Hundred-Year-Old Cranberry Slush (Yuletide Punch) Recipe

cranberry slush

When browsing through a hundred-year-old National Food Magazine, I was amazed to see a recipe for Yuletide Punch that looked like a cranberry slush recipe to me.

Of course, I had to try it. The slush contained freshly made cranberry juice (not the over-filtered store-bought stuff) and orange juice as well as a little maraschino cherry juice. The icy, dusky pink slush was refreshing and had just the right amount of tartness.

This recipe is a keeper. The slush was easy to make, beautiful, and tasted awesome. I’ll definitely make it again.

Here’s my adaptation of the original recipe:

Cranberry Slush (Yuletide Punch)

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Time: 20 minutes prep time
  • Difficulty: easy
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3 cups fresh cranberries (1 12-ounce bag)

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 medium oranges

1 tablespoon liquid from maraschino cherries

Combine the cranberries, sugar, and water in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and are soft. Remove from heat. Use a strainer to separate the juice from the berries.* Squeeze the oranges, and strain the orange juice. Combine cranberry juice, orange juice, and maraschino cherry liquid. Put the juice mixture in a freezer container and freeze.

To serve: Remove container from freezer 1/2 – 1 hr. prior to serving and allow the mixture to soften for easy serving. Spoon the slush into glasses, and serve immediately.

*Note: The cooked cranberries are not used in this recipe, but can be cooled and served separately.

Adapted from recipe in National Food Magazine (December, 1914)

Here is the original recipe.

Source: National Food Recipe (December, 1914)
Source: National Food Recipe (December, 1914)

Something doesn’t seem quite right with the old photo. The slush in the picture looks white. My slush was a dark pink.

Coconut Cream Cookies

coconut cream cookies 3Cookie season is here, and it’s time to start baking for the holidays. Of course, I just had to try a “new” hundred-year-old recipe.

I selected a recipe for Coconut Cream Cookies that was in a small promotional cookbook published in 1911 for KC Baking Powder.

The cookies are an old-fashioned soft, chewy cookie, with a very delicate creamy coconut taste. Their mild flavor makes them perfect for nibbling while sipping a cup of coffee.

The recipe didn’t call or any butter or shortening–and I was surprised that it was possible to make cookies without it. The cream in the recipe apparently provided adequate fat to create a nice cookie texture—however, the cookies weren’t as flavorful as many modern cookies.

Here’s my updated version of the recipe:

Coconut Cream Cookies

  • Servings: approximately 25 pieces
  • Time: 1 hr.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

water

1 cup shredded coconut

shredded coconut for garnish

walnuts, pecans, or other nuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine eggs, sugar, and cream. Add flour, salt, and baking powder; stir to combine. If the mixture is too dry, add water until a soft dough of rolling consistency forms. Stir in the coconut.

Roll out the dough one-fourth inch thick. Sprinkle with coconut, pressing in lightly. Cut into rounds; press a nut meat into the center of each cookie. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes, or just until set and the coconut garnish is just beginning to toast.

Note: I used a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter. The coconut in the cookie dough makes this dough a little more difficult to handle than many modern doughs. A spatula can be used to transfer the cut cookies to the baking sheet.

Yield: Approximately 42 cookies

Here is the original recipe.

Source: The Cook's Book (1911)
Source: The Cook’s Book (KC Baking Powder Cook Book) (1911)

I had to make some adaptations to the recipe. I guessed that “1 coffee C sugar” was about 3/4 cup of sugar.

When I followed the recipe, the dough was extremely dry. I added additional cream, as well as water, to achieve a dough that could be rolled. Perhaps a hundred years ago, eggs were larger than the typical “large egg” of today. Also, I used all-purpose flour rather than pastry flour–and  I didn’t sift it; that might have affected the amount of liquid needed.

I also changed the spelling of coconut from “cocoanut” to “coconut” when I revised the recipe. I never see it spelled with an “a” in modern cookbooks, so I’m guessing that it’s an archaic spelling.

Nutmeg Fudge Recipe

Nutmeg fudge picture

I love fudge, and when I saw a recipe for Nutmeg Fudge in a hundred-year-old magazine I just had to try to try it.

The verdict—The fudge was wonderfully smooth and creamy. I noticed unexpected nutmeg undertones when taking the first nibble, but then the warm, spicy hint of nutmeg balanced nicely with the sugar to create a fudge that was less sweet than many fudges.

Nutmeg Fudge

  • Servings: approximately 25 pieces
  • Time: 1 hr. 15 mins.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 cups light-brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoonful nutmeg

Combine brown sugar, milk, cream, and melted chocolate in a heavy saucepan. Using medium heat, heat until the mixture just begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking without stirring until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage (235° F.). Remove from heat; then stir in butter, salt, and nutmeg.

Cool until lukewarm; then stir vigorously until the mixture becomes creamy and begins to thicken. Pour into a small buttered pan (6” X 6”). When firm cut into squares.

Adapted from recipe in Good Housekeeping (December, 1915)

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1915)
Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1915)

Hickory Nut Macaroons Recipe

hickory nut 3The older I get, the more I enjoy foraged foods. They bring back powerful memories of foods my ancestors loved.  Last September my husband and I were thrilled to find a hickory nut tree in a fence row.  We gathered and hulled the fallen nuts, then brought them home and spread them out on newspapers to dry.

Last week-end we cracked the hickory nuts and then used nut picks to remove the tiny nut meats. The process was incredibly tedious—and the pile of shelled hickory nuts grew with agonizing slowness.

I knew that I had to find the perfect recipe to use the precious nuts. When I saw a recipe for Hickory Nut Macaroons in the  Lycoming Valley Cook Book, I just had to try it.  The cookbook is a 1907 church cookbook compiled by the Ladies of the Trout Run M.E. Church, Trout Run, Pa.

Here’s my updated version of the recipe.

Hickory Nut Macaroons

  • Servings: approximately 36 pieces
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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3 egg whites

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup hickory nut pieces

Preheat oven to 350° F. Put the egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater until stiff peaks form. Slowly add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat. Add flour, and beat just enough to blend it into the mixture. Then gently fold the hickory nuts into the egg white mixture. Drop by rounded teaspoons two inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the macaroons are just starting to turn light brown.

Makes approximately 36 macaroons.

The verdict—The macaroons were incredible. They were light and airy with a chewy texture on the inside and crispy on the outside, and the complex buttery taste of the hickory nuts took me back to long-forgotten flavor sensations from my childhood.

Here’s the original recipe. Would you interpret it the same way that I did?

Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, Compiled by the Ladies of the Trout Run M.E. Church (1907)
Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, Compiled by the Ladies of the Trout Run, Pa. M.E. Church (1907)

Old-fashioned Sweet Potato Pone

sweet potato pone

Sweet potatoes are part of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions, but frankly I’m tired of candied sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, so I dug through hundred-year-old recipe books looking for something “new.”

I found Sweet Potato Pone, and just had to give it a try.

The pone looked plainer than many sweet potato dishes;  but it was lovely, with a sweet, ginger flavor and citrus undertones. It had an almost pudding-like quality.

Sweet Potato Pone

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Time: 1 hr. 15 mins.
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 orange

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

4 cups hot mashed sweet potato (6-7 medium sweet potatoes)

1 cup milk, heated until hot

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

Wash the orange. Using a grater, grate the orange rind. Set the grated rind aside. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice; set the juice aside.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until creamy, and then add the remaining ingredients and beat until the mixture is smooth. Put into a casserole dish, and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Adapted from Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

Sweet poato pone 2

I’m not sure why this recipe is called a pone. According to the dictionary pone is a type of cornbread, but this recipe doesn’t call for any cornmeal.

Here’s a picture of the original recipe. Would you have interpreted the recipe the same way I did?

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)

 

Old-fashioned Apple Raisin Stuffing

Apple Raisin Stuffing

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and I’m trying out old recipes to see which ones I want to serve on the big day. The stuffing I usually make contains celery, onions, and sage, and seems a bit boring, so I pulled out an old recipe for Apple Raisin Stuffing.

Apple Raisin Stuffing is wonderfully different from my old standby. It has a lovely, sweet cinnamon taste that reminds me of warm cinnamon bread. This recipe is a keeper. My children never have been fans of stuffing—but I actually think they might like this rendition, and plan to serve it over the holidays.

For my practice run, I divided the recipe in half and stuffed a chicken. I think that the full recipe would make about the right amount to stuff a small turkey.

Apple Raisin Stuffing

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Time: prep time: 10 minutes; cooking time: varies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Apple Raisin Stuffing

1 large apple, pared and diced (about 1 cup diced apple)

1 cup raisins

10 cups bread cubes

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

Combine diced apples, raisins, and bread cubes in a large bowl. In a separate bowl stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and water; then pour over the bread mixture. Stir gently to combine. If too dry, add additional water. Use stuffing with poultry or pork.

When I wrote this post, I was uncertain whether to call this dish stuffing. . . or dressing. . . or filling. My family often calls it filling—but I think that might be a regional term.

Old-fashioned Apple Custard Pie

 

apple custard pie 2

Custard pies were very popular a hundred years ago. One of the old-time fall favorites is Apple Custard Pie. The delicate custard taste mingles with the apples and a hint of cinnamon to create a truly special pie.

Old-Fashioned Apple Custard Pie

2 1/2 cups apples (cored, peeled and sliced)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons water

4 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

1 10-inch (large) pie shell

Combine apples, cinnamon, and water in a saucepan. Using medium heat, bring to a boil and then reduce heat; stir occasionally. If needed to prevent scorching on bottom of pan, add a small amount of additional water. Continue to simmer gently until the apples are soft (approximately 10-15 minutes). Cool slightly; then strain the apple mixture. Keep the cooked apples and discard the liquid. Set aside.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add sugar, salt, and milk. Beat until blended. Stir in the cooked apples. If the apples are still hot, use care to stir while pouring them into the custard mixture to ensure that none of the egg coagulates from the heat. Pour into the pie shell, then bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake an additional 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until knife inserted into center pie comes out clean.

This pie takes a long time to bake. If the top looks like it might start to burn before the center of the pie is solid, reduce heat to 325 degrees.

For this recipe, I used apples from a tree in my yard that, when cooked, get soft and do not hold their shape particularly well. I like how the cooked apples are widely dispersed in the custard; though, if preferred, firmer varieties may be used.