So here is the first promised Wartime Christmas themed recipe for our ‘Wartime Christmas Countdown’ here on www.the1940sExperiment.com.
This is a recommended Christmas Cake recipe from the Ministry of Food in the mid 1940’s and the rationed ingredients make a very acceptable cake. My son works in Tesco’s so I was able to go shopping last night with him and get a 10% discount on my shopping! (he has a staff discount card!). Every little bit helps!
Wartime Christmas Cake – Ministry of Food
4 oz (115g) margarine
3 oz (85g) of soft brown sugar
1 lb dried mixed fruit
2 reconstituted dried eggs or 2 fresh eggs
3 level tablespoons of warmed treacle or golden syrup
8 oz (225g) of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
3 tablespoons of cold strained tea
(I also added a slug of dark rum!)
Line a 7 inch (18cm) cake tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.
Pre-heat oven to 150 C (300 F), Gas Mark 2.
Cream the margarine and sugar.
Gradually add the beaten eggs then the syrup or the treacle.
Sift all the dry ingredients together then add to the creamed mixture and then add the fruit and tea. Add a slug of rum or rum essence if you wish.
Spoon into the cake tin and make a hollow in the centre so the cake will be flatter on top.
Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the top is firm and the sides are slightly sinking away from the side of the tin. (You may need to cover top with foil half way through cooking).
Cool in the tin.
When cool remove from the tin and place in airtight container.
Over the coming weeks you can feed the cake with rum/whisky/sherry and nearer Christmas you can finally ice and decorate!
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In the WW2 recipe book ‘Good Eating’ published in the 1940s by the ‘Daily Telegraph’ and which included wartime recipes tried and tested by readers, I came across a recipe for ‘Kentish Pasties’.
This particular recipe, according to the reader, was for a popular pasty distributed by mobile canteens and pie stations at Sevenoaks Rural District during the war.
Using the ingredients in the recipe, I was able to make three huge pasties which could easily be cut in two, one half for your dinner (served with veggies and gravy) and one half for your lunch the next day (although I am sure if you were working on the land a whole pasty for lunch would be appreciated) I also added two teaspoons of Marmite and one chopped leek which added to the flavour as it was a little bland without.
Overall I found this very filling and tasty!
- 1/4 lb of boiled rice
- 4 oz grated cheese
- 2 oz raw grated carrot
- Salt and pepper
Carolyn’s extra ingredients
- 1 leek chopped finely
- 2 teaspoons of Marmite
- 12 oz flour
- 3 oz cooking fat/margarine or butter
- Pinch salt
- Water to mix.
The original recipe calls for the filling ingredients to be mixed together well and then placed on the pastry and formed into pasties.
To improve the flavour, once the rice was cooked I placed a knob of butter in a pan and when it was hot added the chopped leek and sauted and then added the rice and mixed well. I then removed from the heat and mixed in the raw grated carrot, grated cheese and two teaspoons of Marmite and a little extra salt and pepper.
I rolled out the pastry into three rounds about the size of a large side plate and damped all the edges with water and placed a third of the mixture in the middle of each tapering out at each end and then brought the pastry up and over and created the frill with my two fingers.
The pasties took about 30 minutes to cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 C.
Makes 3 extra large pasties or 6 small ones!
I haven’t baked or consumed much in the way of sweet puddings or cake for ages. Infact I’m just not using any of my sugar ration and hardly any of my margarine or butter either. I’ve therefore got plenty in my cupboard to do some baking and this is what I’ve done on this bank holiday weekend!
As I am preferring to poach my one shell egg a week, my baking normally has to be egg free. When I came across this wartime recipe online it was perfect! No eggs!
This particular recipe is suitable for vegans too if you use a dairy free margarine or oil.
Was VERY pleased with the taste and consistency of this simple cake and greedily enjoyed a couple of generous slices with hot tea, using my pink vintage china of course!
Hope you enjoy it!
200g caster sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
175g raisins, currants or sultanas
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease one 7 or 8 inch cake tin.
In a saucepan over medium high heat combine: the sugar, margarine or oil, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, salt, raisins and water. Bring to the boil and continue to simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together. Add the flour mixture to the cooled raisin mixture. Stir until just combined. Tip mixture into prepared tin.
Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 30-40 minutes until skewer comes away clean from middle.
This is the legendary and authentic wartime recipe for ‘Mock Banana’.
Before the war the Brits imported 70% of their food which equated to around 20 million tons per year!
Imports dropped significantly to about 1/3rd and consequently many foods such as bananas were impossible to get hold of. Prior to the bar the Brits went crazy for bananas so it was one of the foods that were truly missed.
Somewhere, some strange culinary mind obviously decided that a substitute was needed. This was when the good old parsnip was brought into play…
My lunch today consisted of 4 mock banana sandwiches and actually, despite the rather bizarre experience, they tasted pretty good! (but then again I do love parsnips)
1 medium parsnip per round of sandwiches
2-3 teaspoon of caster sugar per parsnip
2-3 squirts of banana essence per parsnip (you can buy on eBay)
Peel and chop up the parsnip and boil until soft
Drain and mix in the caster sugar and banana essence
Mash until fairly smooth
Spread on your bread and make your sandwiches!
Another recipe from ‘Eating for Victory’. I LOVE this book because it literally is a made out of the scans of ACTUAL Ministry of Food leaflets bound together in a hardback book.
This recipe is for ‘Mince-in-the-Hole’ and was a way to use up bits of leftover meats which were minced up and formed into balls, roasted in the baking pan then the batter was added and baked until cooked.
Being a veggie I used Quorn mince but had problems forming it into balls that would stick together even with the addition of some sticky tomato chutney and a little bit of margarine. Nevertheless I was able to mound the mixture up sufficiently in the baking pan to make a fairly good attempt at it. It tasted very nice and I ate two portions with peas, carrots and gravy!
CLICK HERE to look at this book on Amazon!
I’m in such a good mood about the forthcoming Dad’s Army Movie, I’m running a 1940s HomeGuard/HomeFront style GIVEAWAY to correspond with release of it!
The winner will receive a ‘Homeguard Memorabilia Pack, Vintage Union Jack style bunting, a Union Jack tea towel and a ‘Ration Book Recipes’ cook book. A great prize!
Goto www.the1940sExperiment.com, click on 145 Wartime Recipes, tell me below what your favourite is then SHARE this post on Facebook, or Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest or by e-mail with a friend.
Everyone who enters and has shared this page will go into the draw which will take place on February 8th, 2016. Winner will be announced on the 9th.
Found this ‘PlayBuzz’ this morning that someone had made out of my blog… it’s kind of cool!
Which WW2 recipe should you try?
Mine came up with Sausage Stovies.
What did yours come up with?
Thanks whoever did that!