Old-fashioned Pineapple Bavarian Cream

Molded Pineapply Bavarian Cream on Plate

During these hot August days, I love light, refreshing desserts. And, I found a wonderful hundred-year-old recipe that fits the bill. Pineapple Bavarian Cream is delicious, and has just the right balance of sweetness and tartness,

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Pineapple Bavarian Cream
Source: School and Home Cooking (1920) by Carlotta C. Greer

When I made the recipe, I used a little less water than called for in the original recipe because, when I make molded gelatin-based desserts, I tend to have problems with the mixture not getting firm enough.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Pineapple Bavarian Cream

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Note: This recipe makes about 3 cups. I doubled this recipe when I made it because I wanted to use a 6-cup mold.

1 packet (0.25 ounce) of unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1 small can (8 ounce) can of crushed pineapple

water

1/2 cup sugar

dash salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup whipping cream

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, drain the juice from the pineapple. Place the juice in a measuring cup, and add enough water to make it 1 cup. Place the pineapple juice and water mixture in a saucepan, and heat to boiling using medium high heat. Reduce heat to low. Add the softened gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Add the sugar and salt and continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, then stir in the lemon juice.  Chill until the mixture just begins to thicken.

In the meantime, put the whipping cream in a bowl, and beat until soft peaks form.

Once the gelatin mixture has begun to thicken, stir in the crushed pineapple and then fold the whipped cream into the mixture.

Spoon into a 3-4 cup mold (or spoon into individual serving dishes or cups), and chill until firm (at least 4 hours).

To serve (if molded): Quickly dip the mold in hot water, then unmold onto serving plate.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

Rhubarb and Pineapple Conserve

Rhubarb and pineapple conserve

It never seems quite like spring until I make a few rhubarb recipes, so when I saw a recipe for Rhubarb Conserve in a hundred-year-old issue of Good Housekeeping, I just had to give it a try. In addition to the rhubarb the recipe called for a pineapple (as well as for the juice and grated peel of an orange).

Source: Good Housekeeping (May, 1916)
Source: Good Housekeeping (May, 1916)

The recipe turned out wonderfully, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. The conserve tastes more like a pineapple conserve than a rhubarb one with lovely sunny notes of pineapple that are slightly muted by the tartness of the rhubarb.

And, it wasn’t a bright red color like I anticipated. Instead the conserve is a blend of delightful shades of yellow, green, and brown. The rhubarb I used had a little red in the stalks–but much of the length was green. This may have affected the color. I also did a little research and discovered that rhubarb jam recipes often call for strawberry gelatin or other added coloring agents so I now think that the conserve color is exactly right given the ingredients I used.

Conserves are typically served with meat, and this conserve is lovely with pork or poultry, but I also enjoy using it as a marmalade on toast and English muffins.

Rhubarb Conserve meat

When I worked on this post, I pondered whether I should use the old name or whether that was misleading. In the end, I decided to add “pineapple” to the recipe title, but to keep the keep the word conserve.

The bottom line: Whatever this recipe is called, it is delightful and something that I would make again.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Old-fashioned Rhubarb and Pineapple Conserve

  • Servings: 5 one-half pint jelly jars
  • Difficulty: medium
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1 pineapple (approximately 4 cups shredded pineapple)

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

juice of 1 orange

grated rind of 1 orange

2 1/3 cups sugar

Core pineapple and remove flesh from skin, then shred into small pieces. Place in a large sauce pan.  Add rhubarb, orange juice, grated orange peel, and sugar. Let sit for 1/2 hour to allow the juice to start flowing; then using medium high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and boil gently for 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is the consistency of jam. Stir frequently — especially towards the end of the cooking time.

A good way to tell if the mixture is the right consistency is to lay the spoon that is used for stirring on a plate. Allow the liquid clinging to the spoon to cool for a few seconds, and see if it has a jam-like consistency.

Pour mixture into hot one-half pint jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe jar rim and adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.