Please note: These recipes originated from Civil War period books and other documents. The language usage and terminology is quite different from today's.
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Dessert Recipes

1 large lemon
1/4 lb. sugar
4 eggs, beaten
3 heaping tbs. flour

Rub off the rind from a large fine lemon on lumps of loaf-sugar; roll the sugar (*), and add enough of powdered loaf-sugar to make a quarter of a pound. Then strain the lemon juice through a strainer. Beat light four eggs, stir the sugar in the eggs, and beat well. Then add the lemon juice, and three large heaping table-spoonfuls of flour; mix the whole thoroughly. It must be thick enough to form into balls; if not, add flour until it will. Moisten your hands with cold water, and form the paste into balls the size of a plum; lay them on buttered papers and bake without browning. You will be obliged to try one, to see if it is done. As soon as done, remove them from the paper with a knife.


4 oranges, large
White sugar
1/2 c. cold water
9 eggs

Rub the rind of four large oranges with loaf-sugar to extract the oil; squeeze out the juice from the oranges, and mix it with a teacup of cold water. Beat nine eggs very light, and add them to the juice and water, beat well. Sweeten with the flavored sugar to suite the taste. Pour the mixture in custard cups, and let them stand in boiling water ten minutes.When done, set them in a cold place. Any other fruit can be used in the same manner.


Fresh strawberries, hulled
1 tsp. brandy
Must have fresh berries that are not running [split open or dripping juice]. Squeeze the juice from the berries through a clean linen cloth; then add one-half pint of sugar to every pint of juice and put on to boil in a porcelain kettle. When it boils as thick as honey add the berries that you squeezed the juice from to the syrup and let it continue to boil until it gets thick as mush, when it will be cooked enough. You can put it up in glasses or jars; put paper on the top wet with brandy, and then cover and put in a dark place. Use granulated sugar.


3 lb. strawberries
4 lb. sugar
1 lb. raisins

Take 3 pound of large fair strawberries, free from stems or hulls; 4 pound sugar, 1 pound raisins. Place these in an earthen pot, first a sprinkling of sugar, then a laying of strawberries, another of raisins, and so alternately till the whole are placed in the pot. Set it away in a cool place. If the weather should be very warm, frequently sprinkle sugar upon them, by which they will be preserved fresh and good.


1/2 lb. sugar
1/2 lb. butter
2 lb. flour
1 c. wine
1 c. rosewater
2 c. emptins (see note at right) adding flour, to serve as yeast; effectively a sort of sourdough.
1 nutmeg, ground
Cinnamon to taste
Half a pound sugar, half a pound butter, rubbed into two pounds flour [note, a pastry cutter would work well here] one glass wine, one glass rosewater, two glasses emptins, a nutmeg, cinnamon and currants.  

[No baking instructions with this one, but from the title we would suggest using a cupcake tin and baking at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so.]


Apples, sour or green
Lemon rind, approx. 1/2 tsp.

Apples should be cut into very thin slices, and are much improved by a little lemon-peel. Sweet apples are not good for pies, as they are very insipid when baked, and seldom get thoroughly done. If green apples are used, they should first be stewed in as little water as possible, and made very sweet. Apples, stewed previous to baking, should not be done till they break, but only till they are tender. They should then be drained in a cullender, and chopped fine with a knife or the edge of a spoon.  

In making pies of juicy fruit, it is a good way to set a small tea-cup on the bottom crust, and lay the fruit all round it. The juice will collect under the cup, and not run out at the edges or top of the pie. The fruit should be mixed with a sufficient quantity of sugar, and piled up in the middle, so as to make the pie highest in the centre. The upper crust should be pricked with a fork, or have a slit cut in the middle. The edges should be nicely crimped with a knife. Apple pies are much improved by taking off the lid, and pouring in a little cream, just before they go to table. Replace the lid very carefully


1 1/2 lb flour
1/2 lb sugar
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 pint cider
1 tsp.baking powder
Cloves and other spices to taste

Cider cake is very good, to be baked in small loaves. One pound and a half of flour, half a pound of sugar, quarter of a pound of butter, half a pint of cider, one teaspoonful of pearlash, and spice to your taste. Bake till it turns easily in the pans, I should think about half an hour. 


3 tbs. rice, boiled and ground
9 tbs. butter, melted
9 tbs. wine [sherry would probably work well here]
1/2 lb currants [can use raisins if currants are not in season]
6 oz. sugar
1 pint milk
1/2 nutmeg, ground
Juice of 1 orange
Grated rind [orange part only, not the white pith] of 1 orange

Three spoons of ground boiled rice, 9 of melted butter, 9 of wine, 9 eggs, half pound currants, six ounces sugar, one pint milk, half a nutmeg, juice of one orange, and one orange peel. Lay in paste [pie dough, puff pastry, etc.] and bake one hour.


Rinds of 2-3 lemons, grated
Juice of 2-3 lemons
1/2 c. brandy
1 lb. flour
1/2 lb. molasses
1/2 lb. butter
1/2 oz. ginger
1/4 oz. cayenne pepper Sorry, this is another one of those with no directions at all for cooking. Try the usual 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so, then use your best judgment. Most likely this was made in a regular bread-pan, not flat like gingerbread usually is. But we could be wrong about this.

Grate the rinds of two or three lemons, and add the juice to a glass of brandy. Then mix the grated lemon in one pound of flour. Make a hole in the flour, pour in half a pound of treacle [molasses], half a pound of butter melted, the lemon-juice and brandy, and mix all up together with half an ounce of ground ginger and a quarter of an ounce of Cayenne pepper. [Bake.]


1 lb. sugar
3/4 lb. butter
1 wineglass (about 1/2 c.) brandy
12 cloves, ground (about 1 1/2 tbs.)
1/2 a nutmeg (about 1 tbs.)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
10 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/4 lb. citron, sliced
2 lb. currants, washed and rubbed in flour
1 lb. raisins, seeded and chopped
1 lb raisins, seeded, whole
1 lb. flour

[Recipe directions modified for clarity.]
Mix sugar and butter, working together until very light. Add brandy, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon and blend thoroughly. Beat eggs separately; add yolks first and stir through, then mix in beaten whites. Add the sliced citron. Rub the currants in flour to coat and stir into batter, followed by the cut raisins. Start mixing in the flour about 1 cup at a time, alternating with the whole raisins, until all are mixed together. Bake in a moderate oven [325 degrees] in deep basins two hours. If the fire is strong, the heat should be decreased the last hour. Line the basins [pans] with buttered paper, and keep a piece over the top of the cake. Frost it and it will keep two months or longer if desired. 


1 pint milk
1 tbs. washed, raw rice
1/2 c. raisins
sugar to taste
Dash salt
Sprinkling of nutmeg         

Mix all together and put it in to bake [probably around 350 degrees]. Stir it up after it has skinned over four times, mixing up raisins and rice with the milk each time. Let it bake until the rice is cooked. Serve cold, with cream and sugar. 


Bottom crust for 9 inch pie
3 tbs. butter at room temperature (not rock hard but not melted either)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 c. chopped or broken pecan pieces
1 c. dark corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c unbroken pecan halves Prepare (or buy) pie crust and set aside.

Cream (mash) butter with vanilla. Add sugar a little at a time and mash it in thoroughly after each addition. Add eggs in the same way, slowly. Next mix in chopped pecans, then syrup and salt. When all is well blended, pour into pie shell. Bake in hot oven (450 degrees) for 10 minutes. Pull carefully out; place pecan halves carefully in an artistic manner on top of pie. Lower temperature to 350 and put back in oven to bake for 30 or 40 minutes. Pie should be reasonably firm (not soupy) when done. Place on a rack or windowsill to cool.


6 apples
1 c. sugar
1/3 c butter, a piece about the size of an egg
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pie crust, unbaked

Peel and core apples and cut in eight pieces each. Mix 1/2 c. sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Mix and put in pie crust. Combine remaining sugar with flour and mix in butter, rubbing together to make "crumbs". Sprinkle this over apples. Put in hot oven (450) to bake for 10 minutes or so, then lower temperature as best you can to 350 or thereabouts. Bake at lower temp for about a half an hour or until golden looking on top.