To Preserve Pineapples

I have to admit, that when I set out to recreate Victorian recipes from a Lancashire cook book, tropical fruit were not at the top of my shopping list. But here we are, on page nine of Althea’s book, in 1868, preserving pineapples. Clearly, they were not being grown on the balmy shores of Lake Windermere in Victorian times but I had also assumed that such fruits would be difficult and expensive to obtain. It turns out I was wrong.

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Orange Marmalade

This recipe is from Maimie’s book. Because marmalade is seasonal I skipped several pages to find the recipe. I also tinkered with the quantities somewhat, as I’m the only one who eats marmalade in my house and it looked like it was going to produce industrial quantities! The recipe is neither dated nor attributed to anyone but I estimate it to be from the 1880s. Unlike some of the recipes in this book, which were copied out by her mother, Althea, this recipe is in Maimie’s handwriting.

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Corn Flour Cake

This recipe is from Harriet’s book, on page six. The photograph above, terrible as it is, fully does justice to the dry and inedible quality of this cake. At least, unlike Harriet’s Sponge Cake, this does have some fat in it but it only makes for a marginal improvement in taste and texture.

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Brandy Snaps

The pages in Maimie’s book are not numbered but this recipe features on what would be page five. Intriguingly, a number of pages before this one have been cut out and part of a recipe for ‘Rolls’ on the page opposite has been crossed out. Maimie’s recipe book can only be called slapdash when compared with that of her mother Althea’s, where the pages are numbered, there is an index at the back and the majority of recipes are dated, and even attributed. However, the hand of Althea is never far from this book too, as this recipe is in her handwriting and she has initialled it at the bottom: ‘ANH‘.

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