Old-fashioned Strawberry Charlotte

I was thrilled when I found a dreamy hundred-year-old recipe for Strawberry Charlotte. This blush pink classic mousse, topped with strawberries, has a light citrus taste and colorful flecks of orange peel.  Strawberry Charlotte is a light and creamy cold dessert that’s perfect on a warm Spring day.

I molded in the  Strawberry Charlotte in individual ramekins (custard cups), rather than using a large mold. I unmolded one for the photo – and served the remainder in the ramekins. Whether on top or bottom, the strawberries worked perfectly in this luscious, creamy dessert. I want to make Strawberry Charlotte again using a large mold. It would make an impressive, beautiful dessert.

Here is the original recipe:

The Housewife’s Cook Book by Lilla Frich (1917)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Strawberry Charlotte

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Time: 40 minutes active prep time
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

approximately 1/2 pound strawberries (1 cup crushed strawberries)

1/4 cup sugar + 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cold water

2 packets unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup strawberry juice (from crushed berries) + additional water

grated rind of 1 orange

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cups heavy whipping cream

Hull and slice strawberries, then crush with a fork.  Place in a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the sugar to draw the juice out of the berries.

Put the cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water. Let sit for at least a minute.

Drain crushed strawberries, reserving the strawberry juice. Measure the juice and add additional water to make 1/2 cup liquid. Put the juice and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the gelatin mixture. Continue stirring until completely melted. Stir in  3/4 cup sugar, the grated orange rind, and lemon juice; immediately remove from heat. Set aside.

Put the whipping in a mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Set the pan with the gelatin mixture in a larger pan that contains cold water and ice cubes. Stir the gelatin mixture until it begins to thicken. Then gently fold the gelatin mixture into the whipped cream, one third at a time.

This recipe makes 7 – 8  cups – and would work nicely in a 9-10 cup mold. Arrange the crushed strawberries in the bottom the mold  and then spoon the whipped cream mixture into the mold. (Or use individual molds or ramekins. If individual molds are used, divide the strawberries and whipped cream mixture across the molds.). Chill in the refrigerator until firm (at least two hours).

To serve, quickly dip the mold in hot water, then gently slide the Strawberry Charlotte onto serving plate.  If ramekins are used, may be served without unmolding, if desired.

Outdoor Furniture a Hundred Years Ago

Caption: Garden things never fail to give a pleasant little comfortable thrill that is worth more than money. (Source: Good Housekeeping– June, 1917)

I’m not into keeping up with the Jones, but I’m slightly envious of people with beautiful patios and outdoor rooms filled with stylish lawn furniture. People a hundred years ago also wanted nice outdoor furniture. According to an article in the June, 1917 issue of Good Housekeeping:

Garden furniture reminds one of cool summer drinks to be served.

Hundred-Year-Old Chicken and Ham Turnovers Recipe

Both a century ago and now, cooks have asked the question, “What should I do with the leftovers?”

I recently found a hundred-year-old recipe for Chicken and Ham Turnovers that is a wonderful way to use leftovers. The turnovers were yummy and easy to make, and the accompanying sauce added just the right amount of zing.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: American Cookery (October, 1916)
Source: American Cookery (October, 1916)

Since the recipe indicates that a “”buttercup biscuit” or a “rich biscuit dough in which the yolk of an egg is used,”  I searched for a hundred-year-old buttercup biscuit recipe. I failed to find one, so I went with a biscuit recipe I found and added an egg yolk (and reduced the milk a little to compensate). Here’s the old biscuit recipe:

Source: Larking Housewives Cook Book (1917)

When I made this dish, it seemed a tad salty so when I updated the recipe for modern cooks, I reduced the salt. Here’s the updated recipe:

Chicken and Ham Turnovers

  • Servings: 2-3 servings
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Filling

1 cup cooked chicken, diced into 1/4 inch pieces

1/3 cup cooked ham, diced into 1/4 inch pieces

Biscuit Pastry

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons shortening or lard

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 egg yolk

1/2 – 2/3 cup milk

Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon ketchup

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine diced chicken and ham in a bowl. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Cut in the shortening and butter using a pastry blender or two knives going in opposite directions.  Stir in egg yolk and 1/2 cup milk. The dough should cling together and be of a consistency that it can be rolled. If needed, add additional milk. On a prepared surface, roll the dough out and cut into rounds approximately 5 inches in diameter. (I used an inverted cereal bowl to cut the rounds.)  Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture on one side of each round, brush water on the edge of round, fold over and press edges together. Put on rounds on a baking sheet, and brush with milk. Put in oven and bake until the top is lightly browned (about 20 minutes). Remove from oven and serve with sauce.

While the turnovers are baking, make the sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan; stir in the flour and pepper. Add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, then  slowly add the chicken broth while stirring continuously. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

 

Cooking with Electricity a Hundred Years Ago

Source: Good Housekeeping (June, 1917)

I’ve been doing A Hundred Years Ago for six and a half years now. Over that time I’ve noticed many changes. One is that electricity and electrical appliances were much more common in 1917 than what they had been in 1911. Here’s an excerpt from a June, 1917 article in Good Housekeeping that  promoted the use of electric stoves:

“But cooking by electricity is so expensive,” says the average housekeeper when the question of installing an electric range in her kitchen is broached. But is this so?

Against the cost of operation must be charged the savings in time and energy which the use of electricity insures. At the same time, the savings in wear and tear on utensils and household furnishings that will result from the use of a fuel which produces no smoke to discolor walls, woodwork, or curtains must be considered.

Old-fashioned Raisin and Rhubarb Pie

When I saw a recipe for Raisin and Rhubarb Pie in a hundred-year-old cookbook, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Raisins and rhubarb, rhubarb and raisins. . .  I knew that the alliteration was what drew me to the recipe . . .but, I kept thinking, what does this recipe taste like? Would I like it?

So before I knew it,  I was making a Raisin and Rhubarb Pie.  I was rewarded with a lovely taste sensation. The sweetness of the raisins perfectly balanced the zesty rhubarb to create a scrupulous old-fashioned pie.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Source: Larkin Housewives’ Cook Book (1917)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Raisin and Rhubarb Pie

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1 cup raisins

1 1/2 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 egg, beaten

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon flour

pastry for 8-inch (small) 2-crust pie

milk

sugar

Heat oven to 425° F.  In a bowl put egg, sugar, salt, and flour; stir until mixed together. Add raisins and rhubarb, stir gently to combine. Turn into pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with top crust and flute edges. Brush crust with a small amount of milk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake in oven for 15 minutes; then reduce heat to 350° F. Bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and juice just begins to bubble.

1917 Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice Advertisement

Source: Ladies Home Journal (February, 1917)

I have vague childhood memories of people telling me that Puffed Rice was good for me because it was made by shooting the rice grains from a cannon – though I was clueless as to why shooting the grain made it more nutritious. Well, now I know; it’s easier to digest. The cannon (or gun) promotion for Puffed Rice has been around for a long time. I found this ad in a hundred-year-old magazine.

Old-Fashioned Savory Potatoes

Sometimes old-time recipes seem decidedly modern . A hundred-year-old recipe for Savory Potatoes is one of those times. This recipe reminded me of roasted potatoes that I sometimes get in restaurants. The Savory Potatoes were coated with a delightful, moist, onion and sage mixture which created an aromatic, savory taste sensation.

I’m not sure whether it’s a plus or a negative, but my kitchen smelled like Thanksgiving when I made this recipe. The roasting potatoes smelled very similar to a roasting turkey stuffed with a traditional sage and onion dressing – though (thankfully) the actual dish did not remind me in the least of Thanksgiving.

Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (June, 1917)

I assume that the 1550 calories listed in the recipe refers to the total number of calories for this dish. There’s no way that a single serving could have that many calories.

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks. (When I made this recipe I halved it.)

Savory Potatoes

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/2 pounds small or medium potatoes (if small, halve the potatoes; if medium, cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

dash pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F. Put the water, olive oil, sage, salt and paper in a mixing bow; stir to combine. Add the chopped onions, and stir. Then add the potatoes and gently toss until coated. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in a glass baking dish.  Put into oven. After 25 minutes, gently stir the potatoes, then return to over. Continue baking until the potatoes are tender (approximately an additional 20-30 minutes).