Munchie Monday

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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

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.


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.


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

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.


To see more historic recipes for Albany cakes visit and

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.


For a slightly sweeter coconut treat, visit 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.


For advice about safely canning and preserving visit

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

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.

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.


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.


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

Learn some corn fritter fun facts at

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, 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.


For some interesting facts about food in early New Jersey visit


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.


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.)


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.


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


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.


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  


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!

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.


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.


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
Chocolate Charlotte from

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. 


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.