In the Victorian Era, like today, ladies magazines were popular, and like today, readers sent in their favorite recipies.  Godey's Lady's Book, the most popular woman's magazine in the nineeenth century, was published in America in some form for sixty eight years, from 1830 to 1898.  Many of it's "reciepts" were submitted by women in both the North and the South.  Our pantry contains authentic Victorian recipies as well as modern adaptations.  The book it appeared in as well as the date, if available, is listed with each recipe.
Apple Snow Balls
Godey's Lady's Book 1863

Take a half a dozen fresh apples, cut them into quarters and carefully remove the cores from them: then put them together, having introduced into the cavity caused by the removal of the cores, two cloves and a thin slice of lemon-rind into each apple.  Have at hand half a dozen damp cloths, upon each dispose of a liberal layer of clean, picked rice; place each apple in an upright position in the middle of the grain, and draw the sides of the cloths containing the rice over the same, tying them at the top only sufficiently tight to admit of its swelling whilst under the operation of boiling-three quarters of an hour will suffice.  When released from the cloths they will resemble snow-balls.  Open, add sugar, butter, and nutmeg to the fruit, and serve them up to table.  The above will be found very wholesome and satisfactory food for children.

Cocoa Flummery
Civil War Cooking: The Housekeepers Encyclopedia, 1861

Egg whites, beaten stiff    Shredded coconut meat
Boiled custard    Sponge cake

As in many recipes of this period, the term "cocoa" does not mean anything resembling chocolate. It means "coconut" 

Beat the whites of eggs stiff, grate the white part of a of cocoa-nut [coconut], Mix the egg and nut together, sweeten to the taste;
prepare a boiled custard, pour it over sponge cake, and lay
the egg and cocoa on the top.

Coffee Cream
Godey's Lady's Book 1864

Dissolve one ounce and a quarter of isinglass (substitute plain gelatin) in half a pint of water.  Boil for two hours a teacupful of whole coffee beans (not ground) in about half a pint of water; add a teacupful to the melted isinglass.  Put them into a saucepan with half a pint of milk and let the whole boil up; sweeten with loaf-sugar, and let stand for10 minutes to cool, then add a pint of good cream; stir it well up, and pour it into a mould, and put it into a cool place to fix (set to chill).  Turn out on a glass dish before serving up.

Young Housekeepers Friend, 1864

Beat the whites on fine fresh eggs to a stiff froth, then mix with it fifteen spoonfuls of fines white sugar, and five or six drops of essence of lemon.  Drop them on paper with a teaspoon, sift sugar over them and bake them in a slow oven.

Ice Cream
Godey's Lady's Book 1862

Commercial ice cream was available in the United States since around 1780,
but the ice cream freezer was not invented until 1846. 
It then became very popular for home use.

One quart of rich milk, two fresh eggs, six ounces of white sugar, three teaspoons arrowroot(rubbed smooth in a little cold milk)     Beat eggs and sugar together, bring the milk to the point of boiling, but don't
let it boil, stir in the arrowroot.  Remove from fire, adding eggs
and sugar, stirr briskly to prevent eggs from cooking, set aside
to cool.  If flavored with extracts, it should be done just before it
is  put in the freezer.

Christmas Cake
Godey's Lady's Book 1862
Sometimes recipes were in written as verses.

To two pounds of flour, well sifted, unite
Of loaf-sugar, ounces sixteen;
Two pounds of fresh butter, with eighteen fine eggs,
And four pounds of currants washed and clean;
Eight ounces of almonds well blanched and cut small,
The same weight of citron sliced;
Of orange and lemon-peal candied one pound,
And a gill of pale brandy uniced;
A large nutmeg grated:exact half an ounce
Of allspice, but only a quarter
Of mace, coriander, and ginger well ground,
Or pounded to dust in a mortar,
An important addition is cinnamon, which
Is better increased than diminished;
The fourth of an ounce is sufficient.  Now this
May be baked for good hours till finished.
Makes about 24 lbs.

Little Quinomie Cakes
The Kentucky Housewife, 1839

1/2 lb. butter    1/2 lb. sugar    2 tbs. nutmeg   
1/2 c. wine    yolks of 15 eggs    1/2 lb. flour

Beat to a cream half a pound of butter and half a pound of sugar, add two powdered nutmegs and a glass of wine; then stir in the beaten yolks of fifteen eggs, with half a pound f flour, beat it very well, put
it into small scolloped pans, that are well buttered, and bake them
in a moderate oven.

Godey's Lady's Book 1864

Small Cornucopias filled with whipped cream.

Mix in a basin one quarter of a pound of fine white sifted sugar and two ounces of flour, break two perfectly fresh eggs into this and beat well.  Rub a little whit wax on your baking sheet, take about a dessert spoonful of the mixture and spread it in a round on your tin (drop by tablespoon on a greased cookie tin).  Bake these three minutes, take each off with a knife, and as youdo, carefully roll each, at the oven's mouth, into a jelly bag of cornucopia shape.  Dry them a little before the fire after they are rolled, fill them with pink or white whipped cream, and send them to your table on a nicely folded napkin.  They will keep for some time, if placed in a tin box in a dry place without the cream which must be put in fresh when they are to be served.

Cider Cake
The American Frugal Housewife 1833

1 1/2 lb flour    1/2 lb. sugar    1/4 lb. butter
1/2 pint cider    1 tsp. baking powder    Spices as desired

Cider cake is very good, to be baked in small loaves. One pound and a half of flour, half a pound of sugar, quarter of a pound of butter, half a pint of cider, one teaspoon of pearlash; spice to your taste. Bake
till it turns easily in the pans. I should think about half an hour.

Fruit Cake
Godey's Lady's Book 1864

Two and a half cups dried apples, stewed until soft; add one cup of sugar, stew a while longer, and chop the mixture, to which add onehalf cup of cold coffee, one of sugar, two eggs, a half cup of butter, one nutmeg, one teaspoonful of soda, and cinnamon and spices to taste.  Sift in 2 cups flour to hold it together.

Almond Cakes (cookies)
Godey's Lady's Book 1863

One pound of flour, half a pound of loaf sugar, quarter pound of butter, two ounces bitter almonds (substitute sliced natural almonds) pounded in a small quantity of brandy, and two eggs.  Cakes are not to be rolled, but made as rough as possible with a fork.
(on cookie sheet and baked in moderate oven)

Shrewsbury Cakes
The Virginia Housewife, 1824

1 lb. sugar    2 lb. flour    1 tbs. ground coriander
3/4 lb. butter    6 eggs    1/2 c. brandy

Mix a pound of sugar, with two pounds of flour, and a large spoonful of pounded coriander seeds; sift them, add three quarters of a pound of melted butter, six eggs, and a gill of brandy; knead it well, roll it
thin, cut it in shapes, and bake without discoloring [browning] it.

Rout Drops
Godey's Lady's Book 1862

A rout was a fashionable gathering or large evening party popular in the late 18th and early nineteenth centuries.

Mix two pounds of flour, one pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pound of currants, clean and dry.  Then wet into a stiff paste, with two eggs, a large spoonful of orang flower water, the same each of rose water, sweet wine, and brandy.  Drop on a tin plate floured.  A very short time bakes them.

Yule Pastry
Source unknown
Chop one cup of raisins, one-fourth cup of citron, one slice of candied pineapple, six large figs; add half a cup of sugar, juice of a lemon
and orange, and a pinch of cinnamon; cook 5 minutes; cut rounds
from short pastry; spread with fruit; double; pinch edges securely; prick and bake.

Plum Pudding
Deleniator, 1901

In Victorian times raisins and many berries were refered to as plums.  Some recipies were made with damsons, but plum pudding  was made of raisins.

Mix 4 cups stale bread-crumbs, 1 cup chopped suet, 1 cup molasses, 2 eggs, 2 cups raisins, 2 cups milk, 1 level teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon powdered cloves, 2 cinnamon, half each mace, allspice and salt, 1 cup chopped almonds, half cup currants; boil unceasingly in buttered mould for three and half hours; when sending to table garnish with holly; pour brandy over and ignite; serve hard-sauce.
  Broiled Partidges
Goedy's Lady's Book1868

Split them in half.  Do not wash, but wipe their insides with a cloth.  Dip them into liquid butter, then roll them in bread crumbs.  Repeat this process, lay them inside downwards upon a well heated gridiron.  Turn them but once, and when done serve them with a piquante sauce.  Cld roasted birds eat well if nicely broiled, and sent to the table with a highly seasoned sauce.

Pigeon Compote
Godey's Lady's Book 1862

This recipe was for passenger pigeons, then plentiful, but now extinct.  Substitute woodcock or doves.

Truss six pigeons as for boiling, grate the crumb of a small loaf, scrape a pound of fat bacon, chop some thyme, parsely, onion, and some lemon peel fine.  A little nutmeg, pepper and salt.  Mix together with two eggs.  put this forcemeat into the craws of the pigeon. (chest)  lard the breasts and fry them brown.  place them in a stewpan with sufficient beef stock to cover them and stew them gently three quarters of an hour.  Thicken with a piece of butter rolled in flour, serve with forcemeat balls around the dish and strain the
gravy over the pigeons.

Godey's Lady's Book 1867

Half a pound of bread crumbs, a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley, a tsp. of sweet herbs (equal amounts of fresh parsley, tarragon, chives d chervil, minced), a little grated nutmeg and lemon peel, seasoned with salt, pepper, and Cayenne, two ounces beef suet, finely chopped, and two eggs a little beaten.  Mix well.  The flavor of a little chopped lean ham is relished by some persons.

Pork Chops With Fried Apples
Fannie Farmer Cook Book 1896

Wipe chops,  sprinkle with salt and pepper, place in a hot frying-pan, and cook slowly until tender and well browned on each side.  Arrange pork chops on a platter, and surround with slices of apples cut one half inch thick, fried in the fat remaining in pan.

Pickled Fish
Godey's Lady's Book 1865

Before refrigeration fish was often pickled.  In English and American cookbooks there appear many recipies for "caveaching" fish in
oil, spices, and vinegar.

Take any freshly caught fish, clean and scale them, wash and wipe dry.  Cut into slices a few inches thick, put them in a jar with some salt, allspice, and a little horseradish.  When filledcover it well with a good cover, let it stand in the oven a few hours, don't let the oven get too hot.  This will keep six months.  Put it immediately in the cellar and in a few months they will be fit for use, no bones will be found.

Eel Soup
Civil War Cooking: The Housekeepers Encyclopedia, 1861

3 lb. whole eels    2 oz. butter    2 onions, halved    3 qt. boiling water
1/4 ounce fresh savory    1/4 ounce lemon    1/4 ounce thyme
1/2 ounce parsley    1/8 ounce allspice    1/8 ounce black pepper
3 ounces butter    Flour

Put two ounces of butter in a saucepan, a couple of onions cut once, and stew them until lightly browned. Remove the onions and put into the pan, cut in pieces, three pounds of unskinned eels, shake them over the fire a few minutes, then add three quarts of boiling water. When boils [again], remove the scum; add a quarter of an ounce of green, not dried, summer-savory, the same of lemon, thyme, twice as much parsley, two drachms each of allspice and black pepper; cover close, and boil gently for two hours, then strain it through a fine sieve; put in a stew-pan three ounces of butter, melt it, and stir in flour, until it thickens considerably, and add the soup gradually to it, stirring constantly. If the spices are not relished, omit them; cooks should always be governed by the tastes of the family. Put the soup
in a stew-pan and add nice bits of eel, fried brown in butter,
ten minutes before pouring it in the tureen.

Lobster Salad
Godey's Lady's Book 1860

A gill is a unit of measurement equal to a half cup or around 8-12 oz.

One large lobster, two dessertspoonfuls of mixed mustard, one gill and a half of vinegar, one gill and a half of sweet oil, the yolks  of
five hardboiled eggs, salt to taste, the inside leaves of
two cabbage lettuces. 

Cut the meat and lettuce in small pieces, boil the eggs hard, and mash yolks with a wooden or silver spoon with oil enough to make them a smooth paste.  Add the vinegar, mustard, pepper and salt to taste.  Mix this dresing thoroughly with the lobster and lettuce and serve it before the salad becomes flabby.

To Cook Oysters
Godey's Lady's Book 1862

Butter a saucer or shallow dish, and spread over it a layer of crumbled bread, a quarter of an inch thich, shake a little pepper and salt, and then place the oysters on the crumbs; pour over also, all of the liquor that can be saved in the opening of the oysters; and then fill up the saucer or dish with bread-crumbs, a little more pepper and salt, and a few lumps of butter here and there at the top, and bake half an hour or an hour according to size.  The front of anice clear fire is the best situation; but if baked in a side oven, the dish should be set for a few minutes in front, to brown the bread.

Chicken Baked In Rice
Godey's Lady's Book 1861

Cut a chicken into joints as for a fricassee (parboiled), season it well with pepper and salt, lay it into a pudding-dish lined with slices of ham or bacon, add a pint of veal gravy and an onion finely minced; fill up the dish with boiled rice well pressed and and pled high as the dish will hold; cover it with a paste of flour and water (make a regular pot-pie pastry) and bake one hour in a slow oven.  If you have no veal gravy, use water instead, adding a little more ham and seasoning.

To Fricassee A Small Chicken
Godey's Lady's Book 1868
An old Pennsylvania Dutch dish originally made without meat.

Cut off the wings an legs of four chickens, separate the breasts from the backs; divide the backs crosswise, cut off the necks; clean the gizzard; put them with the livers and other parts of the chickens, after being thoroughly washed, into a saucepan; add salt, pepper, and a little mace; cover with water, and stew until tender.  Take them up; thicken half a pint of water with two spoonfuls of flour rubbed into four ounces of butter; add a tumbler of new milk; boil all together a few minutes, then add eight spoonfuls of white wine, stirring it in carefully so as to not curdle; put in the chickent, and shake the pan until they are sufficiently heated; then serve them up.

Snitz and Knep
Godey's Lady's Book 1866

Take of sweet dried apples (dried with the skins on, if you can get them) about one quart.  Put them in the bottom of a porcelain or tin-lined boiler with a cover.  Take a nice piece of smoked ham washed very clean and lay on top; add enough water to cook them nicely.  About twinty minutes before dishing up, add
the following dumplins:

Mix a cup of warm milk with one egg, a little salt, and a little yeast, and enough flour to make a sponge.  When light, work into a loaf.  Let stand until about twinty minutes before dinner, then cut off slices or lumps, and lay on the apples and let steam through.

Broiled Kidneys
Godey's Lady's Book 1860

Lamb kindeys ( membrane and core removed) should be split open, scored, and peppered, as well as salted.  They are then kept open by a fine iron sdewer, and placed flat upon the gridiron, after which they are soon done.  They require no gravy or garnish.

Bubble And Squeak
Godey's Lady's Book 1865
This English dish is at least two hundred years old and was well known in
19th century United States.

Take from a round of beef which haws been well boiled and cold, two or three slices, amounting to about one pound to one an a half pound in weight two carrots which have been boiled with the joint, in a cold state, as also the hearts of two boiled greens that are cold.  Cut the meat into small dice-formed pieces, and chop up the vegetables together; pepper and salt the latter, and fry them with the meat in a pan with a quarter pound of sweet butter; when fully done, add to the pan in which the ingredients are fried, half a gill of fresh catsup, and serve your dish up to the dinner table with mashed potatoes.  The above is an economical and favorite dinner.

Onion Custard
Godey's Lady's Book 1860

Peel and slice some mild onions (ten or twelve, in porportion to their size) and fry them in fresh butter, draining them well when you take them up; then mince them as fine as possible; beat four eggs very light and stir them gradually into a pint of milk, in turn with the minced onions; season the whole with plenty of grated nutmeg, and stir it very hard; then put it into a deep white dish and bake it abut a quarter of an hour.  (Bake at 350mins.)  Send it to table as a side dish, to be eaten with meat or poultry.  It is a French preparaation of onions and
will be found very fine.

Old Fashoned Turnip Soup
What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, 1881

2 lb. veal bones    1 lb. turnips
1/2 gal. water    salt and pepper to taste

Take two pounds veal bones to half a gallon of water, and boil
[down] to one quart. Put turnips and bones to boil together. Then strain the liquor [liquid] off and send to table hot. Season
while cooking  with pepper and salt.

Potato Salad (Hot)
Godey's Lady's Book 1861

Boil as many potatoes as will make a dish for your family; when done peal them carefully and slice while hot into a deep dish;cut in very small pieces young onions or shives (chives) and mix them among the slices, distributing a little pepper and salt; pour over the whole, good vinegar, scalding hot, and send it to the table immediately.  A wholesome and pleasant dish for spring and early summer.

Dried Pea Soup
The Virginia Housewife, 1824

1 qt. dried peas    3 qts. water    3 onions, chopped
Salt and pepper    2 tbs. butter    2-3 tbs. flour
1/4 lb. salt pork, sliced    1 tsp. celery seed, crushed    Croutons

Note: to make hard water soft either add a spoonful of baking soda,
or else collect clean rainwater.

Take one quart of split peas, or Lima beans which are better, put them in three quarts of very soft water
with three onions chopped up, pepper and salt; boil them two hours, wash them well and pass them through a sieve, return the liquid into the pot, thicken it with a large piece of butter and flour, put in some slices of nice salt pork, and a large tea-spoonful of celery-seed pounded; boil it till the pork is done, and serve it up; have some toasted bread cut into dice and fried in butter, which must be put
in the tureen before you pour in the soup.

Sweet Potatoes* a l'Allemande
Godey's Lady's Book 1867
*Use White potatoes.  They are called sweet because of the use of sugar.

Boil or steam some otatoes very nicely, peel them, cut them in slices, cut some bread into similarly sized pieces without any crust, butter a tart dish, line it with bread and potatoes, alternateingthem regularly.  Thicken some scalding hot milk with a sufficiency of potato flour, add sugar and bruised bay or laurel leaves to impart a flavor, put it into the dish and strew some sugar upon the top.  Place it in an oven until slightly browned on the surface.

Uses of the Dandelion
Godey's Lady's Book 1862

It's uses are endless: the young leaves blanched make an agreeahble and wholesome early salad; and they may be boiled, like cabbages, with salt meat.  The French too slice the roots and eat them, as well as the leaves with bread and butter, and tradition says that he inhabitants of Minorca once substituted for weeks on this plant, when their harvest  had been entirely destroyed by insects.  The leaves are ever a favorite and useful article of food in the Vale of Kashmir, where, in spite of the preconceived prejudices we all have to the contrary, dandelions, and other humbler examples of our northern "weds," do venture to associate themselves with the rose or the jasmine of it's eastern soil.  On the bands of the Rhine the plant is cultivated as a substitute for coffee, and Dr. Harrison contends that it possesses the fine flavor and substance of the best Mocha coffee, without it's injurious principle; and that it promotes sleep when taken at night, instead of banishing it, as coffee does.  Mrs. Modie gives us her experiences with dandelion roots, which seem of a most satisfactory nature.  She first cut the roots into small pieces, and dried them in the oven until they were brown and crisp as coffee, and in this state they appear to have been eaten.  But certain it is that she ground a portion of them, and made a most superior coffee.  In some parts of Canada they mke an excellent beer of the leaves, in twhich the saccharine matter they afford forms a substitute for malt, and the bitter flavor serves instead of hops.  In medicine, too, it is invaluable.

French Stew of Peas and Bacon
Godey's Lady's Book 1867

Cut about one quarter of a pound of fresh bacon into thin slices' soak it on the fire in a stewpan until it is almost done; then put about a quart of peas to it, a good bit of butter, a bunch of parsely, and two spoonfuls of catsup, (can substitute Worchestershire sauce) simmer on a slow fire and reduce the sauce; take out the parsley and serve
the rest together.

Baked Beets
Scence in the Kitchen, 1892

Beets are far better baked than boiled, though it takes a longer time to cook properly.  French cooks bake them slowly six hours in a covered dish, the bottom of which is lined with well-moistened rye straw; however, they may be baked on the oven grate, like potatoes.  Wipe dry after washing, and bake slowly.  They are very nice served with a sauce made with equal quantities of lemon juice and
whipped cream, with a little salt.

Winter Squash
Godey's Lady's Book 1862

This requires rather more boiling than the summer kind.  Pare it, cut it in pieces, take the seeds and strings; boil it in a very little water till it is quite soft.  Then press out the waer, mash it, and add butter, salt and pepper to your taste.  From half to three-quarters of an hour will generally suffice to cook it.

Browned Tomatoes*
Godey's Lady's Book 1865
Tomatoes were not considered poisonous in the nineteenth century despite stories to the contrary.  Indeed, Godey's gives several tomato recipies.

Take large round tomatoes and halve them; place them, skin side down, in a frying-pan in which a very small quantity of butter or lard has been previously melted; sprinkle them with salt and pepper and dredge them well with flour and let them brown thoroughly; then stir them and let them brown again, and so on until they are quite done.  They lose their acidity, and the flavor is superior to stewed tomatoes.
Continue on to the next page for more recipies in the Victorian Pantry
If you would like to submit a recipe to The Victorian Pantry
we will add it along with your name.  Let us know if it is an authentic recipe, and if so, the source.  Submitted recipies can be a modern adaptation, as long as it is suitable for tea or Victorian style gathering.  Just let us know if it is a modern recipe.
In the Victorian era, most foods were kept by smoking, pickling, or kept in cool basements or suspended in the well.  It was not unusual in rural houses to see the rafters hung with legs of beef, mutton, and hams.  The meats were hung inside the chimneys to perserve them by smoking. 
Confectionery was a thriving trade in the Victorian times.  The prcess of selling sugar in caked sugarloafs made perparation of cakes and deserts in the home difficult.  One usually went to the confectionery to purchace the delectable pastries.  Treachle (molasses) was popular.  Colored food additives included gold and silver color achieved by the addition of copper and zinc.  For blue, iron was used, and red was achieved by the addition of lead.  Occasionally arsenic was added to provide a green color.  It was not a good time in history for colored deserts. 
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