Thanksgiving Dainties From The Victorian Era

Thanksgiving Dainties

Many families, in their veneration for oldtime customs, and desire to keep alive the memory of this early festival of our American forefathers, delight in preparing such dainties as were served in the days of our grandmothers. For such we have carefully selected the following recipes.

New England Doughnuts. Sift a pound and a half of flour, divide it in two parts. Make a hole in the centre of one part, pour in a wineglass of yeast, mix the flour gradually into it, adding warm milk to make soft dough. Cover and set by the fire for two hours. Into the other part of the flour, cut up five ounces of butter, and rub fine, add half a pound of powdered sugar, a teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon, a grated nutmeg, a table-spoonful of rose water, and half a pint of milk. Beat three eggs very light, and throw them into the mixture. When the sponge is light mix all together and set by the fire one hour. When light, turn out onto the pastry board, and cut in thick cakes, diamond shaped. Have a skillet of boiling lard, put in the doughnuts, and fry them brown. When cool, grate lump sugar over them.

Aunt Dinah’s Doughnuts. Scald a pint of milk, add two tablespoonfuls of butter, and stand aside to cool. When cool, stir in half a cup of yeast, and flour to make soft dough. Knead lightly, cover, and stand aside to rise. When light, roll out on a board, cut in cakes with a large cutter, and with a small one make a hole in the centre. Lay on a clean board, (sprinkled with flour) cover, and let stand half an hour. Have ready a deep kettle of boiling lard. Put the doughnuts in and fry brown, turn carefully. Take up, drain, and dust with powdered sugar.

Risen Cake. Take three pounds of flour, one and a half pounds of loaf sugar, a teaspoonful of cloves, one of ginger, one of mace, all finely powdered. Mix in four tablespoonfuls of good yeast, and twelve eggs. Stir all together, and if too stiff add a little milk. Set to rise. When light, knead in a pound of butter; have ready two pounds of stoned raisins, mix in the cake, pour in a mould, set in the oven and bake, when done, let stand in the pan until thoroughly cold.

Grandmother’s Pound Cake. Wash the salt from a pound of butter, and nib it until it is creamy; have ready sifted a pound of Hour, one of powdered sugar, and twelve eggs well beaten; put alternately into the butter, sugar, flour, and the whites and yolks of the eggs, beaten separately—continuing to beat until the cake is quite light. Add some grated lemon peel and a grated nutmeg. Butter a cake pan, pour in and bake.

Savoy Cake. Take twelve fresh eggs, put them in the scales and balance them with sugar; hike out half and balance the other half with Hour; separate the whites from the yolks, whip them very light, then sift first the sugar, then the flour, add some grated lemon peel, bake in a greased mould.

Thanksgiving Cake. Stir together a pound of butter and a pound of sugar; and sift into another pan a pound of flour. Beat six eggs very light, and stir them into the butter and sugar, alternately with the flour and a pint of sour milk, grate in a nutmeg, with a tablespoonful of powdered cinnamon. Lastly, stir in a small teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in tepid water. Beat the whole very hard, pour in a greased cake pan, and bake in an oven.

Honey Cakes. Take a quart of strained honey, half a pound of fresh butter, and a small teaspoonful of pearl ash, dissolved in a little milk. Add as much sifted flour as will make stiff paste. Work well together. Roll out half an inch thick. Cut into cakes. Lay on buttered tins, and bake in a hot oven.

Thanksgiving Buns. Boil a little saffron in sufficient water to cover, strain and cool. Rub half a pound of fresh butter into a pound of sifted flour, and make into a paste with four well beaten eggs, add the saffron. Put the dough in a pan.and cover it with a cloth. Set in a warm place to rise. When light, mix into it a quarter of a pound of sugar, a grated nutmeg and two spoonfuls of caraway seeds. Roll out the dough, divide into cakes. Strew with caraway comfits, and bake in flat tins.

Franklin Cake. Mix together a pint of molasses and half a pint of milk, in which cut up half a pound of butter. Warm just enough to melt the butter, and stir in six ounces of brown sugar; adding three tablespoonfuls of ginger, a tablespoonful of powdered cinnamon, a teaspoonful of powdered cloves, and: grated nutmeg. Beat seven eggs very light and stir them gradually into the mixture,  turn with a pound and two ounces of sifted flour. Add the grated peel and the juice of two lemons. Stir very hard. Put in buttered tins, and bake in a moderate oven.

A Pyramid of Torts. (An old-time Thanksgiving Dainty.) Roll out a sufficient quantity of the best puff paste, and with an oval cutter, cut out seven or eight pieces of different sizes. Bake them all separately, and when cool place them on a dish in a pyramid (gradually diminishing in size) the largest piece at the bottom, and the smallest at the top. Take various preserved fruits, and lay some of the largest on the lower tarts; on the next place smaller fruits, and so on till finished at the top with small sweetmeats. The upper one containing only a single raspberry or strawberry.

Pumpkin Pie. Take a pint of pumpkin after being stewed and press through a collander. Melt in half a pint of warm milk, a quarter of a pound of butter, and the same quantity of sugar, stirring them well together. Beat eight eggs very light, and add them gradually to the other ingredients. Stir in a wineglass of rose water, a large teaspoonful of powdered mace and cinnamon mixed and a grated nutmeg. Put on pastry and bake.

Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Pudding. Grate all the crumbs of a stale loaf of bread, boil a quart of milk, and pour it, boiling hot, over the grated bread; cover it and let it steep for an hour, then set to cool. Prepare half a pound of currants, washed and dried, half a pound of stoned raisins, and a quarter of a pound of citron cut in slips; add two grated nutmegs, a tablespoonful of mace and cinnamon powdered together. Mix half a pound of loaf sugar with half a pound of butter. Mix with the hread and milk, add a glass of currant jelly and a glass of cider. Beat eight eggs very light, and stir into the mixture. Add by degrees the raisins and currants, dredged with flour, and stir very hard. Put in a buttered pudding dish, and bake two hours. Eat with pudding sauce.

Ladies’ Home and practical housekeeper, Volumes 5/6

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