Monday, January 13, 2014

Cooking with Dr. Monkey (vintage recipe edition)

A few weeks ago I bought a vintage cookbook in an antique store.  It's called The American Woman's Cookbook and it's the 1944 edition.  I've been toying with the idea of making recipes out of cookbooks like this one and last night I took the plunge and made one.  I wanted to start off with one that looked pretty easy to make and so I tried the recipe for caramel pudding.

This recipe called for only four ingredients which are: 2 cups of whole milk, 1/4 cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, and two eggs, separated.

I heated the 3/4's of the milk up with a double boiler, the recipe says I was supposed to 'scald' it, which means heat it just to the point before it takes a boil.  As the milk heated up I dumped in my brown sugar and stirred it until it dissolved.

Into the remaining milk I put my egg yolks and the flour and I mixed it all up together and when all the sugar had dissolved and the milk was scalded, I poured the egg yolk flour mixture in the sugary milk and I whisked it.
Next I beat my egg whites with my electric mixer until they were stiff and frothy.
Finally I folded my egg whites into the main milky mixture and I stirred it all about.  I then put it in the freezer to cool it down rapidly and to see if it would set.

The Verdict: Not pudding like in the least, not any where near pudding.  Not very caramel tasting either.

This concoction tastes good, it's got a slight caramel flavor, but it's not pudding.  It didn't set for shit not even after an hour in the freezer.  The egg whites kept floating to the top and leaving the sweet slightly caramel slightly thick milk on the bottom.

So I have to call this experiment in vintage recipe making a fail but on the plus side, the next time I make something that needs a meringue topping, I'll be a whiz at making it.


Nan said...

I love old cookbooks. I've been working on an exhibit for our county historical museum showing how tastes and cooking have changed in the past century.

The recipe you made looks like what my 1954 New Settlement Cookbook calls a "floating island." I think the recipe succeeded perfectly in doing what it was supposed to do, but it's so different from what we expect when something says "caramel pudding" that it left you thinking it was a failure.

Dr. MVM said...

You may think it succeeded, but it was indeed a fail. You didn't read the recipe, you didn't follow it, you didn't eat it. It was a fail.