I have several recipes for you today from newspapers of the first three decades of the twentieth century, should you wish to make some Retro-Eggs for your own Easter celebrations.
How To Make Jelly Easter Eggs.
REQUIRED: 1 pint packet of jelly, ½ pint milk, whipped cream, a little finely-grated plain chocolate.
1. To make these attractive eggs you will want some whole empty egg shells. These can be procured by making a hole at one end of the shells and letting the egg trickle out into a basin.
2. Pour a little water carefully into the empty shells and rinse them out.
3. Melt the jelly in half a pint of boiling water. Leave until quite cold and beginning to set, then stir the milk quickly into it.
4. Pour the jelly carefully into the egg shells, quite filling them up, and leave to set overnight.
5. The next day peel off the shells, and you will have little jelly eggs.
Advocate (Burnie, Tasmania) of 7 April 1939
The next recipe comes from the Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW) of 25 March 1923. It is for “Swiss Easter Eggs,” which require as an ingredient some fondant made according to the recipe which precedes it in the newspaper, so I give you both:-
Cooked Fondant Easter Eggs.
Place in saucepan 2½ cps sugar, ¾ cup boiling water, ¼ cup golden syrup, ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar. Let stand in warm place for one hour to dissolve the sugar, then place on the stove and boil until the mixture registers 240 degrees Fahrenheit on the candy thermometer. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can test this with a cup of water just as the water comes from the tap. When the mixture forms a soft ball it is ready to remove from the fire. Pour the syrup at once on a well-oiled meat plate and let stand until cool enough to be handles, then work with a wooden spoon, and when it becomes thick and heavy just knead like bread dough. When white and creamy, place in a bowl and cover with a cloth and then with wax paper, set aside for 24 hours to ripen and it is ready to mould into egg shape. Color if you desire.
Swiss Easter Eggs.
Place in the mixing bowl ½ of boiled fondant batch, 1 cup sponge cake crumbs, 1 cup chopped nuts, ½ cup candied cherries chopped fine, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons water. Mix and knead well and let stand for one-half hour, then form into egg shapes and ice in either the plain water icing or with the crystal icing or chocolate icing.
And here is a different form of fondant Easter egg, using potatoes.
Easter Eggs [Potato]
Peel 1 medium sized potato and cook. Mash and add to it 1 tablespoon butter or margarine and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add confectioner’s sugar until mixture is solid. Shape into eggs and place in refrigerator until hard. Melt chocolate and roll eggs in it.”
The Washington Post, Times Herald] 28 February 1963.
Easter Eggs don’t have to be the sweet treat option of course. How about this savoury dish for lunch or a light dinner?
Italian Easter Eggs.
Boil as many eggs as will be required for twenty minutes, drop into cold water and when cold remove the shells. Cut a slice from the bottom of each egg so it will stand. Then cut the egg in halves, remove the yolks, season with salt, pepper, butter, and a little onion juice. Mash together, add a little milk to the mixture, beat until light and smooth. Fill the hollow whites and heap up in mounds. Place in a dish that will stand the heat or a pretty casserole and set in the oven for eight minutes. Pour a tomato sauce around them, garnish with parsley or watercress and send to the table.
Hutchinson News (Kansas) April 8, 1914.
In the first recipe, where do the whipped cream and chocolate shavings come in? Must be as a garnish; I can't imagine being able to stuff them through the hole in the eggshell.
I also can't imagine anyone wanting to eat plain, milk-flavored gelatin. Surely they could have added some vanilla or almond extract, or some grated nutmeg to make speckled eggs? Even a little brandy?
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