Thursday, 14 June 2012

Gems hidden in old cookbooks!!!

Today I took out a cookbook that I had found at a second hand book store and had purchased for $5 - The Sun Herald, Australian and New Zealand Complete Book of Cookery, published in 1970 (8 years before I was born :)). I love searching through old cookbooks and trying recipes that have long been forgotten. I love trying out making some of the items we buy ready made, from scratch, like Puff Pastry. This old cookbook will not retire on my bookshelf..there is too much adventure left in it's pages!!

The first recipe I attempted tonight was Caramel Sponge Dessert (baked custard):

3 TBSP sugar (I used rapadura)
2 1/2 TBSP water
568ml milk (I used unhomogenised)
3 eggs
extra 2 TBSP sugar
1 cup soft cake crumbs
Vanilla essence
2/3 cup castor sugar for meringue.

1) Caramelize the 3 TBSP sugar with 1 TBSP water in a saucepan.

2) Add remaining water and boil over medium heat until caramel has dissolved.

3) Add milk and heat.

4) Separate the eggs. Beat yolks with the extra 2 TBSP sugar. Add the hot milk and pour over cake crumbs. Flavour with vanilla essence. Pour into a greased pie dish.

5) Make a meringue with the egg whites and 2/3 cup castor sugar. Place in spoonfuls over the custard.

6) Bake in a moderately slow oven for 40 - 45 minutes. Serve Hot.

Next on my list was a Bakewell Tart:


1 cup plain flour
2 oz butter
1 Dessertspoon castor sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 egg yolk
2 tsp iced water
1 tsp vanilla essence

1) Rub butter into flour until resembles breadcrumbs.Add sugar and lemon rind.

2) Combine the egg, water and vanilla and then add to the flour. Mix to a smooth dough.

3) Rest in fridge for 30 mins.

4) When ready roll out and lay in a flan dish.


2- 3 TBSP jam
2 eggs
3 good TBSP castor sugar
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 oz butter
3 oz ground almonds
3oz fresh cake crumbs

1) Spread jam over base of pastry.

2) Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks with the sugar, lemon rind and juice until creamy.

3) Add melted butter, ground almonds and cake crumbs, beat well.

4) Whisk the egg whites stiffly and fold into mixture lightly.

5) Pour into flan dish and cook in middle of moderate oven for 40 - 50 mins, until set and brown on top.

And finally.....Mother's Gingerbread Pears!!! (Have to report this is the one of the best puddings I have tasted!!)

2 cups plain flour (I used gluten free all purpose flour)
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup golden syrup or treacle
3 oz butter
2/3 cup brown sugar (rapadura)
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
extra 1/3 cup brown sugar
2 oz melted butter
1 x 15oz tin pears (I used fresh)

1) Sift 5 ingredients into mixing bowl.

2) Place the treacle, butter and sugar in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Do not overheat.

3) Cool and stir into dry ingredients.

4) Lastly, mix in the egg and warmed milk.

5) Spread the extra sugar and melted butter in bottom of well-greased lamington tin.

6) Arrange drained pears over the top.

7) Pour over gingerbread batter. Bake moderately slow oven for 50 - 60 minutes.

8) Cut into squares and serve warm with custard.

Hope you enjoy making and tasting these oldies...I sure will!!

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