Archive for the ‘cream’ Category

It’s been waaay too long since I last posted here. The changes to the WordPress Dashboard have really gotten the better of me and made blogging too frustrating and time-consuming. I’m now experimenting with offline blogging software and using different operating systems so I hope to find a new method that works for me in the long run.

This Apple Scone recipe continues the scones series started with my last entry on Plain Scones.

There seem to be truncated instructions here as I have my doubts as to whether a haphazard lumping together of the ingredients below will produce a scone! My advice would be to please follow the instructions for the rubbing-in method in the Plain Scones entry. There’s no quantity for the cream either so is it for topping, or including in the mixture?

The shaping of this scone is also rather unusual. Instead of the usual single-serve pieces cut out from a large piece of dough, this is baked in one entire whole. I’ve never come across a scone like this before!

Also, the instructions call for a low oven temperature, which is quite different from my experience using high temperatures (about 200°C) to force the scones to rise.

Good luck with the recipe and I’d love to hear from anyone who has made a scone like this before!

You might also want to read the recipe for:
Drop Scones (which is actually type of pancake)

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I was just saying, I knew grandma had a recipe for ice cream somewhere… :)

This is another one of the many McCall’s recipes grandmother wrote down. Check out the rest here.

In my previous posting, I wrote a little bit about the background of commercial ice cream. I was surprised to discover the wide range and easy availability of commercially-produced ice cream by Cold Storage in Singapore as early as the mid-1920s!

My grandmother enjoyed ice cream very much and we usually had a tub in the fridge, but for grandma, it always had to be served very very cold and hard. Melting and soft scoop ice cream gave her indigestion she said. Mocha and coffee were her favourite flavours.

Most ice cream recipes I have come across involve taking it out of the freezer at intervals for beating several times. This recipe has a special trick for making “smooth as velvet” ice cream without the need for re-beating! This tip for saving time and energy would have been very welcome for busy housewives :).

The history of housework and technology in the twentieth century is largely about the amount of manpower needed to maintain the desired lifestyle for a household (such as eating fancy stuff like ice-cream). As technology historian, Ruth Schwartz Cowan, writes in More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave, new technology didn’t necessarily eliminate the need for human domestic helpers for housewives. In colonial Malaya (or present-day Singapore/Malaysia), modern technology or not, paid household help was, and still is, very common.

Vanilla Ice Cream

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This is one of the only pie recipes here with instructions for making the pie shell. It’s basically a shortcrust pastry using vegetable shortening (such as Crisco, see my comments here.)

Giveaway sign of an American recipe: the word ‘Jell-O’. In Singapore, we’ve always followed the British usage – ‘jelly’.

Also, the inclusion of vanilla ice cream. From the sound of it, one is expected to have ready-made commercial ice cream available. I’m amazed to read on this page about the history of ice cream that commercial ice cream production began as early as 1851, in Baltimore, USA. (See also here.) For commercial ice cream to be sold in the tropics, refrigeration was all important, and of course this depended on the generation of electricity. Cold Storage supermarket got its name in the days when refrigerated foodstuffs were something special. As company website says,

Established in 1903, Cold Storage was the child of the Industrial Revolution and Pax Britannica, when Singapore was the “Clapham Junction of the Eastern Seas”. Together with electricity and refrigeration, it allowed European agents of change – the colonial civil servants, merchants, miners, planters, traders – to acclimatise to living in the tropics. It can thus be said that if there were no Cold Storage the modern history of Singapore would probably be quite different.

As early as the 1920s, Cold Storage in Singapore was already mass producing ice cream for sale, not just at its own retail outlets, but also at local provision stores and cafes. You can see from the following ads (published in the Malaya Tribune newspaper in from 1925 to 1929) the names of places where Cold Storage ice cream was available, as well as the fact that there were many varieties including Eskimo Pie (1925), Neapolitan (1929), and vanilla, strawberry, lemon, coffee, tutti-frutti, pineapple, banana, maple nut, raspberry, cherry nut, chocolate and fruit salad flavours (1929)!!

Cold Storage ice cream 1925

Cold Storage ice cream 1925 B

Cold Storage ice cream 1929

No wonder grandma always had a penchant for cassata ice-cream, layers of different flavoured ice-cream a bit like Neapolitan. As a child in the 1970s, I remember she would always order cassata for dessert (and I hated the bits of fruit inside the layers :P — only peach melba no nuts no cream for me, thank you).

I’m sure grandmother has a recipe for ice cream somewhere in her notebook…. and here it is :).

Date Nut Parfait A
Date Nut Parfait B

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Butterfly Cakes

Cupcakes seem to be all the rage these days and here is a 1960s version.

This recipe is a piece of evidence as to the presence of processed convenience food mixes even in the 1960s — see the first ingredient, ‘1 pkg. white cake mix’. I’d make a strong guess that this recipe is also of American origin, like many of the baking recipes in my grandmother’s notebook, and the degree to which such products were commonplace in the U.S. is no indication of how widely available/used they were in Singapore at the same time.

Convenience foods were probably seen as an expression of a technologically-advanced modern society which made life easier for the housewife-cook, and my grandmother probably would have wanted to use them for that reason.

The result of that development is that today, convenience foods have become deeply embedded in the everyday life of most people. However, we are now well into a backlash against overly-processed foods filled with chemical additives and preservatives which can’t be good for one’s health in the long run.

Butterfly Cakes

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Yet another one in the series of pie recipes.

[22/9/07 update: Grandmother’s recipe for shortcrust pastry for the pie crust here.]
[19/12/07 update: another shortcrust pastry recipe from grandma here.]

Pear Almond Pie

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Two kinds of ready-made products are called for here: graham crackers and dried apricots. Of course, you could also make them at home, but the recipe implies using the packaged, commercial versions for convenience. Both of these would most likely be products imported into Singapore, and perhaps relatively expensive back in the 1950s/60s?

The piecrust recipe here is perhaps one that can be used for grandmother’s other pie recipes where no instructions for the pie shell are given.

Apricot Chiffon Pie

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