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Archive for the ‘lemon juice’ Category

For the crust, try out one of the shortcrust pastry recipes I posted earlier:
Crisco Pastry
Shortcrust Pastry

In those pastry recipes, I’d commented on Crisco and Spry, which are hydrogenated vegetable fats, and Spry is also one of the ingredients for the lemon curd here. Spry can be substituted here with butter, which probably also gives a better taste.

Cooking the curd in a pan of simmering boiling water rather than over direct heat helps to prevent the eggs from curdling. Read more about this technique and tips on making lemon curd here. If curdling does happen, the lemon curd will have to be strained, so this alternative recipe suggests a way to avoid the problem (including a fascinating scientific explanation) as well as more tips for getting a successful lemon curd.

Lemon Curd Tart

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The cornflakes in this recipe reminds me of the cornflake cookies that are a popular snack for Chinese New Year here in Singapore and Malaysia. Have a look at sample recipes from some Malaysian food bloggers here, here and here. However, with the cocoa, coconut, chocolate icing and walnuts and almonds, this recipe is definitely quite a different type of cookie.

It’s not stated what form of coconut is required, but as this looks like an American recipe (use of the word ‘cookie’ rather than ‘biscuit’), I assume it refers to dessicated coconut, which is the main form of coconut used in western cooking.

This is another recipe that uses a commercial packaged food as one of the ingredients – Kellogg’s cornflakes. With Kellogg’s cereals today largely being heavily sweetened, highly-processed and not-very-healthy foods aimed at kids, I was most surprised to discover that Kellogg’s cornflakes started out as a vegan health food for the patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, USA, run by Dr John Harvey Kellogg.

The John Kellogg story is a bizarre and fascinating one involving conflicts with Seventh Day Adventists leaders, anti-sex and anti-masturbation campaigns (cornflakes was part of the cure for over-sexed youths!), as well as the racial segregation and eugenics movements! No wonder his life inspired the novel and film, The Road to Wellville! Now that’s another story :) …..

The origins of dry breakfast cereals was rooted in health concerns, beginning in 1863, when James Caleb Jackson, operator of the Jackson Sanitarium in Danville, New York, invented a bran nugget cereal called granula. This was Jackson’s antidote to lack of fibre in the average the dairy and meat-heavy American breakfast at the time.

Other commercial cereals followed with Dr John Kellogg and his brother, Will, inventing granola (1877) and cornflakes (1894), and one of John Kellogg’s sanitarium patients, Charles William Post, came up with grapenuts (1897). The Washburn Crosby Company (part of General Mills from 1928), the company behind Gold Medal flour and Betty Crocker, began producing its first ready-to-eat cereal, Wheaties, in 1924. We can still see these names on supermarket shelves today in cereal brands and names.

I’ll need to read up more on this but it appears that the turning point in breakfast cereals’ development from unpalatable health food to everyday sugary treat was in the 1950s, when industrialised production and sophisticated marketing became more intensive. Sweetened cornflakes, known as Sugar Frosted Flakes or Frosties, were first produced in 1952, with Tony the Tiger as the colourful mascot.

Check out the present-day cornflakes manufacturing process here. Sugar and another sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, as well as the synthetic antioxidant, BHT (E321) – used as a preservative and which can cause reactions in some people, all feature on the list of ingredients

The best book on the subject appears to be Cerealizing America: The Unsweetened Story of American Breakfast Cereal by Scott Bruce and Bill Crawford. I haven’t seen the book myself, but like most food history books, it’s a popular publication with no footnotes. Read a brief review and an excerpt about television marketing of cereals.

Yum Yum Cookies

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Finally, this is the last in the series of pie recipes, all of which sound very American in origin! I’ve written here about the possible source of this influence on my grandmother.

You might want to compare this with the Pineapple Pie/Tart recipe I posted earlier. Read more about the history of the pineapple and its connection with colonial Malaya in that post too.

In addition to canned pineapple, another commercial, packaged product used in this recipe is Carnation Evaporated Milk. I wrote about processed milk earlier here.

Pineapple Filling

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Please don’t be fooled – this is not the recipe for traditional, nonya pineapple tarts made for Chinese New Year. This is a western pie recipe for which the filling is pineapple. Grandma also had a recipe for Pineapple Pie Filling that you might want to have a look at.

Interesting food journeys are hinted at in this recipe. My guess is that it is an American recipe as pies are a more prominent part of American cuisine than British cooking. As I’ve mentioned before, my grandmother read McCalls, an American women’s magazine famous for its recipes, and learnt about American food from ladies in the YWCA such as a Mrs Armstuz.

The pineapple is a plant native to the Americas, so Americans might have obtained their pineapples from Hawaii or Latin America. However, Europeans got their pineapple in canned form, often from Southeast Asia. The European colonial presence – Portuguese and Spanish from the 15th-18th centuries – brought the pineapple from the New World to tropical Southeast Asia. Under British colonial rule in the 19th century, Malaya became a major world exporter of canned pineapple. [Bibliographic note: The Pineapple: The King of Fruits by Fran Beauman is extremely informative on the Hawaiian canned pineapple industry, but disappointingly only has brief references to Malaya on a couple of pages, despite the importance of Malayan pineapple exports in the world market.]

In the early twentieth century, the famous industrialist and philanthropist in Singapore, Tan Kah Kee (陳嘉庚), had a massive business producing canned pineapple (continuing from his father, Tan Kee Peck, who had secured 70 percent of the Malayan export trade in pineapples by 1900). Here is an interesting description of Tan Kah Kee’s pineapple business:

…[Tan Kah Kee] made daily contact with European agency houses and found out for himself the overseas demand for various types and styles of canned pineapples (for example, sweetened or unsweetened, with different slice shapes and sizes), so that he could manufacture products according to specific demands or changing tastes.

[Reference: C.F. Yong, Tan Kah Kee: The Making of an Overseas Chinese Legend (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 21, 44-46]

This recipe calls for ‘drained pineapple’ and making use of the juice, which indicates that it’s canned pineapple that’s required, not the fresh type that was so easily available in Singapore/Malaya — another hint at the foreign origins of this recipe, yet using a very homegrown ingredient which became popular around the globe.

Also, a pie crust is required but there are no instructions for this. Perhaps try grandma’s Graham Cracker pie crust recipe here.
[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.]
Pineapple Pie Tart

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BBQ Sauce

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