Royal Wedding, Royal Doulton and Lemon Squares

My youngest daughter can’t wait for the Royal Wedding on April 29.  She and her daughter have their vintage hats and are ready for the big event to begin.

My daughter also is a fan of the British sitcom, Keeping Up Appearances.  In honor of the upcoming nuptials, she made me a card with information on Hyacinth’s Royal Doulton china (“with the hand-painted periwinkles”) along with a beautiful bowl in that pattern.  No wonder Hyacinth is so proud.

She also included some of her blue-ribbon, devastatingly rich Lemon Squares – good enough to serve to William and Kate.

Now, if I can find a suitable hat, I’ll be all ready to watch the wedding this Friday morning.

Here’s the recipe for the Lemon Squares.


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 T lemon juice
  • ½ tsp baking powder plus 1 Tblsp. flour
  • Additional confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling when baked

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Grease a 9x13x2 inch pan

Combine butter, 2 cups flour and confectioners’ sugar; blend well.  Press into greased 9x13x2 pan.  Bake @ 375 for 15 minutes.  REDUCE HEAT TO 325 degrees F.

Combine eggs, sugar, lemon juice, baking powder and 1 Tblsp. flour in mixer bowl; blend well.  Pour over crust.  Bake @ 325 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until firm and lightly browned.  Sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Cut into squares.

Refrigerate leftovers.  Delicious cold or at room temperature. 

The Early Christmas Gift

When I came out to breakfast this morning, I found an early Christmas gift on the kitchen table.  My oldest daughter had been up until 3:30 AM making this miniature pyramid tree for me.  She had been inspired by a tree we saw at the Taft Museum (Cincinnati) which was similar to this one from 1883.

The original German trees were made of wood, but she made this one of flower pots painted a rustic red and gold.  The tree stands 14 inches tall, so each figure is very tiny.

After all these years, she never fails to amaze me with her talent and creativity.

Alabama Peanut Butter Pie

Since my daughters just got back from vacation yesterday, I offered to host the Father’s Day dinner today for my son-in-law.  I made a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes, carrots, corn and homemade rolls.

My son-in-law and grandson will eat no kind of pie except apple, so I made one for them to share .

Granddaughter Dolphin doesn’t eat pie at all…

…but the two daughters and I never met a pie we didn’t like.  One of our favorites is Alabama Peanut Butter Pie, which I started making in 1976 from a cookbook called Garden Club Desserts. It’s not difficult but a little time consuming.  We think it’s worth it.


  • Baked 9″ pie shell (see my favorite pie crust recipe here)

Base and topping:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tblsp. butter


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 6 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

To Make the Base and Topping: Mix confectioners’ sugar with peanut butter to form crumbs.  Spread half of the mixture in the bottom of the baked pie shell.  Reserve the other half for the topping.

To Make the Filling: In a medium size saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt.  Add the egg yolks, mixing well, then add the cup of cold milk.  Whisk until smooth.  Whisk in hot milk.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking and whisking for 2 more minutes.   Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Let cool slightly while preparing the meringue.

To Make the Meringue: In a large mixer bowl with wire beater, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until whites begin to thicken.  Add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff and glossy.  Stir in vanilla.

Spoon the hot filling on top of the crumb base in the baked shell.

Spread the meringue on top of the filling, extending the meringue to the crust to seal.

Set the pie on a flat sheet to catch crumbs, and sprinkle the peanut butter mixture on top.

Bake @ 325 degrees for 10 minutes to brown meringue.  Cool on wire rack. 

This pie is very rich and very delicious.

On this Father’s Day, remembering my father who died on June 20, 1978 at the age of 66.