The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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Recipe).—Equal quantities of flour and butter, say x lb. of each, 1 pinch of salt the yolks of 2 eggs, rather more than 1 gill of wa­ter. See that the flour is perfectly dry; squeeze all the water from the butter, then squeeze it in a clean cloth till there is no moisture; then weigh them; put the flour on the paste-board, then work lightly into it 2 oz. of the butter and make a hole in the center, and into this well or opening put the yolks of 2 eggs, the salt and about 1-4 pint water (the quantity of water must be regulated by the cook, as it is impossible to give the exact pro­portion of it). Knead up the paste quickly and lightly, and when quite smooth roll it square to the thickness of about 1-2 inch. Presuming that the batter is perfectly free from moisture and as cool as possible, roll it into a ball and place the ball of butter on the paste, fold the paste over the butter all round, and se­cure it by wrapping it well all over. Flatten the paste by rolling it lightly with the rollingpin until it is quite thin, but not thin enough to allow the butter to break thrpugh, and keep the board and paste dredged lightly with flour during the process of mak­ing it. This rolling gives it the first turn. Now fold the paste in three and roll it out again, and should the weather be very warm place it in a cold place on the ground to cool between the several turns, or in some cool place where cold water can be run under the paste-board, and thus prevent the paste from spoiling in warm weather, which it will surely do unless carefully attended to. Roll out the paste again twice, put it by to cool, then roll it out twice more, which will make 6 turnings in all. Now fold the paste in two and it will be ready for use. If properly made and well baked this crust will be delicious, and should rise in the oven about 5 or 6 inches. The paste should be made rather firm in the first instance, as the ball of butter is liable to break through. Great attention must also be paid to keeping the butter cool, as, if this is in a soft or liquid state, the paste will not answer at all. Should the cook be dextrous enough to succeed in making this, the paste will have a much better appearance than that made by the process of dividing the butter into four parts and placing it over the rolled-out paste ; but, until experience has been acquired, it is recommended puff paste made by recipe for being very good. The above paste is used for vol au vent, small articles, and, in fact, everything that requires very light crust.
Potato Puff.—Take cold roast meat, beef, mutton and ham to­gether, clear from gristle, cut small and season with pepper and salt and cut pickles if liked. Roll and mash some potatoes; make them into a paste with an egg and roll out and dredge with flour. Cut round with a saucer, put some of the seasoned meat upon one*