'Pioneer Recipes' gives a peek back in culinary time

Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 6:58 p.m. MDT

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup cake flour (see note below)

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 teaspoon lemon extract and ½ teaspoon vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-by-8 inch cake pan.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored and combine with egg whites. Gradually beat in sugar.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add alternately with cold water and vanilla to egg mixture. Stir well between additions.

Pour into prepared pan. The original recipe called for cooking for 25-30 minutes; during the test, it was done in 15-20.

Cake is done when it springs back to the touch. Invert pan, allowing the cake to hang free until cool and remove gently from the pan.

Testing note: Cake flour will likely be with the muffin mixes or the flour, depending on the store’s layout. A substitution for cake flour is: 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted at least twice.

— Recipe by Mrs. Lorna Walker, “Pioneer Recipes”

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GRAHAM GEMS

History: This recipe came from a sister-in-law in Oklahoma who had it passed down to her from early pioneers in the Indian country. It is a wholesome recipe, as were most of those used by early settlers in the West. The graham flour she sued was made from wheat taken by each individual to a small mill for grinding.

½ cup white flour

1 ½ cup whole wheat or graham flour

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

4/5 cup milk

1 egg, well beaten

¼ cup shortening, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin or gem pans and set aside.

Mix dry ingredients. Add milk to beaten egg and combine with dry ingredients. Add melted shortening. Stir well, then place in heaping tablespoonfuls in the prepared pan. Original recipe called for cooking for 25 minutes; during the test these were done in 12-15.

Serve with hot butter or jam. Makes 18 gems made in the muffin pans.

— Recipe by Mamie Thorne, “Pioneer Recipes”

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DANISH BANANA BLACK WALNUT CAKE

History: When Grandmother and Grandfather Ole Nelson arrived from Copenhagen as converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hidden away in their worldly possessions was the start of Grandmother’s walnut tree, brought from Denmark. Desperately poor, they somehow managed to purchase a small tract of land in Box Elder County, a plot that was rocky and full of gravel. With Grandma’s care, the tree flourished, and in later years bore the walnuts she used in the wonderful banana-nut cake her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have all loved.

½ cup shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/3 cup sifted flour

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