Bamberry Turnover Bats—A Spooky Twist on a Vintage Recipe
It’s that time of the year again—Dinner is Served 1972‘s annual Pieathalon, and yours ghoulishly was incredibly excited to participate this year along with 13 other vintage recipe enthusiasts & bloggers.
The Pieathalon’s challenge is simple: we all submit a recipe to Yinzerella of Dinner is Served 1972, and then she swaps the recipe among us and we bake the recipe we’re assigned. Sounds fun, right?
As you’ve probably guessed, due to my collection of vintage magazines, cookbooks, and my entire Pinterest board that is dedicated to regrettable food of yesteryear, I was tempted to pick something absolutely revolting, but decided to be a bit kinder and instead picked the recipe for Huntingdon Fidget Pie out of my original copy of Cooking Price-Wise by Vincent Price. The book has since been republished, but I actually own a rare copy of the original run. Everything I have made out of Vincent’s cookbooks has been fantastic, and I wanted to share the joy and experience of reading and preparing one of his recipes with someone else. S.S. over at A Book of Cookrye ended up getting my recipe selection and you can read their write-up and review here.
What is especially cool about S.S. receiving my recipe selection, is that I also received theirs! S.S. selected this recipe for Bamberry Turnovers from The Ashland Times-Gazette Cookbook: A Book of Selected Recipes. This is a 1934 handout book from Ohio, that contains recipes and adverts focusing on Depression-era inexpensive ingredients. While the book showcased several pies that grace diner menus today (butterscotch, lemon, coconut cream, pecan, Boston cream, pumpkin, rhubarb custard, etc.), S.S. chose the “weird” one, and I was happy to give it a try!
Now, before getting too far into the recipe, I must preface this by mentioning that I am injured at the moment, with my hand in a brace. So these absolutely are not the most beautiful bat-shaped pastries in the underworld, but it’s what’s inside that counts, right? So, with that said…let’s get to the recipe!
This vintage recipe for Bamberry Turnovers couldn’t be simpler—you’re basically taking sugar-soaked dried fruit, and combining it with even more sugar, a little lemon juice, and saltine crackers. While I do own a couple of vintage grinders, I decided to enlist the help of my trusty Vita-Mix high-speed blender to get the job done. After the mixture has been ground up, you simply spoon it out onto round pastry cut-outs, and fold over to seal.
But, you know me—as The Homicidal Homemaker, I had to add my own spooky twist to these Bamberry Turnovers, so instead of rounds, I used a medium-sized bat-shaped cookie cutter. The filling is SUPER sweet, so instead of making these “large” as-written, I opted for a smaller size. Assembly was easy—cut out two bat shapes; lightly brush the edges of the bottom crust with a bit of water. Then spoon a small amount of filling in the middle. Top with the upper crust, and press the edges to seal. Then use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges, and poke holes in the top to vent.
The recipe states to bake in a “quick oven”, which comes from the time when it was common to have a wood-burning stove without a temperature gauge in the kitchen, and usually means anywhere from 400-425°F. Since it is summertime in California, I opted for baking these in my air fryer so I could up the temperature without baking the entire house. I pre-heated the air fryer to 400°F, inserted the baking rack, and baked the turnovers in a parchment lined pan, three at a time for approximately six minutes, just until nicely golden brown.
Regardless of how simple the ingredients and prep were, these were surprisingly flavorful and tasty! I really wanted to keep the integrity of the original recipe as-written, so I refrained from the urge to add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg to the filling, but I really think if I were to make these again, I absolutely would. I’d also prefer to brush the upper crusts with a bit of egg wash or butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar. And the possibilities are endless—I imagine that you could use any dried fruit in place of the raisins. Cranberries, apricots, cherries…pick your poison!
Thank you to S.S. from A Book of Cookrye for sharing this recipe, and to Yinzerella from Dinner is Served 1972 for including me in this year’s Pieathalon! Be sure to check out the rest of the pies from the other bloggers below.
Dinner is Served 1972 — Salvador Dali’s Oasis Leek Pie
Dr. Bobb — Macaroon Pie
Kitchen Confidence — Betty Crocker Hawaiian Pie
Culinary Adventures with Camilla — Flaming Peach Pie
Recipes4Rebels — Artichoke Pie
The Nostalgic Cook — Cheese Applesauce Pie
Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en — Angel Pie
Vintage Recipe Cards — Salmon Custard Pie
Vincent Price Legacy UK — Weight Watchers Cherry Pies
Granny Pantries — Banana Split Pie
A Book of Cookrye — Huntingdon Fidget Pie
Retro Food for Modern Times — Honey Cream Cheese Pie
Silver Screen Suppers — Spaghetti Pie