5th Annual Pieathalon – Sweet Onion Pie

Yay!  It’s Pieathalon day – whoop whoop!

One of my favourite things about having a blog is getting invited to participate in some really bonkers challenges.  Once a year ACE food blogger Yinzerella over at Dinner Is Served 1972 organizes a Pieathalon – lots of people send her pie recipes, she shuffles them up like Paul Daniels with a deck of cards and we all cook the pie assigned to us.

I feel like a VETERAN now as I have participated in this every year since Yinzerella’s crazy mind came up with the concept. Up until now, I’ve always scored a SWEET pie to cook

Pieathalon #1 – Mile High Lemon Chiffon Pie

Pieathalo #2 – Magic Cream Pie

Pieathalon #3 – Creme de Cacao Pie

Pieathalon #4 – Rum Pie

But this year, I was excited to get a SAVOURY pie, an onion pie.

Or *WAS IT* a savoury pie?

I don’t need to take this quiz.  I am 100% savoury.  Crisps rather than chocolate. Beer rather than wine.  A starter rather than a dessert – you know the score…

But you know what, this pie was so WEIRD, myself and my three guests could not really work out if it was sweet or savoury.  It had onions in it, but also lots of sugar and vanilla essence and raisins….  I made it, but I had absolutely no idea what it would taste like…

I was THRILLED that Melbourne food blogger  Taryn Fryers was in the UK at EXACTLY the right time for a PIEATHALON MEET-UP.

Taryn brought her fabulously funny friend Monica and Battenburgbelle rocked up after an afternoon at the movies.

We had a totally brilliant afternoon.  The alcohol flowed, much grub was consumed, we tried each others’ pies and we celebrated the mad world of the internet that makes all of this lunacy possible.

Here are a few quotes from the day.

Me: Do you think this pie is sweet or savoury?

Taryn: Sw-avoury.

I forgot to write down who said the following but I suspect it was Battenburgbelle.  I had made a lot of things to go with the pie (including a Shirley Jones’ Mexicali Corn Casserole – here on the right…)

and Robert Quarry’s Texas Potato Salad

which I will blog about soon)

Battenburgbelle: “It’s all really nice apart from the pie.”

Somebody (Taryn I think) said this about my pie, “It’s surprisingly good considering the ingredients.”

At one point defending my pie against the very delicious pies that Taryn and Battenburgbelle had made I said, “I think that all the pies have something to recommend them” Taryn’s chum Monica said in a perfect tone, “Do you?”

Finally, when I was debating what to do with the ENORMOUS amount of sweet onion pie that was left, someone suggested that I take the rest of it into work and not tell them it had ONIONS in it.  I could offer a prize to whoever guessed what the secret ingredient was.

It was suggested that the prize should be, “something nice to eat”.

I do not mind at all that my pie was mental.  That is the way of the Pieathalon.  I did take some to work and reactions were priceless.  James said, “I don’t know what to say, my brain can’t process it.”  A couple of people said that they liked it, despite the weirdness of it. My favourite comment was Obi’s.  He said, “I’m not sure if it’s delicious or if I don’t like it.”

Taryn brought beautiful flowers, delicious pink champagne and a fabulous Vincent Price Pineapple Meringue Pie that was put forward by my chum Peter Fuller of the Vincent Price London Legacy

I had NO IDEA he was participating in the Pieathalon, had I known I would have invited him to join us.  NEXT YEAR!

I took lots of pix of Taryn’s pie as it was much more photogenic than the sweet onion pie!


I really loved Taryn’s pie.  Here’s me doing my Vincent Price impersonation…

Cathy made a Frosty Vanilla Pie which was also super yummy.

it was like ice-cream in a pie, delicious.

I’ll link to Taryn and Cathy’s posts about their pie when their posts are up.

I had no idea that I could eat three pieces of pie in one day.  But I did…

I will link to all the Pieathalon posts when they are up but for now, here’s my assigned recipe – crazy but GOOD.

Please note, if you really love sweet onions, you can chop them up and put them on ice-cream.  These recipes are from a cookbook ALL ABOUT SWEET ONIONS!

Noonday is a place in Texas where they grow a lot of sweet onions.

The last time I saw someone eat an onion as if it was an apple they had been hypnotized on stage by Paul McKenna.

Image result for paul mckenna

Yes please Paul.

I was really hoping that he’d pick me out of the audience to be hypnotized, but when I saw someone eating an onion as if it was an apple I was glad he hadn’t.

I was really hoping the Noonday Onion Festival was still going on (especially as I’m currently reading a book about this kind of food related event recommended by the lovely Mark Brisenden)

but it seems as though it’s gone the way of so many brilliant community events.  Kaput.

BUT, I loved reading about the Annual Noonday Onion Run.

Gunny Moore and Joe Tyner and their chums take an 8 hour motorcycle trip just to get their Noonday onions each year.  And what is more, THEY HAVE MADE THE SWEET ONION PIE.

I’m going to see if I can get in touch with them!

Thank you Yinzerella for organizing another Pieathalon, thanks Monica, Battenburgbelle and Taryn from Retro Food For Modern Times for sharing a pie day with me and thanks Kari for this crazy, but good pie recipe.

As the writer of the article about the Annual Noonday Onion Run puts it, “The awesome moral of this story: food may bring us all together, but good people is what makes those times special.”

Hurrah for all my fellow Pieathaletes!

Our great leader Yinzerella at Dinner is Served 1972 made Kate’s Pie

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

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!


28 Responses to 5th Annual Pieathalon – Sweet Onion Pie

  1. Sally - My Custard Pie 20 Aug, 2018 at 9:10 am #

    I’m a sweet over savoury person every time. Your pie party sounds fantastic – one of the joys of this ‘mad world the internet makes possible’. The comments had me laughing out loud. And as for onion custard…..eeek!

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

      Ah Sally, no onion custard pie for you then?! I might have a pie party every year – you are invited!

  2. Taryn 20 Aug, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    Such a wonderful day Jenny! Thanks for organising. Your commentary brought back some good memories and more than a few giggles. xx

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

      It was a day full of giggles Taryn. Wish you lived around the corner instead of on the other side of the world. Come visit again soon and don’t forget to send me a pic of the Columbo finger puppet at the beach when you get back to Melbourne!

  3. Greg 20 Aug, 2018 at 9:18 am #

    That “Very Big Belts” sign made me laugh so hard! What a fabulous day with the other Pie-Athletes! Great photos, but not too sure I’m inspired to make this one…great job though!

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

      Thanks Greg, would have been so fab to have had you with us at the pie party. It was a weird pie but good, a bit like yours I think!

  4. Catherine Sloman 20 Aug, 2018 at 11:33 am #

    What a fun day that was!! I love the fact you actually did take the onion pie to work 🙂

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

      Yeah! I was surprised which of my colleagues were game enough to try it. Freaky eaters!

  5. yinzerella 20 Aug, 2018 at 2:39 pm #

    You guys are the cutest.(I covet that caftan)
    And I’m so happy that all of your pies were successful.
    I wish I could’ve been there to join in the fun.
    Maybe next year….

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

      I absolutely DEMAND that you are here in London for next year’s Pieathalon Yinzerella! Bring plenty of kaftans!

  6. Kelli Davidson 20 Aug, 2018 at 4:27 pm #

    I do love a good Granex onion – – I live within a few hours of Noonday, TX — but I”m not sure how I would like it in a pie. My grandson loves everything onion as long as they are cooked/carmelized so I think we should make this together and get his point of view on it!

    Looks like you and the other bloggers across the pond had a great time! See you next year.

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

      Thanks Kelli! This pie is definitely worth a try, strangely delicious. Now it has all been eaten I ALMOST want to make another one. Do give it a go with your grandson and let me know how it turns out… We had a lovely lovely time – Jx

  7. Poppy 20 Aug, 2018 at 5:47 pm #

    I’m always looking for weird combinations, but I’m pretty sure I never came across onions and vanilla before! It’s so cool that you all got to do the Pieathalon together.

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

      When I noticed the vanilla in the ingredients I thought WHAT?! But somehow it works. It was so much fun having 3 Piathaletes in the same place. We had so much fun x

  8. Kari 20 Aug, 2018 at 6:45 pm #

    It looks like you ladies had a blast with your Pieathalon festivities! I’m so glad you found the humor in the sweet onion pie. My husband kept insisting that it was probably really good, but I told him we would wait for your review before trying it. Aaaaand we might still wait a bit longer. 🙂

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

      haha! Love the Aaaaand…. I keep thinking about that pie now it has all been eaten. I feel like I want to make another one! Thanks for choosing it for the challenge – it was a fun, fun challenge.

  9. Wendy Klik 20 Aug, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

    That is a very strange pie but so glad that you had an excuse to get together with all your blogging friends.

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

      Thanks Wendy – it was indeed a very strange pie, but it was a super fun day!

  10. Debra Eliotseats 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:12 am #

    What a great soiree! (Onion pie and all!)

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:51 pm #

      Thanks Debra – it was a blast!

  11. S S 21 Aug, 2018 at 4:07 am #

    Ooo, you got to meet other Pieathletes? I’m so jealous!
    That recipe makes a lot more sense when you read that it’s for Noonday onions. Those grow only in a city called Noonday in Texas. Unlike every other onion variety, they are as seasonal as strawberries. As a result, they are a prized once-a-year delicacy in Texas and the surrounding states.
    They really are so sweet and mild that you can eat them like fruit. I’m not exaggerating- chopped raw Noonday onions in a fruit salad is fantastic. So if you could have actually made the pie with Noonday onions it probably would have been really good. But with regular onions… well you found out didn’t you? XD

    • Jenny 21 Aug, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

      Haha! I made the pie with “sweet onions” which I am guessing are on the right side of sweet, although probably not as sweet as the Noonday onions. Perhaps I should make a pilgrimage when the Noonday onions are in season… I do like the idea of a fruit salad with onions – but on ice-cream?!

      It was so much fun sharing pie with two other Pieathaletes!

  12. Amy Condit 22 Aug, 2018 at 8:10 am #

    This pie-athalon looks like it would be so much fun! Whenever I read your posts, it seems that you have such a good time trying out these vintage recipes from screen stars! I wish I could join you and your friends in person, but I live in California!

    Regarding the onion pie, I, too, enjoy the savory! I have an “Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook” that features an onion pie as a side dish. It is served with a pounded roundsteak as part of a dinner selection, accompanied by fried okra. I made the onion pie before about 15 years ago for the first time for family friends, and every couple of years when one of those friends comes to visit, he raves about the onion pie and asks for the recipe! Along with the onions of course, it has cheddar cheese and sour cream as main ingredients of the filling. I am cautiously optimistic that you would enjoy it, Jenny!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I think I am bold enough to try it! I enjoy your food/film star adventures very much!

    • Jenny 2 Sep, 2018 at 8:53 am #

      Aw, thanks so much for your lovely comment Amy, that made my day! Any time that you are in London, look me up and come round for some movie star fodder!

      Your onion pie sounds ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Would you consider sharing the recipe with me? I’d love to try it. If you have a go at the sweet onion pie do let me know how it turns out.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really makes me happy to know that people enjoy my mad adventures with the recipes of the screen stars…

  13. Urvashi 1 Sep, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

    Thoroughly entertaining post. Thank you! And am most certainly a sweet pie person.

  14. Jenny 2 Sep, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    Urvashi! Lovely to hear from you! I thought of you the other day when I went to see my sister-in-law in Enfield – are you still running the library cafe? I really should arrange a visit with my in-laws. Hope all is well with you. I’ve just nipped over to your blog and am tempted by your courgette curry recipe – I have a VERY large courgette sitting on my worktop right now…


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