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Traditional Recipes - Summer

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As we are now approaching summer, I thought I would share some summer recipes from the brilliant collection of recipe books which we hold in the archives at the Ulster Folk Museum. Largely dating to the 19th and 20th centuries, they are a fascinating resource in that they provide an insight into cooking and baking trends throughout the decades. Some contain fabulously opulent recipes, whilst others are geared to those with modest incomes. Earlier this year, Aoife Kennedy from Colaiste Feirste spent a week with us on work experience. She helped to pick out these seasonal recipes. I hope you enjoy!

Lemon jellied salad

Lemon jellied salad

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Green pea soup

Green pea soup

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Cucumber with parsley sauce

Cucumber with parsley sauce

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 Pineapple soufflé

Pineapple soufflé

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Summer salad with French dressing

Summer salad with French dressing

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Peach shortcakes

Peach shortcakes

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Lemon jellied salad from The Best Way: A Book of Household Hints & Recipes, 1907 (p.30)

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Ingredients

  • 29g / 1oz gelatine
  • 568ml / 1 pint water
  • 2 large lemons, strained
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress or lettuce

Method

  • Make some lemon jelly by using one ounce of gelatine to one pint of water and the strained juice of two large lemons. Heat all together until the gelatine is quite dissolved, then put aside to cool.
  • Pare and cut some cucumber into small pieces, also peel and slice a few tomatoes, adding a pinch of salt, but no pepper.
  • Have ready a large mould. Pour in a little of the jelly, then the cucumber and tomatoes; fill up with jelly, and set in a cool place until firm.
  • When required turn out on a bed of watercress; or lettuce nicely cut and daintily arranged round the jelly answers the purpose just as well.

Green pea soup from Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, 1911 (p.84)

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Ingredients

  • 1.1l / 2 pints of white (chicken) stock
  • 142ml / ¼ pint of water
  • 1kg / 1 quart of peas (shelled)
  • A handful of spinach (to improve the colour)
  • A little mint
  • 59ml / 2oz of butter
  • 12ml / 1 dessertspoonful of flour
  • Salt and pepper

Method 

  • Melt 28g / 1oz of butter in a pan, put in the peas, spinach, and mint, put on the lid, and let them steam in the butter for 15- 20 minutes.
  • Add the stock and water, and some of the peashells if young and soft (they should of course, be first washed in cold water), boil quickly until tender, strain and rub the vegetables thorough a fine sieve.
  • Melt the remainder of the butter in the pan, sprinkle in the flour, add the soup, and stir until boiling.
  • Season to taste, and serve with croûtons of fried bread.
  • If preferred, a few cooked green peas and a little cream may be added to the soup before serving.

Time

1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.

Sufficient for 6 persons

Cucumber with parsley sauce from Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, 1911 (p.207)

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized cucumbers
  • 284ml / ½ pint of white sauce
  • 29g / 1oz of butter
  • The yolks of 2 eggs
  • 3ml / ½ teaspoonful of finely-chopped shallot or onion
  • 3ml / ½ teaspoonful of finely-chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Pare the cucumbers, put them into boiling water, cook for about 10 minutes, then drain well and cut them into slices about 2.5cm / 1 inch in thickness.
  • Heat the butter in a pan, put in the sliced cucumber, shallot and a good seasoning of salt and pepper; heat for a few minutes, then add the white sauce.
  • Just before boiling point is reached add the yolks of eggs and parsley, stir and cook gently until the eggs thicken, then season to taste and serve.

Time

About 30 minutes.

Pineapple soufflé from Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, 1911 (p.249)

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Ingredients

  • Preserved pineapple
  • 113g / 4oz wheat flour
  • 113g / 4oz castor sugar
  • 113g / 4oz butter
  • 284ml / ½ pint of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 5cm / 2 inches of vanilla-pod
  • Angelica

Method

  • Bring the milk and the vanilla pod to boiling point, then draw the pan aside for 30 minutes for the contents to infuse.
  • Meanwhile, heat the butter in another pan, stir in the flour, cook for 4 or 5 minutes, then add the strained milk, and stir and boil well.
  • Let it cool slightly, then beat in the yolks of the eggs, add the sugar, 28g / 2 good tablespoonfuls of pineapple cut into small dice, and very lightly stir in the stiffly-whisked whites of eggs.
  • Have ready a well-buttered soufflé-mould with the bottom decorated with strips, circles, or other fancifully-cut pieces of angelica and pineapple, pour in the mixture, cover with a buttered paper, and steam very gently from 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Unmould and serve as quickly as possible with pineapple or other suitable sweet sauce.

Time

From 1 to 1 ¼ hours, altogether.
Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

Summer salad with French dressing from The Economic Cookery Book, 1905 (p.154)

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Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 very fresh head of lettuce
  • 6 spring onions
  • 6 young radishes
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

French dressing

  • 17ml / 1 tablespoonful of vinegar
  • 53ml / 3 tablespoonfuls of oil
  • 9ml / ½ teaspoonful of salt
  • 4ml / ¼ teaspoonful of pepper

Method

  • Well wash the lettuce and remove any withered leaves, use only the tender ones, and let them stand in cold water (no salt) to make them crisp.
  • Wipe the lettuce leaves perfectly, but do not crush them, arrange them in a salad bowl in a circle with the heart leaves in the centre.
  • Wash, trim, and slightly scrape the radishes; garnish round the lettuce with these and the spring onions, which have been washed, trimmed, and the outer skin removed.
  • Cut the hard-boiled egg in slices, and put these round too.
  • To make the French dressing, mix the salt and pepper with the oil; and stir in the vinegar slowly. The dressing will become white, and a little thick, like an emulsion.
  • Pour the French dressing over, and lightly toss them together.

Peach shortcakes from Light Fare Recipes for Corn Flour and “Raisley” Cookery, 1911 (p.101)

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Ingredients

  • 57g / 2oz cornflour
  • 28g / 1oz baking powder
  • 170g / 6oz flour
  • 142g / 5oz butter or margarine
  • 57g / 2oz castor sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Yolk of an egg
  • 6 split peaches, stewed or preserved
  • 142ml / ¼ pint of cream

Method

  • Measure out the ingredients.
  • Mix together the flour and cornflour. Rub in the butter lightly.
  • Add 28g / 1oz of castor sugar, the baking powder and the salt.
  • Mix into a very stiff paste with the yolk of egg and a little cold water.
  • Roll out thin and line with it 12 patty tins.
  • Place a buttered paper inside the tins, and fill it with uncooked rice to keep the paste down in the tins.
  • Bake for ten or fifteen minutes.
  • Remove the paper and rice, and fill with the peaches.
  • Whip up the cream stiffly, sweeten with 28g / 1oz of castor sugar, and pile on the top.
  • The cakes must then be placed in the oven to brown slightly.

Time

30 minutes
Makes 12 cakes.