Plum Puddings and Fruit Cakes for the Holidays

This is the first article in December of the School for Housewives 1906 series published on December 2, 1906, and is a discussion on puddings and cakes for the holidays.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of Boston Sunday Post.

Plum Puddings and Fruit Cakes for the Holidays

HE who doubts that fashions come and fashions go in the culinary world as truly, if not as fast, as the modes of gowns and hats in another sphere, should read up in cookbooks the history of cakes for the last half century.

As the nominal chaperon of a small granddaughter, I was permitted to attend a children’s lawn party last summer. While the babies of assorted sizes were regaled with sponge cake and ice cream upon the turf below us, we seniors, sitting on the veranda, sipped “afternoon tea” and were served with cake adjudged to be too rich for young stomachs. It was as yellow as gold; it was tender, yet firm; it was as sweet as honey and yet so spicy that it was fragrant.

The Rapture of Reminiscence

As the palate appreciated the ineffable deliciousness of the dainty, two of us uttered in delight not far removed from ecstasy—

“Real poundcake!”

Both of the speakers were grandmothers. Women of the second generation shared our pleasure, but not the rapture of reminiscence. When one granddame sighed, “I do not think I have eaten genuine poundcake before in thirty years,” the juniors confessed that they had never tasted it before.

It transpired, presently, that the mother of the hostess, a Southern woman, had compounded the delicacy, assisted by her colored maid.

Like the “venerable men” eulogized by Webster at the inauguration of Bunker Hill Monument, it had “come down to us from a former generation”—a generation that had time to take pains in whatever it undertook. A pound of loaf sugar, crushed and sifted through muslin; three quarters of a pound of washed butter; a pound of flour dried in the oven; a pound of eggs; one nutmeg, grated; a teaspoonful of mace, and a glass of pure old brandy went into that peerless loaf. The mixing was done as carefully as the weighing. Then came half an hour of steady beating (think of that, ye hustlers of the twentieth century!) that left it velvety in consistency and in color like molten gold.

This sounds like bathos to our up-to-date cook. I forgive her, if she has never known real poundcake.

“Snowball” Sponge Cake

I spoke, just now, of the sponge cake served to the children. I did not see it or taste it. I am, nevertheless, as sure as if I had done both that it was as little like the “snowballs” that were the joy of my childhood as cup cake resembles the luscious pound loaf I have described but feebly. Sponge cake (the real thing) was guiltless of butter. So is the modern plagiarism. I could run over the original recipe backward—so familiar was it to my charmed ears:

Twelve eggs; the weight of the eggs in sugar, half their weight in flour; one lemon—juice and rind. Beat yolks and whites separately and very light, the sugar into the yolks when they are perfectly smooth: next the juice and grated lemon peel, then the stiffened whites; lastly the sifted flour, very lightly and rapidly.

As with the poundcake, the rest was skill.

The perfect product was never tough. It melted in the mouth like butter, never sticking to the teeth, and although most delicious when freshly baked, did not desiccate into sweetish dust when cold.

What might be called “the sponge cake of commerce”—most often sold in the shape of lady fingers (save the mark!) and jumbles—better befitting the name—is coaxed into lightness by ammonia and baking powders. It is always either tough or sawdusty.

In all the changes and chances, the downfalls and upheavals, in the realm of cake-making, the queen holds her own. Fruit cake has never been superseded by angel or by devil cake, by any of the countless varieties of cup or layer cake. She smiles serene indifference upon Lady Baltimore, while French, lady, marble, caramel, Washington, Lincoln and Lee “win no regard from her calm eyes.” She is empress, and her dynasty is perpetual. Two hundred years ago fruit cake was an indispensable feature in every feast of note. The reveler of today holds it in equal esteem with his great-great-grandfather.

“Indigestible,” say our diet dictators. “Horribly expensive!” cry frugal housewives. All the same, children cry for it, and the four-dollars-a-week housemother pinches in here and overruns there to have that on Christmas Day which will set the younglings to singing—

“Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum cake and sent them out of town.”

To the maker of the immemorial ballad “plum cake” stood for the most costly bribe in the gift of the harassed townspeople. Before coming to recipes for the royal loaf, let me remind the maker thereof of a few important preliminaries to the ceremony.

Collect and weigh all the ingredients before you begin to mix the cake. Appropriate a table of fair size and settle yourself in a corner where you are not likely to be interrupted. Neglect not the least detail of spoon, or spice sifter, or grater. Pay especial attention to the fruit. The currants may be labeled “Cleaned.” See that you wash them in three waters. The third may be clear. The first and second will justify my caution and your obedience. Drain and dry them when they are clean, drying in the open oven and in a heated colander lest they should sweat. Rinse the raisins in clear water, and dry them. Do not chop nuts if they are to go into the cake. Cut them small with a sharp knife, or shave them thin with the same.

All must be perfectly dry when they are dredged or the fruit will make the cake heavy. Shred the citron fine with keen clean scissors.

Thirty odd years ago I italicized a sentence in a paper upon this subject, which I shall now set up in capitals:


Every step must be as carefully taken as if upon it depended the fate of the undertaking.

Pound Fruit Cake.

One pound of butter; one pound of powdered sugar; one pound of flour; one pound of seeded raisins; one pound of currants; half a pound of shredded citron; twelve eggs; one even teaspoonful of cinnamon; two teaspoonfuls of nutmeg; one teaspoonful of cloves; one wineglass of best brandy. (Cooking brandy will not do.)

Rub the butter and sugar to a smooth cream; heat in the whipped eggs and stir hard for two whole minutes before adding half of the flour. Beat the flour in with long, even strokes; add the spices, and when these are well incorporated with the other ingredients “fold in” the whites, i.e., with long, almost horizontal, sweeps of the spoon, alternately with there served flour. The brandy goes in last, and this must be with as few strokes as will suffice to blend it completely with the batter.

This is a large quantity. For a family of ordinary size half as much of each ingredient will do.

The whole will make two large loaves. Cover with thick paper when you put it into a steady oven, and do not remove the paper under an hour. It will require nearly, if not quite, two hours’ baking.

The novice would best commit the baking to an experienced cook.

A Cup Fruit Cake.

One cupful of washed butter; two cupfuls of powdered sugar; two and a half cupfuls of sifted flour; half a pound each of currants and seeded raisins; a quarter of a pound of shredded citron; a teaspoonful each of cinnamon and grated nutmeg; six eggs.

Cream butter and sugar, add the beaten yolks of the eggs, next the flour and the well-dredged fruit and citron, the spices, and whip upward for one minute before adding the whites of the eggs whipped to a standing froth. Fold them in lightly and quickly.

Half-Pound Christmas Cake.

Half a pound of butter and the same of sugar; half a pound each of currants, raisins and shredded nuts; a quarter pound of clipped citron; one teaspoonful each of powdered nutmeg, mace and cinnamon; one heaping cupful of flour; seven eggs, whites and yolks whipped separately.

Mix as directed in the preceding recipe, being careful to dredge the fruit well. A pleasant flavor is imparted to the cake by mixing a tablespoonful of rosewater with the nuts while mincing them.

Raised Fruit Cake.

Set aside on baking day a cupful of dough that has had the second rising. Work it into a cream made by stirring together a cupful of butter with one of brown sugar. Have at hand half a cupful of raisins and currants dredged with flour and an equal quantity of shredded citron. Mix through the half cupful of fruit half a teaspoonful of cinnamon and half as much powdered mace, and work it well into the dough. This done, beat two eggs very light, yolks and whites together, and knead them into the mass until it is very light. Five minutes should be enough. Finally, mould in to two loaves, throw a cloth over them and set in a rather warm place for twenty minutes before baking.

This is a popular cake with English children, and is sometimes called “Twelfth Night Cake.”

White Fruit Cake.

The following formula for an excellent white fruit cake was contributed by a member of the Exchange:

Put three-quarters of a pound of fresh butter into a basin, and beat until white and creamy. Add by degrees three-quarters of a pound of sifted powdered sugar and beat this mixture for a few minutes. Separate the yolks from the whites of eight eggs; add yolks to butter and sugar and beat again ten minutes. Then stir in half a pound of sultanas, half a pound of raisins seeded and cut into halves; six ounces of glace cherries and candied pineapple, also cut in pieces; a quarter of a pound of almonds (sweet), blanched and baked to a golden brown; the grated rind of a lemon; a saltspoonful of cinnamon (ground) or a wineglassful of brandy.

Whisk the whites of the eight eggs to a stiff froth and mix lightly with the other ingredients. Have ready a pound of flour, sifted, and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder added to it. Scatter it in by degrees, stirring in one handful before the next is added. Bake in a paper lined, buttered tin from two and a half to three hours. Cover the cake with boiled icing. It may be made quite fanciful by pipings of colored icing, glace cherries or other fruit to correspond with the colors used.

T. V. (Lockport, N. Y.).

We are indebted to another—a Massachusetts housemother—for a tested family recipe for what may be ranked as a cousin-german of our empress—to wit, PLUM PUDDING.

Christmas Plum Pudding.

One pound of butter; one pound of suet freed from string and chopped fine; one pound of sugar; two and a half pounds of flour; two pounds of currants, picked over carefully after they are washed; two pounds of raisins seeded, chopped and dredged with flour; one quarter of a pound of citron shredded fine; twelve eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately; one pint of milk; one cup of brandy; one ounce of cloves, one-half ounce of mace; two grated nutmegs. Cream butter and sugar, beat in the yolks when you have whipped them smooth and light; next, put in the milk, then the flour, alternately with the beaten whites; then the brandy and spices; lastly the fruit well dredged with flour.

Mix all thoroughly, wring out your pudding cloth in hot water, flour well inside, pour in the mixture and boil five hours.

MRS. J.O.D. (Hyde Park, Mass.).

After a long vacation the Private Secretary is heard from again, and with a baker’s dozen of practical household hints. Although he persists in calling himself “ a mere man,” it is obvious that he has sowed beside all waters to which housemothers do resort.

Quere: Does his wife prompt him?

“Do you know—

1. That if you will make a strong suds of silicon and very hot water, and wash your silver in it, then pass through another pan of boiling water, and wipe piece by piece, you need never scrub it with powders, that / will, eventually, wear it thin?

2. That if the inside of a silver teapot is darkened by much brewing of mixed tea (it’s the green that does the mischief), you may clean it by putting a teaspoon fill of baking soda into it, filling it with boiling water, and setting it over the fire in a pan of boiling water for five or ten minutes—you may wipe it out clean and bright?

3. That you may clean the pewter-ware bequeathed to you by your great-grand aunt by washing it in boiling water, covering it with a thick paste of woodashes, sifted through mosquito-netting, then mixed with kerosene, and after six or eight hours polishing it with old, soft flannel?

4. That delicate stomachs that cannot digest ham, much less fresh pork, can assimilate thin slices of breakfast bacon?

5. That, while creamed coffee is rank poison to some dyspeptics, nearly everybody is the better for a small cup of black coffee taken after the heaviest meal of the day?

6. That this same black coffee, drunk as hot as one can swallow it, is a prime remedy for nausea, from whatever cause?

7. That matches should never be left in closed houses in paper boxes, since mice are passionately fond of the tips, and often play the incendiary unintentionally?

8. That bananas, peeled, dipped in egg, then rolled in cracker-dust and baked in the oven, are more palatable and far more wholesome than when they are fried in the usual way?

9. That the same may be said of croquettes?

10. That if, in putting away papers and books which are not to be used for some months, you will put camphor balls or gum camphor among them, the mice will not touch them?

11. That silver may be protected from tarnish in like manner?

12. That almost any scorch may be removed from cloths (linen or cotton) by simply washing and boiling in the usual way, and hanging in the hot sun while wet?

13. That, when the fat takes fire on the stove, it is better to sacrifice a kitchen rug by throwing it upon the flame than to try to put it out by throwing water on it? The burning grease will float farther, and blaze more fiercely from the water.

Camden, N. J.

Marion Harland

Caring for Oilcloth
Decorating Closets
A Happy Solution of a Hard Problem
Recipes by Request
Sink Knowledge

Pretty Centrepieces for Thanksgiving Tables & Winter Desserts of Preserved and Canned Fruits

These are the fourth articles in November of the School for Housewives 1906 series published on November 25, 1906. I have transcribed two articles as I did not know which one was the more prominent of the two and thought them both to be interesting.

One article, the shorter, is on dressing a Thanksgiving table while the other is on desserts made of canned fruits.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of Boston Sunday Post.

Pretty Centrepieces for Thanksgiving Tables

WE AMERICANS are little given to sentiment, and we are apt to take our national holidays too much as a matter of course to bestow much thought upon their origin. It seems fitting, however, that in this time of plenty, we should pay some little tribute to the memory of those stern Pilgrim fathers, who nearly 300 years ago set aside a day in which to give thanks for the gathering in of the first harvest in their new country.

There is a pretty custom prevalent in some families on Thanksgiving Day which is worthy of more followers. This is to bring the guests into a table bare of food, decorations, even of a cloth, and with only five grains of corn (for it was for this tiny individual portion that the first Thanksgiving Day was held) lying at each plate. Afterward, of course, the table is spread with all the luxuries and beauties that modern custom demands, and the little lesson in contrasts plants in each heart another note in the swelling song of thanks.

A good dinner is a good thing, but a good dinner daintily served, with charming accessories, is even better, and the successful hostess is she who puts almost as much thought and skill into the arrangement of her table as she does into the planning of her menu.

Fruits and Nuts in Decorations

Fruit, nuts, vegetables and grains form the basis of the true Thanksgiving decorations. If flowers are used, chrysanthemums are the most appropriate, and if you live in a section of the country where the autumn leaves retain their rich coloring until late November, you will find them a charming addition to your table.

A novel centrepiece can be made of a huge yellow pumpkin, to which are fastened great clusters of purple grapes, each bunch concealing a tiny favor. Stick pins, silver bookmarks, any trifle that the grapes will hide, will do for these gifts. Or the pumpkin may be hollowed out and filled with fruit, with candles set at intervals about the edge.

This matter of fastening the candles to the pumpkin is simple enough if you leave a broad rim after you have scooped out the seed and pulp. A sharp knife will cut little sockets, and the candles are made a trifle more secure if the ends are softened by holding them to a lighted match just before they are set into place.

When you don’t care for the candle-trimmed pumpkin, you may scallop the edges, and it is rather effective to suspend a similar pumpkin, scalloped and fruit filled, from the ceiling to a little distance above the one on the table. The cord by which this second pumpkin is hung should be concealed by a clinging green vine, and this vine brought down, twined about the lower pumpkin and across the cloth to each plate, then circling the table, is not to be despised as an aid to beauty.

A more conventional centrepiece is an ordinary flat fruit dish filled with fruit and banked with chrysanthemums. A number of chrysanthemums with very long stems extend from this banking, one ending in front of each guest’s plate. This fruit dish remains in place during the entire meal, the fruit is eaten as a final course, and each guest carries away the chrysanthemum that touched his plate as a souvenir of the occasion.

Corn in the ear makes a beautiful Thanksgiving decoration. If you can get unhusked ears of corn in both yellow and red, lay them about the centerpiece of fruit, flat on the cloth. Strip the husk back from one side so that the gleaming kernels are revealed, then draw the husk over the fruit so that the rich colors of the apples, oranges and grapes gleam through its pale yellow.

The woman who is fortunate enough to be able to get hold of a shock of wheat for her Thanksgiving table has wonderful possibilities at her command. The wheat, loosely bound, with a profusion of fruits apparently falling from it, certainly suggests the richest sort of a harvest. Then she can make her candle shades like miniature shocks of wheat, and she can conceal favors in wheat shocks beside each plate.

Where the autumn leaves are “getable,” a charming effect can be gained by a background of grown leaves, strewn with nuts, from which rises a centerpiece of the usual fruit, banked about with corn and wheat. The dull browns and the pale tints of the grain bring the deeper coloring of the fruits out into unusual beauty.

Candle shades for this table of autumn leaves can be made in the semblance of several richly tinted maple leaves, out of paper, or, what is far more economical and quite as effective, the hostess may make them herself of the real leaves. All she needs forth is purpose are the tiny wire frames, which are sold at a trifling cost, and which, when covered with thin white paper, may be decorated in any manner that falls in with the proposed dinner scheme.

Yellow chrysanthemum shades are pretty, but by no means novel. Tissue-paper pumpkin shades are a delight if they are not beyond the skill of the amateur shademaker, and clusters of grapes twined over green tissue-paper shades are good to look at, but a trifle top-heavy and therefore keep you on the lookout to guard against fires.

If you want something novel in candlesticks, use carrots that have been cut off at one end to make a substantial base, and hollowed out at the other to form a socket; or pumpkins, or even apples, if you can get the big, rosy ones. Candles set in these fancy sticks are better without shades.

Of course, the hostess who is tireless in her ambition need not stop at decorations which are for the table alone. She can carry out her Thanksgiving idea in her salads, in the garnishing of her dishes and in her ices. Her time, strength and pocketbook are the only limitations to her possibilities.

Winter Desserts of Preserved and Canned Fruits

THERE are more possibilities in preserved and canned fruits than are dreamed of in our housewife’s philosophy.

Of course, she knows that the fruits put up last summer during the torrid days, when, perhaps, the flesh groaned under the effort, will be of use for Sunday night teas and for the luncheon on washday or ironing day, when the exigencies of must-be-dones allow little time for the dessert that is only a may-be-done. But on these occasions the fruit is simply “turned out” into a glass bowl and served with sweet crackers, biscuit, or cake. The children may like it, although they soon weary of the cloying sweetness of too many conserves; but John, remembering his mother’s frugalities, suspects a makeshift in the hastily and easily prepared dessert, and does not ask for a second supply—unless he be that rarity among the masculine sex, a man with an inordinately sweet tooth.

In retrospection, those hot July, August and September days (in which she literally won her metaphorical bread in shape of preserved fruits by the sweat of her brow) will seem better worth while to our housewife if she appreciates that at that time she prepared the nucleus of many a delicious winter dessert-—a dessert in which the boys and girls will revel, and of which John will show his approval by that most convincing of phrases, “A little more, if you please, mv dear!” Pies are expensive and indigestible articles—

“Too rich and good
for human nature’s daily food,”

in a family where digestions are delicate and purses even more slender. Pastry of all kinds is to be taken very sparingly by the child one would have escape American dyspepsia. One mother insists that a diet of apple pie makes the small boy’s complexion of the hue of the soggy pastry and his temper and stomach of the acidity of the not-too liberally-sweetened contents of the crust. Occasionally, however, the pie may be introduced into the bill-of-fare, but only as a stranger with whom one has a mere speaking acquaintance, but is not on terms of intimacy. And when it is thus brought forward, it may consist largely of one of the fruits from last summer prepared by the housemother herself.

For this same housemother, remembering with qualms of the diaphragm and indigestion of soul, recent “pure food” investigations, does not often set before her family the tin-can product from the corner grocery. The amber lobes that were once fresh plums, the carefully halved peaches, translucent and shining; the wax-like Bartlett pears, perfect in contour and firm of texture, are, to her, one and all objects of suspicion. They may be pure, and yet, again, they may not—and in her cautious mind the “nots” carry the day. Looking well after the ways of her household, she fears to introduce some deleterious acid into the stomachs of her family, and so does not trust the wares offered by the salesman as “the finest thing in fruit to be found anywhere, 15 cents a can—two for a quarter.”

Our housemother prefers to know just what she gets for her money, and knows that sweet, firm fruit and pure sugar went to the preparation of her preserves which are, let us hope, as sweet now as they were the day she parboiled herself and cooked them against the time when heat and fruit would be expensive luxuries. And just here is it well to remind this same housekeeper that, if her fruits show signs of fermentation, they should not be used, even in pies and puddings. Turn them back into the preserve kettle, add sugar and “cook them over” before serving them in any shape. The little acrid taste that leaves a “tang” on the tongue may leave a worse reminder upon the sensitive mucous membrane lining the stomach.

In the following recipes there are often directions for draining the fruit from the liquor in which it is canned or preserved. Our housewife may save this liquid and make of it excellent pudding sauces.

Plum Batter Pudding.

Drain the liquor from a can of plums and set in an open bowl for an hour. Remove the stones carefully, not to break the fruit.

Sift three teacupfuls of flour with a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder. Beat four eggs very light, add a generous tablespoonful of melted butter, a quart of sweet milk into which a saltspoonful of salt has been stirred, and, lastly, stir in lightly the flour. Have two dozen stoned plums arranged in layers in the bottom of a deep, greased pudding dish, pour in the batter and bake at once in a hot, but steady, oven. While baking, make a hard sauce, flavoring it with vanilla. Serve the pudding with this sauce as soon as baked.

Small Plum Puddings.

Drain and stone the plums as in the last recipe. Put four plums in the bottom of a very deep greased patty pan or very small pie plates. Work into a large cup of flour a scant tablespoonful of butter, add a gill of milk and a little, salt. Work smooth, then spread over the top of the plums. Bake in a quick oven. When ready to serve, loosen the edge of the crust on each tin, and turn upside down on a broad platter. Serve with rich cream.

Cherry Turnovers.

Drain canned or preserved cherries into a pound of flour, and rub a cup of butter. When like a coarse powder, moisten with a teacupful, or less, of iced water, and work to a paste, handling as little as possible. Roll out upon a floured board, fold up and roll out again, and yet once more. If very cold still, use at once. If not, set in the ice chest until chilled. Chop the cherries (from which the pits must have been removed, unless this was done before canning them), add two beaten eggs and the juice of one lemon. Roll out the paste, and cut into rounds the size of a large biscuit. Put a tablespoonful of the mixture on one-half of the round, and turn the other half over upon the fruit and itself, pinching the edges together. Lay these half-circles in a floured baking pan and bake to a golden brown. These are good, hot or cold. Sift powdered sugar over them before serving.

Cherry Bread Pudding.

Drain the liquor from a can of stoned cherries, and chop these small. Cut the crust from a loaf of bread, and slice thin, then spread each slice with the chopped cherries. Pack all into a deep dish, and pour slowly over the bread—allowing time for it to soak in well—the liquor from the cherries. Set aside in the ice-box for some hours, or until the juice is thoroughly absorbed by the bread. Make a custard of three eggs, a pint of milk and sugar to taste, and pour this over the bread. If this quantity does not fill the dish, add more milk, for the bread must be entirely covered with the custard. Put a plate or cover on the bread to keep it under the custard, and bake until the custard is set. Serve with powdered sugar and cream.

Steamed Cherry Pudding.

Make a batter of a pint of milk, a tablespoonful of melted butter and two well-beaten eggs. Add three cups of flour that has been sifted with a teaspoonful of baking powder and a pint of cherries that have been drained from the liquor in the can. Dredge the fruit well with flour and stir it in lightly. Turn into a greased mould and steam for three hours. Eat with a hard sauce flavored with the cherry liquor.

Raspberry Pudding.

Open a can of canned or preserved raspberries, and drain off the liquor, saving it for sauce for the pudding. Make a rich biscuit dough: roll this into a sheet a half inch thick, spread thickly with the berries, sprinkle bits of butter over these and roll up the sheet of dough as you would a sheet of music. Put into a floured cloth and boil for three hours. Add to the raspberry liquor a little sugar and boil up once. Take the pudding from the cloth, lay on a dish and pour the steaming sauce over it.

Rhubarb Pie.

Drain the liquor from a can of rhubarb and chop this. Add to it a half cup of sugar, the yolk of an egg, a piece of butter the size of a walnut and a tablespoonful of flour. Moisten with three tablespoonfuls of the rhubarb liquor and bake in an open piecrust. When done, make a meringue of the white of the egg and sugar, spread this on the pie and return it to the oven just long enough to “set” the meringue. Eat cold.

Rhubarb Pudding.

Drain the canned rhubarb and put a layer of it in the bottom of a greased pudding dish. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, add a few drops of lemon juice and dot with bits of butter. Now put in a layer of crumbs and moisten these with the liquor from the can of rhubarb. Put in more rhubarb, sugar and butter and more moistened crumbs. Continue in this way until the dish is full, having the top layer of dried and buttered crumbs. Cover and bake for fifteen minutes in a hot oven, then uncover and brown. Serve hot with hard sauce.

Huckleberry Shortcake.

Into a quart of flour chop a tablespoonful of butter and work in a half cup of powdered sugar. Add three cups of milk and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Mix to a soft dough, handling as little as possible. Roll out, and cut into rounds that will fit in two layer-cake tins. Bake in a quick oven. When these two biscuits are done, turn out, split open and spread with butter. Have ready the contents of a can of huckleberries, drained and heated, and spread each layer thickly with these. Place the rounds on top of each other, pour the remaining berries and liquid over the top round and serve at once.

Dutch Peach Cake.

Drain the liquor from a can of peaches, and, if not already stoned, stone them, cut into strips or eighths, and set in the colander to drain well while you make the cake.

Sift with a pint of flour two teaspoonfuls of baking powder and a half teaspoonful of salt. Into this stir a beaten egg and a teacupful of milk. Grease a loaf tin and put in the dough, then press the pieces of peaches into the top of the loaf, laying them close together. Sprinkle with bits of butter, and dust all with sugar, adding but a little of this, as the peaches are already sweetened. Bake until done, and serve with whipped cream or, alone, as a cake.

Peach Tapioca.

Soak a cup of pearl tapioca until clear and soft. Cut up canned peaches into bits. There should be eight or ten of these peaches if large in size and a cup of their liquor. Boil the tapioca in a pint of water. When tender, add the peaches and liquor, and stir while the mixture comes to a boil, then remove immediately from the fire. When cold, set in the ice until wanted. Serve with cream.

Peaches and Cream.

Drain the liquor from halved preserved or brandied peaches, and set on the ice until very cold. Beat a pint of cream very light, sweetening it as you do so, and whipping into it a half cup of blanched and chopped almonds. Arrange the halves of the peaches on a chilled platter, and fill the cavity left by the stone in each half with the whipped- cream mixture, heaping this high.

Keep in the fire until ready to serve. Pass fresh sponge cake with this dessert. This makes an attractive and delicious company dessert. It is still prettier if a Maraschino cherry top each mound of whipped cream.

Apple Whip.

Chop canned apples very small, or, better still, if you have canned apple sauce, use that. Rub through a colander. Beat the whites of four eggs to a stiff meringue, and add gradually to this a pint of the minced apples, adding, also, a dash of lemon juice and a little sugar, if needed. Line a glass bowl with ladyfingers and fill the bowl with this mixture. When serving, put a great spoonful of cream on each portion.

Strawberry Souffle.

Drain the liquor from a can of preserved or canned strawberries. Beat the whites of seven eggs to a stiff froth, adding the berries gradually. Turn into greased pudding dish and bake for a half hour in a steady oven. Serve at once with whipped cream.

Strawberry Jelly.

Soak a half box of gelatine in a little water, and, when the gelatine is dissolved, add a cup of the liquid in which strawberries were canned, and the berries themselves. Stir for a moment, pour into a wet mould, and set aside until cold, then put in the icebox. When turned out, the berries will be at the top of the form, the pink jelly at the bottom. Turn upon a platter and heap whipped cream about the base of the form.

The Housemothers’ Exchange

A Simple Summer Dessert – by the French Method

This is the second article in June of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on Jun 12, 1904, and is a recipe.

School for Housewives – A Simple Summer Dessert – by the French Method

Here is a little cooking school lesson in pictures, given by a French pastry cook – a pâtissier.

The subject is a dainty summer dessert which can be varied from month to month by employing the different fruits as those come into season.

The pastry, if well made, is not unwholesome, and stewed fruit is unquestionably more appetizing served in these pretty shells than ungarnished in a dish or bowl.

To make the puff paste, use exactly equal parts of flour and butter, a little water and a pinch of salt.

Sieve the flour, preferably upon a marble-topped table. By stirring with the fingers in the centre of the heap thus formed, make a hollow ring of the flour as shown in the illustration. Have this ring equally thick and wide all around. Now put the salt and water into the hollow formed by the ring; melt the salt; stir in the flour a little at a time.

When the mixture has begun to thicken, stir in the rest of the flour as rapidly as possible.

Using both hands, roll the paste away from you upon the table. Now gather it together and work it with the base of the thumb, pushing it away from you in small pieces, little by little.

Sprinkle the table with flour, make a ball of the paste, pat the top down a little to make it lose some of the elasticity acquired in the working, and let it stand for a moment.

Now for the butter. Dust the surface of a clean towel with flour, place the butter on this. Fold the edges of the cloth over the top and bear down it to soften the butter, this movement several times from different sides, giving the batter a square shape.

Take the ball of paste which lies in front of you on the table, sprinkled with flour; flatten out into a square, put the butter on this and fold it in tightly as shown in the picture.

Sprinkle the table once more with flour, hold the paste in the hand at some height and dash it down upon the table. Take the roller gently roll out the embryo crust in a forward direction, using moderate force and proceeding without jerks, which last are sure to create unevenness in the crust.

Roll out very thin. Fold over a third part in a forward direction and bring another third over toward you.

Turn the paste half way around, that is to say, let the side which is at your left hand come directly in front of you. Take the roller, roll out once more and again fold it in the same way. Flour a baking board, a dish or a pie plate, put the paste on it, and set aside in a cool place for fifteen minutes.

Roll out and fold over twice; then allow it to stand another quarter of an hour.

Roll out in circular shape and place on a round plate or dish. In the middle pour four generous spoonfuls of the fruit as for any tart.

Spread out the rest of the paste which remains intact. Place this upon the foundation piece on which the fruit is spread; cut it by pressing down the ring and passing the point of the knife all around. Brush over with raw egg, indent a trifle with the point of the knife and bake forty minutes.

When finished dust with the finest of powdered sugar, and put back into the oven for a moment in order that the sugar may melt. Remove at once from the pan on which it is cooked, or it will taste of the metal.

Marion Harland