During our time at the farm, I’m inspired to experiment with century old recipes. I love playing around with combinations of ingredients that farm housewives would have used at the turn of the century. Of course, I’m not using a wood burning stove, gathering the eggs from my hen house, milking the cow – you get the picture. I think about the women that have lived in this house, on this land, before me. It would have been tough. The land is hilly and full of rocks; hard, discouraging land to farm. The house sits high on a hill, isolated from the goings-on in the village. The day to day life of the families living closer to the river excluded this home. We’re ‘out-of-the-way’. The need for human contact must have been intense. I suspect the reason rural social gatherings were so well attended is that very reason. Trust me, even today with cell phones and high-speed internet, I find myself gnashing at the bit to hear a human voice other than my own. I find myself talking to Fynnigan far more often than what would pass as normal. I’m digressing, back to the Cottage Pudding…
Every year, at this time, I find myself over stocked with last summer’s jam. Odds and sods of local summer fruit jam in need of eating. I give lots away through out the year, but still I end up with too many jars left when the new fruit is ready to make into fresh jam. While reading an old-time cookbook this week, I came across a recipe calling for one cup of homemade jam – HELLO
A homey, easy, cakey type thing called COTTAGE PUDDING.
Adapted from The 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons shortening, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teasoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup homemade jam
- Preheat oven to 375*F.
- Butter an 8 X 8-inch square baking pan OR 6 individual 6 ounce ramekins.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt thoroughly together.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter with the shortening.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat well.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla paste until fluffy.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture alternately with the milk, in three parts, blending well after each addition.
- Place the jam in the bottom of your cake pan or divide evenly between the ramekins.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan or divide between the ramekins – use a spatula to spread the batter out evenly.
- Bake 8′ x 8″ cake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Test ramekins at 20 minutes.
- Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
THE LOVE: If you’d like your cake really tender, switch the all purpose flour for cake and pastry flour, using the same amount. The cake’s crumb will be more delicate, although not as it would have been one hundred years ago!
Thanks for reading.