Old-fashioned Fall Fruit Compote Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, November 10, 1914:  <<no entry>>Fall fuirt compote 2

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I t thought you might enjoy an old compote recipe that uses Fall fruits.

Old-Fashioned Fall Fruit Compote

3 pears

3 apples

3/4 cup raisins

1 1/2 cup cider

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Core pears and apples (but do not peel); then cut into 1-inch cubes. Combine cubed pears and apples, raisins, cider, water,  cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in large saucepan. Bring to a boil using medium heat. Reduce heat and cook for another 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat; drain using a colander, saving save the liquid. Combine the reserved liquid with the cornstarch; and return to saucepan. Using medium heat, reheat while stirring constantly until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat, and combine with the cooked fruit. Cool and serve.

Makes 4-5 servings

Old-Fashioned Black Raspberry Cobbler Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, July 12, 1914:  Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Besse and Curt were out this evening.

Black Raspberry Cobbler

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma’s sister Besse and her husband Curt lived in nearby Watsontown, and probably came out to the farm on a pleasant summer evening. Did the family sit on the porch and chat about everything—and nothing?

I bet they ate some dessert while they chatted . . . probably something made with fresh fruit.

My black raspberries are ripe, so maybe they had something with black raspberries. . . maybe Black Raspberry Cobbler.

Black Raspberry Cobbler

1 quart (4cups) black raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons flour, and mix with the raspberries. Put into a 2 quart dish. In a separate bowl combine 1 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. Add all the milk at once, and stir with a fork until the dough clings together. Pat pieces the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and place on top of fruit mixture. When all of the dough is used, most of the top of the fruit will be covered, but there should be gaps here and there so the steam can escape. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 325 ° F and continue cooking until berries are hot and bubbly, and the crust is lightly browned. Serve warm.

Old-fashioned Black Walnut Ice Cream Recipe

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, March 1, 1914:

March comes in like a howling lion,

How it goes out, I do not know.

This month at least is a howler,

Or the beginning is for the winds do blow (fiercely).

Went to Sunday School this morning. This afternoon it began to get pretty breezy and by now the winds are howling to beat the band. We had ice cream. Whether attracted by the scent or not, Besse and Curt came out. Besse usually manages to get out when we have ice cream.

DSC08776

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Besse and Curt Hester were Grandma’s married sister and her husband. They lived in nearby Watsontown.

Throughout the diary, the Muffly’s made ice cream once or twice each winter. Today we think of ice cream as a warm weather food—but I guess in the days before refrigeration that maybe it was a cold weather food. It would have been easier to get the ice needed to make ice cream during the winter months.

What kind of ice cream did they make? Maybe they made Black Walnut Ice Cream. The previous fall Grandma gathered nuts after they fell from the trees—and Black Walnut is an awesome old-fashioned ice cream flavor.

Black Walnut Ice Cream

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups half and half

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

1 cup chopped black walnuts

In a saucepan combine sugar, flour and salt. Stir in 1/2 of the half and half (2 cups). Stir and cook over moderate heat until thickened. Cook 2 minutes more. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the eggs, and then add the egg mixture to the pan. Cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat; add vanilla and additional half and half. Strain to remove any lumps. Chill for several hours. Stir in black walnuts before putting into ice cream freezer.

Follow freezer directions to make ice cream.

Makes approximately 1 1/2 quarts. Recipe may be doubled or tripled for larger freezers.

This ice cream turned out wonderfully—and my husband says that I should have doubled the recipe because it didn’t last long enough.

This is one of my favorite uses of black walnuts. The coldness of the ice cream and the robust flavor of the walnuts combine to create a wonderful taste treat.

Monthly Poem

The first day of each month Grandma included a poem in the diary. For more information see, the following post:

Monthly Poem in Diary

Baked Rhubarb with Orange

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, May 2, 1913: My thoughts this evening are hardly worth writing about.

rhubarb with orange

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma—There must have been something worth writing a hundred years ago today. Did you ever try the menus that were published in Good Housekeeping magazine?may.1913.menu

menu.may.3.crop

One of the foods listed on the May 3, 1913 menu is Baked Rhubarb with Orange.  .

Baked Rhubarb with Orange

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon mace

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

5 cups Rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces

3 oranges

Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl combine the sugar, mace, cloves, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Wash the oranges, and pare off the peel thinly; coarsely chop and then set aside. Remove white inner skin and seeds from oranges and halve. Cut halved oranges into 1-inch pieces.

In a large bowl combine the rhubarb, orange pieces, chopped orange peel, and sugar mixture.  Put into a 2-quart baking dish.

Bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly—and the rhubarb is tender.

Serve hot or cold.

Adapted from recipe in Good Housekeeping (May, 1913)

This dish is excellent. The orange peel and spices nicely balance the tartness of the rhubarb.

According to the old Good Housekeeping magazine:

Rhubarb thus prepared keeps well, and is good morning, noon, and night. As a breakfast relish, nothing is finer than a very tiny saucer of it.

Previous posts with other rhubarb recipes include:

Stewed Rhubarb (Rhubarb Sauce)

Rhubarb Sponge Pie

Rhubarb Pudding

Old-fashioned Apple Fritter Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, January 13, 1913:  Nothing much for today.

DSC07052

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Something must have happened a hundred years ago today. I wonder what the Muffly’s ate on that mid-January day.

The dishes they ate probably were made with local ingredients that were available in January.  I’ve been enjoying trying old fritter recipes,  and have warm, fuzzy, memories of eating apple fritters on cold winter days.

Old-fashioned Apple Fritters

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 medium apples chopped

approximately 1/3 cup shortening or lard

powdered sugar

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, egg, and milk. Beat until smooth. Stir in apples.

Heat shortening until hot in large frying pan. Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot shortening.  Flip fritters and fry until golden brown on all sides. The fritters may need to be flipped several times to completely cook due to the thickness of the batter.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Makes  12-16 fritters.

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, September 12, 1912:  Wish some good kind soul would tell me what to write.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma, you should have written about the everyday things that you did. . . The things that seemed too boring and mundane to put into the diary. For example, you could have told us what you had for supper.

It’s the peak of the apple season—Did you have apples for supper? Maybe old-fashioned apple dumplings. . . .

Apple Dumplings

Pastry for 9 inch two-crust pie

9 tart baking apples, peeled and quartered

cinnamon

2 cups brown sugar (packed)

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry as directed except roll 1/3 of dough into large rectangle; cut into 3 smaller rectangles. Put 4 apples quarters (1 apple) in each rectangle. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Moisten corners of each square with water; bring 2 opposite corners of pastry up over apple and press together. Fold in sides of remaining corners (as if wrapping a package); bring corners up over apple and press together. Repeat with remaining dough and apples. Place dumplings in ungreased 12 X 8  X 3 inch or similarly sized baking dish.

In a saucepan heat brown sugar and water to boiling; carefully pour around and over dumplings. Bake 40 minutes or until crust is golden and apples are tender. Serve warm or cool. If desired, serve with milk.

Yield: 9 servings

Apple Crisp Recipes: Comparison of Old and Modern Recipes

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:    

Saturday, August 24, 1912: We’ve been expecting company for the last several days, but it seems to be as if they aren’t coming. It seems to be the luck around here.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Did they make food in anticipation of the company that didn’t show? Since apples are in season, maybe they made an apple dessert..

I tried two Apple Crisp recipes to see which was the best.  First I made the recipe that was in an old Pennsylvania Grange Cookbook; then I made the recipe on the Betty Crocker website.

Old Pennsylvania Apple Crisp Recipe

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

3/4  teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg, slightly beaten

5 medium apples

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together flour, sugar (1/2 cup), salt, and baking powder; add melted butter and egg. Stir together until crumbly.

Pare and slice apples, and place in an 8” X 8” baking dish. Cover with the flour mixture. Bake approximately 45 minutes or until the apples are soft.

Then I made the apple crisp recipe on the Betty Crocker website:

Betty Crocker Apple Crisp Recipe

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream or Ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 375º F. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.

Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.

The verdict—Both recipes were good and I’d recommend either recipe.

The oatmeal in the Betty Crocker recipe made that Apple Crisp crunchier than the other one. And, the flavors were a little more subdued with the Old Pennsylvania recipe because white sugar (rather than brown sugar) and fewer spices were used.