1800's recipes

Pie Crust

Dissolve in a piece of saleratus the size of a pea in a very little warm water, stir it into a cup of rich sweet cream, mix in enough flour to make a firm dough, roll thin, little patches of butter quite thick over it, fold three or four times, and roll thin. Do not pass the rolling pin backward and forward over the dough, but roll only in one direction.

Salt Cod with Parsnips

Soak three pounds of salt fish overnight with the skin uppermost, and boil it about one hour, putting into it plenty of cold water. Meantime, pare a dozen parsnips and cut them in quarters, boil them half an hour or longer, until tender, drain them, and dish them around the fish; while the fish and parsnips are cooking, make the following sauce: Mix two ounces of flour and one ounce of butter or sweet drippings over the fire until a smooth paste is made, then pour in half a pint of boiling water gradually, stirring until the sauce is smooth; add three tablespoons of vinegar, season with one-half salt-spoonful of salt and half the quantity of pepper; let the sauce boil up thoroughly for about three minutes, and serve it with the fish and parsnips. A hard-boiled egg chopped and added to the sauce improves it.

Apple Pudding

Peel and core six large apples, stew them in six tablespoonfuls of water, with the rind of a lemon; when soft beat them to a pulp, add six ounces of melted butter, the same of sugar, six well beaten eggs, half a gill of water and a teaspoon of lemon juice; line a dish with puff paste, and when baked, stick all over the top with thin chips of candied citron and lemon peel.

Poor Man’s Pudding

Take 2 quarts of rich milk; 1 teaspoonful of salt; 1 teaspoonful of allspice; 3 tablespoonfuls of sugar; 3 tablespoonfuls of molasses; two-thirds of a cupful of rice. Bake one and one-fourth hours, or longer if the fire is slow.

Beef Cakes

Take some cold roast beef, that which is underdone is best, and mince it fine; mix with it grated bread crumbs and a little chopped onion and parsley; season it with pepper and salt, and moisten it with some beef dripping and walnut sauce; some scraped cold tongue or grated ham will be found an improvement; form it into broad flat cakes, and spread a layer of mashed potatoes thinly on the top and bottom of each; lay a small bit of butter on the top of every cake; place them on a dish and set them in an oven to brown.

Recipe for Old Fashioned Home Made Vinegar

5 pounds sugar
3 gallons water
Large slice of toast
2 cakes of yeast

In a very large pot, boil the water and sugar for about 15 minutes. Place this sugar/water mixture into a large crock or container that can hold at least 4 gallons and let stand until lukewarm. Now, put the toast on top of the water. Tie a cheese cloth over the top of the jar and place in a warm area. The toast will sink to the bottom when the vinegar is done, probably in about 4-6 weeks.

When done, you can bottle it and flavor it as you wish. This is a very old recipe and will make quite a bit!

Small Layer Cake Recipe


1/3 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons Magic Baking Powder
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten

Cream butter and sugar, add beaten eggs, beat together till light. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the creamed ingredients, adding milk
as you go along mixing. Mix till smooth. Put in two small buttered and floured layer cake pans and bake in moderate oven for 15 minutes

100 Year Old Recipe for Wedding Cake Recipe


50 eggs
5 pounds sugar
5 pounds flour
5 pounds butter
15 pounds raisins
3 pounds citron
10 pounds currants
1 pint brandy
1/4 ounce cloves
1 ounce cinnamon
4 ounces mace
4 ounces nutmeg

No directions are given for this cake, just the ingredients. The recipe comes from the book, “Centennial Buckeye Cookbook,” published in 1876.
It says this makes 44-1/2 pounds of cake and will keep for 20 years!

I am a serious student of historical cooking methods and reciepts…

I wonder why you do not cite your sources for these recipes?

Could it be it would take you to long to post them or is it you don’t know because someone gave them to you and you have not tried them?

I come from a long line of chefs/cooks, recipes collectors, etc. I have quite a collection of family recipes, etc. Many of the old recipes that I have were handed down and hand-printed.

I also have many old books - when I post those recipes I can let you know what book they came from…

These “old” posts are stored on disks that I have. Many original papers were so old that they fell apart. I have been putting much time into trying to save the old recipes that are in such delicate condition. I still have many to go through. From time to time I will post more.

Saleratus \Sal`e*ra"tus, n. [NL. sal a["e]ratus; – so called
because it is a source of fixed air (carbon dioxide). See
Sal, and and A["e]rated.] (Old Chem.)
A["e]rated salt; a white crystalline substance having an
alkaline taste and reaction, consisting of sodium bicarbonate
(see under Sodium.) It is largely used in cooking, with
sour milk (lactic acid) or cream of tartar as a substitute
for yeast. It is also an ingredient of most baking powders,
and is used in the preparation of effervescing drinks.