Old-fashioned Cream of Onion Soup Recipe

cream of onion soup

There’s starting to be a nip in the air; a few trees are turning lovely hues of red and yellow, and the days are getting shorter. Autumn is here – and I had a sudden urge to make soup.

I found a lovely  hundred-year-old recipe for Cream of Onion Soup. The soup was rich and creamy with flecks of onions. The recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of pepper which gave the Cream of Onion Soup a delightful peppery undertone.

Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine), March, 1916
Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine), March, 1916

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cream of Onion Soup

  • Servings: 7 - 9
  • Time: 40 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

5 onions, sliced (approximately 3 cups)

1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup butter

4 cups water

4 sprigs parsley

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 cups milk

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup cream

Melt 1/4 cup butter in large saucepan, add sliced onions and saute until the onions are soft and semi-transparent (but not browned).  Add water and parsley, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until onions are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor.

Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, using medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter; then stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly; then add the pureed onion mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks; add cream and stir to blend. Add a small amount (approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons) of onion mixture and  stir quickly to prevent the egg from coagulating. Then stir the egg and cream mixture into the onion mixture in the dutch oven. Bring to a simmer and then serve.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pudding

Apple Pudding

I generally like old-fashioned fruit puddings, so I was pleased when I saw a recipe for Apple Pudding in a hundred-year-old cookbook.

Apple Pudding Recipe
Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church, Trout Run, PA (1907)

Most modern apple recipes call for cinnamon and other spices, so I was surprised that this recipe didn’t use any spices. But they weren’t needed–the Apple Pudding was pure apple and delightful.  The apples were embedded in a lovely moist cake pudding.

In general the directions in this old recipe are a little vague. It provides no clue how many apples should be used;  and I was left to decide what a moderate oven meant. However, the recipe was very specific that Cleveland’s Superior Baking Powder should be used. Of course, I’ve never heard of Cleveland’s and it’s probably not been made for decades. So I  had to make due with a modern baking powder brand, which worked just fine. This recipe may have been originally published by the Cleveland Baking Powder Company. Perhaps Mrs. Wm. Mock liked it, and submitted the same exact recipe for the church cookbook.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Apple Pudding

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 cups sliced apples

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place sliced apples into a 7 1/2  X  12  X  2 inch rectangular casserole dish, or other similarly-sized dish.

Put butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, egg, and milk into a mixing bowl; beat until smooth.  Pour the batter over the apples. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hr, 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Serve warm or cool. If desired, may be served with whipped cream or milk.

Hundred-Year-Old Potato Salad Recipe

Potato Salad

Over the next couple weeks I have several picnics on my calendar. Potato Salad is the quintessential picnic food, so I was pleased to find a hundred-year-old Potato Salad recipe.

Potato Salad Recipe
Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church, Trout Run, PA (1907)

At first I wasn’t quite sure about the recipe. It didn’t contain the usual Potato Salad ingredients like celery and mayonnaise, but rather was a vinaigrette dressing. Yet, the recipe was so easy that I decided to give it a try.

The Potato Salad was lovely, and the vinaigrette dressing with a hint of pepper was just right. It added a delightful flavor to the potatoes, but didn’t overwhelm them.  This recipe is a keeper.

The old recipe made a lot of dressing relative to the potatoes, so I divided it by three when I revised it. Here’s the updated recipe for modern cooks:

Potato Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20 minutes active prep
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 large potatoes (approximately 3 cups diced)

3/4 cup  onion, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon black pepper

parsley sprigs for garnish, optional

Peel and dice potatoes into 3/4 inch chunks. Put into a sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are just barely tender (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Chill in refrigerator for several hours, then add onions.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour this dressing over the potatoes and onions. Gently toss to coat the potatoes with the dressing. Put in serving bowl; and, if desired, garnish with parsley sprigs.

Old-Fashioned Plum Pie

Plum Pie

Have you ever eaten a Plum Pie? Until I saw a hundred-year-old for Plum Pie, and decided to give it a try, I’d never had one.

The Plum Pie was awesome. It was tart, but not too tart; and it was sweet, but not too sweet. In other words, it was just right. The pie was beautiful with  a lovely reddish-purple filling.

Now that I’ve eaten Plum Pie, I can say with certainty that it is one of my favorite pies.

But now I’m confused. Plum Pies apparently were more popular a hundred-years-ago than what they are now. Why have they gone out of style?

Here’s the original hundred-year-old recipe:

Plum Pie Recipe
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Plum Pie

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

2 cups sliced purple plums (plums that are still somewhat  firm work best)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2  cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon butter

Pastry for 8 inch (small) 2-crust pie

milk

sugar

Heat oven to 425° F.  In a bowl combine the plum slices and the lemon juice. Add the sugar and flour, stir gently to combine .  Turn into pastry-lined pie pan, and dot with butter. Cover with top crust and flute edges. Brush crust with a small amount of milk; sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in oven for 10 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.

Hundred-Year-Old Recipe for Pink Lemonade

Pink Lemonade

The dog days have summer have arrived – and there’s nothing like sitting in the shade sipping lemonade on a hot summer day. I usually make lemonade using just lemons, water, and sugar – but when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe which suggested that back then they colored pink lemonade by mixing in a little red-colored jelly (currant, crab apple, etc.), I just had to give it a try.

According to the old recipe, the best lemonade is “a little too sweet, and a little too sour.”  Using that criteria, the Pink Lemonade I made was perfect. It was refreshing and delightful . . . and a lovely shade of pink.

Here’s the original recipe:

Good Housekeeping (August, 1916)
Good Housekeeping (August, 1916)

Here’s how I adapted the recipe for modern cooks:

Pink Lemonade

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Time: 15 minutes active prep
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup sugar

2 cups water + 6 cups water

1/2 cup tart red jelly (currant, crab apple, etc.)

3 – 6 lemons (depending upon size)

mint sprigs or lemon zest for garnish (optional)

Put the sugar and 2 cups of water into a saucepan using medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and continue to boil slowly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat,  and cool slightly then beat in the jelly. (I used homemade Crab Apple Jelly, but Currant Jelly or any other tart red jelly would work well). There may be flecks of jelly in the liquid even after beating, that’s okay.

Squeeze lemons, and stir lemon juice into the sugar mixture. Strain the liquid. Some of the jelly (as well as the lemon pulp) will not go through the strainer. Discard this jelly, it will have already colored the lemonade.

Chill the strained syrup. To serve, mix the syrup with  6 cups water, and serve over ice.  If desired, garnish with mint sprigs or lemon zest.

The syrup will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Individual servings of lemonade can be made by mixing some of the  syrup with water in a glass – proportions can vary to taste.

The old recipe called for 3 lemons. When I made this recipe, 3 didn’t seem like enough; so I doubled it and used 6 lemons.

 

Hundred-Year-Old Cauliflower au Gratin Recipe

Cauliflower au Gratin 1

Every week when I go to the farmers’ market I mull over which vegetables to purchase. Sometimes I have a recipe in mind and look for specific vegetables – other times I reverse the process and look for the highest-quality freshest vegetables I can find, and then I search for a recipe. This week was one of the latter weeks. The cauliflower looked perfect, and I just couldn’t  resist buying a head.

When I searched for cauliflower recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks, I came across a recipe for Cauliflower au Gratin and decided to give it a try.

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

The Cauliflower au Gratin turned out perfectly. The cauliflower was embedded in a creamy white sauce, co-mingled with rich melted cheese from the cheese topping. I put the cauliflower in a casserole dish instead of using the individual ramekins called for in the old recipe.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cauliflower au Gratin

  • Servings: 5 - 6
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

approximately 3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (1 head of cauliflower)

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1.2 cup milk

2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Put the cauliflower florets into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil using high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until florets are tender (about 5 minutes). Drain well.

Meanwhile, in another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour and salt. Gradually, add the milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the white sauce thickens. Gently stir in the cooked cauliflower, and remove from heat.

Place the cauliflower mixture into a 1 quart casserole dish,  and sprinkle with the shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until hot and bubbly (about 15 minutes).

Peach Cup (Individual Peach Cobblers) Recipe

lndividual Peach Cobbler

I always think of  peach season as cobbler season, so I was excited when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Individual Peach Cobblers.  The cobblers are delightful when served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

These cobblers are a double peach dessert that contains both sliced and mashed peaches. Hot juicy peach slices are embedded in this homey cobbler; and mashed peaches, which are mixed into the batter, infuse the cobbler shortbread with a light peachy sweetness.

This dessert was called Peach Cup in the original recipe. In the early 1900’s, individual cobblers and shortcakes were called cups because they were made in custard cups or muffin pans.

Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Peach Cup (Individual Peach Cobblers

  • Servings: 6 - 8 cobblers
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

4 small (3 large)  fresh peaches

1 egg, separated

3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 425° F. Prepare custard cups or jumbo muffin pan by generously greasing the cups.

Peel the peaches, then mash 1  peach (3/4 of a peach if using large peaches). (I used a blender to puree the peach).  Set aside.

Slice the remaining peaches.  Set aside.

Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, egg yolk, milk, melted butter, and mashed/pureed peach. Beat until smooth. Gently fold in the egg white.

Put 1 tablespoon of batter in the bottom of each cup, add a layer of peach slices, then cover with the remaining batter. (It’s okay if the peaches are not completely covered.)

Place in the oven, and cook for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from cups.  To remove from cups,  run a butter knife gently around the edge of the cups, then turn upside down on a plate. After the individual cobblers slide out of the cups,  flip them so they are upright.

Best when served warm. May be topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cook’s note: Canned or frozen peaches could be substituted for the fresh peaches.

And, here is the original recipe:

Peach Cup
Source: A Text-book of Cooking by Carlotta C. Greer (1915)

Notes: I divided the recipe by 2 when I made it.  The original recipe called for using peach halves, but my peaches were too large to fit in a custard cup, so I cut the peaches into slices.