Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society: Read this with my version of Potato Pie

My version of Potato Pie

Another Costco Find

I was looking through the books at Costco again last weekend, and saw this book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  The funny title is what caught my attention, and I wanted to find out more.  The book is a series of letters from the narrator, Juliet, to her friends in England, and members of a random book club in Guernsey, Channel Islands, after World War II.  I loved this book - the narrator, Juliet, is witty, silly and charming.  I learned a lot about the small island of Guernsey, which I had never heard of before reading this book.  The book is light hearted and easy to read, however, there are some very sad parts about the war as well. I highly recommend it - you could easily finish on a round trip plane ride (for the travelers out there). It's a little confusing for the first few pages, but then the letters continue to build on each other and after a few pages, you won't want to put it down.  For the cooks out there, Juliet references in the book that she used The Beginner's Cook-Book for Girl Guides

She writes:
It was just the thing: the writer assumes you know nothing about cookery and writes useful hints - "when adding eggs, break the shells first." 
I googled this cookbook, but nothing came up, so I assume it is fictional. However, it made me laugh because I have some friends who could use a book like this.

You can learn more about this book at:

In the book, the setting is post WWII, so rations were still a part of everyday living. The book club in Guernsey bakes a Potato Peel Pie for their book club, because they only had a few ingredients.  The book doesn't go into tremendous detail on what this is, and I'm fairly certain this pie is also fictional, so I decided to make my version of "Potato Peel Pie" from a family recipe -- a dish called Potato Kugel,  which is an Eastern European dish,- it is delicious!


6 medium baking potatoes
2 medium onions
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoons white pepper (I used black pepper since I didn't have white)
4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

  1. Peel the potatoes and then grate them (I use the shredder on the food processor) (note: you do not need the peel - throw those away - in the book, they use the peels for a topping, but you don't need those here!)
  2. Peel and then grate the 2 onions and add to the potato mixture
  3. Drain/push some of the excess water out of the mixture
  4. Beat the eggs until thick and then add to the potato/onion mixture
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients including: flour, salt, pepper, oil and blend with a fork
  6. Pour the mixture into a large pan (about 11x15 or something close)
  7. Bake on 350 degrees for an hour or until golden brown. You may need to add 15 minutes to that.
  8. Cool a little and cut into squares

Before I cut it.  Note: The brown burned looking edges are the best part. I'll eat all the end pieces!
These looked so good I was tempted to cut them a little too early. Wait til it cools closer to room temperature before cutting, and you will get nice even squares.  Cut too early, and you'll get the above!

I hope you enjoy! This is extremely easy to make, and would go with any dish that you would serve potatoes with!

1 comment:

  1. They did eventually print a recipe for it in the Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe edition, but I'm quite sure yours is much more edible!