Friday, December 20, 2013

Fruity Recipes for Christmas from the ‘30s and ‘40s.

A Christmas lunch or dinner of cold seafood followed by a serious overdose of fresh mangoes suits the climate here in the sub-tropics much better than roast bird and boiled pudding, but it is virtually impossible for many of us to completely throw aside our national heritage.  The following recipes, gleaned from Australian newspapers of the 1930’s and 1940’s have a rather fruity spin on the traditional dishes, and are perhaps a compromise of sorts. I hope you like them.

An Uncommon Christmas Cake.
Take 1 cup butter, 1 cup fruit juice (any kind), 1 ½ cups candied cherries, 1 ½ cups chopped figs, 1 ½ cups candied pineapple, 1 cup raisins, 1 ½ cups brown sugar, 2 cups chopped nuts, ½ cup shredded mixed peel, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons each allspice and powdered cinnamon, teaspoon ground cloves, 5 eggs, 3 cups flour. Mix butter, sugar and egg yolks and beat for 2 minutes, sift 2 cups flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and add alternately with the fruit juice to the first mixture. Then add fruits and nuts previously mixed with the other cup of flour, fold in the stiffly-beaten whites of the eggs, put into well-greased paper-lined tin and bake in a very slow oven for 3 to 4 hours.
Sunday Times (Perth, WA)  December 2, 1934

And another cake featuring candied pineapple:

Pineapple Christmas Cake.
Ingredients: 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of pineapple juice, 1 ½ cups candied cherries, 2 cups of chopped raisins, or 1 cup of raisins, 1 cup of chopped figs, 1 ½ cups candied pineapple, 1 ½ cups castor sugar, 1 large cup chopped nuts (if available), ½ cup shredded mixed peel, a pinch of salt, grated nutmeg, teaspoon of spice and 3 cups flour, 5 eggs.
Method: Cream butter and sugar well. Add beaten egg yolks and beat until very light, then add dry ingredients, which have all been sifted together three times alternately with the fruit juice, then add fruits, etc., and lastly fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Place in a well-papered and greased tin and bake in a fairly slow oven three to four hours.
This makes quite a large cake, has a beautiful  flavor, and keeps excellently. If candied pineapple is not available, preserved will do, but candied is best.
The Land (Sydney, NSW) November 30, 1945

Spicy Orange Mincemeat.
Take 1 lb. stoned raisins, ½ lb each of sultanas, currants, sugar, sweet orange jame (dryish home-made for preference) and shredded chopped suet, ¼ lb. candied peel, 1 lb. tart cooking apples (peeled and cored), ¾ lb. dessert apples (peeled and cored), the grated rind of 1 lemon and its juice, ½ teaspoon mixed spice, ½ saltspoon ground ginger, ¼ grated nutmed. Chop all fruits and suet well together, or put through a mincer, and when thoroughly blended with spices etc, add strained lemon juice and jam; mix well again and store in airtight jars. If desirous of keeping this for any length of time, add 1 gill of brandy or good dry sherry.
Sunday Times (Perth, WA)  December 2, 1934

Fruit Stuffing.
Fruit stuffing for the  Christmas poultry imparts an unusual flavor to the bird.
Mix together l ½ cups breadcrumbs, 1 cup seeded raisins, 1 cup chopped apple, 1 tablespoon minced onion, 2 slices of bacon, minced.
Fill prepared fowl with this stuffing, truss, and sew up. Rub fowl with lemon, then pour over a little melted butter or lard. Place breast down in dish containing melted fat. Bake in a steady oven, basting frequently. Serve hot or cold.

Advocate (Burnie, Tasmania) 13 December 1947

1 comment:

Lady Anne said...

My dad came to America from Oz with his family in the mid-1930s. The first fruitcake recipe you have here sounds as if it might be exactly the one my Nana made for Christmas. I'll have to give it a whirl after the Holidays, I can eat fruitcake all year round, so this will give me a mid-summer "fix".