A selection of wartime recipes for the High Tea table. These recipes are from the archives of the People’s Friend magazine and are over 100 years old.
Recipes from the People’s
Friend WW1 Archives
Today I am sharing THREE original recipes from the archives of the People’s Friend magazine, from their “Kitty’s Kitchen Club” page, where recipes were shared with the readers during the first world war.
These Wartime High Tea Recipes were made by me, for a special Centenary of the Armistice Day commemorative issue of the magazine in 2018.
I recreated the recipes from the original manuscripts, but with a few modern day substitutes and changes. I have copied the original recipes above each of my modern day interpretations, which are shared in printable recipe format below, for historical interest.
The three recipes were published for High Tea ideas, being what we may call Tea, Dinner or Supper nowadays.
They are: Ration Scones, Jam Tart and Gingerbread Cup Puddings. They are frugal in their use of fats, and lard or dripping is often suggested.
Sugar was used in very small quantities and oatmeal was often used to “pad” out the flour.
In 1918, the era in which most of these recipes originate from, it was normal to have a small savoury dish for tea or supper, which was followed by a pudding, i.e. a dessert or sweet. And, today’s recipes would have filled any hungry tummies after a light savoury main course.
Ration Scones – 1918 (Original Recipe)
Take 5 oz flour, 2 oz lard, 2 oz dates, 1 teaspoonful baking powder, 1 egg, and a little milk. Rub the lard into the flour, add the baking powder and chop the dates. Add the egg, well beaten and a little milk. Mix all together thoroughly and bake.
Gingerbread Cup Puddings
Gingerbread Cup Puddings – 1918 (Original Recipe)
Take 6 oz flour, 2 oz oatmeal, 3 oz chopped suet, 1 small teaspoonful baking soda, 2 tablespoonfuls sugar, 2 tablespoonfuls dark treacle, a little milk, 2 teaspoonfuls ground ginger. Grease some small cups or small jelly jars, and put a teaspoonful of syrup in the bottom of each. Sift the flour and ginger, add the suet, sugar and oatmeal. Mix well together. Make a well in the centre and put in the treacle. Mix the soda with half a teacupful of milk, and add. Mix all thoroughly together, put into the buttered cups about two-thirds full, cover with greased paper and steam in a stewpan for three-quarters of an hour or more. It may be made in one basin, and would then take two and a half to three hours.
Children love to have a wee pudding each. If for the children serve on the plates. A little thin cornflour poured round and a sprinkle of cocoanut adds to the delight and not much to the expense, and more to the food value.
Jam Tart – 1918 (Original Recipe)
Suet pastry might be used for this. This is a method to make jam go further. Boil together 2 tablespoonfuls jam with 1 gill water. Blend 2 teaspoonfuls custard powder with a little cold water, add to the boiling jam, boil and turn out to cool. Roll the pastry into a round. Place on an enamelled plate. Put in the cold jam mixture. Put small strips of pastry in cross bars over the jam, or the jam might be covered with another round of pastry.
Jam treated in this way would be good for plain boiled rice, only of course, serve it warm, as it would be thinner and more like a sauce.
Other Wartime Recipes
The three savoury recipes that I also made for the same commission, that would have preceded today’s Wartime High Tea Recipes, were Cressy Soup, Sausage Cakes and a “Nice Supper Dish”, which was a baked ham and egg patty, similar to a muffin today.
I will be sharing these other wartime recipes next week, so you can recreate an authentic wartime high tea if you so wish!
I have written and shared numerous wartime recipes on Lavender & Lovage over the years, as well as living off rations as a culinary project a few years ago.
You can see all my other posts here: The Wartime Kitchen – Living off Rations and On the Home Front, Original Recipes from the Great War 1914 to 198.
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Wartime High Tea Recipes
All three wartime recipes for Ration Scones, Jam Tart and Gingerbread Cup Puddings are shared below.
I DO hope you enjoy them if you make them, and please do remember that portion sizes were a lot smaller than today. Look out for the next three savoury recipes next week, and please let me know if you DO make any of today’s wartime high tea recipes, Karen
- 140 g (5 oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50 g (2 oz) butter or margarine
- 50 g (2 oz) chopped dates
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons milk
1. Rub the butter/margarine into the flour and then add the chopped dates; add the egg mixture and mix until soft.
2. Roll out on a floured board and stamp out scones.
3. Brush any remaining egg mixture over the top and bake in pre-heated hot oven 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas mark 7 for 10 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
Note: The original recipe suggests lard, but I used butter in this recipe, as well as S-R flour in place of plain flour and baking powder.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 scones Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 135Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 37mgSodium 260mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 3g
- 200g ready-made shortcrust pastry
- 4 tablespoons seedless fruit jam
- 140ml water
- 2 teaspoons custard powder
1. Blend the jam with a little water and then boil it together for 2 to 3 minutes. Blend the custard powder with a little water and add it to the jam mixture, boil it until it is thick, take it off the heat and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, roll the pastry out and line a 20cm (8”) enamel plate or pie dish with the pastry.
3. Spoon over the cooled jam mixture and make a lattice work pattern with strips of the remaining pastry.
4. Bake in a pre-heated oven 200C/180C Fan for about 10 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked, crisp and golden brown.
The original recipe only suggests 2 tablespoons of jam, but I doubled the amounts for a more generous filling. I did not feel that suet pastry was the right pastry for this tart either, as originally suggested.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 slices Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 181Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 21mgSodium 144mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 1gSugar 12gProtein 3g
- 4 to 6 teaspoons golden syrup
- 170g self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 50g oatmeal
- 75g shredded vegetable suet
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons black treacle
- A little milk
1. Grease some ramekins, tea cups or small dishes with a little butter and put a teaspoon of syrup in the bottom of each.
2. Sift the flour and ground ginger together and then add the oatmeal, suet and sugar. Mix well. Then make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the black treacle.
3. Add the milk, about 60ml, and mix well.
4. Spoon the mixture into each cup, to about two thirds full, cover with foil and place them into a large roasting pan which has hot water in it.
5. Bake them in pre-heated oven 200C/180C Fan for about 20 minutes or until they are well risen and cooked.
6. Serve one per person with custard.
Please note that as these puddings have no eggs in them, they are denser than modern day puddings. If you steam them, they are lighter than if they are baked.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 puddings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 207Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 6mgSodium 368mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 1gSugar 7gProtein 5g
I have linked these recipes up with #CookBlogShare