Thursday, December 31, 2015

Who wants sauerbraten, bacon muffins & tangle britches?

I've had far too few recipes posts on Papergreat this year. This is only the fifth one. I resolve to do much better in 2016! (That won't be my only official resolution, though.)

So let's close out 2015 with some recipes from Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking, a 48-page staplebound booklet distributed by the Dutchcraft Company of Gettysburg many, many moons ago.

First, an excerpt from the booklet's unattributed introduction:
"The Pennsylvania Dutch are a hard working people and as they say, 'Them that works hard, eats hearty.' The blending of recipes from their many home lands and the ingredients available in their new land produced tasty dishes that have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations. Their cooking was truly a folk art requiring much intuitive knowledge, for recipes contained measurements such as 'flour to stiffen,' 'butter the size of a walnut,' and 'large as an apple.' Many of the recipes have been made more exact and standardized providing us with a regional cookery we can all enjoy."

And now some recipes!

2 inch thick piece of chuck, pot roast or tender boiling beef. Place in dish or bowl and cover with solution of half vinegar and half water, put in two large onions sliced. Do this two or three days before the meat is wanted. On the day before it is to be cooked cut 3 or 4 slices of bacon in 1" pieces and chop fine 1 tablespoon of the onion which has been soaking in the vinegar. Cut holes in the meat 1 or 2 inches apart and stuff bits of bacon and chopped onion into the holes. Put the meat back in the solution, add 1 tablespoon whole cloves and 1 teaspoon whole allspice. Bake the meat as a pot roast in part of the solution, until tender. Use more of the solution, adding sugar to taste, in making the gravy which will be almost black.

Apple Ring Fritters
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 large apples
Sift dry ingredients. Add milk and egg. Beat well. Peel and core apples and slice in rings about ¼ inch thick. Dip rings in batter and drop into skillet containing ½ inch of hot melted shortening. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over fritters. Makes 16 to 20.

Bacon Muffins
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup bits crisp bacon
Sift flour, add sugar, salt and baking powder and sift again, add beaten egg and milk. Add melted shortening beating in quickly. Add bits of crisped bacon. Bake in hot (425 degree) oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with orange marmalade.

Tangle Britches
An old York County recipe
  • ½ pound butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • about 5 cups flour
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs beating well. Sift in the cinnamon and enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out the dough very thin on a floured board to about ⅛ inch thick. Cut into rectangular pieces 3 inches by 5 inches. Make 5 cuts lengthwise in the dough ½ inch apart and 4½ inches long, so that the rectangle remains in one piece. Fry in hot deep fat (360 F) for 2 minutes or until they bob up to the top of the hot grease. When dropping them in the fryer, pick up the 1st, 3rd and 5th strips and pull them upward. Let the 2nd, 4th and 6th sag downward so that in frying they get all fahuudelt (tangled) or as the Dutch say, all through each other. Dust with powdered sugar or dribble molasses over them and eat hot.

(That last one sounds a bit like funnel cake. Read some Tangle Britches memories at Helen Gobble's Bits and Pieces and More.)

Related goodies (mostly Pennsylvania Dutch)


  1. I think either my mother or one of my grandmothers had that same book (but with a different "sponsor" imprint on the bottom). If I weren't cooking for one now; I might make the bacon muffins. They sound good :)