Mature Living Magazine Sample

Page 39

white, and whisk until mixture is stiff. Pour over your cake. GREAT BAKES There’s no fear of your cake being heavy or sinking in the middle if you put your tin in a warm oven for a few seconds before filling. For those who don’t like peel in cake, use a large tablespoonful of marmalade instead. This gives the desired flavour without the hard pieces of peel. To stop fruit sinking to the bottom of your cake, treat your currants and raisins by scalding, draining and then tossing them in flour before adding them to your mixture. After greasing a cake tin, put in a tablespoonful of dried breadcrumbs. Shake thoroughly round the bottom and sides of the tin and tip out any which haven’t stuck. When the cake is cooked, it slips out without sticking. For a light, fluffy sponge cake, separate the yolks from whites of eggs and whisk the whites stiff. Add yolks first in the usual way, then fold in the whites. To prevent a cake being overfired on top, run cold water over buttered greaseproof paper. Shake well and place over your cake before putting in the oven. BRILLIANT BUNS If you like your scones crisp on the bottom, grease the tray well. If you prefer your scones soft, sprinkle the tray with flour. Mix dough for scones with a knife, cutting through the dough as you go. The less you handle it, the lighter your scones will be. When baking cakes in paper cases in a gas oven, place a small dish filled with water at the bottom of the oven. This stops your cases discolouring. PERFECT PUDDINGS When making pastry, instead of using a wooden rolling pin, fill a glass bottle with cold water. You’ll improve the texture of your pastry because of the cool

temperature every time you roll. For a delicious and attractive fruit tart, keep your gooseberries or other fruit whole while stewing by boiling the water and sugar first and then adding the fruit to the boiling syrup. If you’re cooking apples or rhubarb for a crumble, I always add a pinch of salt. It keeps the colour of the fruit and improves the flavour. The crumble provides all the sweetness you need. When making pastry, add a dessertspoonful of semolina to 1lb of flour. The result is a lovely short crust and no sticking to pastry board or rolling pin. For apple tarts or fruit pies, sprinkle the sugar on the bottom crust instead of on top of the fruit. This sets the juice, there is less chance of it running out and the bottom of the tart is nice and crisp, never soggy. Pop a few marshmallows into a baked custard pie. They rise to the top, melted for a delicious meringue. Roll out pastry on greaseproof paper. Then it’s a simple matter to roll paper and pastry up together. Unroll from the top of the pie or on to oven tray. The pastry doesn’t stick or break up. When sweetening fruit such as gooseberries and plums for tarts, slit the fruit before stewing and you will use less sugar. COOKIES AND TARTS Use a grater for pricking biscuits quickly and neatly. Roll out the dough, run the coarse part of a round grater over it firmly, and cut the dough in the usual way. Milk should be used at room temperature for best results in baking cakes, muffins, and biscuits. This is important when melted shortening is used. For perfect jam tarts, heat the jam almost to boiling point before using. Pastry will be crisp and not sodden. CREAMY CUSTARD When making custard, add lemon curd to sweeten and for a

Another Fifties housewife recommends getting your butcher to cut a marrow bone the depth of your pie-dish and using it in place of a funnel

delicious flavour. Stir sauces and custards with a perforated spoon. There’s less sticking and results are smoother. To prevent a thick skin forming on custard, stir in a little cold milk after it is made. Put the lid on and leave till ready for use WHEN IT GOES WRONG If a fruit cake has been overcooked on top, scrape the burnt part off, brush over with beaten white of egg, dust with caster sugar and return to the oven for a few minutes. Fruit cake that has been baked too long and is rather dry can be moistened by adding sherry via holes made with a skewer. When there’s no dried fruit, add half a jar of mincemeat to your usual sultana cake mixture. If your butter and sugar for a

cake goes oily, stand it in a basin of cold water for 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll find it creams quite easily. If the bottom of an apple cake is too soft when taken from the tin, slip it on to a warm, dry frying pan for five minutes to firm up. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? When making a beef steak pie, get your butcher to cut a marrow bone the depth of your piedish and use in place of a funnel. This gives a delicious gravy. One teaspoon of vinegar added to the fat in which doughnuts are fried prevents them from absorbing the fat. Taken from Pass It On: Cooking Tips From The 1950s, edited by Steve Finan, published by The Sunday Post at £11.99 and available to order from dcthomsonshop.co.uk

Tel: 096-22277 • Fax (096) 22655 Jerome and Eugene Hughes for all your Home Heating Oil, Tractor Diesel, Kerosene, Road Diesel, Unleaded Petrol. Tanks and Lubrication products also in stock. Page 41 | Mature Living Magazine


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