Some desserts which were eaten a hundred years ago are seldom seen today. One of those desserts is Blueberries and Boulettes. Boulettes are homemade drop dumplings that are made by dropping heaping teaspoons of dough into rapidly boiling water. Warm boulettes are topped with a little butter, and smothered with blueberries, and a generous sprinkling of sugar.
The Boulettes were fun and easy to make. They only take a few minutes to cook, rising to the top of the water when done. When served with sweetened blueberries, they made a nice old-fashioned summer dessert.
Combine melted butter and sour cream in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each in. Stir in salt, then gradually add and stir in the flour.
In the meantime bring 3-4 quarts of water to a bowl in a large pan. When the water is rapidly boiling, drop heaping teaspoons of the dough into the water, and let it remain until it rises to the top; then remove with a slotted spoon. Serve warm.
To serve, put boulettes in serving dish(es), top with dabs of butter, blueberries, and sugar.
Summer is the perfect time to make chilled desserts, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Chocolate Mint Blancmange.
Chocolate Mint Blancmange is smooth and chocolaty with the essence of mint. It is made with milk and thickened with gelatin, and topped with whipped cream.
This molded dessert seemed old-fashioned, but the taste and texture reminded me of some of the small individual- serving chocolate desserts that I’ve had at restaurants or hotels. I think that Chocolate Mint Blancmange would seem much more trendy and modern if put into individual serving cups.
3 ounces grated chocolate or 5 tablespoons cocoa (I used cocoa.)
1 quart (4 cups) milk
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
3 or 4 drops of peppermint extract
Place the cold water in a small bowl; then sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let the gelatin absorb the water and soften for a few minutes.
In the meantime put the milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil using medium heat; stir constantly. Stir in sugar, chocolate (or cocoa), and salt. Add the softened gelatin while continuing to stir constantly. Once the gelatin has dissolved, remove from heat. Strain and let partially cool for a few minutes, then add the peppermint extract and stir. Put into a 5 or 6 cup mold (or put into individual serving dishes or cups). Chill until firm (at least 4 hours).
To serve (if molded): Quickly dip the mold in hot water, then unmold onto serving plate.
During the summer heat, cool desserts are the best. So when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Lemon Snow, I decided to give it a try. The Lemon Snow is served with Custard Sauce, and, if desired, could also be topped with Whipped Cream. I skipped the whipped cream.
The Lemon Snow was light and had a sunny, lemony flavor. The creamy Custard Sauce paired nicely with the Lemon Snow.
Here are the original recipes:
I put the Lemon Snow in custard cups. It may be possible to remove the chilled Lemon Snow from the cups (molds) for serving, but I served the chilled dessert in the cups. When I made this recipe, I served the Lemon Snow with Custard Sauce, but I skipped the whipped cream.
Since hot liquid is stirred into the beaten egg whites, the egg whites may be largely cooked, but I used a pasteurized egg for extra safety.
Put the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.
Put the egg white and the dash of salt in a bowl; beat until stiff. Set aside.
Put the water, lemon juice, and lemon rind in a sauce pan. Using medium heat, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain the hot liquid.
Slowly pour the strained liquid over the sugar and cornstarch mixture. Stir until smooth. Return this mixture to the saucepan, and bring to a boil using medium heat while stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and slowly pour over the beaten eggs whites while using a whisk to combine.
Rinse 2 or 3 custard cups with water. Pour the Lemon Snow mixture into the wet cups. Put in the refrigerator to chill (at least 2 hours).
If desired, serve with Custard Sauce or Whipped Cream.
2/3 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon sugar
3-4 drops (a dash) of vanilla
Put the egg yolk and sugar into a small bowl; beat until smooth. Set aside.
Put milk in a saucepan. Using medium heat, heat until hot and steamy while stirring constantly. Put a small amount of the lot liquid in the bowl with the egg yolk mixture while rapidly stirring. Then slowly add the egg mixture into the hot milk while stirring constantly. Continue cooking, while stirring, until the hot mixture thickens slightly and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Strain and then put into a bowl; chill in the refrigerator.
Food preferences change across the years. Some foods increase in popularity over time, while other foods that were once common are now seldom made. As I work on this blog, I often think about food fads and trends over the past hundred years. Occasionally 1921 cookbooks and magazines provide a window into even earlier times. For example, in 1921 a reader of American Cookery asked for a recipe that she remembered from her childhood.
Gingered Rhubarb apparently was a food that was eaten in the late 1800’s in Scotland, but by 1921 it apparently was not part of the repertoire of cooks on the U.S. side of the Atlantic. Why had it become less popular? Was it already considered an old-fashioned dessert a hundred-years ago?
The query also contains a serving suggestion. The individual requesting the recipes states that she remembers eating Gingered Rhubarb on rice desserts (which I took to mean rice pudding).
In any case, I was intrigued and decided to make Gingered Rhubarb. I also made Rice Pudding to serve with the Gingered Rhubarb. The recipe I found was for a Baked Rice Pudding (rather than the type of Rice Pudding that is made in a saucepan on top of the stove).
The verdict: Gingered Rhubarb is a tart sauce embedded with sweetened chunks of rhubarb. It goes nicely with Baked Rice Pudding (which is drier and less sticky than many modern Rice Puddings). That said, you need to enjoy rhubarb and its intense flavor to like this recipe. My husband and I both liked the Gingered Rhubarb with Baked Rice Pudding. However, our daughter did not think it was edible. My conclusion- this recipe features rhubarb with its unique tart taste. If you really like that taste, you’ll enjoy this recipe. However, if you are lukewarm to rhubarb, this recipe is not for you.
Here are the original recipe for Gingered Rhubarb:
I put the rhubarb mixture in a large glass casserole bowl and let it sit overnight on my kitchen counter. The next day, I put the mixture in a stainless steel pan and cooked. it I used ground ginger when making the recipe.
I was pleased with how well the rhubarb pieces retained their shape when I cooked the Gingered Rhubarb. I think that allowing the rhubarb and sugar mixture sit overnight before cooking may have helped the pieces retain their shape. The sugar drew liquid out of the rhubarb.
The 1 1/2 hour cooking time seemed long to me, but I think that it allowed the flavors to concentrate as some of the liquid boils off. The rhubarb turned brownish as it is cooked (similarly to how apples turn brownish when cooked for a long time to make apple butter).
This is a very large recipe. When I made the recipe, I halved it.
Here is the original recipe for Baked (Plain) Rice Pudding:
Cooks many years ago would have made both the Gingered Rhubarb and the Baked Rice Pudding using a wood or coal stove. Both of these recipes have a long cook time – but that probably wasn’t considered an issue when the stoves operated constantly, and foods could be cooked for several hours with little attention from the cook.
Here’s the recipes for Gingered Rhubarb updated for modern cooks:
3 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/2 pieces (about 6 cups of pieces) -Do not peel.
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
In a crock or large glass casserole bowl combine the sugar and ground ginger. Add the rhubarb pieces and stir to coat the rhubarb with the sugar mixture. Cover, and let sit overnight at room temperature.
The next morning put the rhubarb mixture in a stainless steel pan and bring to a boil using medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Gently stir several times while it is cooking.
Remove from heat. May be serve hot or cold. If desired serve with rice pudding, ice cream, or other dessert.
Preheat oven to 325° F. Wash the rice, and combine with all the other ingredients. Pour into a 2-quart buttered baking dish. Place in oven and bake for a total of three hours.
During the first hour, stir three times. Then reduce heat to 3oo° F. and continue baking. After another hour, stir again. Continue baking for an additional hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If desired, when the rice pudding is set, the Rice Pudding can be put under the broiler for a short time to lightly brown the top. May be served hot or cold. Refrigerate, if not served immediately.
Marguerites are something of a culinary Marie Celeste, if you ask me. You’ll find them in recipe books from the teens, the 20s, the 30s, even the early 40s–and then they’re gone. They vanish without a trace . . . But The Joy of Cooking doesn’t mention them. Neither does Betty Crocker. By 1960, the day of the Marguerite had passed.
I can see why they’ve vanished from modern recipe books. The Marguerites had a nondescript taste and aren’t nearly as sweet as many modern snacks; yet at the same time, I liked them and they were a surprisingly satisfying snack.
Marguerites are fun to make and made a nice presentation. The salt on the crackers was noticeable in the finished product, which was both salty and sweet.
Will I make Marguerites again? I’m not sure – yet a piece of me thinks that I might. They’re an easy snack to whip up, and eating just a couple really did take the edge off my late afternoon hunger.
Here’s the original recipe:
The 1 tablespoon of jelly called for in this recipe was not nearly enough since each cracker needed to be spread with the jelly, When I updated the recipe, I didn’t list an amount, I just indicated that currant (or other tart) jelly was needed to make this recipe.
Pulverized sugar is an old term for powdered sugar.
Preheat oven to 325° F. Put egg whites in bowl and beat until stiff. Add granulated sugar, and beat a little more to get the sugar evenly distributed in the egg whites. Set aside.
Put crackers on a baking sheet. Spread currant (or other tart) jelly on each cracker. Put approximately a tablespoonful of the beaten egg white on top of each jellied cracker; gently spread using a fork, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar and chopped nuts.
Place in oven and bake until the beaten egg whites are lightly browned (about 15 minutes).
Fall is in the air, the days are getting shorter, and I’ve been craving comfort food. So I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Baked Honey Custard. The recipe is a winner. Baked Honey Custard was easy to make, and had a delicate, silky texture. The honey and cinnamon flavors merged beautifully to create a delightfully flavored custard.
Scald the milk by putting in a saucepan, then heat using medium heat until the milk steams and is almost ready to begin boiling; stir constantly while heating the milk. (Another option is to scald the milk using a microwave. Set aside.)
In the meantime, put the eggs into a mixing bowl, and beat just until smooth. Add the honey, cinnamon, and salt; beat until the ingredients are combined. Add a small amount (approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons) of the hot scalded milk, while stirring. Continue to very slowly add the hot milk while stirring constantly. [The egg is first combined with a little of the hot mixture to prevent it from turning into scrambled eggs when introduced into the hot combination.]
Pour into custard cups. Place cups 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking pan. Pour very hot water into pan around cups to within 1/2 inch of top of cups.
Bake about 45 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Remove cups from water. Serve custard warm or chilled.
Fall is in the air! Evenings are a bit nippy, and the trees are starting to turn color. And, it’s the season for apples, so browsed through old magazines and books for an apple recipe. And, I think I found a winner.
I found a delightful hundred-year-old recipe for Butterscotch Apples. Stewed apples are served in a creamy brown sugar sauce.
In the meantime, put the brown sugar and water in a large saucepan. Using medium heat, bring to boil while stirring occasionally. Add the quartered apples. Cover and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently until the apples are tender (5-10 minutes) while stirring occasionally. (The apples can boil over, so watch carefully and reduce heat further if boiling too vigorously.) Remove the apples from the syrup using a slotted spoon; set both the apples and the syrup aside.
Put the cornstarch in another saucepan. Gradually stir in milk, and stir until smooth. Using medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Add the syrup that the apples were cooked in. Bring back to a boil, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the salt, butter, and vanilla.
To serve: May be served hot or cold. (I served it hot.) Put in the cooked apples in serving dishes, and spoon sauce over them.