Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vintage recipes, Fruitcake Recipe

I'm not sure just when I became enamoured of old recipes, but somewhere along the way I started collecting recipe books that pre-dated 1960.  That's my arbitrary cut off date, why, I don't know.   I do know that many of the modern cookbooks don't have the variety of recipes, methods or interesting list of ingredients that the older cookbooks have.   So, I thought I would start sharing some of the older recipes that I think are really interesting.     And some of these, I've even made.   And when I do make them, I'll include the pictures, and any comments and procedures and failures here.  

The first one is actually a fruit cake recipe I found hand written on the inside frontispiece of cookbook I purchased at auction a couple of years ago.  It's a Boston Cooking School Cookbook, published in 1937, and was a present to a young woman for Christmas in 1938.   


There are actually two fruit cake recipes, on the left is the following:

6 cups plain flour
1 doz. Eggs
1 lb. Butter
1 small orange extract
1 lemon extract medium or Large
1 tablespoon Mace
1 lb. Candied Pineapple
1 1/2 lbs. Candied Cherries
1/2 lb. Citron
5 cups nuts
1 lbs walnuts, the rest pecans
Bake 2 1/2 hours at 250 degrees.
and penciled in below,
1lb. light-brown sugar
1lb. white raisins.

Then below that is this note from the author of the recipe on the right side of the frontispiece.
This recipe adapted from an old English recipe used by your Great Grandmother Catherine Pierson Bancroft and has been used by the women in the family for over a hundred years.

Now for the recipe on the right side.
To Kathy (Kitty?) from Mother   Christmas 1938
My Fruit Cake
1 lb. Dates
¾ lb. Figs
¼ lb. Citron peel
¼ lb. Lemon peel
¼ lb. Orange peel
1 tbsp. Ginger
2 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Allspice
1 tbsp. Mace
2 lbs. Whole raisins
1 lb. Seeded raisins
1 lb. Seedless raisins
1 lb. Blanched almonds
1 lb. pecans
½ lb. Black walnuts
½ lb. English walnuts
1 lb. Candied pineapple
1 lb. Candied cherries
(Save a few nuts and fruits to garnish).
3 lbs. Flour
3 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 lb. Sugar
½ lb. Butter or Crisco
1 tbsp. Vanilla
1 tbsp. Lemon
Enough eggs and whisky to mix a sticky dough. (usually about 8 eggs- 1 cup whiskey)
With hands, mix Flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and butter together dry – add spices,
chopped fruits and nuts, mixing thoroughly – add eggs and whiskey, flavouring extracts
to a thick paste – pack in greased funnel pans lined with brown paper – bake slowly in
cold oven 4-6 hours. Dunk in wine, brandy or whiskey to keep moist.

Makes 18 lbs.

* I wanted to add a postscript to this.   By sharing the recipe here,  hopefully I've ensured that Catherine Pierson Bancroft's recipe will live on, even though her great-great granddaughter wasn't able to keep the cookbook with the recipe, maybe someone will make a note and keep it.  

I thought I would start with the Fruit cake recipe since it's almost time to make Fruitcake so it can be 'ripe' enough to serve at Christmas. 

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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