This weekend across Britain, people will be commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe (8th May, 1945). Some of you may be organising or attending a local street party, picnic or other community/family event so I have put together a Vlog featuring some recipe suggestions from the 1940s, ration book Britain, together with lots of tips and hints to help you have fun creating your retro feasts. If you don’t want to eat authentic 1940s food, that is fine as well, you can still have fun. Check-out the British Legion’s dedicated V.E. Day 70 website for details of events local to you, click here.
Ration Book Recipes Featured In Vlog
Ingredients: Between 1 and 3 packets of jelly cubes, (depending on the size of your mould) tin of fruit (peaches, mandarin segments, prunes without stones) and boiling water in quantities as specified on the back of your jelly packet. Method: Wet your jelly mould and tip-out excess water, drain your fruit and retain the juice, arrange drained fruit in your mould, dissolve jelly cubes in the boiling water, add a dash of the drained fruit juice to melted jelly mixture, pour liquid into the mould, leave mould somewhere cold to cool, then place in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, turn-out jelly (see Vlog for tips on doing this).
Ingredients: 1 packet of jelly, small tin of evaporated milk. Method: Dissolve jelly cubes as per the manufacturer’s instructions, add evaporated milk stir and pour into a wetted mould, leave to cool and place in refrigerator, preferably overnight, turn-out mould (see Vlogs for tips on this).
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon Bird’s custard powder, 2 tablespoons dried milk (Coffee Mate or Marvel), 1 oz margarine, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (Colman’s), 2 tablespoons of malt vinegar, salt and pepper, 1/2 pint boiling water. Method: Mix together the custard powder, milk powder, mustard, pepper and salt in a basin. Warm the margarine, and blend it smoothly with the dry ingredients until soft and creamy. Gradually stir in the boiling water, then put it into a saucepan. Bring very slowly to the boil, stirring ALL the time. Cook until the sauce is smooth and thick. When it is cool, beat in the vinegar.
Ingredients: 1 tin of haricot beans, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons ground rice (or ground almonds), 1 teaspoon almond essence, 1 tablespoon warmed margarine. Method: Drain the haricot beans, place them in sieve and press them hard through the sieve (it takes time but don’t worry it does work!). Beat the sugar in the bean puree, add the ground rice/almonds, warmed margarine and finally the almond essence (adjust to taste). Beat until quite smooth and well mixed. Form into little balls or other shapes, decorate as required. If you want to add colouring then I suggest using the coloured powders rather than liquid food colouring. If you do use the liquid then add more ground rice/almonds to soak-up excess moisture.
Ingredients: Short crust pastry (8 ozs self-raising flour, pinch of salt, 4 ozs margarine, 2 tablespoons cold water), jam (strawberry, apricot, blackberry, raspberry). Method: Pastry = sieve together flour and salt, cut into dry mixture the margarine and rub into flour until it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs, stir-in the cold water using the blade of a knife, form the pastry into a ball with your fingertips, lightly flour the rolling-pin and board. Place pastry in some cling-film, put in the fridge for 30 mins then roll-out pastry onto the floured surface. Tartlets = The pastry needs to be rolled-out thinly, using a fluted biscuit cuter, cut-out rounds slightly wider than your greased bun or patty tins, gather the left-over pastry, roll-out again, and cut-out rounds as before until all the pastry is used up, line each tin with a round of pastry, pressing gently down with the fingertips, place a rounded teaspoon of jam in each tartlet case (do not add more as it will boil out), back in a fairly hot oven (180C) for approximately12- 15 minutes and then check. Remove from oven, leave in the tins for 2-3 minutes, remove carefully and cool on a wire rack.
Ingredients: 2 ozs margarine, 2 ozs cooking fat, 3 oz sugar, 2 tablespoons dried egg (or 2 small eggs), 6 ozs flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence, a dash of milk, jam. Method: Pre-heat oven to 175C. Cream the fats and the sugar. Mix together the flour and baking powder and fold it lightly into the egg(s), fat and sugar. Stir in enough milk to make a creamy dough. Divide the dough in two greased and lined sandwich tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, place a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean it is done, if not then put cake back into the oven for another 5 minutes, repeat the skewer test and again put back into the oven if skewer doesn’t come-out clean. Keep an eye on the cake so that it doesn’t burn. Leave the cakes to cool, turn-out onto a wire rack and sandwich together with jam. If you want your cake to be a little more luxurious than make some mock cream and either spread on top of the cake or between the two cakes.
Mock Clotted Cream
Ingredients: 2 oz margarine, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon dried milk, few drops of vanilla essence. Method: Beat the margarine and sugar together. By degrees, add the dried milk. Flavour with vanilla and beat until very smooth.