Friday, February 27, 2015

Apple Sauce Cake, Sweet Pickle, Jam Cake - Family Recipe Friday

This is an interesting group of recipes from Gramma's Webster's Spelling Recipe Book.  Or, better said, there are some interesting aspects to these recipes.  I transcribed all spellings as found in the recipes. 

The Apple Sauce Cake recipe calls for lard.  Crisco may not yet have been invented when the recipe was created or Gramma may have preferred lard over Crisco.  Crisco was invented in 1911.  Also, I believe this is the first recipe in which the temperature of the oven is mentioned, although "slow oven" isn't a precise temperature.

The recipe for Sweet Pickle is vague. 
- The quantities of most ingredients are not included. 
- The recipe doesn't indicates the kind of vegetable.  Cucumbers are the most common vegetable for pickles and I assume that's the vegetable of choice for these pickles because they are to be scalded until white.
- The canning process seems to have been only filling the jars with hot ingredients then putting the lids on to seal them, completely omitting the water bath canning process. 
- "Saccerine" is written at the end of the recipe.  I believe it's a misspelling of the word saccharine, a word with several meanings.  The one probably intended by Gramma was that the pickles were very sweet.  However, Webster's 1913 dictionary indicates that Saccharine was already a trade name for benzoic sulphinide, a synthetic sweetener.  In light of the fact that she indicates they are "saccerine," I find it interesting that the quantity of sugar is not included in this recipe.

The recipe for Jam Cake is very general.  Shall I mix the jam into the batter before baking or do I bake and then layer with jam?  And the quantities of spices are not mentioned at all.  Perhaps it's assumed that the baker knows the preferences of her family members when it comes to the spiciness of cake. 

Apple Sauce Cake
1 cup brown Sugar.
1/2 cup lard.
1 1/2 cup apple Sauce
2 level teaspoons Soda.
2 cups flour.
1 egg well beaten
1 cup raisins
1 pinch cinamon,
nutmeg & alspice.
Cream the lard &
sugar, & then mix
in the well beaten
egg.  Mix the soda
into the apple
sauce when hot.
Add to the first
mixture, & then add
the flour, spices, &
the raisins which
have been dusted
with flour.  Mix all
thoroly & bake in a loaf
pan.  Sprinkle
granulated sugar
& cinamon over top &

bake in slow oven
40 minutes.  Very good
also with carmel

Sweet Pickle.
Put in strong salt
water over night.
Take out in morning
and wash all off.
Put in Weak Vinegar
& scald until they
get white.  Have
vinegar boiling
& sweeten & spicen
& pour over them
in the jars.  Seal
while Hot.  (Saccerine)

Jam Cake.
4 eggs.  1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup butter.
1 cup sour milk.
1 teasp. Soda.  1 cup jam
cloves, cinamon, Spice

I'm baking Applesauce Cake tomorrow.  Won't you join me? 


Copyright © 2015 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. My grandmother always used the term "lard" when she was using Crisco, but reading the part about creaming the lard and sugar, I wonder if butter wouldn't be better than Crisco.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion to use butter, Wendy. My first thought was to substitute Crisco, just because it's my go-to shortening unless a recipe specifically calls for butter or oil. I'll give it some thought and do a little research.

      I don't remember whether my grandmother used lard or shortening, nor what she called the shortening she used. How I wish I'd paid more attention or had a better memory -- either one would work.

  2. Using lard instead of shortening will make a better cake and much better cookies and is better for you too!

    1. I've never used lard for anything so if I use it for this cake it will be a first, Jim! Since I don't have it on hand I'll probably use butter or Crisco this first time and then buy lard to try it.

      Your comment about lard being better for us than shortening caused me to scout out some research on the internet. I don't include much fat in our diet and haven't kept up what's good vs. what's bad. My mother was averse to fats in general and particularly lard so it's surprising to me to learn that lard may actually be better for us than butter. Of course, they work differently in recipes and give different results, some being better in some kinds of baking than others. Thanks for leaving a comment and sending me on this hunt.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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