A Beatles Recipe: Admiral Halsey's Butter Pie
The traditional Butter Pie, sung about in a Beatles song, was known as a dish loved by the workmen of the historic Lancashire Catholic community. It was eaten instead of meat on Meatless Fridays.
The Butter Wouldn't Melt
Quite a controversy has embroiled gastronomes everywhere on Hub Pages.
Canadioan Hubbers write about butter tarts, a Far North delicacy that must include a scrumptious pie crust and a dab of butter, at least.
Looking high and low worldwide and into the galaxy, I found some similar recipes, but among memories of my long-ago relatives in the UK, I found an actual butter pie recipe.
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
The English Butter Pie via Cambridge, Ohio
The Beatles' Admiral Halsey
Admiral Halsey notified me
He had to have a berth or he couldn't get to sea
I had another look and I had a cup of tea and butter pie
(The butter wouldn't melt so I put it in the pie)...
This is the English Butter Pie from the Beatles' song Admiral Halsey. Farm families used to make it often. This recipe does not call for nuts, but 1/2 cup chopped hazel nuts would be very good in this savory dish. English walnuts are another alternative.
- 4 pounds potatoes
- 4 large sweet onions (Spanish or Vidalia), sliced medium
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 Cup butter (melted), plus additional butter or oil to sauté Onions
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 Cup milk
- 1/3 Cup flour
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- Pie crust of your choice
- Peel the potatoes or leave skins on if you wish (sometimes I peel them but leave a bit of skin on here and there for texture).
- Slice potatoes very thin.
- Parboil potato slices in salted water 2 to 3 minutes & drain.
- Sauté onions and garlic together in butter or oil just until soft.
- Layer potatoes and onion mixture in a 3-quart baking dish, sprinkling with salt and pepper over each layer and top.
- Gradually stir milk, half the cream and the melted butter into flour to form a paste.
- Pour milk mixture over potatoes.
- Prepare pie crust and roll it to fit the top of baking dish. Put it on top and crimp edges.
- Cut X air vent in the center of top crust.
- Brush top with additional cream.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and crust is golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Warm the rest of the cream, pour through the X, set aside 15 minutes and serve.
Additional pie recipes follow:
Ohio Maple Sugar Pie with Walnuts
This was fast and easy on the farm!
- 1 recipe for a single crust pie
- 1 8-inch pie plate.
- Light Brown Sugar or Maple Sugar
- 1/2 Cup chopped English Walnuts, if desired
- Place the crust into the pie dish neatly.
- Smooth 1/2 inch of brown maple sugar into the crust, covering the bottom. PLace walnuts evenly around the filling
- Moisten the sugar by dribbling 4 Tablespoons of heavy cream over the top evenly.
- Slice 1/4 Cup butter into slices and place evenly around the pie filling.
- Bake at 400 degees F 25 - 30 minutes or until done.
What Is a Butter Tart?
Ohio Farm Tarts
Theseinclude butter, but I know that can't be the same at Windsor, Ontario Butter Tarts.
Makes at least a dozen small tarts.
- 2 Whole eggs
- 1.5 Cups light brown or maple sugar
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 3 Tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1/2 Cup dried apples and apricots combination
- 1/2 cup chopped English walnuts
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- A dash of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Recipe for 1 pie crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat the eggs until yellow and foamy.
- Add the sugar, honey, and melted butter and beat well.
- Add the fruit, nuts, vinegar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Put cupcake cups (paper or foil) into muffin pans.
- Put small circles of rolled pie dough into the cups.
- Fill the crusts 2/3 full.
- Bake until the pastry is light golden brown, 15 - 20 minutes. If you can smell them strongly, they are probably already burnt!
- Cook less time if you want an oozier filling.
Fun! - Make your own butter.
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS