Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mock Pumpkin Pie.

I am keeping it simple today, folks, on account of severe shortage of time.

Last week, in a post called Protein SupplementPowder, 1904-style, I gave a recipe from the book of the day, for a dessert made from the commercial breakfast cereal called Shredded Wheat. I have a small collection of similar ideas for you today,

Many if not most companies which manufactured breakfast cereals produced small cookery books or pamphlets to promote their products, and many of us love to read or collect them.
Here is my first choice for you today:

Mock Pumpkin Pie
¼ cup boiling water            ⅛ teaspoon ginger
½ cup Grape-Nuts               ¼ teaspoon cloves
 2 cups milk, scalded           ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup sugar                          ½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons flour              2 eggs, well-beaten
1 baked 9-inch pie shell.
Pour water over Grape-Nuts. Allow to stand 10 minutes, then add milk. Mix sugar, flour, and spices. Add to milk and Grape-Nuts mixture and cook in double boiler until thickened. Pour over eggs, stirring vigorously. Return to double boiler and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Cool. Pour into pie shell. May be served with whipped cream. Makes 1 pie or 12 tarts.
75 Ways To Enjoy A Famous Food [Grape Nuts] (1929)

The wheat-conserving campaigns of the two World Wars were excellent opportunities for cereal companies, as my next two choices demonstrate. Before I give them to you however, I cannot resist passing on to you a rather elegant hint for a very basic breakfast choice from Good Housekeeping magazine (Vol. 69; 1919)

A New Way To Serve Corn Flakes.
Serving corn flakes with a tablespoon is always a slow and difficult task and usually results in many flakes spilled. On our breakfast table we now have a large glass pitcher full of corn flakes and pour them from this into the sauce dishes. The glass pitcher of corn flakes looks very attractive and reduces to a minimum the serving problem.

Cornflake Cookies.
[A wartime wheat-substituting recipe]
2 eggs; 1 cup sugar; 4 cups corn flakes; 1 cup nut meats; ¼ teaspoon salt; flavor with nutmeg. Drop from end of a teaspoon on baking sheet; bake in a quick oven.
Attica Daily Ledger (Indiana), April 20, 1918.

Cornflake Fancies.
Beat 2 egg whites until stiff, and add gradually ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup corn syrup and teaspoon salt. Fold in 2 cups cornflakes and ½ cup shredded cocoanut. Drop mixture from tip of teaspoon on well-greased tin sheet 1 inch apart, and spread in circular shape with a fork dipped in cold water. Bake in moderate oven until delicately brown, and remove from pan while warm.
Choice War Time Recipes (Chestnut Hill, Mass., 1918),
compiled by Mrs. Frank Farnham

And a final few to inspire you to search your pantry for cereal packed dregs.

Cornflake Macaroons.
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
½ Teaspoon vanilla
½ Cup Cocoanut
2 cups Cornflakes
⅛ [Teaspoon] Salt.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar gradually, then add the vanilla, cocoanut, and cornflakes. Drop by spoonfuls on a buttered pan, and bake in a moderate oven until the macaroons are a delicate brown.
Philadelphia Tribune, 28 April 1938

Britain came late to the concept of packaged prepared breakfast cereals: here is an early recipe for the ‘new’ American invention:

American Apples.
Line a pie dish with chopped apples and sprinkle with raisins. Flavour with spice or cinnamon to taste. Cover with a layer of cornflakes. Repeat until the dish is full, then pour over some warm water in which honey has been melted. Bake until the apples are tender.
The Times (London, England) 11 September, 1939
Article on ‘Some Economical Dishes.’

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