skip to Main Content
  • Then click the categories you would like to search:

Found 687 Results
Page 1 of 69

Propagating Wild Yeast for Reenactments


Today, if you asked 50 people about how to start a wild yeast culture for making sourdough bread, it’s likely you’ll get 100 different answers, but in reality, all it takes is a little bit of flour, some water and…

Which Yeast (Time 0_00_55;12)

September 29, 2017


Akara Recipe


Akara is a simple, easy to make snack that was frequently made in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Dried Black-eyed Peas Onions Parsley flour Boiling water Lard First, pulverize the dried black-eyed peas into very small pieces. Add to…

akara-time-0_00_0921


A Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup


This delicious Asparagus Soup recipe from Elizabeth Cleland’s A new and easy methods of cookery (1755). Many of this recipe's techniques, including roux, food coloring, bone broth, and court-bouillon (the ingredients boiled in the soup that are removed before eating)…

Asp6

Tags: , , ,

September 28, 2017


Rye and Indian Bread


This is called Rye and Indian bread, because it’s made of part rye flour and part Indian meal or sometimes we call it cornmeal. You can use just those two grains to make the flour, or you can add wheat…

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_08_1818


Simple Boiled Plum Pudding


Many people hear the word pudding today and they think about some little custardy stuff in a cup or something you buy at the grocery store in a box and mix it up with some milk. Pudding has a much…

Plum Pudding (Time 0_11_05;10)


An Onion Soup Recipe from 1801


This recipe for onion soup is out of John Mollard’s 1801 cookbook, “The Art of Cooking Made Easy and Refined”. 4 oz. Butter 4 tbsps. Flour 8 midsized Onions of choice Salt 3 qts. Beef Stock 4 Egg Yolks 1…

onion-soup-time-0_00_4313


A White Pot Recipe


A White Pot with Raisins and Dates Serves 1 - 6 (depending on how polite you are) The name “White Pot” originates from the Devon region of England. But this sweet, buttery custard bread pudding, layered with sweetmeats (dried fruits)…

Also Known as a White Pudding


Master Wood Turner Erv Tschanz


In this special video, master wood turner Erv Tschanz shares his passion for the craft. Erv is one of several skilled artisans that sells handcrafted items through Jas. Townsend & Son. The treenware cherry wood plate being made in this…

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 1.06.59 PM

Tags: , , , ,

September 13, 2017


Weaver/Trapper Interview: Experiencing History Through Reenacting


We've been busy interviewing fellow reenactors for the purpose of inspiring and encouraging viewers who are interested in getting involved in historical reenacting but don't know how to begin. Today we interview Tony Baker, a weaver by trade, who has…

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 12.45.21 PM

Tags: , , , ,


Starting a Living History Group from Scratch


It took an idea and a group of friends, and it went from there. Albert Roberts tells the story of how the innovative historical interpretive group "The HMS Acasta" was born. http://ift.tt/2wQkO31 More great information! ***************************** Our Retail Website -…

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 2.09.37 PM

Tags: , , , ,


Page 1 of 69
Propagating Wild Yeast For Reenactments

Propagating Wild Yeast for Reenactments

Today, if you asked 50 people about how to start a wild yeast culture for making sourdough bread, it’s likely you’ll get 100 different answers, but in reality, all it takes is a little bit of flour, some water and time. Now the question is, did people in the 18th century knowingly and intentionally propagate wild yeast? Our initial conclusion was yes due to the frequent references to sour bread, but as we dug deeper we found only 3 references to propagated wild yeast, none of those prior to 1790. These references were either examples of scientific experiments or were from non-European cultures.

Which Yeast (Time 0_01_56;07)

Interestingly, the typical response to these experiments is astonishment. Let me read to you a little piece from a journal dated 1790 from the transactions of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing, and Commerce. The context is about a contest the society had on the manufacture of yeast. This is a man writing about experiments that he’s doing to make yeast talking about his assistant. “He accordingly brought me some small vessel with the full head of yeast upon it, assuring me with some degree of exaltation that neither oil of vitriol with chalk nor any portion of old yeast had been employed on that occasion. This greatly surprised me and I desired he would proceed with the experiment.” So his experiment had to do with having boiled water and malt and nothing else and just letting this set over time. He was cultivating wild yeast and he didn’t even know it.

Now there are many 18th century recipes for making yeast and circumstances when yeast was in short supply, but other than these experiments that I’ve already mentioned, they all have to do with propagating yeast from a little bit of preexisting yeast, so it was very surprising for these experimenters to find that you could make a yeast slurry without adding any preexisting yeast. So it’s apparent that these experiments flew against the conventional wisdom.

Which Yeast (Time 0_00_58;05)

So what does this mean for the 18th century reenactor or historic site? Should we be using a bread baked with barm or sourdough bread made with leaven? Well, it really depends on who we are trying to portray, what our culture is, what our class is, and what our climate is. The one thing we can seem to draw from this information is propagating wild yeast in the manner in which we do today to make sourdough bread is not a historically accurate option.

Transcript of Video:

For a couple of weeks now we’ve been anticipating doing an episode on cultivating wild yeast to make an 18th century sourdough bread but the more we did research the more it became apparent that this was not something that they did in the 18th century.

Now today, if you asked 50 people about how to start a wild yeast culture for making sourdough bread, it’s likely you’ll get 100 different answers, but in reality all it takes is a little bit of flour and some water and some time. Now the question remains, did people in the 18th century knowingly and intentionally propagate wild yeast? Our initial conclusion was yes due to the frequent references to sour bread but as we dug deeper we found only 3 references to propagated wild yeast, none of those prior to 1790. They were either examples of scientific experiments or they were from non-European cultures. Interestingly, the typical response to these experiments is a astonishment. Let me read to you a little piece from a journal. This is dated 1790 and it’s from the transactions of the society for the encouragement of arts, manufacturing, and commerce, and this is in context to about a contest. The society had a contest about the manufacture of yeast and this is a man writing about experiments that he’s doing to make yeast.

Here the man writes about his assistant, “He accordingly brought me some small vessel with the full head of yeast upon it, assuring me with some degree of exaltation that neither oil of vitriol with chalk nor any portion of old yeast had been employed on that occasion. This greatly surprised me and I desired he would proceed with the experiment.” So his experiment had to do with having boiled water and malt and nothing else and just letting this set over time. He was cultivating a wild yeast and he didn’t even know it.

Now there are many 18th century recipes for making yeast and circumstances when yeast was in short supply. Now other than these experiments that I’ve already mentioned, they all have to do with propagating yeast from a little bit of preexisting yeast, so it was very surprising for these experimenters to find that you could make a yeast slurry without adding any preexisting yeast. So it’s apparent that these experiments flew against the conventional wisdom.

So what does this mean for the 18th century reenactor or historic site? Should we be using a bread baked with barm or sourdough bread made with leaven? Well, it really depends on who we are trying to portray, what our culture is, what our class is, and what our climate is. The one thing we can seem to draw from this information is, is that propagating wild yeast in the manner in which we do today to make sourdough bread is not an historically accurate option.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly different episode today. We want to take this opportunity to announce our new historic cooking blog SavoringThePast.net. In this cooking blog we’re going to give you authentic 18th and 19th century recipes along with some of the references and documentation that go on behind our videos. We invite you to subscribe to this new SavoringThePast.net so you can get immediate notification of new posts. Also we invite you to give us your historic cooking experiences and documentation by leaving us feedback.

SavoringThePast.net is a companion to our other blog SiftingThePast.com which is a website that’s intended to give you a snap shot though art of the lives and customs of people in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th century. I also invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can get notification of new videos as soon as they’re available and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all the latest news at Jas. Townsend and Son.

Jas. Townsend and Son offers hundreds of quality 18th century reproduction clothing items and personal accessories including a great line of cooking vessels and utensils. All these can be found on our website or in our print catalog and I want to thank you for watching today and I want to invite you to come along as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

Rye And Indian Bread

Rye and Indian Bread

This is called Rye and Indian bread, because it’s made of part rye flour and part Indian meal or sometimes we call it cornmeal. You can use just those two grains to make the flour, or you can add wheat flour.

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_02_2609

Adding wheat flour is a good way to make it stretch as well as adding a different texture, allowing the bread to bind together better and making it a bit sturdier.

  • Yeast Sponge (made from barm)
  • ½ teacup Molasses (to taste)
  • ¾ cup Water
  • 1 cup Indian Meal
  • 1 cup Rye Flour
  • 2 cups Wheat Flour
  • 2 tsps. Salt

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_02_4405

Add all of your ingredients together and stir until it becomes a ball. Resist the urge to add any more water to the mixture until you really get your hands into it. Knead your dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes nice and strong and doesn’t stick to your hands quite as much. Keep in mind that due to the molasses, it will continue to be at least a little bit sticky.

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_03_1018

The yeast sponge used in this recipe is much like the sponge made in an earlier post, Making Leaven. To start this leaven, we used barm and instead of storing the yeast cake in salt, we are using cornmeal to dry it out and store it.

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_01_5428

For this bread, you can reconstitute this yeast cake by simply crumbling it up and adding some water to it. It should be ready to use within a few hours.

Once your ball of dough is stiff but slightly sticky to the touch, line a bowl with a towel, then sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto the towel. Place your dough onto the towel good side down and allow to rest until it’s about 50% larger.

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_07_3004

This mixture will not be as dense as cornbread but it will still be a pretty dense bread.

Make sure that your oven is preheated. When you are using an Earthen Oven to bake your bread, you will need about 2 hours to get your oven up to temperature.

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_06_2803

When you can toss some cornmeal in and it doesn’t burn immediately, but only toasts, it’s at the correct temperature. If your oven is too hot, allow it to cool a little.

rye-and-indian-bread-time-0_07_5610

When it’s done, this bread has a wonderful texture to it. It would go great with a little bit of butter or molasses added on top.

Transcription of Video:

We’re here today at Connor Prairie in Fishers Indiana. It’s a premier living historic site and we’ve got a wonderful recipe for you. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

[Jon] I’m here today with Ms. Barker and we’re going to talk about Rye and Indian bread. So, explain to me a little bit about what we’re cooking here today.

[Ms. Barker] We call it rye and Indian bread because it’s made of part rye flour and Indian meal or sometimes we call it cornmeal and you can use just those two grains to make the flour or you can use wheat flour. We’ve actually put some wheat flour into it because it’s a good way to stretch your wheat if you don’t have a whole lot. See, here in Indiana, we have a lot of corn and we grow rye very easily too and wheat is more of a second crop, so we have much more abundance of corn, so this is a bread that’s good for stretching since we eat bread three times a day, but it’s very similar to a cornbread but more of a mix between a cornbread and an Indian pudding.

[Jon] Tell me the difficulties that we’re going to have with corn and making bread. Why can’t we just make bread with corn?

[Ms. Barker] Well, you could, but it would be quite dense and a little bit crumbly, so a lot of folks, especially with making rye and Indian bread, they’ll say to scald the meal, which adds boiling water, but I find that that makes a very pasty bread. Very dense. If you like that, then that’s what you should do, but we’re just going to put plain water into in and then we’re also going to put in the wheat flour in there to give it a little bit more chew, it’ll bind together a little bit more. It’ll be a little bit sturdier.

[Jon] Well, let’s get started. What do we need to make this?

[Ms. Barker] Well, first you need to start off with some sponge. Now this is just a regular old sponge. It’s got lively yeast into it. We’ve broken down one of our yeast cakes which we’ve made recently. But it’s basically just about a cup of lively yeast, and then we’re going to add to that about a half a teacup of molasses. You can add more or less to your taste. It makes it quite dark if you add a lot of it, but if you like it sweeter, then you just do what you please. Now I’m going to add maybe ¾ cup of water and then what we have in our bowl is 1 cup of Indian meal, 1 cup of rye flour, 2 cups of wheat flour and 2 teaspoons of salt. If you want to put that in here, I’ll stir while you pour.

[Jon] Okay.

[Ms. Barker] And once it comes to a ball, you’re going to have to start kneading it and kneading it is important. Really resist the urge to add water until you really get your hands into it. So, I think it’s really important to get at least one hand into it, because the spoons not going to do you any good from this point and I come from a potter’s family, so I like to knead in a bowl.

[Jon] Mmhm.

[Ms. Barker] So you’re going to want to knead this for about 10 minutes or so until it becomes nice and strong and it’s not sticking to your hands too much. Now don’t ever look for it to never stick to your hands. Because of that molasses, it’s going to stick.

[Jon] Oh, yeah. So, tell me a little bit about the leaven that you’ve used in this. You just had a sponge, but what was this sponge made out of?

[Ms. Barker] Well, you can get it from lively emptyings, which is whenever you go to your brewer, you ask for some beer barm and that barm is what you can use to start your bread and you can start a lively yeast that you can keep at your house as long as you keep feeding it. So basically, that was a little teacup full of barm and feed it some flour and some water, equal parts and then you stir it up and that’s that. I would let it set for a bit and then that will make your bread, and if you wanted to preserve that, you could make your yeast cake, and so to that mixture that I just told you, you should add some cornmeal until it becomes a very stiff batterlike biscuit, cut them into biscuit shapes and then you just lay them out to dry.

[Jon] Right and then that’s what you’ve used here to make this.

[Ms. Barker] Yes indeed, so to reconstitute this, you just crumble this up and add some warm water to it. Two of these will make a nice loaf of bread.

[Jon] And it’ll get all active and alive again after a few hours or half a day.

[Ms. Barker] Yes, and in the summertime, you know, it’s a lot faster to make bread than in the winter.

[Jon] How’s our ball doing?

[Ms. Barker] It’s good and strong now. It’s very, very stiff, it’s still sticky to the touch, so when it gets to that point, when you’ve kneaded it about 8 or 10 minutes or so, you want to put it into a ball shape and, you see, it’s very dense.

[Jon] Yeah, that’s tough.

[Ms. Barker] But that is going to keep you going throughout the day. So, I’m going to put, we’ve got a bowl here, I’m going to line it with a towel and then sprinkle a generous amount of flour, whatever flour you please really, and then you want to put the good side down.

[Jon] So that will be the top of the loaf when we’re done?

[Ms. Barker] Yes, and then we’re just going to let it rest until it, it’s never going to get double in size, when it does get that size it’s going to be too deflated, so just let it get 50% larger. Well, we’ve got one that we made earlier, and as you see, it’s not very tall, but it’s going to be just enough chew and rise. It’s not going to be as dense as cornbread.

[Jon] So these were the same size?

[Ms. Barker] Yes, indeed.

[Jon] Okay, so it has grown a little bit, it has flattened out and we’ve got, you can see that it’s grown some.

[Ms. Barker] Mmhm, yeah and it’s light to the touch, it’s not near as dense as this. It’s got some air into it.

[Jon] That looks great.

[Ms. Barker] Earlier I prepared the oven with some hot coals from the hearth. We cheated a little bit. Every cook knows, don’t ever let your fire go out, so add some little sticks and then some larger sticks and we put them in there and with a little bit of some wood shavings, we got the fire going. It was a small fire. We let that burn down a little bit and then we pushed it to the middle and then made another small fire and let that burn down and then we put the hot coals and distributed them around the bottom to let the bricks really soak up that heat, and then I push them to the back and put my door on to really keep the heat in. Now we’re just going to wait until the coals die down completely and I’ll rake them out.

[Jon] So exactly how long does it take to get this oven up to temperature?

[Ms. Barker] It depends on how long you want to use it. Since we’re only baking a couple loaves of bread, it’s only about 2 hours. If you wanted to use it all day long, I would suggest maybe at least 3 hours.

[Jon] So tell me about the oven in the setting that we have here with your house.

[Ms. Barker] Well, this is the Zimmerman’s bake oven and they asked Doctor Campbell if they could put it on their property and this is the Inn so if you’re needing a place to stay they’ve got a really nice facility, but it’s managed by Doctor Campbell and this is a wonderful tool now that Mrs. Zimmerman has to use and we actually, my family being potters, we provided the clay. It’s mostly made out of clay, sand, and straw in different ratios and so it’s about 11 inches thick and 30 inches in diameter

[Jon] From the inside?

[Ms. Barker] Yes, so it could fit 6 loaves of bread very comfortably and it can keep heat for 6+ hours. So, once the oven has been swabbed out, we’re going to cast on some corn meal to see how hot the oven is. If the oven is too hot, the cornmeal will burn immediately and if that’s the case, just let it cool down some, but if it just toasts, then it’s ready to use.

[Jon] So the loaf is done, the bread smells amazing. I can’t wait to try this. I’ll let you cut into it.

[Ms. Barker] Yes indeed.

[Jon] Mmm, that’s wonderful. It’s got a great texture to it. What comes out for the most for you flavor wise?

[Ms. Barker] Definitely the cornmeal, and I would say I would put molasses on it instead of butter. More in it or more on it or both. That’s how I take my bread.

[Jon] Well, I really want to thank Ms. Barker for showing us this wonderful rye and Indian bread. Great recipe and not very difficult to do.

[Ms. Barker] Not indeed.

[Jon] And I really want to encourage everyone who is in this area to come and check out Connor Prairie. It is an amazing site. It really is something that if you are anywhere close, you really should try to come and visit it, there’s so many things here. I really want thank you for coming along with us as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th and early 19th century.

I want to give a special thanks to all the folks at Connor Prairie and make sure to check out their website. If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Paw Paw Pudding

Paw Paw Pudding

Paw paws are a small yellow fruit native to the Eastern United States, but has a very short harvest season of only a week. Because of this short harvest season, it is hard to find recipes for this delicious fruit so we have adapted a pumpkin pie recipe from Amelia Simons’ “American Cookery” cookbook.

paw-paw-pudding-time-0_03_3118

  • Pie Crust
  • 1 cup Paw Paw Flesh
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 2-3 tbsp. Molasses
  • 1 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground Ginger

Make sure to remove all seeds from the paw paw flesh and mash it up. Whisk in milk and egg getting the mixture as smooth as possible. Mix in your molasses and spices. This mixture will be a little thin but will thicken up as it cooks.

paw-paw-pudding-time-0_05_3701

Pour the mixture into your pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely, probably even overnight before slicing.

paw-paw-pudding-time-0_06_0301

Transcript of Video:

[Ivy] Hey dad, look what I found!

[Jon] Ah, let’s take a look! Wow, I’ll bet this is the leaf from the tree they came from?

[Ivy] What are they?

[Jon] These are paw paws. I’ve got an idea for these. Let’s take them to the kitchen.

[Jon] So paw paws are a strange exotic kind of fruit.

[Ivy] They look like a cross between a potato and an avocado.

[Jon] I mean, obviously, these really green ones, these aren’t done, but when they start to turn yellow, maybe with little brown spots like this, like a banana starts to get overripe, that’s when you know they’re getting ripe.

[Ivy] What do they look like on the inside?

[Jon] Well, on the inside, well, let’s cut this one open and we’ll find out. There we are, so look at that.

[Ivy] Wow, it’s yellow.

[Jon] Yeah, they’re very yellow on the inside and look at those seeds. Here you can pick one out.

[Ivy] They look kind of like beans.

[Jon] Definitely has an interesting fruity smell to it, like maybe some mango, that’s kind of what it looks like here, or apple flavor.

[Ivy] Mmm, that’s good.

[Jon] Is it like a sweet fruity flavor? Let’s see. Mmm, look at the texture though. It’s very soft and almost like a custard on the inside. A very soft and gentle flavor, but nice and sweet. You know they’re not very rare. They actually grow in most of the Eastern United States and all the way up into Eastern lower Canada, but the harvest season on these is very short. They’re really only ripe and ready to go for a couple of weeks, maybe only one week in the year and the forest animals can smell them and they’ll come and get them.

[Ivy] I can see why, they’re delicious.

[Jon] They do smell really good and you can tell how they could probably smell them from miles away. They also don’t travel well, so we’ll probably never find them in something like a grocery store. You might find them in a local farmer’s market or if you don’t find them there, you going to have to find them yourself in the woods.

[Ivy] Did people eat them in the 18th century?

[Jon] Actually they were eaten by the Native Americans and the settlers alike in the 18th century and you do find references to them, but you don’t really find them in any cookbooks, probably because they weren’t available all the time, so you never find a recipe until much later on in the 19th century. There’s also references to Louis and Clark feeding on these almost entirely at the very end of their journey’s in 1806. Louis and Clark were coming back and all their supplies were gone and so they had nothing but paw paws to survive on for a short period of time. So, let’s pretend we’re settlers and you’ve brought a whole bunch of paw paws to me, in fact you have brought a whole bunch of paw paws to me today and we can’t eat them all right away so what are we going to do with them?

[Ivy] I would find a recipe that I really liked that would preserve them.

[Jon] Right, but we don’t have any recipes that they had in the 18th century, so maybe we would…

[Ivy] I would adapt the recipe for something similar.

[Jon] And that’s exactly what they would have done in the 18th century. I’ve got a good idea for something that would probably cook up nicely. Hand me that little cookbook over there. So, this is Amelia Simons’ “American Cookery” cookbook. She did this one in 1796. It’s got a perfect recipe that I think will work with this. It’s called a pumpkin pudding. It’s really much what we would call a pumpkin pie, so we’ll adapt that recipe for these paw paws. Let’s get started.

[Jon] So, to get started, I’ve got a pie plate here with our pie crust in it and I’m going to set this aside and we’ll work on the filling. And the filling I’ve got here is about 1 cup of the paw paw flesh. We’ve got it taken out. I’m not sure if I got all the seeds, so I want you to mash that up and make sure we got all the seeds out.

[Jon] Good, that looks like we don’t have any seeds in there so go ahead and lift that out. I’m going to add in about 1 cup of milk. We’ll add that to it, and I’ve got 1 egg we’ll add to this. Pretty simple recipe. There’s our egg. And now we can whisk it. Now the trick with this is to get it ask smooth as we can. We don’t want it to be too lumpy. And this fruit can be a little stringy, you know, it changes its consistency, so we’re really going to have to get it mixed up well.

[Jon] Good, you’ve got that nice and smooth. We’ll add 2-3 tablespoons of this molasses and now we can add some spices. I’ve got a teaspoon of allspice and a teaspoon of ground ginger. We’ll add those in and keep mixing. Okay, it looks like you’ve got the consistency pretty well. There’s still a little lumpy but I don’t think it’s going to make any difference in this particular recipe.

[Ivy] It looks really runny.

[Jon] Well, you know, it is very, very thin, but I’ve made this recipe before and I thought at first, the first time I made it, that it was not going to work, but I baked it anyway, and it turned out perfect, so I’m going to trust that this will work out just fine, so let’s pour this into our pie plate, here we go.

[Jon] Okay, our pie plate is filled nicely. This looks good. It’s ready to go in the oven, so we’ll bake this at 350 degrees for maybe an hour and 20 minutes. I’ll put this in the oven.

[Jon] Before we slice this pie, we need to make sure that it’s cooled completely, probably even overnight.

[Ivy] I’m surprised how dark it is.

[Jon] You know, it is nice and dark. It looks very rich. Part of the color is going to be from the molasses and part of it’s just what’s happening with the paw paw. Let’s find out how it tastes.

[Jon] Well, boy, I’m really trying to find the flavor for this. It’s a wonderful flavor. It’s got a little bit of pumpkin pie in it but it’s much fruitier. It has an amazing little flavor to it. Boy, this is really good.

[Ivy] I can taste the allspice in it.

[Jon] Yeah, it’s wonderfully flavored. Thanks for bringing those paw paws in. They turned out to be tremendous in this dish and I want to thank you for coming along as we experiment. You never know what these things are going to turn out like, so as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century. And a special thanks to Jim Hoffman for his assistance in this episode.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Pound Cake

Pound Cake

This wonderful traditional pound cake comes from Amelia Simons’ 1796 cookbook, “American Cookery”. It’s a simple recipe that I think you’re going to find a little surprising. In fact, her recipe is too simple, it only has a few lines to put together this seemingly complex cake, so we had to play detective to figure out how to make this one.

  • 1 lb. Butter
  • 1 lb. Sugar
  • 1 lb. Flour
  • 1 lb. Eggs (9 large or 10 medium)
  • 1 jill Rose Water (optional)
  • ½ Nutmeg grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

With so little information in the original recipe, you might be tempted to throw all the ingredients together, mix them up, and toss them in the oven for the 15 minutes that it says, but then you would end up with a raw mess. By studying other 18th century cake recipes, we are given a bit more information on how to bring this cake together.

pound-cake-time-0_02_1919

We need to start with creaming our butter with our sugar. You want your butter soft but not melted. In the 18th century they would have mixed this by squeezing it together with their hands, but you can speed this process up by using a modern mixer on high for about 5 minutes.

pound-cake-time-0_02_3801

Next you can add in your spices. When it comes to spices, Amelia gives us basically no suggestions leaving this completely up to the cook. Many recipes like this in the 18th century would use caraway seeds, but for this recipe we’re going to be using some nutmeg and a little bit of cinnamon, both also very popular 18th century spices for this kind of a cake. Feel free to experiment with your own spices.

pound-cake-time-0_00_5216

This is also when you would add in your rose water if you are using it. Rose water was very popular in the 17th and early 18th centuries in cooking and we kind of think of it as a spice, but really it’s more of an aromatic, a perfume, that we use in these recipes. Another aromatic that was very popular is orange blossom water. You can find either one of these either online or in Mediterranean markets. They started falling out of favor in English cooking by the end of the 18th century. When we tried this recipe out on different people, some thought the flavor was intriguing while others disliked it. If you’re looking for a traditional taste, I suggest you experiment with this, but if you can’t find them, it’s okay to leave it out.

pound-cake-time-0_05_0401

The only clue as to the leavener in this cake that we are given are the eggs in the ingredients. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was popular to use eggs as a leavening agent by beating the eggs full of air and as the eggs cook the bubbles expand. If you are going to do this by hand, you’ll need to whisk your eggs for about an hour, however, if you would like to speed this up, you can use a modern appliance on high for not more than 15 minutes. Make sure that your whisk is free from all butter or the eggs will not whip up properly.

pound-cake-time-0_05_2007

Once your eggs are whipped up, carefully fold them into your butter mixture, then sift in the flour little by little. Try not to over work this as we’re trying to keep as much of the air in the eggs as possible.

When we look at the baking time in this recipe, it tells us to bake for 15 minutes, so we know that this is not meant to be cooked all at once. In the 1700’s the term cake was applied to anything from the size of a great cake which could be 40 pounds or more, such as the 12th night cake recipe we did earlier, or something much smaller. Something that today we would call a cookie.

pound-cake-time-0_06_4917

So there are several ways you could cook this. There is nothing wrong with cooking it as a cake. You can bake it in a bunt pan that is well buttered or a cake ring at about 325 degrees for about 1.5-2 hours. If you wish to cook it as Amelia Simons’ meant it, you will need a cookie sheet with paper or well buttered tart tins. If you are using paper, it won’t need to be treated at all. Once the cookies are completely cool, the paper will easily peel away.

pound-cake-time-0_07_2803

Bake at about 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Either way, make sure to preheat your oven.

These have a really nice soft cakey texture to it and an interesting flavor.

pound-cake-time-0_08_2209

If you would like to store these for long term, you can double bake them to dry them up and they will last for quite a while.

Transcription of Video:

Today we’re going to be making a wonderful traditional pound cake. This recipe comes from Amelia Simons’ 1796 cookbook, “American Cookery”. It’s a simple recipe that I think you’re going to find a little surprising. Thank you for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

The term Pound Cake today generally refers to a cake that’s baked in a round form pan, like a bunt pan and they’re generally much more dense than, say, a typical cake. In the 18th century, however, the term pound cake really comes from the amount of ingredients that are in this recipe, so generally a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, and a pound of eggs and in Amelia Simons’ recipe, that’s exactly what we’ve got. Amelia also suggests a couple of other things. A jill of rose water and spices to taste.

So Amelia Simons’ recipe is too simple. It’s only got just a few lines, really, to put together this seemingly complex cake. I mean, we might be tempted to just throw the ingredients together, mix them up and toss it in the oven, but if you study other 18th century cake recipes from maybe a slightly earlier time period and books that have a little more information, we find out that we can’t do that with this recipe. We actually have to use these other techniques from other cookbooks to make this properly.

We need to start with creaming our butter with our sugar. Now this butter has been softened but not melted. Now in the 18th century they would have mixed this by squeezing it together with their hands. You can speed this process up by using a modern mixer on high for about 5 minutes.

When it comes to spices, Amelia gives us basically no suggestions. She leaves this completely up to the cook. Now many recipes in the 18th century would use something like caraway seeds. That’s very popular for something like this, but today we’re going to be using some nutmeg and a little bit of cinnamon, both also very popular 18th century spices for this kind of a cake.

Now that this is light and fluffy, we can add in our spices. I’ve got about a half a nutmeg here that’s grated up and maybe a teaspoon or a little bit less of nice ground cinnamon and if you’re going to be trying the rose water, now would be the time to add that in and then we’re going to mix this up for another minute or two.

So let’s talk a little bit first about rose water, and rose water is used in this or she mentions rose water in this recipe. Rose water was very popular in the 17th century, early 18th century in cooking and we kind of think of it as a spice but really it’s more of an aromatic, a perfume that we use in these recipes. Another aromatic that’s very popular is the orange blossom water and you can find either one of these still available either online or in Mediterranean markets. By the end of the 18th century, by the end of the 1700’s, these things were really falling out of favor in English cooking.

We tried this recipe out a number of times with the rose water and we tried this on different people and some people really thought the flavor was intriguing and others disliked it because it reminded them of the flavor of soap. If you’re looking for that kind of traditional taste, I suggest you go ahead and try to find some rose water or orange flower blossom water to experiment in this. If you can’t find those, it’s okay to leave them out.

Most modern cakes today use a chemical leavening to make them light and fluffy. Either baking soda or baking powder. In the 17th and 18th century, cakes most often used either a yeast leavener or an egg leavening. In other videos, we pointed out that Amelia Simmons uses a very crude version of a chemical leavening in some of her recipes. In other recipes, she uses yeast as a leavener. In this recipe, she doesn’t mention any leavening at all, but we have lots of eggs, so what we need to do here is beat a lot of air into these eggs. As it cooks, these air bubbles will expand. That’s going to give us our leavening.

If you wish to make this recipe as they did in the 1700’s, you’ll need to whisk this for about an hour, hand held, with a whisk. If you’re going to be using a modern appliance, you’re going to need to whisk this on high for not more than 15 minutes. If you’re using medium eggs, you’ll need 10 eggs. If you’re using large eggs, just 9 will do. Before you start to whisk these eggs, make sure your whisk is butter free or the eggs will not whip up properly. Carefully fold the eggs into your butter mixture and then sift in the flour little by little. Try not to over work this. We’re trying to keep as much of the air in the eggs as possible.

Now, you can bake this in a bunt pan if you would like. You’ll need to butter it very well and you’ll bake it at about 325 degrees for say an hour and a half to two hours. Other recipes we’ve found used a cake ring. Either a tin cake ring or a wood cake ring that was lined outside with paper and the inside buttered, but Amelia Simons’ recipe suggests baking this for just 15 minutes. Now this gives us another clue into how this version was made.

The word cake in the 1700’s could apply to a great cake and we covered something like the great cake when we did our 12th night cake recipe. Now these cakes were huge, sometimes they were 20-30-40 pounds or more, but the word cake can also refer to something much smaller. Something that we, today would call a cookie, and in fact, the first kind of reference, at least in American cookery and English cookery, is Amelia Simons’ reference to the word cookie here that she borrows from the Dutch, so if we take into account this 15-minute cooking time, there is no way that this could be baked as a big cake in a bunt pan or in one of these wooden forms. This most likely was baked as a cookie on a baking sheet, probably on paper. They might have baked them in small little tart tins that were buttered or even in a little paper tray or cup that we’ve seen some references to in 18th century cookery. We won’t need to butter the paper or treat it in any way. Once these cookies cool all the way off, we’ll be able to just peel the paper away.

If you’re baking these at home, they’ll bake for 15-20 minutes at a temperature of about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to preheat your oven. You’ll need to watch these closely so they don’t burn. Let them cool completely before you try to remove them from the paper.

Let’s give these a try. They look wonderful. It’s actually got a really nice soft texture to it.

They have a wonderful, simple yet complex flavor to them. Nice and sweet, again really, really good texture. Nice and soft. You can definitely taste the nutmeg and the cinnamon in there. It would be really interesting to have these with a little bit of that rose water. These are wonderful and really simple and can you imagine if you baked 4 pounds of these guys? It’s likely that you either had a really big crowd to feed or you would double bake these to dry them up so that they would last for quite a while, and let’s look at one of these little bigger ones, this cupcake version here, and I can break this open here and you can see the texture. It’s got a really nice cakey texture to it. This is not dense at all. Really, all that air whipped in there did a tremendous job of leavening this. It’s really good.

Mmm

Well, this one turned out great! I love these. In fact, I could eat them all day. I’m not going to. You should definitely try this one out. They are excellent! If you are interested in living history or reenacting, make sure to check out our getting started course. It’s really simple, you sign up for it on email, it’s free and you get special videos about how to get started with a little bit of in depth information. You’ll love the series. Also, make sure to check out our website and you can get one of our print catalogs from our website. This is really good. I want to thank you for coming along as we try these things out, as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Pork A La Normand

Pork a la Normand

This recipe was originally a Cheshire Pork Pie from Hannah Glasse’s 1788 cookbook “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.” We have taken that dish and adapted it for the modern kitchen. You won’t be able to get enough of this deliciousness!

  • 1 ½ lbs. pork shoulder
  • ½ c. flour
  • 2 T. butter + more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tart apples, cored, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 t. fresh ground nutmeg
  • About 1 t. salt
  • ½ T. black pepper
  • 12 oz. (1 bottle) hard cider

First trim all the fat off your pork and cut it into cubes, then toss it in flour to coat.

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_02_1601

In a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, brown your pork in about 1 tablespoon of butter until some brown is achieved, but don’t cook the pork all the way through. Remove pork into a bowl and set aside.

Next, add the remaining butter to the pan along with your chopped onion and apples. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Sauté until the onion is nearly translucent.

Next, pour in your cider, scraping any brown bits from the pan, and allow it to come to a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then return your pork and any resting juices to the bowl. Cover and let simmer until the gravy has thickened, approximately 30 minutes.

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_03_5820

The longer you allow this dish to cook, the more tender your pork will become. This is a dish that you can use any cut of pork and it will become tender by the end.

Transcription of Video:

We’re again here at Conner Prairie, a premier Living History site, and we’ve got another great recipe for you. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

[Jon] Last week we had Miss Barker and she showed us how to make Rye and Indian Bread. Today, Mrs. Barker is going to show us how to make Pork a la Normand

[Mrs. Barker] That’s what it’s called! You got it right.

[Jon] Okay.

[Mrs. Barker] Now that’s a fancy name for it.

[Jon] Yeah?

[Mrs. Barker] It just really is Pork and Apples in Cider.

[Jon] Okay

[Mrs. Barker] But apparently folks in Normandy, that’s what they eat.

[Jon] Right?

[Mrs. Barker] So a traveler come through, he give me this receipt, that’s what he called it,

[Jon] Right.

[Mrs. Barker] my husband will call it pork and cider. Well, we’ve got us some good hog that’s been about a pound and a half, been cubed up and fat trimmed from it. Some salt and some pepper, and about a half a teacup of flour. A couple of teaspoons of nutmeg, about half a nut, grated.

[Jon] Mmm, yeah

[Mrs. Barker] A medium onion chopped and a nice tart green apple. A little bit ago I put some pieces of fat that I trimmed off the pork into the spider and rendered them off so we’re going to go ahead and take this good hog and I’m going to put it in a dish here, and I’m going to just sprinkle that flour over the top of it and it’ll be more than’ll cover it and that’s alright too, and use your eye and use your sense. You’ve got to cook with your nose and your mouth and your eyes, your ears, all parts of you. Put in what your family likes flavor wise, if they like a bit more salt or pepper, and stir that around so all that flour gets on every piece of that pork, each side of it. Now I’ve got to use my eyes and I need to put a bit more flour there. It should be, not dry, but it shouldn’t be wet. It should be like a paste there. You want to have a bit of dry flour there and then we’ll go ahead and we’ll put this right in the spider.

So once you’ve got a bit of color on that pork, you want to take it out of your pan and go ahead and put it right back in that bowl because all of that extra flour, that’s going to go right back in again and it’ll help you with your gravy.

[Jon] Sure.

[Mrs. Barker] So, the next thing you’re going to do, now if you don’t have enough fat in your fire, go ahead and put a little butter in your spider. There, we’ll just put a bit in, and get a nice sizzle to it, and then if you wouldn’t mind taking them apples and I’ll take the onions. So once your onions and your apples are in and you stirred it around a bit, they start to cook a while, you go ahead and sprinkle that nutmeg right on top of them, mix it around and let them cook just a bit more, just till them onions just come a little bit clear.

[Jon] Right.

[Mrs. Barker] And then once that’s done comes my husbands favorite part.

[Jon] Yeah?

[Mrs. Barker] And that’s the cider. Now if you’ve got your apple trees, why then you’ve got your apples, apple sauce, dried apples, apple pie, dried apple pie, but you certainly put up cider. So once that apple and onion and nutmeg have cooked down a little bit and that cider’s cooked off a bit, you’re going to go ahead and add your pork right back in and all those drippings from that bowl that you gathered up, and stir that around, put your lid back on, then cover it with coals and then just back away and go holler at your children for half hour or more if you want.

[Jon] So it’s ready?

[Mrs. Barker] Now you’re making a face like that and say something like that sir and I understand. Now some folk might look at this dish and say well, it ain’t pretty, but it ain’t always got to be pretty, what matters is the taste.

[Jon] I’m sure it’s going to taste wonderful too.

[Mrs. Barker] I’m certain of it, sir. I’m certain of it. In fact, I’m so certain of it I’m going to go ahead and just give you plenty to taste.

[Jon] Okay. Mmm. Wow, the apple flavor Mmm it’s wonderful, and that pork is delicious.

[Mrs. Barker] Mmhmm. And the more you let that cook, that pork will come more tender and more tender. The nice thing about making any kind of stew is that you ain’t got to have an expensive, high piece of meat. You use your low meat, you use your shoulder, you use something that ain’t gonna have a lot of promise to it until it sits and stews for a bit and all that meat just melts away.

[Jon] Right and even if you have extra the next morning or the next day

[Mrs. Barker] Yes sir, yes sir, although I’ve got a son that’s near twice your size and I don’t generally have extra.

[Jon] I’ll bet you don’t.

[Mrs. Barker] No sir.

[Jon] Well I really want to thank Mrs. Barker for inviting me in to her kitchen, showing me how to make the best darn pork and cider I ever ate and if your ever in the Midwest and you have a chance to come here to Conner Prairie, this is a premier Living History site, right here in the Midwest. Definitely come and check this site out. It is wonderful. Again, I want to thank you for coming along as we experiment here, as we try these different things out of history, as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th and early 19th century.

I want to give a special thanks to all the folks at Conner Prairie. Make sure to check out their website. If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Tiny Purses – Date Turnovers

Tiny Purses – Date Turnovers

This recipe is a date turnover from a 1596 cookbook called “The Good Housewife’s Jewel” called Tiny Purses.

  • 2 cups Dates stoned
  • 1 cup Raisins or Currants
  • 1 tbsp. Suet or Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp. Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsps. Sugar
  • Puff Paste
Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_05;12)
Mix together your dates, raisins, suet, ginger, cinnamon, and sugar in a bowl. Cut puff paste into about 5 inch squares.

Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_30;24)
Lay down your paste and place a flattened portion of the filling inside. Make sure it’s a decent size and flattened.

Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_45;15)Moisten two of the edges of the puff paste and fold it into a triangle then pinch the edges shut.

Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_53;01)
Bake at about 350 degrees until golden brown.

Transcription of Video:

Today we are going to make a recipe called tiny purses. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

This recipe comes from a 1596 cookbook called “The Good Housewife’s Jewel”. This recipe, although it’s called little purses, is really a date turnover. The first thing we have to do is stone these dates. I’ve got about 2 cupfuls of dates here.

Whoo, this is sticky! Although if you want to save time, you can buy your dates prestoned. Now that we stoned our dates, let’s mix our ingredients. First we need our dates, then we need a cupful of small raisins. I’m using zante currants. The recipe calls for marrow. I’m going to use a tablespoon of suet instead. A good substitute might be coconut oil. We’re also going to season it with a teaspoon of ginger, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and two teaspoons of sugar. Now that we’ve got all the ingredients, let’s mix it into the bowl.

Whoo, this is really sticky stuff! You’ve really got to dig into this!

Now that our mixture’s ready, let’s put them in the shells. The shells are going to be puff paste cut into about 5 inch squares. If you’re interested in making your own puff paste, I’ll put a link down below. Lay down your paste and put a flattened portion of the filling. Make sure it’s decent sized and flattened. Moisten two of the edges and fold it into a triangle. Make sure to pinch the edges.

These are ready to bake at about 350 degrees. I’m not sure how long these take but I’ll watch them till they’re golden brown.

These smell great. So good in fact, that I asked my dad to come and taste test with me.

[Jon] Well, they do smell great. I could smell them in the oven and wow, they filled the house up with a wonderful smell, so are we going to try them out? I think they’re cool enough, so let’s give them a try. You pick one. I’ll take this one. They look beautiful too. They could even have icing on them, but I think that would be too much. Mmm, that is a wonderful flavor and I really wasn’t expecting that. I ate a few of the dates that she had raw and the dates were actually, obviously, very good, but with the spices.

[Ivy] They taste wonderful.

[Jon] Right with that ginger and the cinnamon in there with the dates and the raisins or the currants, it’s got an amazing flavor that I really wasn’t expecting and a wonderful aroma.

[Ivy] Yes.

[Jon] You did an excellent job on these. They look kind of really hard to smoosh up.

[Ivy] They are.

[Jon] Yeah, it’s a very sticky, the dates and everything, getting that all together, but Ivy did a great job. Thank you for bringing us this recipe. It was wonderful. If you get a chance, this one, again, it’s simple, really not that many ingredients, and all these things you can find at the grocery store so you should be able to do these easily. So thank you so much Ivy and I want to thank you for coming along and savoring the flavors and the aromas

[together] of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Lemon Minced Pie

Lemon Minced Pie

Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie.

  • Short Paste
  • 1 Lemon Peel
  • 1 large Baking Apple
  • ¼ cup Suet
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons
  • ½ cup raisins

Butter an 8 inch tart tin very well and place short tin in the bottom.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_02_04;12)

Boil lemon peel about 20 minutes to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it easier to work with, then mince very fine.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_02_52;26)

In a ceramic or wooden bowl, pare, core, and chop apple very fine and mix together with suet, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and raisins.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_03_37;23)

Pour into short paste and bake around 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_03_46;24)

Cool completely, even overnight or refrigerate to remove from tart tin.

Transcript of Video:

We’re concluding our baking in the Dutch oven series with this wonderful little fruit tart. I think you’re going to be surprised with this one. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie. Let’s get started.

Today we’re baking this in one of our 8 inch tart tins. These guys are hand made by Dennis Kutch, one of our tin smiths. He does a wonderful job. They’re available in the print catalog and on our website. The original recipe actually calls for making this in patty pans and probably the closest thing you’ve got in a modern kitchen is a cupcake tin so this is actually meant to be small individual little pies or tarts. Today we’re making this in one of these tart tins because of course we’re going to be baking in a Dutch oven.

If you’re going to be using one of these 18th century style tart tins, the bottom doesn’t come out of this so you want to make sure to butter it really, really well or you’ll never be able to get it out of the tin. This tart tin’s already well buttered. We can just lay in our paste in the bottom, any paste will work fine here, but short paste will work great and if you’re interested in a short paste recipe I’ll put a link to our short paste episode down in the description section below.

Our first ingredient is lemon peel and you might immediately say, “well, wait a minute Jon, did they have lemons in the 18th century?” Obviously you see lemons all over in the cookbooks. It really depends on where you’re located and the economic level of the person as to how common lemons would be in their standard daily diet, but obviously they’re very popular in the cookbooks. In this particular setting, we’re going to be using lemons. What we’re going to do is, we need lemon peel and you can just peel off the peel of your lemon, cut it off in one nice long strip to make it easier to work with and boil your lemon peel about 20 minutes. This is going to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it much easier to work with. Once we’ve boiled this lemon peel, we can take it out and mince it nice and fine.

To mix this up, we need a nonreactive bowl, something like a ceramic bowl or a wooden bowl. Inside this, we’ve got 1 large apple chopped up. It’s been pared and cored and chopped rather finely. You’ll want to use some baking kind of apple. Golden Delicious might work well in this. That’s what we’re using right now. To this, we’re going to add the diced lemon peel that I talked about earlier, ¼ cup of suet, ¼ cup of sugar, the juice of 1-2 lemons, and ½ cup of raisins. Mix these up well. We are using suet in this recipe. It can be difficult to find. We do sell a USDA approved suet in our catalog and on our website. You may be able to find some kinds of suet in your local supermarket or at your butcher shop. Again, if you’re interested in suet I want to point you to an earlier episode we did on rendering your own suet.

We need to cook this at around 400 degrees so we’ll need to get this Dutch oven nice and hot before we put this in and make sure it’s got plenty of coals. It’s going to bake probably 20 minutes or so.

And there we go. This one’s definitely cool enough to handle. If we wanted this to really set up so that we might be able to get it completely out of the pan, you’ll want to let this cool overnight, maybe even in the refrigerator or someplace really cool to let it really solidify, because it’s going to be hard to get out of this tart tin. Some of those juices have boiled up out of it and come down the edges so it’s going to be hard to get out. I’m just going to take a slice out of this guy, because there’s no way at this kind of temperature that it’s going to come out whole.

Let’s give this a try.

That’s got an amazing punch to it. This is wonderful. I can see why they call it a lemon minced pie. It’s got a wonderful lemony flavor to it. That lemon peel and the lemon juice really come through and yet you get these other chunks of, I guess the meat of, the tart which is the apple and the raisin, which give you a wonderful sweetness, but the flavor that really comes through is the lemon.

So this concludes our Dutch oven series on a wonderful note. This will definitely make a wonderful dessert. If you’re in the field and want to do a simple one, excellent, you can make the crust right there. None of these things needs to be refrigerated so you can definitely do this in the field. So wonderful, if you get a chance, you can try this at home. Again, wonderful dessert dish. Definitely give this one a try.

I want to thank you for coming along while we experiment with these Dutch ovens, while we see exactly what you can do in a Dutch oven in the field. Amazing things, wonderful dishes, great. I want to thank you for coming along as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Delicious Savory Onion Pie

Delicious Savory Onion Pie

Today’s recipe is a wonderful savory onion pie from “The Little Primitive Cookery” cookbook. This cookbook is a compilation of 18th century recipes that this particular author put together for people of lesser means. This onion pie was probably a substitute for a meat pie, because it is a very savory pie. You’ll also find this recipe in Hanna Glass’s cookbook and some other 18th century English cookbooks as well, so it’s a really interesting, fun recipe.

  • Potatoes
  • Apples
  • Onions
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Salt
  • 1-2 tsps. ground Pepper
  • Mace
  • ½ tsp. Nutmeg
  • Short Crust
  • Butter
  • 2-3 tsps. Water

If you look at the original recipe, it says you’re going to end up using about a pound of potatoes, a pound of apples, a pound of onions, and a pound of eggs. That means the whole pie would weigh more than 4 pounds. That’s a huge pie, at least in the recipe. Our pie plate is much smaller, so we cut the recipe down quite a bit. In the end, you simply want to make sure you use about the same amount of potatoes, apples, onions, and boiled eggs so that you don’t have too much of one over the others. You want to fill your pie pan up to be sort of heaping but it will cook down a little bit.

To prepare your ingredients, you need to pare up the potatoes.

Onion Pie (Time 0_00_59;27)

You want to pare them up fairly thinly so that you have nice thin slices. Next, you’ll need maybe two or three apples, just like the potatoes.

Onion Pie (Time 0_01_13;26)

First pare and core them, then slice them nice and thin. Next up, onions, I mean this is an onion pie, right?

Onion Pie (Time 0_01_31;09)

Again, about the same quantity, so if your onions are a little bit smaller, you might need 3 or 4, and you’ll want to, of course, take the outer layer off and slice them up nice and thin. Again, probably about a 1/8th of an inch, maybe ¼ inch maximum. Our last main ingredient is the boiled eggs.

Onion Pie (Time 0_01_52;29)

It’s best to boil these the night before so they are cool. Let’s peel them up, and then slice them. If they’re fighting you, it’s alright. Even crumbled up, they’re going to work just fine, again, about the same amount.

Now let’s put together a quick spice mix that we’ll need as we’re assembling this.

Onion Pie (Time 0_02_12;25)

First we have some salt, maybe a teaspoon or two, ground pepper. We want some mace in this, and of course we need half a teaspoon of nutmeg. Now we’re ready to assemble this.

Onion Pie Time 0_02_20;14)

You’ll need to make sure to have a pie crust ready. If you are interested in our pie crust you can check out this episode we did back in the third season.

Assembling this pie is really simple.

Onion Pie (Time 0_03_01;21)

The recipe calls for just a couple little chunks of butter in the bottom and now let’s put a layer of potatoes in the very bottom of our pie. The recipe also calls for, as you’re putting these stages together, to put in a little bit of spices in each layer. Now we’re going to go with some apples and again with just a little bit of seasoning.

Onion Pie (Time 0_03_23;04)

Now we’re going to come in with some onion on top then some of the egg. Keep going with the layers until your pie is full.

We’re going to finish this pie up by placing some chunks of butter on top and 2 or 3 teaspoons of water.

Onion Pie (Time 0_03_58;14)

We’re sort of steaming the ingredients in this pie. Let’s put this top crust on pinch together the edges well so it’s connected to the bottom crust. Finally, put 3 little slices in the top so this vents a little bit.

Onion Pie (Time 0_04_26;13)

We don’t want it to bulge up with the steam pressure on the inside.

It’s ready to go in the oven. If you’re doing this in a standard oven in a modern kitchen, I would set the oven at about 350 degrees and this guy’s going to take at least 45 minutes, probably more like an hour to bake.

Onion Pie (Time 0_00_05;10)

This is a great full meal pie. It’s a wonderful main dish. This is such an inexpensive, quick, and easy pie to make up. It only takes an hour or so to bake and the flavors are amazing. You’ll love it, the kids will like it; even a little bit of mushroom ketchup on top of this will set it off perfectly.

Transcript of Video:

Today’s recipe is a wonderful savory onion pie. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking with Jas Townsend and Son.

So, today’s recipe comes from “The Little Primitive Cookery” cookbook. This cookbook is sort of a compilation of 18th century recipes that this particular 18th century author put together for people of lesser means and this onion pie is probably sort of a substitute for a meat pie. It’s a savory pie. You’ll find this recipe in Hanna Glass’s cookbook and in some other 18th century English cookbooks, so it’s a really interesting, fun recipe. Let’s get started.

This recipe is very simple. We need an equal quantity of potatoes, apples, onions and boiled eggs sliced up, so let’s get started. I’m going to pare up some potatoes here. You want to pare them up fairly thinly so that you have nice thin slices and then we can move on to some apples. You’ll need, again, maybe two or three apples, just like the potatoes. First we’re going to pare them and then core them, and now slice them nice and thin. Next up, onions, I mean this is an onion pie right? Again, about the same quantity, so if your onions are a little bit smaller, you might need 3 or 4, and you’ll want to, of course, take the outer layer off of these and slice them up nice and thin. Again, probably about an 1/8th of an inch, maybe ¼ inch max. And our last main ingredient here, the boiled eggs. I boiled these up last night. Let’s peel them up, and now I’m going to kind of slice them. They’re fighting me, but even crumbled up, they’re going to work just fine, again, about the same amount.

Now let’s put together a quick spice mix that we’ll need as we’re assembling this. First we have some salt, maybe a teaspoon or two, ground pepper. We want some mace in this, so I’ve got some mace here, and of course we need in every recipe, nutmeg, half a teaspoon of nutmeg total, and now I’m just going to stir these up. Now we’re ready to assemble this. We have all the ingredients set up and I’ve already got a short crust put into this red ware pie pan. You’ll need to make sure to have a pie crust ready. If you are interested in this pie crust you can go and check out the episode we did, I think back in the third season. I’ll put a link down in the description section.

Let’s assemble this pie. It’s really simple. First we’re going to start off with a little bit of butter in the bottom. The recipe calls for just a couple little chunks here in the bottom and now let’s put a layer of potatoes in the very bottom of our pie. The recipe also calls for, as you’re putting these stages together, to put in a little bit of spices in each layer. Now we’re going to go with some apple here, again with just a little bit of seasoning. That’s good, now we’re going to come in with some onion on top here and now let’s put in some of the egg. Now the instructions say to keep going with the layers. Now depending on how thick your pie is, you may not have enough room for another layer but I’m going to do a thin layer.

Now if you look at this recipe here, toward the end it says you’re going to end up using about a pound of potatoes, a pound of apples, a pound of onions, and a pound of eggs. That means this whole pie is going to weigh more than 4 pounds. It’s a huge pie, at least in the recipe. This pie in this pie plate is much smaller, so you won’t need a full pound. Obviously this is going to fill this pie right up though. It’s going to be sort of heaping, but that’s okay, it’s going to cook down a little bit.

We’re going to finish this pie up now by placing some chunks of butter up on top and a little bit of water too. Maybe 2 or 3 teaspoons, it calls for adding a little bit of water in here, we’re sort of steaming the ingredients in this pie, and let’s put this top crust on and let’s pinch this together and get this connected so it’s connected to the bottom crust. Now that we finished that up, we can just put 3 little slices in the top so this vents a little bit. We don’t want it to sort of bulge up with the steam pressure on the inside.

And here’s our assembled pie. It’s ready to go in the oven. If you’re doing this in a standard oven in a modern kitchen, I would set the oven at about 350 degrees and this guy’s going to take at least 45 minutes, probably more like an hour to bake.

Wow, this pie smells great. Let’s cut into it and see what it looks like.

Mmm, wow.

That is really, really good. It’s got a wonderful mix of flavors and spices and it’s so wonderful and savory and moist still. I mean with all that butter in there, you know it’s good. This is a great kind of full meal pie, you wouldn’t need to have a meat course if you had a pie like this that you were serving with maybe with just one little side dish or something. It’s a wonderful main dish. If you get a chance at all, and this is such an inexpensive quick and easy pie to make up, it only takes an hour or so to bake and the flavors are amazing, so definitely give this one a try. You’ll love it, the kids will like it, even a little bit of mushroom ketchup on top of this will set it off perfectly.

I want to thank you so much for joining me today as we come along and savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Dutch Ovens

Dutch Ovens

There seems to be a modern resurgence in baking in Dutch ovens, but this technique has been used for hundreds of years. Dutch ovens were commonly used in 18th century kitchens. They were known by various names and they took on various forms, but they were known throughout Great Britain, France and the American colonies. Dutch ovens played an important role in the American colonies as well as the later on Western expansion. Louis and Clark took numerous Dutch ovens along on their western expedition. These vessels were favored by 18th, 19th, and even 20th century cooks and sojourners for their versatility. They could be used for soups and stews, for frying as well as for roasting and baking, even bread.

Meat Pies (Time 0_08_57;16)

We found one early 19th century source that used the term Dutch oven and bread oven interchangeably. When it came to baking for a single meal, these were much more efficient than a wood fired oven. Because of their versatility and efficiency, they were also highly valued. You could frequently find them in old 18th century last will and testaments and in household inventories. Jas. Townsend and Son offers two different sizes, a 9½ quart and a 12 quart model.

The Dutch ovens sold at Jas. Townsend and Son are a specifically 18th century and North American improvement on a 17th century design. The lip at the top is specifically designed to keep the coals from falling off and the legs at the bottom are to keep it so the air can flow underneath and keep the coals underneath alive.

Meat Pies (Time 0_07_09;19)

When using a Dutch oven, you need to make sure that it is preheated. Just leave it in the fire pit until it’s good and warm. You have to get your pit ready for this. You need coals underneath your Dutch oven. Deciding exactly how many coals you want to use is a bit of a matter of judgement. Each person is going to have to get used to that. You need to practice. I put a ring of coals around the top of the lid here leaving the center a little bit open. Same thing at the bottom, there’s a little bit of opening at the very center to not get it too hot. Each one of those is going to be just a little bit different though. For even cooking you will want to rotate your Dutch oven every 5-10 minutes or so and you will want to check on your food about every 15 minutes to ensure that the oven is not too hot or cold and adjust accordingly.

The Best Bread Pudding Yet

The Best Bread Pudding Yet

The Best Bread Pudding yet from The Primitive Cookery Cookbook 1767 is a very simple bread pudding to make.

Bread Pudding

  • ¾ cup Flour
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 4 oz. Raisins or Currants
  • 2 tbsps. Sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground Ginger
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream

Pudding Sauce

  • 1/3 Butter
  • 1/3 Sugar
  • 1/3 Brandy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Best Bread Pudding (Time 0_01_19;14)

Combine flour, bread crumbs, raisins, sugar and ginger in one bowl. In another bowl beat together the eggs, yolks, and heavy cream. Combine all the ingredients for a nice thick batter. Turn out into a well buttered dish. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

For sauce, melt butter and combine with sugar and brandy.

Best Bread Pudding (Time 0_02_07;12)

Allow pudding to cool then turn out onto plate, slice and cover with sauce.

Transcript of Video:

Hi, I’m Jon Townsend. We’re continuing our series in Dutch oven cooking. Today we’re going to be using the skills that we’ve learned earlier to bake a pudding, a bread pudding, in one of these Dutch ovens. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

This recipe is rather simple. It’s from the Primitive Cookery cookbook 1767. That cookbook is available on our website and in our print catalog. Let’s get these simple ingredients together. Our ingredients are rather simple. We’ve got ¾ of a cup of flour along with 1 cup of bread crumbs. Also 4 ounces of raisins or currants. I’ve got 2 tablespoons of sugar and just a half a teaspoon or so of ground ginger. For the wet ingredients, I’ve got 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks and one cup of heavy cream.

Now that we’ve got the wet ingredients all beat up, let’s pour them in, mix the two together. We’re looking for a nice thick batter.

I’m going to turn this out into a well buttered dish.

This is ready to go. Let’s put it in the oven. It’s a beautiful day out and there’s very little wind so we found by previous experience with a 12 inch Dutch oven like this, we’ll need about 2 scoops of coals beneath and 3 scoops on top. We want this to bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. If you haven’t watched our previous episode where we talked about getting these ovens up to heat, make sure to go back and check those out. I’ll make sure to put a link down in the description section of this video. This is feeling like it’s really preheated and ready to go.

I’ve let this cool and we’re going to turn it out onto a plate and now slice it and oh yes we need finally, the thing that really sets all these puddings off is a pudding sauce. Do not forget the pudding sauce. This particular sauce is 1/3 butter, 1/3 sugar and 1/3 brandy, so let’s give this a try.

Mmm, superb flavors, and that sauce, I could eat that sauce all day, it is wonderful. A great little pudding, very easy to bake in one of these Dutch ovens. Extremely easy to mix up and very simple ingredients. This is superb. So we’re experimenting. We’re trying out different things and I really want to thank you for coming along as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Back To Top