Sunday, January 8, 2012

Delectable Desserts


If you read vintage cookbooks from Mrs. Childs to Betty Crocker , one of the most difficult issues facing American housewives throughout history has been menu planning (Planning?  We're supposed to plan meals instead of staring morosely into the freezer every morning?  News to me).  In an effort to address this problem, starting in the late 1940's the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago issued a series of pamphlets, the first of which was made up of menus for every day of the year.  Each dish on the menu had an alphanumeric code allowing the cook to find the associated recipe in one of the pamphlets issued for each course (Main Dishes, Salads, etc). 

I have been lucky enough to find the master menu pamphlet and several of the recipe booklets.  Some of the dishes featured are going to raise modern eyebrows but some of them are comfortable old friends. 

Chocolate Bread Pudding

2 ounces chocolate
3 cups milk
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 t. vanilla
6 slices dry bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 T. granulated sugar

Heat chocolate and milk in double obiler until chocolate is melted.  Add satl.  Combine brown sugar and egg yolks' add chocolate mixture gradually, stirring vigorously.  Add vanilla.  Combine brad and chocolate mixture; let stand 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn into buttered baking dish, place in pan of hot water and bake in moderate oven (350 F) 30 minutes or until almost firm.

Beat egg whites until foamy; add half of sugar, beating until blended; add remaining sugar and continue beating until mixture will stand in peaks.  Pile meringue lightly into ounts in border around edge of pudding.  Sprinkle merinque with shaved chocolate and continue baking 8 minutes longer, or until meringue is delicately browned.

Baked Custard

3 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ t. salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups scalded milk
½ t. vanilla
Nutmeg

Combine eggs, salt and sugar.  Add milk slowly, stirring constantly  Add vanilla.  Pour into custard cups.  Sprinkle with nutmeg, place in pan of hot water and bake in moderate oven (350 F) 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of custard comes out clean.

Butterscotch Pudding

1 T. butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 ¾ cups scalded milk
3 T. cornstarch
¼ t. salt
¼ cup cold milk
1 t. vanilla
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Melt butter, add brown sugar, cook, stirring frequently until sugar melts.  Add hot milk slowly and heat until smooth, stirring constantly.  Mix cornstarch and salt, dilute with cold milk and add to hot mixture, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Cook 5 minutes longer.  Coll slightly, fold in flavoring and egg whites, turn into individual serving dishes, chill and garnish with whipped cream and red raspberries.

From 250 Delectable Desserts, published 1951 by the Culinary Arts Institute.

6 comments:

panavia999 said...

Oooh yes, those are clasics. I love a baked custard with nutmeg. I recently read an article about modern wealth and the availability of disposable income. 60 years ago, a family spent 1/4 to 1/3 or their income on food. Food was more expensive to produce then, and it really was necessary to budget and plan for it more. Obviously, that's still a good idea, but the average family now spends 10% or less of their income on food and they don't even have a veggie patch in the back yard! The term "home economics" has lost a lot of significance these days.

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Kristen said...

I just pulled "250 Ways to Cook Potatoes" out of my collection yesterday. I had no idea it was part of a bigger collection - now I just have to hunt for more of them! :)

Shay said...

Kristen, I have "Fish," "Salads," "Snacks" and "Desserts, as well as the master menu booklet. My Lord, you had to go through a three ring circus for an ordinary weeknight meal back then.

Thank God for slow-cookers, bread machines, and bag salad, says I.

Packrat said...

These sound delicious. Thanks for sharing. I love baked custard, too, but husband doesn't. I'll have to look through my stuff to see if I have any books or pamphlets from the Culinary Arts Institute.

Sort of random, but in a foods science class, we made pudding so many times (experimenting to see which method,ingredients,temps, etc. made the best product) that even after 35+ years, I believe I could make pudding in my sleep. After all that effort, we now just buy it ready made. lol

Julie said...

I'm so delighted to have seen this. When my sister lived in the US she would send vintage cookbooks back to the UK for me. I have the 'Meat', 'Vegetables', 'Pies', 'Poultry and Game', 'Snacks', 'Leftovers', 'Delectable Desserts', and 2 different editions of 'Refrigerator Desserts'. I had no idea there was a master plan for them all.