Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pump Up the Taste with Onion Sauce


Onion Sauce
Peel & boil onions tender; squeeze the water from them, then chop & add butter that has been nicely melted, but with milk instead of water. boil up once & serve for Rabbits, Partridges, veal.


Recipe Provenance
This recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

About the Recipe
This recipe is for a white onion sauce which is designed to be served with rabbit, poultry, partridges, tripe, mutton, veal etc.  I even found some Italian onion sauce recipes to be served with either peas or hard cooked eggs. 

1840 - Eliza Leslie, Directions for Cookery (Philadelphia)

Brown onions sauces, on the other hand, have beef gravy in them and are designed to be served with beef but also roasted poultry or game.

1886 - Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery (New York)

About the Onions
Onions go back in history to prehistoric times and are generally thought to have emerged from central Asia. One of the earliest records of onions goes back to 3200 BC to the first dynasty of ancient Egypt. Ancient Greeks and Romans also ate onions. The Romans introduced the onion to the British it and since then it has been a very important part of the British diet. 


Wild onions are native in America; however, Christopher Columbus introduced the cultivated onion to the new world and native Americans were very taken with it.

Historically, over thousands of years, cultivated onions have been available in a variety of types. Onions come in many sizes (small pickling varieties to large globe varieties), colors (white, brown, yellow and red), and levels of pungency (mild to strong).


For this recipe, I suggest using sweet onions, such as Spanish  or Vidalia onions. I found a recipe for Brown Onion Sauce from Eliza Leslie's Directions for Cookery (1840) that specifically lists Spanish onions in the recipe and so thought they would be the best onion to use. Spanish onions are mild globe onions with a slightly sweet oniony taste which is perfect for this recipe.

Onion Sauce: Modern Recipe Adaptation

Ingredients:
  • 2 Large Sweet Onions (preferably Spanish)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • Salt and Pepper, to Taste
Directions:
  1. Peel the onions and cut them in half keeping the root intact.
  2. Place the onions in a medium stockpot and cover with cold water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the onions become soft and translucent.
  3. Remove the onions from the heat, drain, and chop. 
  4. Place the butter in a sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and stir frequently for about 3-5 minutes. Add the milk, and salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Or, you can keep the onions chunky.
  6. Serve hot with poultry, lamb, rabbit or wild game.


References:
  • Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford University Press, 2014)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hot Pot Pickle with Cucumbers

Hot Pot Pickles with Cucumbers

Hot Pot Pickle – Mrs. Fanny Morris

16 quarts of good vinegar, 1lb. salt, ¼ lb. race ginger, ½ lb. shallots, 1 oz. of mace, 2 oz. of white pepper. 2 oz. of mustard seed, two tablespoons of red pepper, 1 oz. long pepper. boil them in the vinegar, when it is cold, pour them on your fruits or vegetables—having had them well wiped.—


Recipe Provenance
This recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

About the Recipe
This recipe is one that had me scratching my head in confusion. There are absolutely no recipes for a Hot Pot Pickle anywhere in the 18th and 19th century British and American cookery books I have consulted. 

This led me to look for possible reasons why this was given such a name. Here is what I found:

  • The recipe itself includes a lot of hot and spicy ingredients, including ginger, white pepper, red pepper,  and long pepper (Piper longum).  This could very easily and simply explain the term hot pot.
  • The term hot pot could be a variation of the term hotch potch (or hodge podge) which comes from the French hochepot or the Dutch hutspot. Hochepot and hutspot both refer to stews made with a variety of meats. In English, hotch potch referred to a stew made of a mixture of meats and vegetables. 
    • For example, this recipe for a Hodge Podge comes from A Book of Cookrye (London, 1591):
      • To make a Hodgepodge: Boyle a neck of Mutton or a fat rump of Beef, and when it is well boyled, take the best of the broth and put it into a pipkin and put a good many onyons to it, two handfull of marigold flowers, and a handful of percely fine picked and groce shredde and not too small, and so boyle them in the broth and thicke it with strained bread, putting therin groce beaten pepper, and a spoonfull of Vinagre, and let it boyle somwhat thick and so lay it upon your meat.

Conclusion: Because the Hot Pot Pickle recipe contains hot spices and because it was meant to be used on a hotch potch" of fruit and/or vegetables, it was duly named Hot Pot.

About Long Pepper (Piper longum):



Long pepper is actually a flowering vine in the Piperaceae family. The fruit of this plant contains alkaloid piperine which is the same substance found in piper nigrum (the plant that gives us black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, and red pepper). This fruit is dried and ground into a spice powder. Its taste is similar to black pepper, but actually is a bit hotter in spiciness.

Long pepper is native to India but is very popular in Chinese cuisine.  The first reference to long pepper comes from the ancient Indian medicinal textbooks of Ayurveda, where its medicinal and dietary uses are described in detail. It was also used very widely in ancient Rome and reached Greece in the sixth or fifth century BCE. Long pepper was very widely used in Medieval Europe and was even very popular well in the the 18th and even the 19th century in Britain and American cuisine. It was eventually replaced by the American chili pepper in the 19th century when spice was needed in a recipe.

While you cannot find long pepper in most American supermarkets, even specialty ones, you can order it online here.

Hot Pot Pickle: Modern Recipe Adaptation

Ingredients:
  • 6 Pounds Cucumbers, Chopped
  • 2 Quarts White Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1/8-1/4 Teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
  • 1/4 Ounce Long Pepper, Roughly Chopped
Directions:


1.  In a medium or large saucepan, mix together the vinegar, water, and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2.  Wash the cucumbers and slice them in chunky round pieces and place them in a large bowl.

  3.  Pour the cooled vinegar pickle liquid into the bowl with the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24-48 hours before eating the cucumbers.

4.  Alternatively, if you plan to can the pickles, follow these directions:

    • Make the vinegar pickle as directed above, but there is no need to cool this liquid.
    • Place the cut cucumbers in hot, sterilized jars. 
    • Pour the hot pickle liquid over the cucumbers.
    • Seal the jars and process according to directions for your jar size.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Shrubs in History and a Recipe for a Currant Shrub



Currant Shrub
Extract the juice from the currants & to 1 quart of juice add ½ a pint of spirit, ½ a pint of water, 1 lb. of sugar mix them well & boil it a few minutes when it is cold bottle & cork it and keep it in a cool place – Mrs. Hoffman


Recipe Provenance

This recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

About Shrub
A shrub is an alcoholic mixed drink originally made in Britain with orange, lemon or any other acidic fruit, sugar, and rum as the primary spirit. However, shrubs have a Middle Eastern origin and did not become popular until the early 18th century in England. The early British shrubs were made with brandy, lemon juice and peel, sugar, and white wine. Rum replaced the brandy at a later date. Moreover, in the United States, shrub was often meant to refer to a cordial or syrup made from raspberry juice, vinegar (usually cider), and sugar. 

While my research proves that this is all true, it also proves that there is no definitive recipe for shrub. When researching historic American cookery books, I actually found a wide variety of recipes for shrubs. The earliest is from the first cookbook printed in America, The Compleat Housewife, by Eliza Smith. This book was reprinted in Willismaburg, Virginia in 1742 from Smith's original work published in England several years earlier. It's basically an English cookbook for American audiences. Here is Smith's recipe for shrub:


Clearly, this recipe is very much in line with the early definition of shrub because of its use of lemons, sugar, brandy, and white wine. Two early 19th century cookbooks written by Americans, Susannah Carter's The Frugal Housewife (New York  1803) and Lucy Emerson's The New England Cookery (Vermont, 1808), have plagiarized copies of this recipe in their books. It is entirely possible that this was the accepted version of shrub well into the 19th century in America. 

Another 18th century shrub recipe is found in the South Carolina manuscript, The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770. Harry's recipe is similar to Smith's 1742 recipe in that it is made with lemons. However, oranges are also used and rum replaces brandy. This recipe seems to be more in keeping with the original British definition of a shrub.

Throughout the course of the 19th century, shrub recipes transformed into a variety of drinks made with assorted fruits and spirits. However, the American version of the shrub made with raspberry juice, sugar, and vinegar does pop up quite frequently. Here is the earliest version of this recipe I could find from Lydia Marie Child's The American Frugal Housewife (Boston, 1830):


Here is a list of the many different types of shrubs I found in 19th century American Cookery books. You will see from this list that it is hard to determine the precise definition of shrub as it was made with many fruits and sprits.

19th Century American Shrubs:
  • 1824: The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph
    • Cherry Shrub made with brandy.
  • 1839: The Kentucky Housewife by Mrs. Lettice Bryan
    • Cherry Shrub
    • Raspberry Shrub (with vinegar)
    • Rum Shrub (with lemon juice, orange flower water and honey)
    • Brandy Shrub (with lemon juice and orange juice)
  • 1840: Directions for Cookery by Eliza Leslie
    • Fox Grape Shrub (with brandy; Fox Grapes are native to the eastern US)
    • Gooseberry Shrub (with brandy)
    • Currant Shrub (with brandy)
    • Cherry Shrub (with brandy)
  • 1873: Presbyterian Cook Book by The First Presbyterian Church of Dayton, Ohio
    • Currant Shrub (with brandy)
    • Raspberry Shrub (with vinegar)
  • 1877: Buckeye Cookery by Estelle Wilcox
    • Raspberry Shrub (with vinegar)
  • 1886: Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery and Household Management by Juliet Corson
    • West Indian Pineapple Shrub (no added spirit, the pineapple ferments on its own)
    • Pineapple Shrub (with rum)
    • Currant Shrub (with rum)
  • 1887: White House Cook Book by Fanny Gillette
    •  Raspberry Shrub (with rum or with a combination of rum and brandy)


Mrs. Morris recipe for currant shrub could easily mimic anyone of theses period recipes. It is made from the acidic fruit, currants, sugar, and an undeclared spirit (she leaves that open-ended clearly knowing that rum or brandy would work just fine). Morris's recipe cooks up into a thick syrup-like liquid that can be taken as is or thinned with water or additional spirits.

Currant Shrub: Modern Recipe Adaptation
Yield: About 5 Cups

Ingredients:
  • 36 Ounces of Red Currants, Washed
  • 3 Cups Water, Divided
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup White Rum

Directions:
  1. Place the red currants (stems and all) in a heavy-bottomed stock pot and add two cups of the water. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir freqently. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently and pressing the currants to release their juice.
  2. Remove the fruit from the heat. Have ready a jelly-straining bag and rack or a fine-mesh sieve suspended over a bowl. Transfer the fruit to the strainer and allow the juice to drip out. While you can stir the fruit to release the juice, do not press on the fruit or the juice will be very cloudy. When completely drained, you should have about 4 cups of juice.
  3. To the juice, add the sugar, rum, and remaining one cup of water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool.
  5. Served chilled as a cordial.

References:


  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Wilson, C. Anne, Food & Drink in Britain (Chicago, 2003)


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Preserved Peaches in Brandy and Peach Brandy Syrup

Source: Wikimedia Commons

To Preserve Peaches in Brandy 
Mrs. Etting
Scald your peaches in hot water then dip them in hot strong lye, rub them with a cloth & throw them into cold water, make a syrup of ¾ lb. of sugar to 1 lb. of peaches boil them in the syrup until clear & when cold put an equal quantity of Brandy, as Syrup – apricots & gages [green gage plums] preserved in the same way.

Recipe Provenance
This recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

About the Recipe
There are many references to preserving peaches in 19th century American cookbooks. Here are just a few of them:

1857: The Great Western Cook Book by Angelina Collins (New York)

1864: The Complete Cook by James Sanderson (Philadelphia)

1881: What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking by Abby Fisher (San Francisco)


1885: La Cuisine Creole by Lafcadio Hearn (New Orleans)
Peach brandy was a popular item that was even available for sale as early as 1799 in Baltimore (but possibly even earlier). Here is an advertisement for apple and peach brandies in the 14 October 1799 edition of Baltimore's newspaper, American Daily Advertiser:



If you couldn't buy peach brandy, this recipe gives you a good alternative because the great thing about it is that not only are the peaches delicious, but Mrs. Morris's version of the recipe yields a lot more peach brandy syrup than is required for the amount of peaches. You can use this syrup in many other applications, just as you would peach brandy. For example, it can be used in sangria, mulled wine or other cocktails,  or poured over ice cream, cake, in a trifle, etc. 

Preserved Peaches in Brandy: Modern Recipe Adaptation

Step 1: Skin the Peaches
  • Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Drop in your peaches and allow them to sit in the water until the skin starts to pucker and pull away from the fruit.
  • Remove from peaches from the boiling water and place in a bowl of cold water. When you able to handle the peaches, peel each of them.
Step 2: Making the Syrup
  1. Remove all of the pits from the peaches and chop them into chunky 1" size pieces.
  2. Weigh your peaches. For every pound of peaches, measure out 12 ounces of sugar.
  3. Place all of the peaches and sugar into a large stockpot or preserving pan and cook on medium high heat until the sugar melts and mixes with the juices in the peaches. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
  4. Remove the peaches from the heat and let cool.
  5. Using a slatted spoon, remove the peaches from the syrup. If you are canning the peaches, place them in the prepared, hot sterilized jar.
  6. Measure the syrup and then measure out an equal amount of brandy. Mix the syrup and brandy together and pour back into the stockpot. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Pour this liquid into the jars with the peaches. 
    • Note: This recipe makes a lot more syrup than is necessary for filling the jars with the peaches. At first, I thought I would prepare more peaches to fill more jars and use up the syrup. Then, I realized that the peach brandy syrup itself could be used as a component in sangria, mulled wine, or cocktails or it could be poured over cake or ice cream. 
  7. You can keep them in the refrigerator or use a water bath canner to complete the process of sealing the jars.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pickled Green Tomatoes with a History of Canning and a Glimpse at Grocery Shopping in 19th Century Baltimore



To Pickle Green Tomatoes
Wipe a peck of green tomatoes, slice them & sprinkle them with salt and let them stand two days. Slice 12 small onions, one small tin of ground mustard ¼ lb. mustard seed, 1 oz. of cloves, 1 oz. allspice & 1 oz. of black pepper ground mixed well together—Drain the salt water well for the tomatoes. Put them into a skillet a layer of tomatoes and one of the onions and spices—when the vessel is nearly full cover them with good vinegar, put them on the fire & let them stew, until the Tomatoes look clear (stew 8 or 10 hours).


Recipe Provenance
This recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).


About Pickles 
A pickle is defined as a food that has been preserved using a strong salt and/or acid content. Often, the food is salted for a series of days to allow the juices to be extracted. Then, the juices are drained and a vinegar pickle is added. The vinegar pickle often contains a large variety of spices such as mustard seed or powder, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, and dill seed, among other things. Sometimes, sugar is also added.

While many Americans might assume that pickles are just made from cucumbers and served alongside hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches, it may be surprising to learn that you can pickle just about anything. Historically, there are recipes for pickling meats, fish, walnuts, nasturtiums, mushrooms,  green corn, beans, peaches, cherries, pineapple, cabbage, beets, carrots, and just about every vegetable or fruit that exists. Before the days of refrigeration, pickling was a good option preserving foods for the upcoming year.

About Canning
Home canning of pickles is something of a novelty in America today. However, it was a common practice well into the 19th century  and beyond, even after commercially canned foods began to appear on the market in the 1820s in America, and even earlier in Europe. The inspiration for creating a method for giving foods a long shelf-life was the Napoleonic Wars. In the late 18th century, the French government's Directory department wanted to promote ways to preserve food for the French troops during the Napoleonic wars. The prize was 12,000 francs. Frenchman, Nicholas Appert (1749-1841),  was determined to win this prize. Appert experimented with ways in which to preserve foods in bottles and found success at it when he realized that foods hermetically sealed in bottles that had been sterilized by boiling would stay fresh for months. Ironically, in Appert's day there was no knowledge of why this worked as Louis Pasteur's discovery of bacteria did not happen for several more decades. 

Appert worked on this project for years. He opened the first canning factory in the world in Massy, a small town south of Paris and wrote a book explaining his bottling method in 1810 called The Art of Preserving All Kinds of Animal and Vegetable Substances for Several Years. The publication of this manual secured Appert the prize.

This is all well and good, and congratulations to Appert. However, home cooks and cookbook authors had already figured this out before Appert published his findings. For example  the recipe, "To Keep Green Peas till Christmas" was published decades before Appert's experiments in 1747 by Hannah Glasse in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (London). In the recipe, Glasse instructs her readers to seal the empty space in the necks of the bottles with mutton fat, cork them, tie a bladder over the corks. Granted, there is no instruction to boil the bottles prior to filling them. It is possible that those who had a dairy on-site did boil the bottles first based on the knowledge they had of needing to keep everything excessively clean in the dairy to get a better result.


Canning Crosses the Pond
William Underwood came to America from Great Britain in 1817 and established a canning factory in Boston in 1822. Underwood's "Hermetically Sealed Tomatoes" were available by 1835 for $3.25 each per two-pound bottle. This sounds quite expensive to me which may account for the large number of recipes for pickles that can be found in 19th century American cookbooks.

About Pickled Green Tomatoes
Pickled green tomatoes can be made in a variety of ways depending on the pickling liquid, spices, additional vegetables added, and whether or not sugar is added. When sugar is added, the pickle is often called a piccalilli. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, piccalilli is defined as "a sweet mustard pickle of mixed vegetables." Here is an example of a green tomato piccalilli from The Woman Suffrage CookBook by Mrs. Hattie Burr (Boston, 1886):

Mrs. Morris's recipe, alas, does not include sugar, therefore, it is a true pickle, not a piccalilli. Here are some additional 19th century green tomato pickle recipes that are similar to the one Mrs. Morris jotted down in her journal:

1845-The Housekeeper's Assistant by Ann Allen (Boston)


1847-The South Carolina Housewife by Sarah Rutledge

1870-Jennie June's American Cookery Book by Jane C. Croly (New York)










1881-Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen by Mrs. B.C. Howard (Baltimore)


1885-La Cuisine Creole by Lafcadio Hearn (New Orleans)

Pickling Supplies Available in 19th Century Baltimore
19th century Baltimore homemakers could have purchased their pickles already made or, if they preferred, they could purchase pickling supplies such as vinegar and mustard from a dealer such as Edwards & Cobb at 20 South Charles St.

01 December 1841, American & Commercial Daily Advertiser

In addition, the 19th century ushered in the ability to purchase some spices pre-ground as opposed to the usual practice of only being able to buy spices whole. Spice take a lot of time to grind and while infinitely tastier freshly-ground, when making large batches of pickles, it was a nice convenience to be able to purchase them already ground. Mrs. Morris would have been able to purchase ground ginger as early as 1824 based on an advertisement in the 13 July edition of the American & Commercial Daily Advertiser. By 1851, and possibly earlier, home cooks were able to purchase a larger variety of ground spices, salt, and mustards, among other items, at Paca Mills at No. 68 Bowly's Wharf:

01 May 1851 American & Commercial Daily Advertiser

Pickled Green Tomatoes: Modern Recipe Adaptation
Yield: About 8 Pints

Step 1: Day One
  • Wash and slice 6 pounds of green tomatoes (or a combination of green and more ripened tomatoes).
  • Lay the tomatoes in layers in a large pan and sprinkle each layer with salt. You will use about 3/4 cup of salt in total.
  • Cover the tomatoes and set them aside for two days to allow their juices to be extracted.
Step 2: Day Three

Ingredients:
  • 3 Large Onions, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Mustard Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Mustard Seed
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Quart Apple Cider Vinegar 
Directions:
  1. After two days of soaking in the salt brine, drain all of the salted water out of the tomatoes.
  2. Mix together the spices.
  3. In a large slow cooker, make several layers of the tomatoes, onions, and spices. Repeat making layers until everything is used up.
  4. Add the vinegar to the slow cooker.
  5. Set the temperature to high and set for five hours.
  6. You can use the hot water bath canning method to preserve the pickle.
To Serve: Pick the tomatoes and onions out of the pickle juice to avoid biting down on the whole spices.

Pickled Green Tomatoes


References:
  • Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Smith, Andrew. "Canning and Bottling Tomatoes in Nineteenth Century America." Food History News (Vol. VI, No, 1, Summer 1994).
  • http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Nicolas_Appert.aspx

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pineapple Preserves and a Bit About Pineapple History


Pineapples by Frederick Stone Batcheller, c. 1880
Source: Wikimedia Commons

To Preserve Pine Apples
Get sound, ripe pine apples, pare & slice them, weigh about 2 lbs. & put them in a deep dish with equal weight of pounded sugar strewed over, let them remain ‘till the sirrup is extracted (if the weather admits they may remain all night) Then add a little water & boil them in a bell-metal kettle, about half an hour, or until they look trans-parent & are tender. the sirrup may be boiled 5 minutes longer after the fruit is taken out –Two pounds is sufficient to boil at one time, as the sirrup becomes dark by remaining long over the Fire.

Recipe Provenance
This recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

About Pineapples
Pineapples are from the Ananas colossus family and are a fruit that is formed by over one hundred separate flowers that germinate into separate fruits that grow on a central plant spike. As they grow, the juice and pulp from these multiple fruits swell and they become one fruit.

Pineapples are tropical fruits that grow in hot climates worldwide nowadays. However, they are native to Brazil. Cultivation spread from there to the West Indies before contact with Europeans. Columbus discovered pineapples in 1493 in Guadeloupe and instantly fell in love with them. Columbus brought a load of pineapples to Spain and just one survived which was presented to King Ferdinand. However, it was not the Spanish but the Portuguese who saw to it that pineapples were cultivated widely in the tropic regions.

In the 1680s, the Dutch developed a way to grow pineapples in hot houses with hot beds, and it was a Dutch gardener who grew the first pineapple in England in about 1714. This was grown by gardener Henry Telende for Sir Matthew Decker in Richmond, Surrey. Pineapple cultivation in hot houses continued in England until the late Victorian period when pineapples began to be cultivated in the subtropical Azores (Portuguese Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean). Pineapples could be shipped with relative speed from the Azores to mainland Europe without risk of the fruit spoiling therefore the need to grow pineapples in England in hot houses was no longer necessary.

Pineapples began to be imported into North America in the 17th century. Interestingly, the pineapple became known in the North American colonies as a symbol of hospitality as can be seen in Colonial Williamsburg where the pineapple symbol is everywhere. Nineteenth century American recipes for pineapples includes ones for syrups, preserves, candied chips/slices, sherbet, and fritters.

Pineapples began to be canned in Florida and the Caribbean in 1882 but real success with it occurred in 1892 in Hawaii. In 1901, Jim Dole founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company and the industry grew rapidly in size. It is no surprise then that the number of recipes for pineapple soared in the 20th century.

Pineapples in 19th Century Baltimore
Here is an advertisement from the American and Commercial Daily Advertiser (Baltimore) from 7 July 1824 by A. Horton who was selling pineapples at his new establishment at 87 Market Street (now Baltimore Street, I believe):


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Here is a Baltimore recipe for Pineapple Syrup by Elizabeth Ellicott Lea in Domestic Cookery, 1869:



Pineapple Preserves: Modern Recipe Adaptation

Step 1:
Ingredients:
  • 1 Pineapple
  • Granulated Sugar
Directions:
1.  Peel, core, and dice the pineapple into small chunks. I like to have a variety of sizes so that some of the pineapples melts and some stays chunky in the preserves.
2.  Weight the pineapple chunks. I got 21 ounces of pineapples.
3.  Measure an equivalent weight of sugar to that of the pineapple.
4.  Spread the pineapple into a deep dish and cover with the sugar. Mix together thoroughly. It should look like this:


5.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave out for 6 hours, or until the juices render out of the pineapple and the sugar becomes syrupy. It should look like this:



Step 2:
1.  Place the pineapples and all of their syrup in a medium size saucepan. 
2.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to about 220º F. Remove from the heat and cool. 
3.  Mix into ice cream, serve over cake, cheesecake, or in a trifle.

_________________________
References:
  • Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Smith, Andrew. The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, Second Edition (Oxford University Press, 2013)