I’m trying to work up another blog post for the library, and I thought I’d cook something out of our bound copies of Godey’s Lady’s Book. There’s a recipe for Christmas Cake that they print every year, so it must be good, right? I’m looking at 1859, but I’ve seen it in several other December issues exactly the same.
To two pounds of flour well sifted unite
Of loaf sugar ounces sixteen;
Two pounds of fresh butter, with eighteen fine eggs,
And four pounds of currants washed clean;
Eight ounces of almonds well blanched and cut small,
The same weight of citron sliced;
Of orange and lemon-peel candied one pound,
And a gill of pale brandy uniced;
A large nutmeg grated; exact half an ounce
Of allspice, but only a quarter
Of mace, coriander, and ginger well ground,
Or pounded to dust in a mortar.
An important addition is cinnamon, which
Is better increased than diminished;
The fourth of an ounce is sufficient. Now this
May be baked four good hours till finished.
Um, I was going to at least half it, maybe quarter it. So my first question is, are those currants dried or fresh?
My other question is, am I accidentally making fruitcake? I don’t care for fruitcake.
My other other question is… four hours? Any suggestions on that one? The rest of these recipes don’t state a time at all so I figured you just throw 'em in at 350 until a knife comes out clean, but this one specifically says four hours. At 200?