Posts Tagged ‘egg’
10 c. flour
6 c. sugar
3 c. butter
3 c. buttermilk or sour cream thinned with milk
1 c. wine
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1 lb. currants
1 lb. raisins
To ten cups of flour, put six of sugar, three of butter, three of sour milk (a little warm), eight eggs, a glass of wine, a large teaspoonful of saleratus, a nutmeg, a pound of currants, a pound of raisins.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M. H.] Cornelius, 1865.
Comment: We know this is intended to be a “cup cake” because it is in a section of Mrs. Cornelius’ book with that overall label. As the little paper cupcake holders with which we are familiar today had not yet been invented, these were normally baked in, well, cups. Regular cups normally used for coffee, tea or the like. One would probably not use the finest family china for this task, but any sturdy porcelain or other smooth drinking vessel would be appropriate.
“Saleratus” was a precursor of baking powder used to produce rising in baked goods for which yeast was not appropriate. Use regular baking powder in similar proportions. Using the quantity of ingredients listed here will produce a great whacking lot of cupcakes, so for family use one might want to consider cutting the amounts called for in half.
6 eggs, yolks only
1 pint wine
1/2 lb. sugar
Juice and grated peel of 1 orange
Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
1 qt. cream
Whipped cream for topping
Beat the yolks of six eggs till very light and smooth; stir into them gradually a pint of wine, and let it set for half an hour; then stir in a half a pound of powdered sugar, the juice and grated peel of one orange and one lemon, and let it set again for half an hour, after which stir in a quart of rich sweet cream, beat it light, serve it in glasses, and crown them with whipped cream. These cold creams, as they are called, are plain, nice, fashionable and easily prepared. They are eaten with tarts, sweet meats and cake.
From The Kentucky Housewife by Lettice Bryan, Cincinnati 1839
Comment: “Powdered” sugar was not in the 19th century the product which goes by this name today. Sugar was sold in solid blocks or chips which had to be ground or grated to reach granular form, a process which was known as powdering. Therefore their “powdered” sugar is simply our “granulated” sugar, so use the cheap stuff from the bag not the expensive stuff in the box.
We are classifying this as a dessert although from the description it is probably thin enough to qualify as a drink. What exactly makes it ‘Italian’ is entirely unclear as well, although we suspect the author’s interest in making a lemon cream sound “Continental” and therefore classier might be a factor.
Although considering the difficulties of transportation and the fact that neither sugar, lemons or oranges were grown in the upper reaches of the Ohio River in 1832, this was probably an entirely expensive and therefore “classy” item in its own right no matter what it was called.
2 large lemons, peeled
4-5 oz. sugar
yolks of 6 eggs
1/2 lb. butter
Boil the peel of two large lemons till they are quite tender, and then pound it well in a mortar, with four or five ounces of loaf sugar, the yolks of six eggs, half a pound of fresh butter, and a little curd beaten fine; pound and mix together, lay a rich puff paste in some patty-pans, fill them half full, and bake them carefully.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee), Boston, 1832
Comment: “Curd” is the hard part of cottage cheese. Either get the dry form of this or put regular cottage cheese in a strainer and rinse the milky white stuff out. Unlike modern cheesecakes, those of the period were baked in regular pie crust, not the crushed graham cracker version more common today. The boiled lemon peel should be the yellow part only with as little of the underlying white pith as possible, as it is bitter. It will mush up with the sugar in the mortar more easily the thinner the strips into which it is cut.
“Loaf sugar” is just regular white sugar, which in the 19th century was normally sold in hard blocks or cones and grated into granulated form for use. We can, thankfully, skip that step today.
Six whites of eggs
Six large table-spoonfuls of jelly
A pint of cream
Put the jelly and white of egg into a pan, and beat it together with a whisk, till it becomes a stiff froth, and stands alone. Have ready the cream, in a broad shallow dish. Just before you sent it to table, pile up the froth in the centre of the cream.
From Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats by “A Lady of Philadelphia” (Eliza Leslie), Philadelphia, 1828.
Comment: This would have been a pleasant dish for an afternoon tea at which a guest you wished to impress would be attending. It could be made today in no time flat with the benefit of electric mixers, were it not for the tragic fact that just as such utensils were becoming commonplace, the custom of afternoon tea rather faded into oblivion. Beating jelly into egg whites to the point where they form a “stiff froth” was a considerable amount of labor when it had to be done entirely by hand.
1 lb. sugar
1 pint cream
1 lb. flour
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. brandy
Beat six eggs very light, sift into them a pound of loaf sugar powdered, and a light pound of flour, with half a grated nutmeg, and a glass of brandy; beat all together very well, add a pint of cream, pour it in a deep dish, and bake it–when done, sift some powdered sugar over it.
From The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph, 1860 edition.
Comment: The “powdered sugar” called for here is not the very fine product sold under that name today. In the 19th century sugar was sold in solid form, usually large cones, as that was the form in which they came from the manufacturing sugar mills. These were often too large for most customers to store conveniently so city merchants might break pieces off to sell separately, but this still required the cook to subdivide it further.
A hammer and chisel might be used to knock off chunks of various sizes, but if the sugar was intended for a recipe such as this these chunks would themselves have to be processed with a grater or a mortar and pestle. Grating gave a result much like plain granulated sugar of today, while the mortar and pestle could grind to whatever degree of fineness was called for.
Here the sugar that goes into the pudding itself can probably be of the granulated sort, while a finer grind, like powdered sugar of today, would be used for the final topping
Large pint of strained squash or pumpkin
1 qt. milk, boiled
2 c. sugar
2-4 saltine crackers, crumbled to powder
1 tsp. salt
Few drops lemon extract or rose water
1/2 tsp. ginger or ground cinnamon
1-2 tbs. butter
Pie crust (bottom layer only)
To a quart of boiled milk, put a large pint of strained squash, two cups of sugar, three eggs, two crackers pounded and sifted (or four eggs without the crackers), a teaspoonful of salt, a few drops of lemon or rose, half a teaspoonful of ginger or powdered cinnamon, and a dessert-spoonful of butter, melted in the hot milk. To mix it, stir the spice and salt into the strained squash first, then add the cracker, and sugar, and when these are mixed, pour in half the milk, and when this is well stirred, add the remainder, and lastly the eggs, which should be thoroughly beaten. If you make up two quarts of milk, use four eggs, and five pounded crackers, and double the other ingredients. Bake with a crust, in rather deep plates, or in dishes made for such pies.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M. H.] Cornelius, 1863
Comment: Ah, that delight of 19th century cookbooks, the idiosyncratic measurement! “A dessert-spoon of butter” was a quantity determined by how big your dessert-spoons were as well as the temperature of the butter: if melted it would be a level spoonful, if hardened it could heap up as high as the cook’s heart desired. We list the butter at 1-2 tablespoons modern measurement but feel free to vary this in either direction as seems appropriate.
The fact that Mrs. Cornelius called this simply “Squash or Pumpkin” reflects the reality that in her day this basic recipe could be used as a pudding, a parfait, or a custard just as readily as a pie. The primary difference was the method of serving: in a crust it was a pie; in a small dish a custard, in a large bowl a pudding, and in a cup or goblet with beaten egg white or cream on top, a parfait. We must admit a probably irrational preference for the pie form, but that’s just us.