Old-Fashioned Peach Salad (Dessert)

Peach Salad

I had some peaches so searched through my hundred-year-old cookbooks for a recipe that called for them, and found a winner. The recipe was called Peach Salad – though I actually would consider it a dessert rather than a salad.

This recipe is easy to make and tasty. The peaches are halved and the cavities filled with a whipped cream and chopped walnut mixture. The peaches are then put back together and topped with additional whipped cream and nuts. The Peach Salad makes a perfect dessert on a hot summer day.

When I served the Peach Salad, I provided both a fork and a knife. The peach could then be cut into several pieces, which made it easier to eat.

Here’s the original recipe:

Peach Salad Recipe
Source: Cement City Cook Book (1922) published by the First Baptist Church, Alpena, Michigan

I did not list “preserved peaches” as an option for this recipe. In my opinion, fresh peaches are the way to go. The old recipe call for “nuts.” I used walnuts.

And, I can’t quite picture this recipe with a candied fruit garnish, so when I updated the recipe I did not include the option of garnishing with candied fruit.. (I’m not even sure where to buy candied fruit in the summer. It seems more like an ingredient that I see in December when people are doing Christmas baking.)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Peach Salad (Dessert)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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4 peaches

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped + additional chopped walnuts for garnish

Place the whipping cream in a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Add confectioners sugar, and continue beating until thoroughly mixed. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts.

Cut each peach in half and remove stone.  Place whipped cream and chopped nut mixture in the cavities and put the peaches back together. Top with additional whipped cream mixture. Garnish with additional chopped nuts.

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Old-fashioned Rhubarb Custard Pie with Meringue Topping

Slice of Rhubarb Custard Pie

Rhubarb is only available for a short while each spring and summer – and than it is gone until the next year. Since it will be gone all too soon, I always make numerous rhubarb dishes and desserts while it’s in season. Which brings up a question. When does rhubarb season end? I grew up hearing that it ended on the 4th of July – and that the rhubarb plants needed the remainder of the season to recharge so that they’d survive the winter. I continue to follow this rule of thumb – though always want to push the limits and continue eating rhubarb just a little longer.

Before rhubarb season ends, I decided to make another hundred-year-old rhubarb recipe. This time I made Rhubarb Custard Pie. The pie was topped with meringue and the rhubarb custard had just the right amount of tartness.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Rhubard Custard Pie
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

The old recipe states that if you don’t have fresh rhubarb, canned could be used. I’ve never seen canned rhubarb, but am guessing that frozen rhubarb could be used – though didn’t provide directions for using frozen rhubarb since the amount of sugar in the recipe would need to be reduced if the rhubarb had been frozen with sugar – and the needed reduction in sugar would probably vary depending upon the sweetness of the frozen rhubarb.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Rhubarb Custard Pie with Meringue Topping

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups rhubarb, diced

3/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 9-inch pie shell

Meringue

2 egg whites

6 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Rinse diced rhubarb and drain. Combine rhubarb (with a small amount of water clinging to the rhubarb) and 3/4 of sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil using medium heat while occasionally stirring, then reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 7 minutes). Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat oven to 450° F.  Put the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, flour, salt, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth, then add milk and beat to combine. Stir in the cooked rhubarb. Put the mixture into the prepared pie shell. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 ° F. and continue baking for 25 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from oven, and top with the meringue (see below). Reduce heat to 300° F., and put the pie back into the oven. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the meingue is lightly browned.

Meringue

In the meantime, make the meringue. Place egg whites in a bowl, and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat. Then spoon on top of the pie and swirl.

Old-fashioned Orange Cookies

Orange Cookies

A cookie (or two) makes a nice snack, so I decided to make a hundred-year-old recipe for Orange Cookies. The cookies had a nuanced, but zesty citrus flavor, and were lovely on a hot summer day. They would also work well in the winter on a holiday cookie tray.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Orange Cookies
Source: Cement City Cook Book (1922) compiled by the First Baptist Church, Alpena, Michigan

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Orange Cookies

  • Servings: 50 approximately cookies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

grated rind of one 1 orange

1/4 cup orange juice

1 egg

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups flours (a little more may be needed)

additional sugar (granulated)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Put butter and sugar in mixing bowl; cream together. Add grated orange rind, orange juice, egg, and baking powder; mix together. Then add 2 cups flour, stir to combine. If the dough is too sticky to roll, add additional flour.  Roll to 1/4 inch thickness (or thinner if a crispy cookie is desired). Cut into circles or shapes using a cookie cutter. (I cut them into 2-inch circles). Put on prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle sugar on the tops of the cookies. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

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Rhubarb en Casserole

Rhubarb en Casserole in dish

Rhubarb is one of my favorite spring foods. These days many fruits are available year round, but rhubarb remains seasonal – which always makes it seems extra special when I finally get some. This year I decided to try a hundred-year-old recipe for Rhubarb en Casserole.

The recipe was simple, and only called for three ingredients – rhubarb, brown sugar, and raisins –  which are mixed together and then put in a casserole dish and baked in the oven until the rhubarb is tender.

The Rhubarb en Casserole was delightful. It was nice combination of tart and sweet with lovely caramel undertones. I’ve eaten many rhubarb dishes over the years, but most call for white sugar. I think  this is the first time that I’ve ever seen a rhubarb recipe that called for brown sugar, and it added a nice new flavor dimension. Rhubarb en Casserole can be served either hot or cold.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Rhubarb en Casserole
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Rhubarb en Casserole

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 cups unpeeled rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Put cut rhubarb in cold water, then drain. Add brown sugar and raisins; stir to combine. Put it in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, and cover. Bake until the rhubarb is tender – about 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

One Egg Chocolate Cake

piece of cake on plate

I’m always intrigued by old cake recipes that have titles which emphasize the use, or non-use, of a specific ingredient. For example, I recently came across a recipe for One Egg Chocolate Cake. Why was the number of eggs stated in the title? Were eggs really expensive back then? . . . or maybe the recipe was aimed at families that raised chickens, and the chickens didn’t lay many eggs during the winter so cooks were looking for recipes that used few eggs. . . or. . . ?

This recipe made a  9-inch square cake, and was very tasty. I never missed any reduction in eggs.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for One Egg Chocolate Cake
Source: Cement City Cook Book (1922) Compiled by First Baptist Church, Alphena, Michigan

I followed the recipe directions and grated the chocolate, then melted it by adding a little hot water and stirring. I was surprised how well this process melted the chocolate  – though think that the baking chocolate probably could be melted in the microwave to avoid the extra effort of grating the chocolate.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

One Egg Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 10 - 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup  butter, softened

1/2 cup grated baking chocolate (about ounces of chocolate)

2 tablespoons hot water

approximately 3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice (I used vinegar.)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Put the grated baking chocolate  in a measuring cup, then add hot water and stir until the chocolate is melted. Stir in vinegar and enough milk to make 1 cup.  Set aside for at least 2 minutes.

Put sugar and egg yolk in a mixing bowl, stir to combine. Add butter, milk and chocolate mixture, baking soda, vanilla, and flour; beat until smooth. Put in a greased and floured 9-inch square pan. Bake until a wooden pick comes out clean (approximately 35 minutes). Frost if desired

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Old-fashioned Potato and Egg Salad

Potaot and Egg Salad in bowl

Memorial Day doesn’t seem complete without Potato Salad – and the best Potato Salads contain hard-boiled eggs, so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Potato and Egg Salad.

The Potato and Egg Salad was delightful with crunchy celery and chopped pickles – but what made the salad really special was the dressing. The dressing was made with whipped cream and vinegar – and was amazingly light compared to the usual mayonnaise dressing. The whipped cream dressing takes a little longer to make than mayonnainse dressing, but it was well worth the extra effort

Here’s the original recipe:

Potato and Egg Salad
Source: For Luncheon and Supper Guests (1922)  by Alice Bradley

I didn’t have any onion juice, so substituted 1 tablespoon chopped onions.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Potato and Egg Salad

  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups cold boiled potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup celery or cabbage, chopped (I used celery.)

2 or 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (I used 2 large hard-boiled eggs.)

2 tablespoons pickle, chopped (I chopped several Bread and Butter Pickle slices.)

2 tablespoons green pepper or pimento, chopped (I used green pepper.)

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon onions, chopped

cream dressing, see below

If desired, lettuce or cabbage leaves

Put the cubed potatoes, celery or cabbage, chopped eggs, chopped pickle,, green pepper or pimento, parsley, and onions  in a mixing bowl and gently stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator. Just before serving, add Cream Dressing and gently stir until the potatoes and other ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.  If desired, serve on lettuce or cabbage leaves.

Cream Dressing

2 teaspoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar

dash cayenne (red) pepper

1 teaspoon butter

1/3 cup vinegar

1 egg yolk, beaten

1/2 cup whipping cream

Put the flour, salt, mustard, powdered sugar, cayenne pepper, and butter n a saucepan or double boiler, and gradually add vinegar while stirring constantly.  Using medium heat, cook until thickens while stirring constantly. Put a a spoonful of the hot mixture in the bowl with the egg yolk, and immediately stir rapidly; then add the mixture to the mixture in the saucepan or double boiler while stirring rapidly. Continue stirring and cook for 1 minute. The mixture will be very stiff. Put in a small bowl and cool in refrigerator.

Shortly before serving, whip the cream until it is stiff. Add the cooled vinegar mixture, and beat until smooth.

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Old-fashioned Nut Pancakes

Nut pancakes on plate

Sometimes it seems like I get into a rut when making breakfast foods – and tend to just make the same two or three foods over and over. So I’m always looking for easy-to-make recipes for breakfast foods. I recently saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Nut Pancakes, and decided to give it a try.

This recipe is a keeper. The pancakes contained lots of chopped walnuts, and had a lovely texture and flavor.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Nut Pancakes
Source: Good Housekeepings’ Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

A hundred-years-ago many families still lived on farms and drank non-pasteurized milk; and, even in towns, much of the milk that was sold was not pasteurized. Back then, if the non-pasteurized milk was not used quickly, the “good” bacteria in the milk would turn it into a sour milk suitable for use in recipes. When making old recipes that call for sour milk, today’s pasteurized milk can be turned into a sour milk by adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to create a slightly curdled acidic milk.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Nut Pancakes

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice (I used vinegar.)

2 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons butter, melted

3/4 cup walnuts chopped

Put the milk in a cup or bowl, then stir in the vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside for at least 2 minutes.

Put the bread flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder,, melted butter, and milk that has been combined with the vinegar or lemon juice in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Heat a lightly greased griddle or skillet to a medium temperature, then pour or scoop batter onto the hot surface to make individual pancakes.  Cook until the top surface is hot and bubbly, and then flip and cook other side.

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