Munchie Monday

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Munchie Monday: Small Nut Cakes

Louisa Macculloch’s Small Nut Cakes feature pecans and brown sugar. The pecan (Carya illinoinensis) is a species of hickory and was also known as the “Mississippi nut” or the “Illinois nut”.  The first U.S. pecan planting took place in Long Island, NY, in 1772. Even though both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew pecan trees on their properties, the first published recipe that included pecan-nuts was not until 1847 in a cook book by Eliza Leslie, The Lady’s Receipt-Book. During the Civil War, many Northern soldiers had their first experiences with pecans while they were living and fighting in the South. After the war, pecans became more readily available in the north. By 1867 pecans were sold in New York City from December to April. And what about pecan pie? In 1886 the first recipe for pecan pie was published.

Original Recipe—Small Nut Cakes
2 eggs beaten light
Pinch of salt
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 cup pecan nuts chopped fine, sprinkled with flour
1 whole nut on top of each cake
¼ teaspoon of baking powder

Adapted Recipe—Small Nut Cakes
2 eggs beaten light
Pinch of salt
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup flour
1 cup pecan nuts chopped fine, sprinkled with flour
¼ teaspoon of baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkled pecan nuts with flour. In separate bowl combine brown sugar, two beaten eggs, salt, flour, and baking powder. Mix in pecan nuts. Spray mini-muffin pan and fill each 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool. Makes 24 mini muffins.

Resources:

For a pecan muffin with cinnamon and vanilla try out this recipe. 

Munchie Monday: Coconut Jumbals

Jumbals, also spelled jumbles and jumballs, have been made since the 1600s. It is a simple butter cookie recipe in which other ingredients can be added. Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) had several jumbals recipes, including three coconut jumbals recipes, in her family’s cookbook. Even though it is unclear when the first coconuts reached the Americas, there is documentation to show that coconuts were being imported and made available by the middle of the 1800s. Coconut, from the Cocus nuclear, is native to Asia, but was listed as an ingredient in many types of desserts including puddings, pies, cakes and cookies that were published in 19th-century cookbooks. 

Coconut Jumbals
½ of cocoa nut
Sugar
3 eggs
¼ pound of butter

Flour to make them stiff enough to drop nicely on the tins.

Adapted Coconut Jumbals Recipe
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut (half bag) about 1 ½ cups
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs
1 stick of butter, softened
1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups of flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add coconut. Then add enough flour to “stiffen” the dough—begin with 1 cup. Drop a teaspoonful of cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet but allow for cookies to expand. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes 3 ½ dozen.

Resources:

Try a similar recipe that includes vanilla extract, almond extract and nutmeg. 

Munchie Monday: Corn Cake

Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) included several recipes for corn cakes, or Indian cakes, in her 19th-century cookbook. The recipe below calls for “sweet” milk which refers to regular milk and distinguishes it from buttermilk. Another interesting combination of ingredients in this recipe is the addition of a teaspoon of both baking soda and cream of tartar. These two ingredients, when combined, create baking powder and produces the carbon dioxide which allows the batter to rise. Try this recipe either cooked on a hot griddle or baked as cornbread. Enjoy your corn cakes, also called hoecakes or johnnycakes, with butter and honey!

Original Corn Cake Recipe
1 pint Indian meal
1 pint sweet milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoonful soda
1 teaspoonful cream of tartar
A small handful of sugar

Adapted Corn Cake Recipe
2 cups corn meal
1 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup of sugar

Whisk together cornmeal, baking soda, cream of tartar and sugar in a bowl. In a second bowl whisk eggs and milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir in melted butter. Combine but do not over mix. The same recipe can be used either for a cornbread cake baked in the oven or for corncakes similar to pancakes cooked on a hot griddle or cast-iron skillet.

For cornbread cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease square baking pan. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 20 to 24 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out dry.

For corn cakes: Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle. Add oil or butter. Spoon mixture into 3” circles and cook on each side.

Resources: 

Try a recipe for George Washington’s Hoecakes and Honey from mountvernon.org.     

Watch an 8-minute cooking video from George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. 

Munchie Monday: Apple Pudding

Are you wondering what to do with the extra apples you have in the house? Try Louisa Macculloch’s (1785-1863) Apple Pudding recipe. More like a custard than a cake, it is enjoyed warm from the oven or as a chilled dessert with whipped cream.

Eliza Acton (1799-1859) includes a similar Baked Apple Pudding recipe in her 1845 book Modern Cookery for Private Families published in England. Her book was a bestseller and expanded to thirteen editions. She is thought to be among the first to write a cookbook that included a list of ingredients and suggested cooking times.

Original Apple Pudding Recipe
2 pounds of grated apples
½ pound of sugar
¼ pound of butter
1 pint of milk (or more)
4 eggs
1 lemon’s juice and grated rind
Bake in a haste

Adapted Apple Pudding Recipe
2 pounds of grated apples, peeled (approximately 5 large apples)
1 cup of sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of milk
4 eggs
1 lemon (juice and rind)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time, slowly and allow to mix in.** In separate bowl, combine grated apples, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add grated apples to butter/egg mixture and combine. Pour into a greased rectangular baking dish. Pour 1 ½ cups of milk or just enough milk to cover apple mixture. Bake 50-60 minutes. It will still be bubbly with some liquid. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

**If eggs are added too quickly, the butter-sugar-egg mixture will separate and look curdled. This will not affect the taste.

Resources:

Explore an alternative modern Baked Apple Pudding recipe with pecans and dried cranberries.

Munchie Monday: Carrot Pudding

During the 1800s the farm at Macculloch Hall produced many root vegetables including beets, carrots, turnips, onions, parsnips, and carrots. The garden journal kept by George Macculloch (1775-1858) lists carrots, along with other root vegetables, as typically planted in April or May and harvested in July or early August. Some years George Macculloch planted an early and late crop of carrots, if the weather would allow. In 1837 he pulled out the last of the carrots in November. It is not a surprise that Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) includes at least one recipe for carrots in her family cookbook. This Carrot Pudding would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving meal and can be prepared ahead of time. Enjoy!

Original Carrot Pudding Recipe
½ lb. grated carrot
½ lb. grated bread
4 table spoons full sugar
4 eggs
½ lb. butter
Glass of wine
Pint of milk

Adapted Carrot Pudding Recipe
8 ounces grated carrots (1 cup)
12 ounces grated bread (1 ½ cups)
4 tablespoons of sugar
4 eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 ounces of white wine
1 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together eggs, milk, white wine. Add grated carrots, breadcrumbs and sugar. Stir in melted butter and pour into greased baking pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

Resources: 

For a little more history and an adapted recipe that suggests honey or maple syrup instead of sugar, visit this website. 

Munchie Monday: Cottage Pudding

Cottage Pudding is considered a traditional American dessert which first appeared in print in the 1860s. The 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer (which is still available for purchase) lists a cottage pudding among the many dessert recipes. Cottage pudding was typically served with a topping or sauce. Possible toppings include fruit, chocolate, vanilla sauce, or custard. Mrs. Macculloch did not include a recipe for the topping in her family cook book. Below the adapted Cottage Pudding recipe, we have included a suggested modern recipe for an accompanying sauce.

Original Cottage Pudding Recipe
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1 pint of flour
1/8 pound of butter
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons full of cream tartar in the flour
1 teaspoon on soda in the milk

Adapted Cottage Pudding Recipe
1 egg
1 cup of milk, room temperature
2 cups of flour
4 tablespoons of butter (2 ounces) softened
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, add egg. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk slowly to egg mixture to combine. Pour batter in a greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Brown Sugar Sauce*
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Blend flour, brown sugar and salt in small pot. Gradually stir in water and butter. Cook on medium heat until thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over slices of cottage pudding and serve.

*Brown Sugar Sauce from food.com.

Resources:

Take a look at an alternative recipe for cottage pudding.  

Revolutionarypie.com compares different early cottage pudding recipes and shares the results.

Munchie Monday: Clove Cake

Looking to try a new recipe this fall? Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) and her 19th-century cookbook provides several tasty options. Today we share her Clove Cake recipe. This recipe calls for pearlash, a chemical leavening agent also known as potassium carbonate, which is used to make dough or batter rise and create a chewy texture. Pearlash was used from 1780-1840, which helps to date the recipe. It was later replaced with modern baking powder.

Clove Cake Original Recipe
¾ lb. butter
1 lb. sugar
1 lb. flour
1 cup thick cream
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of pearlash
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of cloves
1 nutmeg
1 wine glass Brandy

Adapted Recipe
2 ½ sticks of butter (softened)
2 cups of sugar
3 ½ cups of flour
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of ground cloves
1 nutmeg (freshly grated)
1 wine glass Brandy (optional)

For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 12 pan. Cream softened butter and sugar. Add eggs. Sift flour and spices. Mix baking soda into heavy cream. Add sifted ingredients alternately with heavy cream. Put batter into greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

For muffins: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan use paper muffin cups. Cream softened butter and sugar. Add eggs. Sift flour and spices. Mix baking soda into heavy cream. Add sifted ingredients alternately with heavy cream. Do not over mix, this will result in a tough or dense muffin. Fill muffin tins ¾ full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Resources: 

Looking for a clove cake recipe with a frosting? Visit bridgetsgreenkitchen.com.  

Try another variety of clove cake favored by Teddy Roosevelt.

Learn more about pearlash here.

Munchie Monday: Cider Cake

Acres and acres of apples grew on the Macculloch property for most of the 1800s. It is not surprising that Louisa Macculloch ((1785-1863) has an early recipe for cider cake among the 160 recipes in her cookbook. Considered to be a classic American dessert, cider cake called for hard apple cider, grown and made in America, which provided an inexpensive substitute to imported brandy.

The collection at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum has one remaining piece of china, a tea cup and bowl, that was used by the Macculloch family in the 1800s. Perhaps it is the tea cup that was used to measure ingredients for the cider cake recipe shared here.

Cider Cake
3 tea cups of flour, 2 tea cups of sugar, 1 ditto of butter, 1 ditto of cider. 2 eggs to be mixed as pound cakes and when all prepared for the oven, add a teaspoonful of pearlash to the cider and stir it in.

Adapted Recipe for Cider Cake
3 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup of hard cider
2 eggs
½ teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add two eggs and sifted flour. Stir ½ teaspoon of baking soda into cider (this will fizz up) and add.  Pour mixture into greased loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out dry.

Let cool in loaf pan for 20 minutes. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream.

Resources:

Other early cider cake recipes include raisins and a variety of spices. Read a short history of cider cakes and recipe that includes raisins and spices. 

Explore a interesting, but longer, history of hard cider in America, with a recipe for cider cake with a caramel frosting.

Munchie Monday: Mustard Pickles

The 26-acre farm owned and run by George Macculloch (1775-1858) produced over 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables each growing season. Without modern refrigeration and limited use of an ice house, it is not surprising that pickling recipes of both fruits and vegetables are included in Louisa Macculloch’s cookbook. Her original recipe requires about 10 quarts of vegetables. The adapted recipe below has been modified to produce a smaller quantity.

Recipe for large quantity of canned Mustard Pickles
6 quarts of green tomatoes
2 quarts of white onions
1 quart of cucumbers
1 large cauliflower
3 green peppers
3 red peppers
2 tablespoons of best mustard
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
½ cup of sugar
3 quarts of vinegar
2 cups of flour
salt

Slice tomatoes, onions and cucumber. Sprinkle with salt & leave overnight. Let the vinegar come to a boil & add mustard & turmeric mixed to a thin paste with a little vinegar. Stir it until it thickens. Add sugar & sliced vegetables & boil slowly twenty minutes.

Adapted recipe for Mustard Pickles
1 cauliflower
2-3 cucumbers, sliced
8-10 green tomatoes (2 quarts)
1 large white onion, sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup of kosher or pickling salt
5 cups white vinegar
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour or Clearjel canning product (recommended)
2 tablespoons of mustard powder
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder

Note: (makes 4 quart-size jars)

In large stockpot, put sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and cauliflower small florets. Sprinkle with salt and leave overnight in cool place or refrigerate. Drain brine and rinse vegetables with cold water. Next, bring 4 of the 5 cups of vinegar to boil and stir in sugar until dissolved. Make a thin paste from the flour, mustard, turmeric and the remaining 1 cup of vinegar. Add paste mixture to the hot vinegar and bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Add veggies and bring to a slow boil for twenty minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Put into prepared (sterile) canning jars with ½ inch head space at top. Cover jars with lids and process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Makes 4 quart (32 oz.) jars.

Pickles should set for a minimum of two weeks and should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 20 days once opened. 

Munchie Monday: Cardamom Cake

The cookbook belonging to Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) offers insight into the tastes of 19th century America. Many recipes including cider cakes, spice cakes, clove cakes and cardamom cakes are perfect to enjoy in the fall of the year with the cooler evenings while enjoying the color of the autumn leaves.

Cardamom is a spice made from combining and grinding several types of seeds from the ginger family.  It can be used medicinally to help several ailments including aiding digestion. It is considered to be one of the world’s oldest spices. Egyptians were even known to have used cardamom to prevent tooth decay. Today, cardamom remains an expensive spice because it needs to be harvested by hand. One acre of cardamom produces about 50 – 150 pounds of cardamom spice.

Cardamom Cake
1 lb. flour
1 lb. sugar
3 oz. butter
3 eggs
Ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom

Mix the flour and sugar together then soften the butter and mix it together with eggs in the flour and sugar and add the spice to it. Knead the whole very well and then roll it out thin and cut it in square cakes.

Adapted Cardamom Cakes Recipe
3 1/3 cups of flour
2 ¼ cups of sugar
¾ stick of butter, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of ginger
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and combine with sugar. Add softened butter and eggs and spices. Use the mixer to until well combined and knead the dough, roll out and cut into squares ½ inch thick. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Resources: 

Two alternatives to Mrs. Macculloch’s Cardamom cake are a Cardamom Ginger Apple Cake and a Swedish Cardamom Cake

Munchie Monday: Snow Drift Cake

A delicious cake known by many names, Snow Drift cake was initially thought to have similarities to a sponge cake and, later, the Angel Food Cake. Louisa Macculloch’s recipe is similar to the one listed in the 1871 edition of Mrs. Porter’s New Southern Cookery Book for Frugal and Economical except her recipe does not include butter. Angel Food cake is lower in calories because it does not have butter or egg yolks. Fresh fruit can be added as a topping for the cake.

Mrs. Macculloch does not provide instructions about the type of pan to use or even a temperature to bake her Snow Drift cake. A tube pan is recommended because of the hollow cone, or tube, through the center, which allows heat to come up through the cake like a chimney. By 1896, a cook book references a tube pan by a new name, an “angel cake pan”. Today, a similar alternative to tube panes are Bundt pans, which were invented in the 1950s.

Original Recipe Snow Drift Cake:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
Whites of 5 eggs, beaten to a stiff froth
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
½ teaspoon of soda
Flavor with vanilla. This never fails.

Adapted Recipe for today:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened*
5 eggs, egg whites only
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven 325 degrees. Do not grease the tube cake pan. Cream butter and sugar. Alternately, add a little whole milk and a little sifted flour and baking soda at a time to the creamed butter and sugar until all incorporated. In a second mixing bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Beat on high until soft peaks form. It should look glossy. Gently fold the flour mixture into egg mixture. Put mixture in ungreased cake pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

*Butter was added to Mrs. Macculloch’s recipe. It may have been a transcription error that butter was eliminated from recipe.

Resources: 

Take a look at a full copy of Mrs. Porter’s New Southern Cookery Book for Frugal and Economical

To learn more about snow drift cakes, also known as angel food cakes, and sponge cakes, visit whatscookingamerica.net

Munchie Monday: Albany Cake

Louisa Macculloch’s (1785-1863) recipes provide a glimpse into the tastes of a 19th-century New Jersey family as well as their access to ingredients that range from the typical to the unusual. Typical ingredients include flour, egg, milk, sugar, spices, and butter which were combined in a variety of ways and quantities. Spices include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and caraway seeds. Unusual ingredients in the Macculloch cookbook include lemons, oranges, pecans, coconut, raisins, and rosewater.

Among the many dessert recipes is one for Albany Cake, which was a popular 19th-century dessert. Although the name stayed the same, recipes for Albany cakes varied from puddings to cookies (tea cakes) to actual cakes. Louisa’s recipe is very similar to one that was published in the 1865 edition of “Mrs. Goodfellow’s Cookery as it Should be”.

Albany Cake
½ lb. of butter
1 lb. of sugar
1 ½ lb. of flour
3 eggs
1 cup of sweet cream
1 tea spoon of soda dissolved in the cream.
Bitter almonds to the taste

Mix the butter, eggs, and sugar together. Beat well. Stir in the flour and the cream. Roll out thin in flour and sugar. Bake quick.

Adapted Albany Cake Recipe
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 ¾ cup of flour
1 egg
½ cup of cream
1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in the cream
Sliced almonds (topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, add egg. Stir in flour and cream. Roll out on floured board and cut into desired shape. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake 11-12 minutes on greased cookie sheet. Makes 2 dozen.

Resources: 

To see more historic recipes for Albany cakes visit juliabird.com and friendsofalbanyhistory.wordpress.com

Munchie Monday: Cocoa-Nut Pudding

Are you a fan of coconut? Well if you are, get ready for World Coconut Day which is an annual celebration of all things coconut on September 2nd!

After looking through 160 recipes in Louisa Macculloch’s (1785-1863) 19th-century cookbook, it was surprising to see several recipes containing coconut as an ingredient. Coconuts were surely an exotic, hard-to-find exotic ingredient in 19th-century Morristown. The pudding recipe below was most likely cooked/baked in hot water and served as a warm pudding rather than a chilled one which is common today.

Cocoa-Nut Pudding
Grate one coconut. Add to it:
1 quart of milk
3 crackers or stale bread pounded fine
6 eggs
¼ lb. of butter
Sugar to your taste, And bake in haste!  Feb. 2, 1849 GMM

Adapted recipe for Coconut Pudding
4 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 12 oz. can of coconut milk
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
5 tablespoons of flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer whip four egg whites and add ¼ cup of sugar slowly and return to high speed and whip until peaks are formed. In other bowl, cream together butter and ¼ cup of sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla. Add flour, salt and coconut milk.  Fold in the egg white mixture and add shredded coconut.

Boil water in a sauce pan to use for water bath. Pour mixture into a baking dish and place dish into larger baking dish in oven and pour boiling water until about ½ inch deep. Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Resources:

For a slightly sweeter coconut treat, visit willowbirdbaking.com for a similar recipe. 

Munchie Monday: Pickled Plums

George Macculloch (1775-1858) grew a variety of vegetables and fruits on his 26-acre farm that the family relied on for food as well as additional income. More than 14 types of fruit grew on the farm, and was harvested for six months of the year. Harvesting began in May with strawberries and ended with apples, grapes and peaches in October. According to Macculloch’s garden journal, plums were typically gathered in late July until late August, and sometimes into September. His journal shows that the plum crop failed several years, including 1831, 1834, and 1843. The year 1834 must have been particularly hard since only June fruit crops succeeded (strawberries, raspberries and currants). Louisa Macculloch included several pickling recipes for fruit in her cookbook and we highlight her pickled plum recipe today.

Mrs. Macculloch’s Pickled Plum Recipe

7 pounds of plums
4 pounds of sugar
2 ounces of cinnamon
2 ounces of cloves
1 quart of cider vinegar

Put the plums into a jar in layers. Sprinkle the sugar and spice between each layer. Scald the vinegar and pour over. Repeat the second and third layer. Give plums an all a boil.

Adapted Pickled Plum Recipe (Does not require canning process)

4 cups firm plums, quartered
4 cups sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
Cinnamon sticks (half stick per jar)
Cloves (1 tablespoon divided between jars)

Prepare jars by sterilizing them in boiling water. Leave in water until ready to use. In a saucepan combine apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat.

Wash plums and cut into quarters. Put plums in jars until half full. Pour hot vinegar mixture over plums. Leave ¼ inch from top of jar. Wipe rims.

Seal each jar and refrigerate until needed.

Yellow Tomato Preserve

George Macculloch’s (1775-1858) garden journal provides a written record of when the first tomatoes were planted in New Jersey, making his farm the first place Jersey tomatoes were grown. According to his journal, tomatoes have grown in the garden since 1829. In 1834, Macculloch made a special reference to yellow tomatoes writing that the final harvest ended two weeks earlier than the other tomatoes, in late September.

It is not surprising that Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) has a recipe for tomato preserves in her 19th-century cookbook. Without refrigeration, canning and storing food in a cool cellar was common. George Macculloch’s January 29, 1827 letter to his son Francis mentions an ice house on the property, which also would have been used for preserving food.

New Jersey and tomatoes have a special connection. Watch for the availability of local yellow tomatoes and give the adapted recipe below a try!

Yellow Tomato Preserve
One basket yellow tomatoes
¾ lbs. of green ginger
5 lemons
One pound sugar to every pound of fruit

Skin the tomatoes. Put a layer of fruit in preserving pot, then a layer of sugar and ginger.

Cook until tomatoes are clear.

Adapted Recipe (which requires canning process)
2 ½ pounds of yellow tomatoes
2 medium lemons (seeded but use peels and pulp)
4 tablespoons of fresh ginger
3 cups sugar

Boil water for blanching tomatoes. Wash tomatoes and remove stems and put in heatproof dish. Pour boiling water over tomatoes. After tomatoes are cool, remove skins and seeds. Chop tomatoes and combine with sugar and keep in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.

Prepare jars by boiling them in water for 15 minutes. Leave jars in water until ready to use.

Wash lemons, remove seeds, and very finely chop lemons (peels and pulp). Peel and grate ginger.

In another pot add ginger and lemons to tomatoes and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir and watch for mixture to set.

Put preserves into jars, leaving ½ inch space at the top of the jar. With lid and ring, seal jar and place in boiling water for five minutes. Makes three 12 oz. jelly jars of preserves.

Resources:

For advice about safely canning and preserving visit www.eatingwell.com.

Pickled Peaches

Louisa Macculloch’s cookbook contains many recipes for pickling, preserving, and jellying oranges, plums, tomatoes, and peaches. This makes perfect sense considering her husband, George Macculloch (1775-1858), grew these fruits among the over thirty fruits and vegetables on his 19th-century farm. His garden journal records the dates that peaches were harvested, usually late July through early October, from 1829 to 1856. The garden journal is available digitally here, where you can page through each year to see what was growing on the Morristown farm.

George Macculloch's Account Book

In March, MHHM started a citizen scholar program calling for volunteers to help transcribe George Macculloch’s garden journal. Help is still needed on this project. It offers a glimpse into life in 19th-century New Jersey and provides a valuable indoor project while keeping cool the summer. If you would like to find out more email cwinslow@maccullochhall.org.

Pickled Peaches
3 3/4 -4 lbs. of sugar to 7 lbs. of fruit. Peel peaches & stick 3 cloves in each peach. Put sugar in preserving kettle with one quart of vinegar & 2 oz. each of cloves & stick cinnamon. Boil five minutes after the sugar is dissolved. Put the peaches in the boiling syrup a few at a time & cook until tender, but not soft enough to fall apart. When all are cooked, boil syrup down to half the quantity, or until it is a very rich thickness, then pour over the peaches.

Adapted Pickled Peaches Recipe
This recipe does not require boiling and canning. “Quick” Pickled Peaches should be stored in the refrigerator and kept for up to two weeks. Use two clean Mason jars with lids and rings for this recipe.

Ingredients:
3 cups sugar
3-4 pounds fresh peaches (approximately 8 or 9 peaches)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Bring a pot of water to a boil while washing peaches. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, rinse in cold water, and peal the peaches. Cut peaches in half, remove the pit and insert three cloves in each half.

In another pot, heat vinegar and cinnamon sticks and stir in sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the prepared peaches and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and divide into two mason jars. Heat liquid to a full boil then pour liquid over peaches to about ½ inch from the rim. Let cool to room temperature, wipe the jar rims and seal with lids and rings. Refrigerate. After three days in the refrigerator, open and enjoy on salad, with meat dishes, or as a dessert.

Resources:

For other flavor options, try these recipes:
Peaches with honey and ginger.
Peaches with pickling spices.

Corn Fritters

With Jersey corn available, August is the perfect month to try Louisa Macculloch’s corn fritter recipe. The corn fritter recipe is one of over 150 recipes included in the cookbook belonging to Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863).

According to the garden journal kept by George Macculloch (1775-1858), in 1839 the Macculloch’s grew nearly 4 acres of corn on their 26-acre farm. With multiple plantings, the corn was harvested until October 10th that year. Macculloch valued the 1839 corn crop at $106.87.

Corn fritters are often thought of as a dish from the southern states. This recipe in Louisa Macculloch’s cookbook may date to the time when there was boarding school at Macculloch Hall and many of the students came from the south.

Corn Fritters
To a quart of scraped corn, add a tea cup of wheat flour, two beaten eggs and milk to make a thin batter.

Adapted Corn Fritter Recipe
2 eggs
½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
2 cups fresh corn (cut from cob)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut corn from 3 ears of corn and set aside.  Beat two eggs, add ¼ cup milk, ½ cup flour, and salt and pepper. Once combined, add corn to mixture. Heat pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is heated, pour a spoonful of corn mixture in the pan, about 2-3 inches wide. Serve hot with butter.

Resources:

Modern tastes might enjoy a spicier corn fritter. Try the recipe from thekitchn.com or dinneratthezoo.com.

Learn some corn fritter fun facts at mobile-cuisine.com.

Lemon Cake

Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) resided in Morristown from 1810 until her death in 1863. She was active in her church and led several charities in the Morristown community. While we have very few letters written by her, her cookbook does provide a glimpse into her home on Macculloch Avenue. This week we share one of her several cake recipes, a lemon cake recipe, to enjoy with your family!

A little background history on lemons shows that lemons were actually human-made, a hybrid of the bitter orange and the citron. The first lemon seeds were planted in Hispaniola in 1493. Today, the top lemon-producing states are California, Arizona, and Florida.

Lemon Cake
1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
3 ½ cups flour
1 cup milk
5 eggs
1 teaspoon of soda
1 lemon

Adapted Lemon Cake Recipe
2 sticks of butter, softened (1 cup)
2 ½ cups sugar
3 ½ cups flour
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 lemon (zest and juice)

Yield: 2 loaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add zest of one lemon (optional). Sift together flour and baking soda. In another bowl combine milk and lemon juice. Alternate adding a spoonful of flour mixture and liquid mixture to the creamed butter, sugar and eggs.  Mix well. Pour mixture into two loaf pans, greased and floured. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Recipe makes two lemon cakes loaves. 

If you would like to add a glaze to the lemon cake, foodnetwork.com provides this glaze recipe:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 ½ tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Using wire whisk, mix ingredients until smooth and pour over the top of the lemon cakes.

Resources: 

For some interesting facts about food in early New Jersey visit www.foodtimeline.org

Gingerbread

We do tend to connect gingerbread with Christmas but people have been eating gingerbread since the time of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Ginger was taken for medicinal reasons, including the soothing of the stomach and digestion. Today gingerbread houses and gingerbread men come to mind, thanks to the stories of the Brothers Grimm.

In Europe, the guild of gingerbread bakers determined which bakers could bake gingerbread and what times of the year. Members of the guild could bake gingerbread throughout the year while others could only bake it on Christmas and Easter. European traditions were brought over to the American colonies with German and English immigrants.

Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) had several gingerbread and ginger cake recipes in her cookbook. All of these recipes call for baking powder or baking soda which may mean they date from the 1840s to the 1860s.

Soft Ginger Bread
Cream together ½ cup butter and ½ cup sugar. Add 2 eggs, 1 cup molasses, and ½ cup milk. Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Add to other ingredients. Bake in moderate oven.

Adapted Recipe for Today
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
½ cup milk
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, molasses, and milk.  Sift together flour, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Grease square baking pan and pour gingerbread mixture into pan.  Bake for 40-45 minutes. To test, insert toothpick in center and toothpick should come out dry.

Resources:

Make a gingerbread sandcastle. 

If you have an ice cream maker, try this recipe for gingerbread ice cream. 

Tea and Cakes: A Salute to Jane Austen

Are you thinking about enjoying a Jane Austen (1775-1817) classic this weekend or watching an adapted version on screen? Tomorrow, July 18th, marks the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and provides an opportunity to consider the contributions this young author made to literature.

Why not make some Shrewsbury Cakes to go with your hot or iced tea? Similar to English shortbread, the small delicious cakes are named for the medieval market town, Shrewsbury, located in Shropshire, England. The recipe calls for basic ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, and butter but were often made with rosewater or nutmeg and cinnamon.

In Chapter 6 of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, her character Mary shares, “I hate sending the children to the Great House, though their grandmamma is always wanting to see them, for she humours and indulges them to such a degree, and gives them so much trash and sweet things, that they are sure to come back sick and cross for the rest of the day.”

Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863), a grandmother of nine, was the first of a long-line of loving and perhaps indulgent Macculloch-Miller grandmothers with over fifty cake recipes, including two recipes for Shrewsbury Cakes in the 19th-century family cookbook. Typically, Shrewsbury Cakes were rolled out and cut with a cookie cutter but the recipe below does not provide that instruction. However, Mrs. Macculloch does recommend adding some grated coconut.

Shrewsbury Cake (original recipe)
Mix together ¾ lb. sugar, ½ lb. Butter. When light add 5 eggs, well beaten. Add vanilla, peach or rosewater to flavor it. A grated coconut is a great improvement. 1 lb. four. Drop them with a large spoon on buttered paper. Sift a little sugar over them.

Modern Adaptation of Shrewsbury Cake
1 ½ cups of sugar
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
3 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
3 ½ cups of flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs until incorporated and vanilla. Sift 3 ½ cups of flour and add slowly to the mixture.

Steps for cookie cutter cakes: Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Roll out on floured board till ¼ inch to ½ inch thick and use cookie cutter. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. (This is a crispier, thinner cake.)

Following Mrs. Macculloch’s instructions: Drop a 1 ½ inch spoonful of dough for each cake on greased cookie sheet. Spread a little sugar over each one before baking. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. (This is a thicker, cakier cookie.)

Resources:

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath, England has multiple online resources including a recipe for Shrewsbury Cakes. 

Nancy I. Sanders, author of Jane Austen for Kids: Her Life, Writings, and World, shares photographs from her visit to Jane Austen’s home while researching and writing her book.  

Bread Pudding

From east to west, north to south, bread pudding recipes exist around the world. Called by different names in Malaysia, Panama, Germany, and Puerto Rico, and made with different ingredients and liquids, bread pudding is a comfort food for those not wishing to waste stale bread. Made for centuries in English kitchens, it would not be a surprise if the bread pudding recipes in Louisa Macculloch’s 19th century cookbook date back to her English grandmother or great-grandmother.

The recipe shared below appears to be based on an even earlier recipe, also included in her cookbook, which calls for the bread pudding to be baked in water. In the converted recipe, it was taken into account that a dry pint is more than a liquid pint. Extra liquid may have been necessary in the early recipe because the texture of 19th century bread may have needed more moisture to not dry out too quickly when baked. We hope you make time to enjoy another recipe from Macculloch Hall Historical Museum!

Mrs. Macculloch’s Bread Pudding Recipe
One pint stale bread
1 quart cold milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons full sugar
2 eggs beaten with a spoon

Soak bread in milk, then mash smooth and add other ingredients. Bake in moderate oven 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Adapted Bread Pudding Recipe
6 slices stale bread
2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Cut bread into large cubes and soak in two cups of milk. Beat two eggs and stir in salt and sugar. Pour egg mixture over soaked bread and incorporate thoroughly. Put into ungreased baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until top is light brown. Serve hot with sauce or fruit. Remainder of bread pudding should be refrigerated.

Resources:

Check out this 2008 article by Joanne McFadden which shares a variety of bread pudding recipes. 

Pudding 

Of all the types of desserts in Louisa Macculloch’s cookbook—charlottes, whigs, jumbles, and puddings, the pudding is probably the one we are most familiar with today. Born and raised in England, Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) brought her traditional recipes with her to Morristown, New Jersey in 1810 and these recipes were passed down through generations of her family.

Image of Louisa Macculloch's cook book. The front cover is open to the handwritten index.We’ve heard of figgy pudding, plum pudding, and Christmas pudding but how well do we know what a pudding was compared to today? Prior to the late 1700s, an English pudding could be savory, being sausage or meat-based, or sweet. By the 1800s, even though the methods of steaming or boiling a pudding in a cloth bag remained the same, a pudding was more like a cake.

Louisa Macculloch had seventeen pudding recipes in her cookbook. These included several recipes for bread pudding, plum pudding, and lemon pudding as well as an 1849 recipe for cocoa-nut pudding. Today we are sharing one of her apple pudding recipes, which is undated, but the recipe hints at an earlier time.

Original recipe: Apple Tapioca Pudding
¾ cup pearl tapioca put to soak in one quart of water in which ¾ teaspoon of salt has been dissolved. Soak about three hours (near the fire). Peel and core four apples, cut in quarters and arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar.

Add ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of butter to tapioca. Stir over fire till it reaches boiling point. Pour over the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and bake one hour. Serve hot with hard sauce or cream.

Modern conversion: Apple Tapioca Pudding
¾ cup large pearl tapioca
¾ teaspoon salt
3-4 apples
2 tablespoons butter 
½ cup sugar

Soak ¾ cup large pearl tapioca in one quart of water, with ¾ teaspoon of salt, for at least three hours. Pour off extra water and use strainer. Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Peel and core three to four apples, cut in quarters and arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar.

In a saucepan over low to medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add strained tapioca, ½ cup of sugar and stir. After it boils and thickens, pour over the apples in the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until apples are soft and pudding is bubbling. Serve hot with hard sauce or cream.

Resources:

Tapioca was popular in 18th century England and was considered beneficial for the young and old. Today we know that tapioca is a resistant starch and functions like fiber in the digestive system. To find out more about tapioca and the Cassava root, visit www.livestrong.com.  

Jumbles

This month to celebrate National Country Cooking Month, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum has shared several desserts from the recipes of Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863). From charlottes to whigs, we now move on to a jumble recipe. Jumbles, also spelled jumbal or jumballs, were a type of sugar cookie or biscuit popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Louisa Macculloch had several recipes for jumbles in her cookbook. Some recipes called rose water and almonds while another for coconut. Martha Washington had several jumble recipes in a cookbook she used. Jumbles could be baked or boiled.

Early jumbles were shaped in a loop or braided into a knot pattern and could be stored for a long period of time.  Some believe that jumbles led to the development of pretzels, bagels or even donuts. Louisa Macculloch ends one of her jumble recipes with the words, “this makes a quantity, enough for company”. We hope you and your company enjoy this treat!

Jumbles
½ pound butter
½ pound sugar
¾ pound flour
4 eggs
½ nutmeg
Brandy to taste
Roll out in sugar

 

Adapted recipe (halved) for Jumbles
½ cup of butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups of flour
2 eggs
½ teaspoon of fresh nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix ingredients until combined. Form into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

Resources: 

Bake jumbles with caraway seed, aniseed and lemon zest from an recipe shared on an episode of The Great British Baking Show. 

Whigs, a Nice Tea Cake

Take time this week to make and share a traditional family recipe with younger family members! June is National Country Cooking Month, a good time to take out family recipes that have been passed down and enjoyed in your family.

Mrs. Macculloch had two whig, or wigg, recipes in her cookbook, one dating as far back as 1849. Wiggs were tea biscuits or tea cakes eaten in England. They were usually served only on special occasions, like funerals or weddings, because they were expensive to make. It is believed the name “wigg” came from the Dutch word “wedge”. After they are baked, wiggs are eaten warm with butter.

Louisa Macculloch’s recipe reads:

Whigs, a Nice Tea Cake

¾ lb. of four (approximately 2 ½ cups)
1 pint of warm milk
2-3 tablespoons of yeast
When light add 4 oz. of sugar (Mix and add ½ cup and 1 tbsp. of sugar)
4 oz. of butter (1 stick of butter softened)
Bake it in little tins, and eat hot with butter. (Roll into small 1 inch ball and place on lightly greased cookie sheet)

The original recipe does not include oven temperature or length of time to cook.

Modern-day conversions and instructions:

4 cups of flour
2 cups of warm milk (Begin with 1 ½ cups of milk and add remaining ½ cup at end, if needed. The dough should be dense, sticky, and hold its shape.)
3 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast and 3 teaspoons of instant or rapid-rise yeast
½ cup and 1 tbsp. of sugar
1 stick of butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix ingredients. Be careful not to over mix. Let dough rise for 15 minutes. Fill muffin pan, each cup a little more than half way. Bake for approximately 25 -27 minutes.

Resources:

Watch how wigg seed cakes were made in the 18th century.

Learn about the Smithsonian’s exhibit Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000.

Discover food museums from around the world!

Learn how food shapes cultures.

Chocolate Charlotte

Portrait of Louisa MaccullochImage of Louisa Macculloch's cook book. The front cover is open to the handwritten index.

Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) was born in London, England and lived in Morristown for over fifty years. She had a positive influence on generations through her dedication to her family, including her children and ten grandchildren, and to several charities in 19th-century Morristown. At MHHM we are fortunate to have several things that once belonged to Louisa Macculloch, including a hand-written cookbook.

Food and family go together no matter the time period in history. Today we can learn about the Macculloch family from the recipes they left behind. From recipes, or receipts as they were sometimes called, we learn what ingredients were available, what technology existed, and what flavors were popular. Mrs. Macculloch’s cookbook contains recipes for breads, preserves, and desserts.

Every Monday this month look for a new dessert recipe, sometimes an adaptation, from Mrs. Macculloch’s cookbook. We are selecting from her jumbles, wigs, charlottes, and puddings—yes, these were the desserts of the 19th-century!

Image of a no-bake chocolate charlotte from bakeorbreak.com.
Chocolate Charlotte from bakeorbreak.com.

A charlotte was served either hot or cold. In the past, cooks would use soaked stale bread as a dessert crust but today, lady fingers or biscuits are used. The filling would be a stewed fruit or cream which was poured into the mold. Try this no-bake Chocolate Charlotte recipe which we’ve used in MHHM’s education programs. 

Resources: 

Discovering the history behind the foods we eat is a fun way to find out about the past. Chef Walter Staib, from City Tavern in Philadelphia, has spent years exploring recipes from the past. Chef Staib published A Sweet Taste of History: More Than 100 Elegant Dessert Recipes From America’s Earliest Days in 2013.

Learn how Downton Abbey benefited from the expertise of food stylist Lisa Heathcote.