Pastry Making Tips
Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats
by a Lady of Philadelphia
Third edition, Boston, 1830
"The following Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats, are original, and have been used by the author and many of her friends with uniform success. They are drawn up in a style so plain and minute, as to be perfectly intelligible to servants, and persons of most moderate capacity.
There is frequently much difficulty in following directions in English and French Cookery Books, not only from their want of explicitness, but from the difference in the fuel, fire-places, and cooking utensils, generally used in Europe and America; and many of the European receipts are so complicated and laborious, that our female cooks are afraid to undertake the arduous task of making any thing from them.
The receipts in this little book are, in every sense of the word, American; but the writer flatters herself that (if exactly followed) the articles produced from them will not be found inferior to any of a similar description made in the European manner."
In making pastry or cakes, it's best to begin by weighing out the ingredients, sifting the flour, pounding and sifting the sugar and spice, washing the butter, and preparing the fruit.
(1) All sorts of spice should be pounded in a mortar, except nutmeg, which is better to grate.
(2) Butter should always be fresh and very good. Wash it in cold water before you used it, and then make it up with your hands into hard lumps, squeezing the water out.
(3) If the butter and sugar are to be stirred together, always do that before the eggs are beaten, as, (unless they are kept too warm), the butter and sugar will not be injured by standing awhile. For stirring them, nothing is so convenient as a round hickory stick about a foot and a half long, and somewhat flattened at one end.
(4) Break every egg by itself, in a saucer, before you put it into the pan, that in case there should be any bad ones, they may not spoil the others.
Submitted by Gina Welborn