Thursday, December 24, 2015

Icelandic Christmas Cake

Icelandic Christmas Cake
This Icelandic cake recipe uses lemon flavoring and cardamom extract in a unique and delicious Christmas cake you'll want to make anytime of the year. I changed the recipe I used just a little substituting Maraschino cherries, and orange extract, instead of raisins, and lemon extract. I had just made a Fruit Cake, so I wanted something different, but the original recipe is below. Either way, it's a wonderful cake.
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon cardamom flavored extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 11 inch loaf pan.
Cream the butter or margarine and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time beating well after each one. Stir in the milk, lemon and cardamom flavorings. Stir in the flour and the baking powder.
Sift a little flour over the raisins then stir them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes. I promise you will enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Old Recipes for Holiday Fruit Cake

The Orgin if Fruit Cake:
The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. In the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added.
Fruit cakes soon proliferated all over Europe. Recipes varied greatly in different countries throughout the ages, depending on the available ingredients as well as (in some instances) church regulations forbidding the use of butter, regarding the observance of fast. Pope Innocent VIII (1432–1492) finally granted the use of butter, in a written permission known as the ‘Butter Letter' or Butterbrief in 1490, giving permission to Saxony to use milk and butter in the North German Stollen fruit cakes.

One cup of butter, two of brown sugar, one of molasses, one of strong coffee, four and one-half cups flour, four eggs, two teaspoons of soda, two of cinnamon, two of cloves, two of mace, one pound of raisins, one of currants, one-quarter of citron.
Bake in layers and put together with icing. Be careful to cut paper for each pan before putting in the mixture. Leave out the currants if you like.
* Always bake at low temperatures: 250 – 300 degrees is best, but some recipes do go a little higher depending on their ingredients. These recipes do not specify.
Scotch Fruit Cake 1 1/2 lb flour
1lb fine Sugar White
12 eggs
12 oz butter
6 oz each citron, lemon & orange peel
60z Almonds
1 Nutmeg
Wine glass brandy.
Strew Caraway Comfits on top.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Imperial Cookies, a tastey, spicey, and vintage treat.

Imperial Cookies
From The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book 1896 This book is a 19th-century general reference cookbook which is still available both in reprint and in updated form. It was particularly notable for a more rigorous approach to recipe writing than had been common up to that point.
In the preface Farmer states:
It is my wish that it may not only be looked upon as a compilation of tried and tested recipes, but that it may awaken an interest through its condensed scientific knowledge which will lead to deeper thought and broader study of what to eat.
Farmer's 1896 compilation became the best-selling cookbook of the era.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon grated *nutmeg
In 2007, that period of American culinary history was recreated in an elaborate dinner using the Victorian cooking methods outlined in this book. The extensive preparations and the ultimate results were described in a book entitled Fannie's Last Supper by Christopher Kimball,and an American public television program of the same name was broadcast in 2010.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and mix well, add milk, and lemon extract, blend.
In separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, and nutmeg.
Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture, and mix well.
Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and drop cookie batter by small teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown.
*Note: If you like you can substitute Allspice for Nutmeg.
Facsimiles of the original book are still in print. Heavily revised successor books, later re-titled The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, have also been published, the most recent being the thirteenth edition by author Marion Cunningham, originally issued in 1990 and then reissued in 1996 for the 100th anniversary of the original book.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hermits: from Things Mother Used to Make (1914)

Here’s the recipe as it appears in the cookbook:
1 cupful of sugar
1/2 cupful of molasses
2/3 cupful of butter
2 eggs
1 cupful of raisins, chopped fine
2 tablespoonfuls of milk
1 teaspoonful of soda
1 teaspoonful of cinnamon
1 teaspoonful of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoonful of cloves
Flour enough to roll
Cream the butter and sugar together, beat the eggs, add to the butter and sugar, then stir in the molasses, milk and spices.
Add the raisins which have been covered with flour, and, last of all, the flour into which the dry soda has been sifted.
Roll thin and cut with cooky-cutter.
Hermit Tips...Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are firm around the edges but still a little soft in the center.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Old French Apple Cobbler Recipe

French Apple Cobbler Recipe – Handwritten
This recipe was written on a lined index card (much like my own) and found in a large collection, date unknown. I altered mi recipe slightly for 2 crust (in photos).
French Apple Cobbler 375° for 35 to 40 min
5 c. apples peeled & sliced
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinn
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
* If you prefer a bottom crust mix a second batter, butter the pan, and line pan with the first batter before placing filling on top.
Mix and combine with 1/4 c. water and place in 9″ sq. pan and dot with butter (1 Tbsp.)
*Batter (double if you would like a bottom crust,and a top crust)
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg slightly beaten
*Mix the batter, then roll out onto a floured surface, and cut strips to criscross on top of filling.
You may have noticed that I also left the peel on my apples. That is a personal preference as well. Let me know if you like this recipe, or are eager to try it out. I took mine to a gathering, and they were coming back for 2 and 3 pieces.
Note: to the Apple mixture I also added...
1/2 t cinnamon
3 T lemon juice
1 t lemon zest

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Apple Butter Cake

This is an old Recipe for Apple Butter Cake It is very easy to make, and very delicious.
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups apple butter
Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 15x10x1-inch pan with butter. In medium bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until very thick and lemon colored.
Gradually beat granulated sugar into eggs. On low speed, beat in water and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and salt just until batter is smooth. Pour batter into pan; spread to corners.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on cooling rack; cool at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup powdered sugar on top, if desired. This is a wonderful treat to end a busy fall day for you, and yours. Let me know if you tried it in the comments.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

An old English (Samhain) Halloween Treat

Remembrance Cookies, a Samhain cookie recipe.
Samhain (pronounced / sah-win/ SOW-in, is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Remembering ancestors on Halloween.
November 1 marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Samhain was often celebrated similarly to a festival of the dead and was very influential to Halloween traditions such as trick-or-treating and wearing costumes. Still honored by Wiccans and witches today.

Remembrance Cookies can be made on Hallow's Eve. They can be shaped like people and the herb rosemary is added to the dough as a symbol of remembrance. Some of the cookies are eaten while telling stories or attributes of special ancestors, reminding us that we still have access to their strengths--or perhaps a predisposition to their weaknesses. The rest of the cookies are left outside by a bonfire as an offering.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg 2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary
Heat oven 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and rosemary until creamy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture. Beat until dough forms and refrigerate for three hours. Divide dough into halves. Roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface. Cut out with gingerbread women or men cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat rolling and cutting with second portion. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Two Apple Pie Recipes. One from 1845, and one from 1381

An Old Apple Pie Recipe from 1845, and one from 1381
English apple pie recipes go back to the time of Chaucer (Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London sometime around 1343, though the precise date and location of his birth remain unknown). The 1381 recipe (shown above) lists the ingredients as good apples, good spices, figs, raisins and pears. The cofyn of the recipe is a casing of pastry. Saffron is used for colouring the pie filling.
For the 1845 Apple Pie we have as the source: The New England Economical Housekeeper, H.W. Derby, 1845. It makes one 9-inch pie, (double crust, and fruit filling). It's recipe is below.
1845 Apple Pie Recipe
Pastry dough
3 pounds apples
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter (dot filling top)
Prepare the pastry: Roll the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate with the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust. Chill the pastry.
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Prepare the filling: Pour the fresh-squeezed lemon juice in the bottom of a large bowl. Add your lemon zest to the bowl. Peel, halve and core the apples. Be sure you remove the seeds. Slice them evenly and slim into the bowl, coating them with the lemon juice as you go.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugars, molasses and spices. Add them to the apples just before you want to bake the pie, mix gently. Adjust sugar to taste as needed.
Scrape the filling into the bottom crust, dot with butter and cover it with the second crust. Trim and crimp the crust; chill the pie for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Cut vents in the top crust. It is your option to sprinkle it with sugar or brush the top with egg wash. The apple pie is ready to bake.
Bake the pie on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 400° F or until the crust looks dry, blistered, and blonde. Turner the oven down to 375°F, and bake for at least 45 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown, and visible juices are thickened and bubble slowly through the vents in the top crust. Check if the bottom crust has darkened. If not bake a little more and cover the top crust, so it does not burn.
7. Cool the pie completely before cutting at least a few hours or warm in an hour. Store the pie uncovered in a cool place up to three days.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

History of Popcorn Balls, Recipes and Memories

History of Popcorn Balls
Popcorn balls (popped kernels stuck together with a sugary "glue") were hugely popular around the turn of the 20th century, but their popularity has since waned. Popcorn balls are still served in some places as a traditional Halloween treat.

Popcorn balls were a fixture at many Halloween parties during the 1950s, a time when Treat or Treaters regularly enjoyed homemade treats rather than packaged store-bought candies. Chances are that many of you would receive at least one on your "Trick or Treating" rounds in your neighborhood, as well as fresh baked cookies.
One legend from Nebraska say's that the popcorn ball is actually a product of the Nebraska weather. It supposedly invented itself during the "Year of the Striped Weather" which came between the years of the "Big Rain" and the "Great Heat" where the weather was both hot and rainy. There was a mile strip of scorching sunshine and then a mile strip of rain. On one farm, there were both kinds of weather. One day in August, it rained so hard on the farm that sorghum syrup leaked right from the grasses and drained into the nearby cornfield (the cornfield was in a valley). The syrup flowed down the hill into the popped corn and rolled it into great balls with some of them hundreds of feet high and looked like big tennis balls at a distance. You never see any of them now because the grasshoppers ate them all up in one day on July 21, 1874.
Popcorn balls dated back to the mid-19th century. New York cookbook author E.F. Haskell included the recipe in her Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia first published in 1861. The following is one of those old, and vintage recipes.
Popcorn balls:
12 oz molasses
1 stick butter
1 cup popcorn, un-popped
Vegetable oil
Pour the popcorn kernels into a large, deep pan. Cover lightly with vegetable oil. Cover and cook on high heat until popped. His should yield 4 quarts of popped popcorn. (Try to remove un-popped kernels as best you can.)
In a small saucepan, bring the molasses and butter to a boil (about 249 degree; check with a candy thermometer).
In a large bowl, pour the syrup over the popcorn and mix together so the popcorn is sufficiently coated. With your hands, form tennis ball-sized sphere.
Let set, and wrap individually with plastic wrap. Yields 16 balls.
Alternate Recipe:
Popcorn Balls
3 quarts plain popped corn (about 1/3 cup kernels)
1/4 cup butter 10 oz. bag marshmallows
food coloring (optional)
Put popped corn in a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt the butter and marshmallows in a stove top pot, stirring constantly. When they are melted, take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool until it can be touched. If you like, stir in a few drops of food coloring.
Using a wooden spoon, gently stir the melted mixture into the popcorn. Next, butter your hands and work quickly to form popcorn balls. Place balls on waxed paper to cool.
After the balls are cool, you may use warm corn syrup to stick gum drops or other candy decorations to the popcorn balls. The popcorn balls may be stored in sandwich bags. This makes enough for about 15 two-inch balls.
These popcorn balls are great anytime, but as you know, they are especially fun to enjoy at Halloween or Christmas time. It is up to you to keep the tradition going! Let your children, or grandchildren help you make some popcorn balls and give them the one of memories you loved so much. They are so easy to make and so very delicious!
Sometimes the oldest recipes give the best memories!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ashure (in Turkish: Aşure) or Noah's Pudding

Noah’s Pudding
15 October is Muharram/Islamic New Year
Ashura is a holiday celebrated annually in Turkey. It signifies many events for Muslims, amongst the most significant being the day Noah's Ark set on dry land. The month long festivities center on promoting friendship, good relations between neighbors and universal peace and understanding. In Turkey, a traditional dish is prepared during this month known as Noah’s pudding. It is meant to symbolize the celebratory meal Noah made when he came off the Ark. It is a sign of peace, of community, of peace, and of a bright future.
Noah to build a ship. Inspired by God, Noah built the ship. Godordered him to take two of every creature, the believers, and hisfamily, except his wife, in the vessel. Noah again told people about the flood, and warned them against it. But their response remained same. The believers and animals boarded the ship and supplies were loaded. Then, God said to the sky “O sky! Let your water pour down”. He said to earth “O earth, hold your water”. The water started rising. As all nonbelievers were drowning with their all vices, a long and hard journey was awaiting Noah and the believers, a long, tumultuous journey. Days had passed, and food was scarce. They were facing starvation. No food by itself was enough to make a good meal. Noah gathered all the foods and, mixing them, obtained a delicious meal. Believers survived through famine. The very next day, flood receded. Today we call the meal Noah prepared “Noah’s Pudding”. It is also called as “Ashura”.
Since that day, Muslims cook it in every year on the month of Muharram according to the Islamic calendar in remembrance of what Noah and his people went through, mixing all the dry beans and wheat they can find, making this pudding and sharing it with their neighbors. Ashure porridge does not have a single recipe, as recipes vary between regions and families.
1 cup barley
1 cup white kidney beans (in a can), washed and drained
1 cup chickpeas (in a can), washed and drained
1 cup sugar
1 pkg vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla extract
10 cups water
10 dry apricots, soaked in water overnight, cut in pieces
10 dry figs, cut in pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, crumbled
Put 4 cups of water in a large pot along with the barley. Get it to boil on high heat. Then as soon as it boils, turn it down to medium-low heat and cook for about half an hour. Add the beans, chickpeas, vanilla, apricots, raisins, figs, sugar and 6 cups of hot water. Cook for about 45 minutes on medium-low heat. Stir occasionally. Pour into a large service bowl and let cool. Keep Noah's Pudding refrigerated. When serving, garnish with crumbled walnuts.
This recipe is one of the oldest and best known desserts of Turkish Cuisine. It's original name is "Asure". When we cook Asure, it is traditional to give some away to friends and family.