You’ve had dinner, now it’s time for pudding! Here are some delicious (and slightly weird) ration era recipes to sweeten your day.
Mock Apricot Tart
We followed the recipe found here pretty much to the letter. I know the combination of carrot, almond extract and plum jam doesn’t sound very appetising but trust me, this was the surprise hit of the evening and had guests going back for seconds! This tart tastes surprisingly like apricot, although the texture of grated carrot was a little off putting for some – in a modern kitchen the carrot and jam mix could easily be run through a blender to make the filling a little bit smoother and more apricot-ty
500g (1 pound) carrots – peeled, washed and grated
4-5 tablespoons plum jam
6 tablespoons cold water
A few drops almond essence
1 batch Potato Pastry
Line a tart tin with the potato pastry, prick the bottom a couple of times with a fork and blind bake (line with baking paper and weigh it down with dried beans, uncooked rice or pastry beads) in a 190C oven for around 20-25 minutes, then remove the weights and paper and bake for another 5-10 minutes until crisp and golden. If you want to make some decorations with the leftover pastry like I did, you can cut them out with a cookie cutter and bake on a lined tray at the same time, depending on their size they may only take 15-20 minutes. Leave the cooked shells to cool while you prepare the filling.
In a medium saucepan add the grated carrots, 4 tablespoons of the jam and water and cook over a medium low heat, stirring regularly until the carrot softens and forms a soft pulpy jam. Leave the jam to cool slightly (you could run the mix through a food processor at this stage if you wanted a smoother filling).
Pour the jam filling into your cooled tart shell and smooth the top, if you haven’t blended it, the filling may take a little squidging to get it looking nice. Warm the remaining spoonful of jam slightly and brush it over the top of the tart for a nice glossy finish, you can pop your pastry decorations on now too if desired.
Serve chilled with mock cream
This Mock Cream recipe is from a Ministry of Food Xmas Recipes leaflet that we found here.
The texture of this Mock Cream is odd; the custard powder made it a little rubbery and quite thick. It is definitely not in any way cream. Quite frankly if you have access to custard powder and milk, you’d be better off just making custard. If you do intend to make this Mock Cream, I would strongly recommend using custard powder instead of cornflour, the custard flavour was very strong, I think the cornflour would make the mock cream even more rubbery with none of the flavour.
2 TBS Custard Powder or Cornflour
1 C Milk
1 C Sugar
Blend the custard powder with a splash of cold milk. Warm the remaining milk in a saucepan. Add it to the custard powder and return to the pan. Stir over hear until well cooked. Put aside to cool. Cream margarine and sugar together very well; beat in the thick custard, continue to beat till creamy with a texture similar to whipped cream (this takes a LOOOOONNNG time by hand so you may want to invest in a modern electric mixer).
Chocolate Potato Cake
The recipe for this surprisingly delicious cake comes from another fun war time pamphlet that we found here: “Guess-Again Desserts”, recipes for desserts from the Victory Garden including Tomato Spice Cake, Carrot Pudding and this Chocolate Potato Cake.
In true thrifty ration style, this cake uses smooth mashed potato to bulk out the cake, reducing the amount of flour and fat needed. This cake does seem a little extravagant for war time cooking with its chocolate, eggs and cream but it makes a monster of a cake that could easily feed a whole birthday birthday party.
Whilst a little sweeter than the bitter chocolate cakes I would usually make, this cake was tasty, with a nice texture that held up nicely over the rest of the week.
2 1/2C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
230g (1C) shortening or margarine
115g chocolate melted
1C warm, mashed potato (passed through a sieve to make it extra smooth)
1C chopped nuts (I used pecans), plus more for decorating
Sift dry ingredients together. Cream the shortening. Cream in the sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg is added. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Stir in the melted chocolate, mashed potato and nuts. Beat until smooth. Poor into a large greased cake tin. Bake at 180C for 40-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Ice with Chocolate Cream Icing and decorate with extra nuts.
Chocolate Cream Icing
1 egg yolk
1/4 C Cream
1 Tbsp melted margarine
2C icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g melted chocolate
Beat egg yolk, cream and margarine together until smooth. Stir in icing sugar. Add vanilla, chocolate and enough boiling water to make the icing the right consistency to spread.