is that North Dakotian for “Mexicali by way of Britain?” ha!
      Josceline Dimbley sounds like she should be on Dynasty—a long lost cousin who comes back to fight for family fortune, etc.

  8. Snaus says:

    5th Anniversary! #PIEATHALON RULES!!!

  9. yinzerella says:


  10. This is one of the more unique ones of the submissions. I love your commentary (Lucky Charms!)!!

  11. S S says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted something that’s prone to underbaking and left it in the oven until it was well and truly burnt. I’m so glad to see it happens to other people.
    That pie definitely looks weird. I thought it was an eggy custard layer you poured on but it’s just… gravy? Strange how it didn’t sink into the filling as it baked.
    Thank you for organizing this!

    • yinzerella says:

      I enjoy the annual pieathalon!
      Yes, you’d think there’d be eggs in there….but no. Maybe it didn’t sink because it sat on the counter for a bit and didn’t go into the oven straight away? Who knows!

  12. Thanks so much for organising this brilliant challenge. Sorry this recipe came out so weirdly. As you say “But you do you, Josceline”! Her intro persuaded me that there might be hope despite the odd combination….eeek!

    • yinzerella says:

      I love the weird savory pies. I was glad to do it. Like I said, it wasn’t bad–I just didn’t know in which direction Josceline was trying to go. Thanks for being apart of it all!

  13. Paris B. says:

    Yay for Pieathalon! What an odd and random pie recipe. I think as you said, the egg didn’t really do this pie any favors. That said, my mom makes a really good Piroshki recipe and one of the fillings she uses is ground beef (sauteed with onion, garlic and spices), chopped hard-boiled eggs and parsley, and they are deelish! The eggs somehow work in that recipe. In any case, kudos for trying out something new.
    P.S. In my marathon re-reading of your blog, I’m now mid way through 2016 and dreading that I’m almost caught up to the present again. Womp, womp….

  14. Sheryl says:

    What an intriguing recipe. By the way, I have a casserole dish which is identical to the one you used. I guess that dates me.

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