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February 5, 2010

Lemon Icebox Pie

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2 cans sweetened condensed milk
4 lemons, juiced
2/3rd cup sugar, divided
6 eggs, separated
1 box vanilla wafers
1/4th cup butter, melted

Preheat Oven 350 degrees.
To prepare the crust crush up about 1/2 box of vanilla wafers. Mix the melted butter with the crushed crumbs in a bowl. Halve this mixture and add to two pie plates. Use a fork and spread evenly. Place whole cookies around the whole pie pan. Set aside. For the filling mix sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and 1/3rd cup sugar. Next add the juice of the lemons. Mix well. Pour half of this mixture into each pie plate with prepared crust. Now whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy, then add about 1/3rd cup sugar to egg whites. Continue to whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then spread meringue over each pie. Bake pies for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before placing in fridge for several hours.

Originally posted March 22, 2007

February 2, 2010

Taffy or Vinegar Candy

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Finished Taffy Candy wrapped in wax paper.

I think during the 19th century this particular kind of Taffy was known as Vinegar Candy. The old cookbooks keep pointing to that. For example, my old cookbook, Queen of the Household, has this recipe: Vinegar Candy - One quart sugar, I pint water, 4 tablespoons vinegar, butter size of an egg, I teaspoon vanilla. Boil 20 minutes and pull it. If you halve this recipe it brings me very close to what I used to make our Taffy. One 1870's cookbook has the same exact ingredient list except they add cream of tarter to it.

The steps, followed by the recipe:

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Stirring the syrup to dissolve sugar.

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Poured finished syrup onto well buttered marble slab.

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Worked candy into mound.

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Candy on the left has been pulled longer than that on the right. You can see the color and transparency differences beginning to emerge.

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Twisting two ropes of pulled candy together to form finished product.

Here is the recipe I used:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First combine sugar, water, vinegar and butter in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Cover and continue to cook 2 or 3 minutes to wash down crystals. Now uncover and cook without stirring until mixture reaches soft crack stage which is 270 degrees. When it reaches that stage remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Now pour syrup onto well buttered 15 x 10 x 1 inch jellyroll pan or marble slab. Cool slightly. Work candy into mound using buttered spatula, cut in half. With buttered hands pull, fold, and twist each portion until candy is opaque and begins to stiffen. Pull each section then into a rope and twist the two ropes together. Cut in pieces and wrap with waxed paper.

February 17, 2010

Blackberry Syrup

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While I was intending to make a seedless blackberry jam with the wild bramble fruits here, my efforts went another direction when the smell of the boiling syrup made my other half prompt me to stop where I was at. So even though all the jelly jars and lids had been boiled and waiting for jam, they instead received syrup. I also used a Gold Peak Tea bottle to pour our "in use" syrup. Here is how I ended up making it.

I first boiled a one gallon bag of blackberries, which were this past summers harvest. The berries were frozen and I did add a little water here and there to the berries until they began providing liquid on their own. I boiled and mashed them with a fork for couple of hours. Once they had produced a lot of liquid and the berries had broken down really well I then strained the berry pulp through the cheesecloth and collected the juice. Now I needed to measure the juice to find out how much sugar to use. The juice to sugar ratio is about 1 to 1. So if you have say 2 cups of juice then add two cups sugar. Next I brought the sugar and blackberry juice to a boil. If I were making a thin syrup I would boil for about two minutes at a rapid boil. However, I let mine boil down longer than that, but not too long or else I would end up with jam. My hubby would test the syrup several times by putting it in the freezer to check how it was thickening. When we decided it was thick enough we took it off the heat and poured it into sterlized jars.

Everyone loves the blackberry syrup. We even add some to our sweet tea or have it over pancakes. It's really delicious. I've even been thinking of a way to make blackberry bon bons with the syrup - but haven't tried it yet.

Then to not be very wasteful we took the pulp, added a can of whole cranberry sauce {would have used fresh cranberry sauce if I had any}, some sugar and cinnamon mixed it together and made double pie crust. When it came out of the oven I had a glaze of sugar, milk and a little vanilla which I poured over it. It was good but our wild blackberries are extremely seedy - which is why I was making seedless jam to begin with. So the pie was indeed very seedy - however my 6yr didn't even mind the seeds. So it was worth the extra effort.

About February 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Hearth and Home in February 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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