I’ve received a few requests for the receipts (recipes)
we used during the hands-on Baking Workshop portion
of Deb Peterson’s recent Historic Foodways Symposium,
held this past August over at Ft. Lee, NJ. Various dishes
were made, including small and large cakes, boiled and
baked puddings, and a few sweetmeats. Most were
cooked either in the Fort’s bake oven or at its fire pit.
Of course, all made use of goodly amounts of glorious
sugar, which was the Symposium’s main topic. I think
it’s safe to say that all the participants thought each
dish was a delight to prepare, cook, AND eat. HUZZAH!
There were about a dozen receipts that we followed
during our day of baking. I’ll share just a few here,
including one that I later tried in my own kitchen.
First up is a receipt from the 1774 edition of Hannah Glasse’s
The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy:
To make a suet-pudding.
Get a pound of suet shred fine, a pound of flour,
a pound of currants picked clean, half a pound
of raisins stoned, two tea-spoonfuls of beaten
ginger, and a spoonful of tincture or saffron;
mix all together with salt water very thick;
then either boil or bake it.
Next, from The Frugal Housewife (1772), by Susannah Carter:
Take five pounds of flour, two ounces
of carraway seeds, half a pound of sugar,
and something more than a pint of milk, and
put into it three quarters of a pound of butter;
then make a hole in the middle of the flour,
and put in a full pint of good ale-yeast;*
then pour in the butter and milk, and make
these into a paste, letting it stand a quarter
of an hour before the fire to rise; then mould
it, and roll it into cakes pretty thin; prick them
all over pretty much, or they will blister; bake
them a quarter of an hour.
* We used 1 and 1/2 packets of dry active yeast, but we
were also given instructions for making our own “ale-yeast”
A receipt from Mr. Borella’s The Court and Country Confectioner;
or, the House-Keeper’s Guide (1772):
Take a pound of Spanish nuts [cacao], and
boil them in an iron pan; when they are
well boiled rub off their skin with a napkin,
if some stick too hard, pare it off with a knife;
take a tin grater and grate your nuts very
fine on a sheet of paper; then you take
a pound of powdered sugar, to a pound
of nuts, put it in a pan over a slow fire,
when your sugar is all melted in stirring
it perpetually with a wooden spoon, pour
your nuts in and work them well till all is
well mixed, and pour it upon a tin plate;
you have a wooden rolling-pin to spread it,
which you must be very quick in doing, for
it cools very fast; and when it is cold you
cut it in what form you please; you must
take care the sugar should not be too much
melted, for it is very apt to soften when
the nuts are joined to it.
From the second edition of The Complete English Cook (1771),
by Ann Peckham:
To make a Wine Pudding.
Heat a pint of sherry, with cinnamon and
lemon-peel; grate four ounces of biscuits,
six eggs beaten with a little orange flower
water, and a little salt and sugar, a little
marrow and currants; bake it a quarter of an hour,
and when you serve it up, strew sugar over it.
And lastly (for now, at least), a receipt from Richard Bradley’s
book, The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director…Part II (1732).
I made it recently for the Culinary Historians of New York’s (CHNY)
first meeting of the 2012-2013 season. The dish was fun to do,
even if I did have to use my mo-dern stove instead of a bake
oven! It was quite tasty, as well, and it quickly disappeared
during the evening’s program.
To Make a Tart of the Ananas, or Pine-Apple.
Take Pine-Apple, and twist off its Crown: then
pare it free from the Knots, and cut it in Slices
about half an Inch thick; then stew it with a little
Canary Wine, or Madera Wine, and some Sugar,
till it is thoroughly hot, and it will distribute its
Flavour to the Wine much better than any thing
we can add to it. When it is as one would have
it, take it from the Fire; and when it is cool, put
it in to a sweet Paste, with its Liquor, and bake
it gently, a little while, and when it comes from
the Oven, pour Cream over it, (if you have it)
and serve either hot or cold.
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, the receipts above match
those found in the original historic cookbooks. I was able to verify
several, as I either have the books or I found them online; others,
however, have not been vetted. If there are any errors, I apologize,
and I hope readers will let me know if any are found. Please and thanks!