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November 9, 2004

Flannel Cakes

1 quart (4 cups)of flour
1 pint (2 cups) milk or water
1 tablsoon butter - melted
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
Add melted butter to milk or water. Then stir in the baking soda. Now slowly stir into flour. Take cream of tarter and mix with a small amount of water. Add to flour mixture. Now pour out a spoonful onto hot lightly greased skillet.
Original Recipe
One quart of flour; one pint of milk or water. Put one tea-spoonful of carbonate of soda into the milk or water. Dissolve two tea-spoonfuls of cream of tarter in a small quantity of water. Add it to the batter immediately before baking it. To be baked in thin cakes, on a griddle. These are favorite breakfast cakes in Virginia.

Lady Baltimore Cake


1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lady Balitmore Cake Icing
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups raisens
2/3 cups chopped pecans
3 shredded figs

Cream butter and add sugar gradually. Mix and sift all dry ingredients and alternatly with the milk, beginning with the flour mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them in gently. Add vanilla extract. Bake in three 7-inch layer cake pans at a temperature of 360 degrees (moderate oven) for about 25 minutes.
Directions for Icing
Cook sugar, corn syrup, water and salt together until the temperature of 248 degrees is reached or to the firm ball stage. Pour the hot syrup into the well beaten egg whites while beating constantly. Add vanilla extract and continue beating until the frosting will hold its shape when tossed over the back of a spoon. Now stir in your raisins, pecans and shredded figs.

Apple Pudding no.1

Half lb of mashed apple
Half lb butter
Half lb sugar
5 eggs
2 tablespoon brandy (or rose-water)
Half a nutmeg
1 pastry crust

Peel apples and core them; cut them in small pieces, and stew in very little water til they are soft. Pass them through a sieve to free them from lumps. Beat the butter and sugar smooth, whisk the eggs and add to it; then stir in the apples (which should be half a pound when mashed), brandy (or rose-water) and nutmeg. Cover your pie plates with a rich pastry crust and bake in moderate over.

November 11, 2004

General Observations on Cakes

- Taken from American Matron 1851 -

It is an excellent plan for the mistress of a household to keep always a tire*, high in the neck, with short sleeves, for herself or her domestic to put on, when either bread or cake is to be made. Always requre your cook to do this more especially if she has other duties to perform out of the kitchen. Have it well understood that it must be kept for this purpose, and this alone. To be taken off when this duty is accomplished.
Have every thing which you require in your preparation at hand, before commencing. Be equally careful not to make trouble for your domestic or yourself, by scattering materials, by soiling your tables or the floor, or by the needless multiplication of utensils.
Have your pans buttered, your flour and sugar sifted and weighed; your butter washed and weighed; your eggs counted, ready to be broken; the spices and fruits all ready. Use wood or earthen in preference to tin vessels to make your cake in.
Put your eggs into cold water some time before breaking them. They will beat to a finer froth, and in shorter time when cold. In summer, put them into water with a little ice. It is better to beat them in a cold place rather than a hot room.
All cakes are decidedly lighter if the whites and yolks are beaten separatly. It is well always to require this to be done. Beat the yolks well, adding graducally the sugar, where there is no butter to be used. But if the butter is needed, work your butter to a cream, adding from time to time the sugar, until the quantity is used; then, the yolks, well beaten; and lastly, the whites, beaten to stiff froth. Every one will, I think, be sufficiently repaid for the time and trouble in so doing, by the finer quality of thier cake.
In mixing your cake, do not use the hands, if possiable to avoid it, particularly in warm weather. The warmth of the hand will be apt to make your cake heavy. A wooden spatula or spoon should be kept for this purpose alone.
All cakes, not made with yeast, should be bakes as soon as possible after they are mixed, as the ingredients are very liable to separate.
Sugar should be rolled with the rolling-pin to a powder on a clean bread board, and sifted through a fine hair sieve. Crushed white, or loaf sugar, must be used for sponge and pound cakes, and all other rich white cakes. Brown sugar, coarse grained, but clean, will answer for plum cakes, and some of the cup and loaf cakes. Still these last are nicer made of crushed sugar. It can be purchased, ready powdered, at the stores.
Firkin butter should be cut in small pieces, well washed and drained before using it, or the cake will be heavy.
Lemon peel should be pared very think, and with a little sugar, beaten in a mortar (marble if you have it) to a paste; then mixed with either wine, cream, or little milk, so as to divide easily among the other ingredients. The better way to give the lemon flavor to cake or custard, is to rub a piece of sugar some time over the rind of a fresh lemon; the hard sugar tears the cells in which the oil of the lemons is enclosed, and the oil is attracted into the pores of the sugar. As the sugar us discolored, scrape it off with a knife, and it is well, perhaps, to dry this sugar before using it in delicate cakes. This can be kept in jars or bottles. Any oil or essence, to be added tocake, should be dropped upon a lump of sugar, and then put into the dough to dissolve.
Black or white plum cakes requrie less butter and eggs, for having yeast in them, and eat equally light and rich. If the dough be only of flour, milk, water, and yeast, it becomes more tough and is less easily divided than if the butter be first mixed with these ingredients and the dough afterwards set to rise.
Fresh eggs are required for nice white cakes. Sponge cake, savory biscuit, pound cake, and ladies'-finger cakes, should never be attempted without fresh eggs.
Eggs kept in lime, or in any other preparation, will answer for simpler mixtures.
Fruit is the last article to be added to cake, and immediatly before putting it into the oven. Cask raisins should be washed before they are stoned, as also box raisins, unless they are fresh. To stone them, cut them once or twice, and remove the stones. Some persons chop them very fine.
It is well to prepare currants before they are needed. Wash them well in warm water, rubbing them between the hands; and then drain off the water. Continue to do this until the water is clear, drain them in the colander, spread them on a cloth on the table, and rub them dry with the cloth. Finish drying them in a very gentle heat. If they are added to cakes or puddings damp, they will make it heavy.
Buttered paper should be put in the bottom and sides of pans, when the cake requires a long baking; and paper not buttered is good for other cake to prevent burning. If the oven is too hot, place a sheet of paper on the top of the cake, to prevent the top from burning.
The heat of the oven is of great importance in baking cakes, especially those that are large. If not pretty quick, the batter will not rise. If not long enough lighted to have a body of heat, or if the heat has become slack, the cake will be heavy. To know when it is well soaked, take a broad-bladed knife that is very bright, or a clean straw, and plunge it into the centre, draw it out instantly, and if there should be the least stickiness, the cake is not cooked, and should be immediately returned to the oven. Saleratus or soda should be always kept, rolled and sifted, and when used for hot cakes, should be dissolved in a very little warm, not hot, water. Some people keep saleratus dissolved ready for use. Put as much saleratus into a bottle as will dissolve, when filled with water, using two table-spoonfuls of the liquid instead of a tea-spoonful of powder. This answers better for hot cakes than for cup or loaf cakes. When eggs are broken, be exceedingly careful that noe of the yolk becomes migled with the white. A very little of the yolk will sometimes prevent the white from foaming well. Take a cup and break the shell on it; allow the white to fall out into it, and put the yolk into a bowl; transfer the white from the cup into a shallow meat-dish. Beat them with an egg-beater, or a long bladed knife. Hold the knife almost parallet with the dish; give a quick, sharp stroke througgh the whole length. Beat them in a cool place till you can cut the froth, or till it slifes from your knife in one mass. It is better not to stop beating, when once begun, until you have finished; as it will become liquid and cannot be restored, and your cake will be heavy. These directions are given, to be applied to each of the following recipes; and are now given to avoid useless repetition in each recipe. Almonds can be obtained ground in Europe. I know not that they are so prepared here. To blanch them, pour boiling water over them, let them stand from ten to fifteen minutes, drain them, rubb their skins off with a cloth; lay them in a warm place to dry. If to be pounded, add orange water or rose water to prevent them from oiling. Keep this paste in a cool place. Stir the almonds into the sugar and butter, or the cake will be streaked. This should be prepared the day before wanted.
Griddle cakes may be made with new-fallen snow, very light, in proportion of a tea-cup of snow to a pint of milk.
Fresh-fallen snow contains a large portion of ammonia, which renders the cakes light; but which also soon evaporates, rendering the old snow useless for this purpose.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. As all families are not prepared with scales and weights, the following list will be found useful:-
Wheat Flour, one pound is one quart.
Indian Meal, one pound two ounces is one quart; sixteen large table-spoonfuls are one half pint.
Butter, when soft, one pound one ounce is one quart; eight table-spoonfuls are one gill.
Loaf Sugar, when broken, one pound is one quart; four large table-spoonfuls are one half gill.
White Sugar, powdered, one pound one ounce is one quart; a common-sized tumbler holds one half pint.
Best Brown Sugar, one pound two ounces is one quart; a common-sized wine glass holds one half gill.
Eggs, average size, ten eggs are one pound.

*Meanings of Words:
Tire - apron like piece of clothing.

November 12, 2004

White Fricassee

Cut a pair of chickens into pieces, as for carving; and wash them through 2 or three waters. Then lay them in a large pan, sprinkle them lightly with salt, and fill up the pan with boiling water. Cover it and let the chickens stand for half an hour. Then put them immediatly into a stew-pan; adding a few blades of mace, and a few whole peppercorns, and a handful of celery, split thin and chopped finely; also, a small white onion sliced. Pour on cold milk and water (mixed in equal portions) sufficient to cover the chickens well. Cover the stew-pan, set it over the fire, and let it stew till the chickens are throughly done, and quite tender. While the chickens are stewing, prepare, in a small sauce-pan, a gravy or sauce made as follows: - Mix two tea-spoons of flour with as much cold water as will make it like a batter, and stir it till quite smooth and free from lumps. Then add to it, gradually, half a pint of boiling milk. Next put in a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, cut into small pieces. Set it over hot coals, and stir until it comes to a boil, and the butter is well melted and mixed throughout. Then take it off the fire, and, while it is hot, stir in a glass of madeira or sherry, and four table-spoons of rich cream, and some grated nutmeg. Lastly, take the chickens out of the stew-pan, and pour off all the liquor, &c. Return the chicken to the stew-pan, and pour over it, hot, the above-mentioned gravy. Cover the pan closely, and let it stand in a hot place, or in a kettle of boiling water for ten minutes. Then send it to the table in a covered dish.
To the taste of many persons, this fricassee will be improved by adding to the chicken, while stewing, some small, thin sliced of cold boiled ham.
Rabbits or veal may be fricasseed in the above manner.

November 18, 2004

Molasses Cake

1 cup molasses or cane syrup
1/4 cup butter, cut in pieces
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 small eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon soda dissolved in small amt of warm water

Take molasses or cane syrup and add butter pieces into a saucepan. Stir over very low heat until butter is soft enough to mix together easily. Then add cinnamon, beaten eggs, and sifted flour. Then after you stir that till most of lumps are out, add in the soda which was dissolved in warm water.
Grease baking pan and bake 350 for 45 minutes.
350 for about 45 minutes
note: recipe cut in half from original

Original recipe
Molasses Cake. - Cut up a quater of a pound of fresh butter unto a pint of West India Molasses. Warm it just sufficiently to soften the butter, and make it mix easily. Stir it well into the molasses and add a tablespoon of powdered cinnamon. Beat three eggs very light and stir them, gradulally into the mixtire, in turn with barely enough of sifted flour (not mroe than a pint and a half) to make it about as thick as a pound-cake batter. Add, at the last, a small or level tea-spoonful of pearlash, or a full one of soda, dissolved in a very little warm water. Butter some small tin cake-pans, or patty-pans, put in the mixture, and set them immediatly into the oven, which must not be toohot, as all cakes made with molasses are peculiarly liable to scorch on the outside.

******************
Cream Cheese frosting
1 package cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
dash cinnamon

Cream the cream cheese, add the powdered sugar and then mix well. Add the milk and test to make sure its sweet enough, if not you can add more powdered sugar till desired. Then add dash of cinnamon and spread on cooled Molasses cake.

November 21, 2004

Strawberry Cakes

Cakes
4 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
3 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar

Strawberry Filling
2 cups strawberries
1 cup

Icing
4 cups powdered sugar
4 egg whites

Take flour and cut butter into it, until it resembles a crumbly texture. Beat eggs in separate bowl. Add into eggs the sugar, mixing well. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. If mixture seems very stiff add a little cold water. Knead dough until it is no longer sticky. Roll dough out onto floured surface, into a thick sheet. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut circles out of the dough, dipping utensil into flour so as not to stick. Butter baking sheets, laying the cakes on it, but leaving maybe an inch apart or so. Preheat oven to 425 and bake until light brown*. Original recipe said bake in brisk oven.

*Not sure on the temperature of the oven, but I am guessing a rather hot oven since these are very biscuit - like I think -, and many recipes that called for brisk oven were biscuit like or pie like. Once I try these I'll update my oven figure if needed. If you try this recipe and find a better oven temp please let me know on the tagboard! Or if you know what general temp is a "brisk oven" hehe

Now mash the strawberries and add the sugar. Reserve some strawberries whole to add to the top of the cakes.
Once the cakes are cool half them. Add a generous amount of the mashed strawberry mixture to the bottom of the half. Cover with the top piece and press it down slightly. To make the icing beat the egg whites till foamy. Then add the powdered sugar a small amount at a time and beat well after each addition of powdered sugar. Then ice the sides and top with icing. Before icing has dried add some whole strawberries, one large one in the center and then smaller ones around it forming a circle.

Original Recipe:
Strawberry Cakes. - Sift a small quart of flour into a pan, and cut up among it half a pound of the best fresh butter; or mix in a pint of butter if it is soft enough to measure in that manner. Rub with your hands the butter into the flour, till the whole is crumbled fine. Beat three eggs very light; and then mix with them three table-spoonfuls of powdered loaf-sugar. Wet the flour and butter with the beaten egg and sugar, so as to form a dough. If you find it too stiff, add a very little cold water. Knead the dough till it quits your hands, and leaves them clean. Spread some flour on your paste-board, and roll out the dough into a rather thick sheet. Cut it into round cakes with the edge of a tumbler, or something similar; dipping the cutter frequently into flour to prevent its sticking. Butter some large square iron pans or baking sheets. lay the cakes in, not too close to each other. Set them in a brisk oven, and bake them light brown. have ready a sufficient quantity of ripe strawberries, mashed and made very sweet with powdered white sugar. Reserve some of your finest strawberries whole. Reserve some of your finest strawberries whole. When the cakes are cool, split them, place them on flat dishes and cover the bottom piece of each with mashed strawberry, put on thickly. Then lay on the top pieces, pressing them down. Have ready some icing, and spread it thickly over the top and down the sides of each cake, so as to enclose both the upper and lower pieces. before the icing has quite dried ornament the top of every cake with the whole strawberries, a large one in the centre, and the smaller ones placed round in a close circle.
These are delicious and beautiful cakes if properly make. The strawberries, not being cooked, will retain all their natural flavour. Instead of strawberries you may use raspberries. The large white or buff-coloured raspberry is the finest, if to be eaten uncooked.

November 22, 2004

Melted Butter

Sometimes Called Drawn Butter.
MELTED butter is the foundation of most of the common sauces. Have a covered sauce-pan for this purpose. One lined with porcelain will be best. Take a quarter of a pound of the best butter, cut it up, and mix with it about two tea-spoonfuls of flour. When it is thoroughly mixed, put it into the sauce-pan, and add to it four table-spoonfuls of cold water. Cover the sauce-pan, and set it in a large tin pan of boiling water. Shake it round continually (always moving it the same way) till it is entirely melted and begins to simmer. Then let it rest till it boils up.
If you set it on hot coals, or over the fire, it will be oily.
If the butter and flour is not well mixed it will be lumpy.
If you put too much water, it will be thin and poor. All these defects are to be carefully avoided.
In melting butter for sweet or pudding sauce, you may use milk instead of water.

Cranberry Sauce

Wash a quart of ripe cranberries, and put them into a pan with about a wine-glass of water. Stew them slowly, and stir them frequently, particularly after they begin to burst. They require a great deal of stewing, and should be like a marmalade when done. Just before you take them from the fire, stir in a pound of brown sugar.
When they are thoroughly done, put them into a deep dish, and set them away to get cold.
You may strain the pulp through a cullender or sieve into a mould, and when it is in a firm shape send it to table on a glass dish. Taste it when it is cold, and if not sweet enough, add more sugar.Cranberries require more sugar than any other fruit, except plums.
Cranberry sauce is eaten with roast turkey, roast fowls, and roast ducks.

Kitchen Pepper

Mix together two ounces of the best white ginger, an ounce of black pepper, an ounce of white pepper, an ounce of cinnamon, an ounce of nutmeg, and two dozen cloves. They must all be ground or pounded to a fine powder, and thoroughly mixed. Keep the mixture in a bottle, labelled, and well corked. It will be found useful in seasoning many dishes; and being ready prepared will save much trouble.

Sweetmeats - Preserved Fruits

General Remarks.
THE introduction of iron ware lined with porcelain has fortunately almost superseded the use of brass or bell-metal kettles for boiling sweetmeats; a practice by which the articles prepared in those pernicious utensils were always more or less imbued with the deleterious qualities of the verdigris that is produced in them by the action of acids.
Charcoal furnaces will be found very convenient for preserving; the kettles being set on the top. They can be used in the open air. Sweetmeats should be boiled rather quickly, that the watery particles may exhale at once, without being subjected to so long a process as to spoil the colour and diminish the flavour of the fruit. But on the other hand, if boiled too short a time they will not keep so well.
If you wish your sweetmeats to look bright and clear, use only the very best loaf-sugar. Fruit may be preserved for family use and for common purposes, in sugar of inferior quality, but it will never have a good appearance, and it is also more liable to spoil.
If too small a proportion of sugar is allowed to the fruit, it will certainly not keep well. When this experiment is tried it is generally found to be false economy; as sweetmeats, when they begin to spoil, can only be recovered and made eatable by boiling them over again with additional sugar; and even then, they are never so good as if done properly at first. If jellies have not sufficient sugar, they do not congeal, but will remain liquid.
Jelly bags should be made of white flannel. It is well to have a wooden stand or frame like a towel horse, to which the bag can be tied while it is dripping. The bag should first be dipped in hot water, for if dry it will absorb too much of the juice. After the liquor is all in, close the top of the bag, that none of the flavour may evaporate.
In putting away sweetmeats, it is best to place them in small jars, as the more frequently they are exposed to the air by opening, the more danger there is of their spoiling. The best vessels for this purpose are white queen's-ware pots, or glass jars. For jellies, jams, and for small fruit, common glass tumblers are very convenient, and may be covered simply with double tissue-paper, cut exactly to fit the inside of the top of the glass, laid lightly on the sweetmeat, and pressed down all round with the finger. This covering, if closely and nicely fitted, will be found to keep them perfectly well, and as it adheres so closely as to form a complete coat over the top, it is better for jellies or jams than writing-paper dipped in brandy, which is always somewhat shrivelled by the liquor with which it has been saturated.
If you find that your sweetmeats have become dry and candied, you may liquefy them again by setting the jars in water and making it boil round them.
In preserving fruit whole, it is best to put it first in a thin syrup. If boiled in a thick syrup at the beginning, the juice will be drawn out so as to shrink the fruit.
It is better to boil it but a short time at once, and then to take it out and let it get cold, afterwards returning it to the syrup, than to keep it boiling too long at a time, which will cause it to break and lose its shape.
Preserving kettles should be rather broad than deep for the fruit cannot be done equally if it is too much heaped. They should all have covers belonging to them, to put on after the scum has done rising, that the flavour of the fruit may be kept in with the steam.
A perforated skimmer pierced all through with holes is a very necessary utensil in making sweetmeats.
The water used for melting the sugar should be very clear; spring or pump water is best. But if you are obliged to use river water, let it first be filtered. Any turbidness or impurity in the water will injure the clearness of the sweetmeats.
If sweetmeats ferment in the jars, boil them over again with add itional sugar.

November 24, 2004

Connecticut Sausage Meat

A scaled down recipe:
2 lbs ground pork
3 1/4 teaspoons sage
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 teaspoon cayenne
optional: 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Mix spices together and then add pork, then syrup if using. You can make into patties and then freeze. Fry in the usual manner.

Original Recipe:
To fifteen pounds of the lean of fresh pork, allow five pounds of the fat. Having removed the skin, sinews, and gristle, chop both the fat and lean as fine as possible, and mix them well together. Rub to a powder sufficient sage-leaves to make four ounces when done. Mix the sage with three ounces of fine salt, two ounces of brown sugar, an ounce of powdered black pepper, and a quarter of an ounce of cayenne. Add this seasoning to the chopped pork, and mix it thoroughly. Pack the sausage-meat down, hard and closely, into stone jars, which must be kept in a cool place, and well covered. When wanted for use, make some of it into small, flat cakes, dredge them with flour, and fry them well. The fat that exudes from the sausage-cakes, while frying, will be sufficient to cook them in.

November 27, 2004

Baked Rice Pudding

1/2 cup uncooked rice
2/3 cup molasses or cane syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups milk

Stir together all ingredients, except milk. Once thoroughly mixed add in milk. Stir well. Preheat over to 350 Fahrenheit. Bake first hour stirring occasionally. Then finish baking until firm, which for me took a total of about 2 hours.

Here is the original recipe:
Baked Rice Pudding. One gill of rice; two thirds of a cup of molasses; one tea-spoonful of cinnamon; one of salt; a small piece of butter. Stir this together, and add a quart of milk. Bake this in a moderate oven. Stir it occasionally for the first hour. Bake three hours.

October 14, 2005

Making Bread

-This is taken from a book published in 1839 The Good Housekeeper -

A large family will, probably, use a bushel of flour weekly; but we will take the proper quantity for a family of four or five persons.

Take twentyone quarts of flour, put it into a kneading trough or earthen pan which is well glazed, and large enough to hold double the quantity of flour. Make a deep, round hole in the centre of the flour, and pour into it half a pint of brewer's yeast, or the thick sediment from home-brewed beer--the last if good, is to be preferred. In either case the yeast must be mixed with a pint of milk-warm water, and well stirred before it is poured in. Then with a spoon stir into this liquid, gradually, so much of the surrounding flour as will make it like thin batter; sprinkle this over with dry flour, till it is covered entirely. Then cover the trough or pan with a warm cloth, and set it by the fire in winter, and where the sun is shining in summer. This process is called "setting the sponge." The object is to give strength and character to the ferment by communicating the quality of leaven to a small portion of the flour; which will then be easily extended to the whole. Setting sponge is a measure of wise precaution--for if the yeast does not rise and ferment in the middle of the flour it shows that the yeast is not good; the batter can then be removed, without wasting much of the flour, and another sponge set with better yeast.

Let the sponge stand till the batter has swelled and risen so as to form cracks in the covering of flour; then scatter over it two table spoonfuls of fine salt, and begin to form the mass into dough by pouring in, by degrees, as much warm water as is necessary to mix with the flour. Twenty-one quarts of flour will require about four quarts of water. It will be well to prepare rather more; soft water is much the best; it should in summer be warm as new milk; during winter, it ought to be somewhat warmer, as flour is a cold, heavy substance.

Add the water by degrees to the flour, mix them with your hand, till the whole mass is incorporated; it must then be worked most thoroughly, moulded over and over and kneaded with your clenched hands, till it becomes so perfectly smooth and light as well as stiff, that not a particle will adhere to your hands. Remember that you cannot have good bread, light and white, unless you give the dough a thorough kneading.--Then make the dough into a lump in the middle of the trough or pan, and dust it over with flour to prevent its adhering to the vessel. Cover it with a warm cloth, and in the winter the vessel should be placed near the fire. It now undergoes a further fermentation, which is shown by its swelling and rising; this, if the ferment was well formed, will be at its height in an hour--somewhat less in very warm weather. It ought to be taken at its height, before it begins to fall.*

Divide the dough into seven equal portions; mould on your paste-board, and form them into loaves; put these on well floured tin or earthen plates, and place immediately in the oven.

The oven, if a good one and you have good dry wood, will heat sufficiently in an hour. It is best to kindle the fire in it with dry pine, hemlock furze or some quick burning material; then fill it up with faggots or hard wood split fine and dried, sufficient to heat it--let the wood burn down and stir the coals evenly over the bottom of the oven, let them lie till they are like embers; the bricks at the arch and sides will be clear from any color of smoke when the oven is sufficiently hot. Clean and sweep the oven,--throw in a little flour on the bottom,--if it burns black at once, do not put in the bread, but let it stand a few moments and cool.

t is a good rule to put the fire in the oven when the dough is made up--the batter will rise and the former heat in about the same time.

When the loaves are in the oven, it must be closed and kept tight, except you open it for a moment to see how the bread appears. If the oven is properly heated, loaves of the size named, will be done in an hour and a half or two hours. They will weigh four pounds per loaf, or about that--thus giving you twentyeight pounds of bread from twentyone quarts (or pounds) of flour. The weight gained is from the water.

It is the best economy to calculate (or ascertain by experiment) the number of loaves of a certain weight or size, necessary for a week's consumption in your family, and bake accordingly. In the winter season bread may be kept good for a fortnight; still I think it the best rule to bake once every week. Bread should not be eaten at all till it has been baked, at least, one day. When the loaves are done, take them from the oven, and place them on a clean shelf, in a clean, cool pantry. If the crust happen to be scorched, or the bread is too much baked, the loaves, when they are taken out of the oven, may be wrapped in a clean, coarse towel, which has been slightly damped. It is well to keep a light cloth thrown over all the loaves. When a loaf has been cut, it should be kept in a tight box from the air, if you wish to prevent its drying.

*There are three processes in fermentation--the vinous, which makes the dough light and white--the acetous, which turns it sour and rather brown--and the putrefactive, which utterly spoils it.--The only good bread is made by baking the dough when the vinuous fermentation is exactly at its height. As soon as the acetous commences, the dough is injured. It it may be in a measure restored by mixing diluted pearlash or sal?ratus, and working it thoroughly with every portion of the dough--then baking it quickly.

BEEF-GRAVY

.... or Brown Sauce for Ragout, Game, Poultry, Fish, &c.

If you want gravy immediately, see Potato Soup, or Glaze. If you have time enough, furnish a thick and well-tinned stewpan with a thin slice of salt pork, or an ounce of butter, and a middling-sized onion; on this lay a pound of nice, juicy gravy beef, (as the object in making gravy is to extract the nutritious succulence of the meat, it must be beaten to comminute the containing vessels, and scored to augment the surface to the action of the water); cover the stewpan, and set it on a slow fire; when the meat begins to brown, turn it about, and let it get slightly browned (but take care it is not at all burned): then pour in a pint and a half of boiling water; set the pan on the fire; when it boils, carefully catch the scum, and then put in a crust of bread toasted brown (don't burn it) a sprig of winter savory, or lemon thyme and parsley--a roll of thin cut lemon-peel, a dozen berries of allspice, and a dozen of black pepper. Cover the stewpan close, and let it stew very gently for about two hours, then strain it through a sieve into a basin. Now, if you wish to thicken it, set a clean stewpan over a slow fire, with about an ounce of butter in it; when it is melted, dredge to it, by degrees, as much flour as will dry it up, stirring them well together; when thoroughly mixed, pour in a little gravy--stir it well together, and add the remainder by degrees; set it over the fire, let it simmer gently for fifteen minutes longer, skim off the fat, &c. as it rises; when it is about as thick as cream, squeeze it through a tamis or fine sieve--and you will have a fine rich Brown Sauce, at a very moderate expense, and without much trouble.

-Taken from The Cook's Own Book 1832

Explanation of some Terms Used

Atelets--Small silver skewers.

Baba--A French sweet yeast cake.

Bouquet--a bunch of parsley and scallions tied up to put in soups, &c.

Bouquet garni, or Assaisonne--The same, with the addition of cloves and aromatic herbs.

Bourguignote--A ragout of truffles.

Brioche--A French yeast cake.

Buisson--A whimsical method of dressing up pastry, &c.

Capilotade--A common hash of poultry.

Caramel, [see Sugar Stages ]

Casse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Civet--A hash of game or wild fowl.

Compiegne--A French sweet yeast cake, with fruit; &c. &c.

Compote--A fine mixed ragout to garnish white poultry, &c.; also a method of stewing fruit with sirup for desserts.

Compotier--A dish amongst the dessert service appropriated to the use of the compote.

Couronne--To serve any prescribed articles on a dish in the form of a crown.

Court or short (to stew)--To reduce a sauce very thick.

Croustade--Bread baked in a mould, and scooped out to contain minces, &c.

Croutons--Bread cut in various shapes, and fried lightly in butter or oil.

Dorez--To wash pastry, &c. with yolk of egg well beaten.

Dorure--Yolks of eggs beaten well.

Entrees--Are dishes served at the commencement, or during the first course of the dinner.

Entremets--Small ornamental dishes, served in the second and third courses.

Farce,stuffing.

Financiere--An expensive, highly-flavored, mixed ragout.

Flan--A French custard.

Glaze, (to fall to a)--To reduce sauces till they become a jelly, and adhere to the meat.

Glaze--Is usually made from reduced consomme, or juices from the bottoms of braised white meats; it should be preserved in jelly-pots.

Glaze, Glace, or Ice--Is composed of white of egg beaten with powder-sugar.

Godiveau--A common veal forcemeat.

Grand Plume, [see Sugar Stages ]

Grand Perle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Grand Queue de Cochon, [see Sugar Stages ]

Gros Boulet, [see Sugar Stages ]

Gras(au)--This signifies that the article specified is dressed with meat gravy.

Gratin--A layer of some particular article is spread over a silver, or any other dish that will bear the fire, and placed on a stove or hot ashes until it burns to it.

Hors d'?uvre--A small dish, served during the first course.

Hatelets--The same as Atelets.

Lard--To stick bacon, or other specified articles, into poultry, meat, &c.; it is done by means of a larding-pin, one end of which is pointed, the other square, and hollow; the lardon is put into this hollow, the point is then inserted into the meat, and on being drawn out, leaves the lardon standing up in its proper place.

Lardons--The pieces into which bacon and other things are cut, for the purpose of larding meat, &c. &c.

Larding-pan--An utensil by means of which meat, &c. is larded.

Liaison--A finish with yolks of eggs and cream, for ragouts and sauces.

Lisse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Madeleines--Cakes made of the same composition as pound-cakes.

Maigre--Soups, &c. dressed without meat.

Marinade--A prepared pickle for meat, fish, &c.

Mask--To cover completely.

Nouilles--An Italian paste, resembling macaroni; it is flat, instead of being in pipes.

Panada--Bread soaked in milk, used principally for quenelles and fine farces.

Passer--To fry lightly.

Pate--A raised crust pie.

Petit Boulet, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Lisse, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Perle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Plume, [see Sugar Stages ]

Petit Queue de Cochon, [see Sugar Stages ]

Poele--A light braise for white meats. The difference between this and the braise is, that in the former the meat, or whatever it may be, need not be so much done as in the latter.

Potage--Another term for soup.

Puree--Any meat, fish, or other article, boiled to a pulp, and rubbed through a sieve.

Quenelles--A fine farce; it is generally poached when used.

Salmi--A highly seasoned hash.

Sauter--To fry very lightly.

Sabotiere, or Sorbetiere--A pewter or tin vessel, in which are placed the moulds containing the substance to be frozen.

Souffle, [see Sugar Stages ]

Tammy--A silk sieve.

Tourner, or Turn--To stir a sauce; also to pare and cut roots, vegetables, and fruits, neatly.

Tourte--A puff-paste pie.

Vanner--To take up sauce, or other liquid, in a spoon, and turn it over quickly

Sugar Stages

SUGAR, Different Degrees of Preparing. The various purposes to which sugar is applied, require it to be in different states; these are called degrees, and are thirteen in number, called as follows:

Petit Lisse, or First Degree Replace the clarified sugar in the preserving-pan, to boil gently, take a drop of it on the thumb, touch it with the fore-finger; if, on opening them, it draws to a fine thread, and in breaking, forms two drops on each finger, it is at the right point.

Lisse, Second Degree. A litte more boiling brings it to this point; when the thread will draw further before it breaks.

Petit Perle, Third Degree. At this point the thread may be drawn as far as the span will open, without breaking.

Grand Perle, Fourth Degree. On still increasing the boiling, little raised balls are formed on the surface of the sugar.

Petit Queue de Cochon, Fifth Degree. Take up some of the sugar on a skimmer, and drop it on the rest, when it should form a slanting streak on the surface. Boil it a little longer, and it will reach the

Grand Queue de Cochon, orSixth Degree. The streak or tail is now larger.

Souffle, Seveth Degree. Take out a skimmerful of the sugar, blow through it, and small sparks of sugar will fly from it.

Petit-Plume, Eighth Degree. The same proof as above; the sparks should be larger and stronger.

Grande Plume, Ninth Degree. Take the sugar in the skimmer, as before, give it a shake, and if the sparks are large, and adhere together on rising, it is at the right point.

Petit Boulet, Tenth Degree. Dip your fingers in cold water, and then into the sugar instantly, and again into the water, when the sugar will roll into a ball, which will be supple when cold.

Gros Boulet, Eleventh Degree. At this point, the ball or bullet will be harder when cold than at the last.

Casse, Twelfth Degree. Prove as above; the bullet should crumble between the fingers, and on biting, will stick to the teeth; at the next point,

Caramel, Thirteenth Degree, It should snap clean. This point is very difficult to attain, for in increasing the height, the sugar is apt to burn; it is better therefore to try the proof very frequently.

Another caramel is frequently used by the confectioner, and is of a deep color; it is made by putting a little water to the sugar, and boiling it without skimming, or otherwise touching the sugar, till of the right color, then take it off and use immediately.

If, on preparing the sugar, you happen to miss the right point, add a little cold water, and boil once more.

Observations. --The skimmer should never be left in the preserving-pan after the sugar is clarified, nor after the scum is removed.

Be very careful not to stir or disturb the sugar, as that would cause its diminution.

In boiling the sugar (particularly the two last degree), the sugar is continually rising and falling; and on falling, leaves marks on the sides of the pan, which the heat of the fire would soon burn, and thereby spoil the whole of the sugar; to avoid this, have by the side of you a pan of cold water, and a sponge, with which wipe the sides of the pan carefully, the instant after the sugar has fallen.

KITCHEN PEPPER.

1 oz. of ginger,

1/2 oz. of cinnamon,

1/2 oz. of black pepper,

1/2 oz. of nutmeg,

1/2 oz. of allspice,

10 cloves,

6 oz. of salt.

Mix all well together, keep in a bottle. It is an agreeable addition to any brown sauces or soups.
All kinds of spice should be dried and pounded, and put into small bottles and corked up tight, and labelled, except nutmeg.

Recipe Converted to Our Measurements today:
4 tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tabelsoons black pepper
2 tablespoons nutmeg
2 tablespoons allspice
10 whole cloves

October 17, 2005

DIRECTIONS for procuring the best...Potatoes

Potatoes, take rank for universal use, profit and easy acquirement. The smooth skin, known by the name of Howe's Potatoe, is the most mealy and richest flavor'd; the yellow rusticoat next best; the red, and red rusticoat are tolerable; and the yellow Spanish have their value - those cultivated from imported seed on sandy or dry loomy lands, are best for table use; though the red or either will produce more in rich, loomy, highly manured garden grounds; new lands and a sandy soil, afford the richest flavor'd; and most mealy Potatoe much depends on the ground on which they grow - more on the species of Potatoes planted - and still more from foreign seeds - and each may be known by attention to connoisseurs; for a good Potatoe comes up in many branches of cookery, as herein after prescribed.---All Potatoes should be dug before the rainy seasons in the fall, well dryed in the sun, kept from frost and dampness during the winter, in the spring removed from the cellar to a dry loft, and spread thin, and frequently stirred and dried, or they will grow and be thereby injured for cookery.
A roast Potatoe is brought on with roast Beef, a Stake, a Chop, or Fricassee; good boiled with a boiled dish; make an excellent stuffing for a turkey, water or wild fowl; make a good pie, and a good starch for many uses. All potatoes run out or depreciate in America; a fresh importation of the Spanish might restore them to table use.
It would swell this treatise too much to say every thing that is useful to prepare a good table, but I may be pardoned by observing, that the Irish have preserved a genuine mealy rich Potatoe, for a century, which takes rank of any known in any other kingdom; and I have heard that they renew their seed by planting and cultivating the Seed Ball, which grows on the vine. The manner of their managing it to keep up the excellency of that root, would better suit a treatise on agriculture and gardening than this - and be inserted in a book which would be read by the farmer, instead of his amiable daughter. If no one treats on the subject, it may appear in the next edition.

January 8, 2006

Waffles


2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
Mix and sift all dry ingredients. Beat egg yolks thoroughly and add milk to them. Stir the milk mixture into the dru ingredients. Add melted butter and fold in the well beaten egg whites.
Bee Brand Variations
(of course you can use whatever brand, just quoting the book here)
1- Spiced Waffles: Add 1/4 cup brown sugar together with 1 teaspoon of Bee Brand Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of Bee Brand Allspice and 1/4 teaspoon of Bee Brand Nutmeg to the dry ingredients and proceed as directed.
2- Pecan Waffles: Add 1/2 cup of chopped pecan nut meats together with 1 teaspoon of Bee Brand Cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Proceed as directed.
3- Waffles - A la Bee Brand: Make a syrup of 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons white corn syrup and 1/2 teaspoon of Bee Brand Maple Flavor. Boil one minute and serve with hot crispy waffles.
- From 1929 Flavor and Spice Booklet

April 7, 2007

Sailor Cake

6 ounces light brown sugar
6 ounces butter
1 pint molasses
1 ounce baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/2 pound flour
2 tablespoonsful cinnamon
1/2 pint thick milk

Warm the butter with the molasses. Drop the dough on tins and bake in a quick oven.

From Agricultural Almanac 1887

April 14, 2007

Marilla Cuthbert's Raspberry Cordial

What was Diana Berry's favorite beverage from Anne of Green Gables? Why it was Raspberry Cordial! So here is a recipe for Raspberry Cordial taken from an Almanac of 1892.

Raspberry Cordial
Crush one pound of raspberries and store into them on quart of water and the juice of two oranges; add a sliced lemon, cover, and let the mixture stand two hours, then strain, and add one pint of sugar. Cool on ice before serving. Cherry or grape cordial may be made in the same way.

You could try the cherry or grape using the above method, but if you have a lot of blackberries on hand you can try this recipe:

Blackberry Cordial
Crush ripe blackberries, and to each gallon of juice add one quart of boiling water; let it stand twenty-four hours, stirring it a few times; strain , and add two pounds of sugar to each gallon of liquid; put in jugs and cork tightly.

April 21, 2007

A Pretty Supper Dish

I love my little cookbook published in 1824. I just cant help myself finding unusual things that I would like to try some day. This one is quite simple really called 'A Pretty Supper Dish'
Boil a tea-cupful of rice, having first washed it in milk till tender; strain off the milk, lay the rice in little heaps on a dish, strew over them some finely powdered sugar and cinnamon, and put warm wine and a little butter into the dish.

August 27, 2007

Candy from the Late 19th Century

Old Candy Ad

I'm really sorry for taking so long in getting around to another post. Its been really hectic. Though life hasn't been too "sweet" for me, I thought it needed some sweetness. So here I give you some recipes from my old cookbook, Compendium of Cookery dated 1890. I've not yet tried any of these but they are on the "to do" list!

Ginger Candy - Boil a pound of clarified sugar until, upon taking out a drop of it on a piece of stick, it will become brittle when cold. Mix and stir up with it, for a common article, about a teaspoonful of ground ginger; if for a superior article, instead of the ground ginger add half the white of an egg, beaten up previously with fine sifted loaf sugar, and twenty drops of strong essence of ginger.

Lemon Candy - Put into a kettle three and one-half pounds of sugar, one and one-half pints of water, and one teaspoon cream of tartar. Let it boil until it becomes brittle when dropped in cold water; when sufficiently done take off the fire and pour into shallow dish which has been greased with a little butter. When this has cooled so that it can be handled add a teaspoonful of tartaric acid and the same quantity of extract of lemon , and work then into the mass. The acid must be fine and free from limps. Work this in until evenly distributed, and no more,a s it will tend to destroy the transparency of the candy. This method may be used for preparing all other candies, as pineapple, ect, using different flavors.

Peppermint, Rose or Horehound Candy - They may be made as lemon candy. Flavor with essence of rose, or peppermint, or finely powdered horehound. Pour it out in a buttered paper, placed in a square tin pan.

Chocolate Caramels - Two cups of brown sugar, one cup of molasses, one cup chocolate grated fine, one cup of boiled milk, one tablespoon of flour; butter the size of a large English walnut; let it boil slowly and pour on flat tins to cool; mark off while warm.

Molasses Candy - One cup of molasses, two cups of sugar, one tablespoon vinegar, a little butter and vanilla, boil ten minutes, then cool it enough to pull.

September 10, 2007

1890 Quick Waffles

Basic Ingredients for Waffles - 1890 style

The finished product - Waffles - from 1890 to today

I have in my collection a cookbook, which I have mentioned before, called Compendium of Cookery. Well we wanted to make waffles one morning so instead of using a modern recipe, we decided to use an old one, just something extra special about that to us.

4 cups sweet milk
1 cup butter (melted)
6 cups flour, sifted
6 eggs (divide yolks from whites)
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar (optional, not in original recipe)

Mix together melted butter, milk, and flour. Beat egg yolks then add to mixture. Whip egg whites until very frothy, then fold into mixture. Add baking powder and sugar (optional), stir, then cook in waffle maker.

NOTE: You can cut all the ingredients in half in order to serve a family of four or so.

The original recipe didn't add sugar, but we found it did improve the recipe. If you are looking for something like the store bought then keep on looking. These waffles, when made in an ordinary waffle maker, are not the crispy types of waffles we have today in the market and on the shelves. But they are great with maple syrup!

January 10, 2008

A Chat About Old Cookbooks

Queen of the Household - 1891

Call me a stickler for old cookbooks. I am really surprised I had not starting collecting these domestic books much earlier. Well, at first, I was only reserving myself to collect really old cookbooks dated sometime around 1800 - 1850s. But after finding them usually more expensive than I care to pay, I decided to broaden my horizons. So when I saw this one on ebay I could not resist getting it to add to my collection. None of my cookbooks are museum quality or anything. But I prefer the books to show they have been used. And for the meager ten dollars I paid for it, it is well worth it with over 700 pages of recipes and interesting odds-n-ends. It's much bigger than my Compendium of Cookery and much nicer too. The only odd thing I find is the three cookbooks I have do not have a name written in any of them. The oldest of my cookbooks dated 1824 even has recipes handwritten all over the endpapers. But no names to tell me who wrote all those lovely personal addenda's. I suppose it's because cookbooks were too practical to be sentimental about by writing one's name in it. Who knows.
You could peruse a later edition of The Queen of the Household which is found here: Queen of the Household published in 1901. However, it is quite a bit different from the 1891 edition.

Update: I just ran across this edition from Google Books, which is a lot closer to mine. It even has the same cover.

October 27, 2008

Molasses Cake {1871}

1871-molscake2.jpg

Molasses Cake - original recipe
One Cup of molasses - an ordinary teacup.
One cup of sugar.
One cup of butter.
One cup of cream.
Six cups of flour (or a sifted quart).
One teaspoonful of soda, small.
Two teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar.*
Spiced and fruits as you choose.
Four eggs.

Stir the sugar and butter together, add the yelks of the eggs, then the molasses, and then the cream and flour in small portions, alternatly, till all the flour is in, and last of all add the whites of the eggs, beaten to a stiff froth. The sodashould be sifted in the flour, and the cream of tartar added to the cream or milk. If the cream is sour, put half the quantity of cream of tartar. You may bake this cake in a large pan or in small patties.
Let it bake in a moderarte oven, steadily. Try it with a straw before removing from the oven. If you take it out before it is done, it will fall, and never rise again.

*If the cream is sour, use only one spoonful of cream of tartar.
- From The Young Housewife's Counsellor and Friend 1871

1871-molscake.jpg
The cake batter before going into the oven.

My Notes and Observations
The above is the orginal recipe. I had to cut it in half because I didnt want that much. That would have made two cakes - using 9inch round cake pans. So I cut the recipe in half and added about a tablespoon or so of cinnamon. The flour would be about 2 cups. I did a little over 2 cups {using liquid measure - all I had} and it came out rather stiff and had to add a little more milk to make a better batter. But I think if you use a scanty 2 cups in dry measure it will be perfect. I also oiled and floured my pan. I baked it at about 375 degrees, for about 35 minutes.It rose really well and when I tested it with a fork and it came out perfectly clean. A nice warm treat on a cold and dreary morning.

December 9, 2008

Plain Short Cake

plainshortcakes.jpg
I made some shortcakes this morning and adapted the recipe from my 1891 edition of Queen of the Household Cookbook.

2 cups flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter {half a stick}
1 tablespoon lard
abt 3/4 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, salt and baking powder. Then cut in butter and lard till mixture has a crumbly texture. Then pour over enough water to make a firm dough. Then flour your surface and roll the dough to about 1/4th an inch thick. Cut into squares and prick with a fork. Bake for 15 - 20 mins or until done. {I am using a toaster oven to bake so you may need to adjust the baking time for a regular oven}

The original recipe would make double the amount of the above recipe. I knew that so I cut the recipe in half. Here is the original recipe.
One quart flour, 1 saltspoon salt, 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder; mix thoroughly; then add 1/4th a pound butter 1/8th pound lard, and enough cold water to make a thick paste. Roll out about 1/4th inch thick, and cut into squares; prick with a fork and bake immediately.

Note: You probably can make this mixture {omitting the water} ahead of time and then freeze. I served over mine with some leftover strawberry mixture we had. My eldest hates strawberries so he dipped his shortcake into maple syrup. This is a good basic shortcake.

January 11, 2010

Victorian Lemon Cake

lmn-ck2.jpg

I converted a recipe for a lemon cake taken from "The improved housewife, or, Book of receipts: with engravings for marketing" published in 1844. To me this is a pleasant cake that would do well with a lemon frosting, if for dessert. I, however, chose a lemony glaze to keep it a breakfast cake.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated {I'll have to try two eggs next time}
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups sifted flour

Cream butter, add sugar gradually. Add in egg yolks 1 at a time, mixing well after each. In a bowl or cup dissolve soda into milk. Stir milk into creamed mixture. Add rind and juice of lemon. Stir well. Now gradually add in flour. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Now fold egg whites into cake batter. Pour batter into greased and floured cake pan. This makes {1} 9 inch round cake. Recipe can be doubled for a double layer cake.

Lemon Glazing
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Blend lemon juice and sugar until well dissolved. Pour over cake after it has cooled a little but is still warm. I poked the cake with a fork to let some of the glazing soak into the cake to give it some tangy bursts.

Here is the orginal recipe, Lemon Cake - Take one teacup of butter, and three of powdered loaf sugar; rub them to a cream; stir into them the yolks of five eggs well beaten; dissolve a teaspoonful of salaeratus {soda} in a teacup of milk, and add the milk; add the juice and grated peel of one lemon, and the whites of the five eggs; and sift in, as light as possible, four teacups of flour. Bake in two long tins about half an hour. Much improved by icing.

February 2, 2010

Taffy or Vinegar Candy

cm-taffy5.jpg
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:

cm-taffy1.jpg
Stirring the syrup to dissolve sugar.

cm-taffy2.jpg
Poured finished syrup onto well buttered marble slab.

cm-taffy6.jpg
Worked candy into mound.

cm-taffy3.jpg
Candy on the left has been pulled longer than that on the right. You can see the color and transparency differences beginning to emerge.

cm-taffy4.jpg
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.

Enjoy the old fashioned way of things? Interested in the Victorian era? If so have a browse around our other site A Victorian Passage. Updated Regularly!

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