July 31 is a date that will live in literary history. It is the birthday of Harry Potter and his creator J.K. Rowling. If you have been reading my blog at all, you are aware that I’m a Potterhead. I have loved the books from the moment I picked them up many years ago. I’ve read them all at least a dozen or more times, and watched the movies even more than that. In my own “fan”-tastic way, I’m bringing the Wizarding World to my kitchen to celebrate a special birthday.

Food in the Movies

iCookThe Great Hall at Hogwarts is a focal point in most of the Harry Potter Movies. The set is massive (yes, I’ve been there), and was built solidly to take years of wear and tear during filming. I have always wanted to attend a feast in the Great Hall and have some of that delicious looking food.

I learned during the tour of Leavesden Studios (where the Potter movies were filmed) that most of the food on the tables was fake! Well, it wasn’t all fake. The feast scenes used real food in the beginning but quickly realized that hours upon hours of filming required fresh food to be prepared almost constantly. To reduce costs and wasting of food, they made artificial food for many of the scenes. Clever!

Being a foodie and a Potterhead has lead me into some new culinary areas. Many of the dishes you see in the movies are actual British recipes and I’ve prepared several of them. You can locate many recipes on line but my main source for wizarding recipes is The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz. Be careful though, some of the recipes have typo’s, both in the book and on line, so read carefully before starting to cook.

A main and an after

You are probably familiar with the term, main course but do you know what an “after” is? In British vernacular, an “after” is dessert. In celebration of Harry and JK’s birthdays, I’m going to share recipes for both a main and after. The roast is the one that Aunt Petunia served in the beginning of The Prisoner of Azkaban and the Treacle tart is Harry’s favorite dessert.


If you are a budding Potter fan or a lifelong Potterhead, I hope you take a moment to celebrate a character and an author that changed the way many read and think about the world. Live, Laugh, Love and Have a Butterbeer!

Bourbon Glazed Pork Loin with Peaches


Serves 4 to 6

Note: This recipe requires 24 hours to marinate so please plan accordingly. Always read directions carefully. The original version of this recipe had a misprint in the marinade and preheating instructions. I really didn’t want to preheat for 24 hours waiting on the marinating pork.


  • ¼ cup Kentucky Bourbon
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 dash hot sauce (I like McIlhenny’s Tabasco)
  • 2 LB Pork Loin (all the cleaned of excess fat and sinew)
  • 4 Fresh or 1 – 15oz can of peaches, pitted and cut into quarters

In a blender or food processor, combine the bourbon, soy, brown sugar, garlic, mustard, ginger, Worcestershire, oil and hot sauce. Pulse until smooth.

Place the pork loin and peaches in a resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Remove excess air and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

After marinating, preheat the oven to 375oF. Remove the pork from the marinade and place in on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast the pork for about 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145oF. Remove from the oven and allow loin to rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

While the loin is roasting, bring the remaining marinade to a boil in a sauce pan and set aside. Slice the pork and drizzle it with marinade on a platter. Arrange the peaches around the sliced pork.

Treacle Tart


Tart Crust

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 cold large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste

Tart Filling

  • 1 cup golden syrup (or light molasses or corn syrup)
  • 2 ¼ cups fresh bread crumbs (I use a loaf of French bread that is a couple of days old)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 TBSP water for brushing over the crust

Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Scatter the cold chunks of butter over the flour mixture and pulse to combine until it resembles corn meal.  Transfer the flour mixture into a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks, vanilla and cream and pour them into the flour mixture.  Using a spatula, toss together the mixture until it clumps.  If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of heavy cream (better a bit too wet than dry).  Divide the dough in half and form two disks.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours up to 3 days.

Just before you are ready to roll out the dough, prepare the filling.  Warm the golden syrup in a saucepan until runny or warm in a microwave for a minute.  Mix together the warm syrup, bread crumbs, lemon zest and lemon juice. 

Preheat your oven to 400 F.  On a floured surface, roll out the larger disk of the dough into an 11-inch circle.  Fold the circle into quarters and move the circle to a 9-inch tart pan.  Unfold the crust into the tart pan and brush off the excess flour as you unfold and press the crust into the tart pan fluted edges. Trim off the excess edges around the top of the tart pan.  Roll out the second disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut it into long strips for the lattice topping.

Scrape the filling into the prepared crust and smooth it out with a rubber spatula.  Lay ½ of the strips over the tart in one direction and the other ½ in a perpendicular direction to form a lattice (this is always tricky for me).  Brush the lattice with the beaten egg mixture.

Bake the tart for 10 minutes at 400 F and reduce the temperature to 375 F for an additional 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling puffs up in the middle.  Serve warm with double cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.