Monday, July 20, 2020

Lady Baltimore Ice Cream and Spun Sugar Webs

Owen Wister's popular 1906 novel was followed the next year by a Lady Baltimore Cake recipe, and in 1909 the Lady Baltimore Ice Cream appeared. picture of LB cake

In his novel Lady Baltimore, Wister described the cake as "all soft, and it's in layers, and it has nuts." The cake recipe “sanctioned by Owen Wister” in 1909 contained egg whites (for a white cake) in three layers, with a filling of chopped raisins, pecans and dry figs.  An earlier recipe appeared in a Swan's Down Cake Flour (newly developed in 1894) booklet in 1907 with baking powder, and all the images are cakes from Swan's Down booklets or ads. A few years ago I wrote a blog post on Lady Baltimore Cake HERE

The ice cream Lady Baltimore was "something new, eats nice and is a good seller."  The white vanilla base contained maraschino cherries, figs (soaked in a cup of sherry), cream, sugar and vanilla. It was served as individual molds or sliced brick, topped with whipped cream and a cherry.  "Should you want to be right swell, you could make small individual candy webs just big enough to cover the ice cream."  Unfortunately I could not find an image of the Lady Baltimore ice cream.

Lady Baltimore Ice Cream 1909, Baltimore Ice Cream 1911 and Maryland Ice Cream 1895 recipes

Lady Baltimore Ice Cream
6 Quarts. Cut up 1 pound glaced or maraschino cherries, 1 pound figs in quarters and soak them in a half pint of sherry wine. Much better results are obtained if fruit is cut up the night before it is wanted. Whip up 1 quart cream right stiff, then ice up a 6 quart can and put 3 quarts vanilla ice cream in it. Sweeten the whipped cream with one - half pound of sifted powdered sugar, then mix the cut cherries and wine with the whipped cream and work same in the vanilla. This is done with a paddle, but not all at once, so the batch does not get too soft. When all the whipped cream is worked in, make up what you are short of 6 quarts with vanilla ice cream, but be sure not to have the batch too soft, for if you do, the fruit will all lay at the bottom. Lady Baltimore is served in individual pudding moulds and also in individual bricks, and when sent in to the table, is topped off with whipped cream and a cherry. This is done by putting the whipped cream in a bag and squeezing one big dot on the top of the mould; or, if individual brick, a big dot in the center. Should you want to be right swell, you could make small individual candy webs just big enough to cover the ice cream. How to make the webs is explained in the book. This is something new, eats nice and is a good seller.

Gratz, Herman. The Making of Ice Cream…Phila: 1909

Baltimore Ice Cream
Two quarts of strawberries, two cups of granulated sugar, half cup powdered sugar, one pint cream, about two spoonfuls vanilla, half cup chopped nuts, heat the berries and sugar together, when cool mix other ingredients and freeze.
Estes, Rufus. Good things to eat. Chicago: 1911

Maryland Ice Cream
To each pint of milk, 2 eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour. Let come to a boil, then stir in the beaten eggs, sugar and flour. Let boil twenty minutes. When cold, put in 1 pint of cream after it is churned. Tested Recipe Cook Book. Atlanta: 1895

For more past posts on ice cream HERE
Blog post on Lady Baltimore Cake HERE

Spun Sugar for Nests and Webs.
Spun sugar webs are used to cover ice cream bricks and melon moulds after they are turned out for serving. … The webs for bricks or melon moulds should be formed over tin moulds of the same size as the ice cream, and must be left on the tins until wanted, also the covers for meringues and charlottes. Webs and nests should be made the day they are used. These goods cannot be made in warm weather as the sugar gets moist and gets sticky, and the threads will fall.

There are numerous ways of using spun sugar with ice cream nests for individual animals, etc. The combination looks pleasing and is good eating. Five pounds of sugar will make at least 3 dozen small nests. You know what the sugar costs.

I will explain how to make spun sugar. Put 5 pounds granulated sugar or “A” sugar (never use powdered for Cooking) into a copper kettle with enough water to dis solve it. Stir into this 3 pinches cream of tartar, and cook to the crack degree—310 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have no thermometer; test it by dipping your fingers into cold water, then into the hot sugar and quickly back into the cold water; the sugar cools instantly and will break with a “crac" you can hear when it is at the proper degree. You must be exact about this point or your work will not turn out right. If you cook it to the right degree, your spun sugar will be neither sticky nor brittle.

While your sugar is cooking put a stick (a broom handle will answer) across two chairs, cover the floor with clean paper—a space of about 3 feet wide and 5 or 6 feet long; an old egg whip will do for a spinner. When the sugar is cooked to the crack, take it from the fire and set it in a pan of cold water; when it begins to get thick it is ready for spinning; then dip your whip (or spinner) in the sugar; stand to one side and swing the whip forward and back over the broom handle in long strokes; the sugar will spin out in long silk like threads; when the full length of the handle is covered lift up the threads with one hand at each end so they do not break and lay them on a table; keep on spinning until the sugar gets too cool to spin properly; then beat the sugar again, but do not stir it any more than is really necessary or it will grain.

It is very easy to form nests or covers of any size and shape you desire, as the spun sugar threads are very pliable. Of course, it stands to reason they will not bear rough handling. Set the nests on waxed paper; put them in boxes and keep in a cool dry place until wanted.
Gratz, Herman. The Making of Ice Cream…Phila: 1909 

©2020 Patricia Bixler Reber
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