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Esther B. Aresty Collection of Rare Books in the Culinary Arts

Jules and Esther Aresty

Household Words: Women Write From and For the Kitchen

Bill of Fare
for the April 1966 Celebration of the Esther B. Aresty Collection
of Rare Books in the Culinary Arts at the University of Pennsylvania Library:

Mixed Green Sallet with Cooked Egg Dressing
American Cookery, or the Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables
Amelia Simmons, 1808

Grilled Minced Mutton with Pistachios, Currants and Cinnamon
The Thorough Good Cook
George Augustus Sala, 1896

Cherry Tartlettes
The Larder Invaded
William Woys Weaver
adapted from: National Cook Book
Hannah Bouvier Peterson
Philadelphia: Child and Peterson, 1855


The following recipes from the Collection were adapted for the Celebration:

Baked Mincemeat Kebob

Mince three or four pounds of a leg of mutton, or any other part of raw mutton; then put three chopped onions into a stew-pan with some fresh butter, and partly fry them; add the minced mutton, with half a handful of skinned pistachios, the same of currants, a little salt, pepper, and cinnamon; stir round with a spoon until the minced meat also is partly fried; divide the mincemeat among pastry shells; lay them on a baking tin; place it in a hot oven till nicely browned; dish up tastefully and serve.

Cherry Pie

"...it was common practice to leave the cherry pits in the cherries, both to enhance the flavor (much of the flavor is in the pits) and to hold the shape of the fruit. Street urchins. . .simply spit out the pits; in genteel circles, there was a "proper" ritual for removing the pits from the lips and depositing them with a fork at the side of one's plate. It has been said that in Philadelphia the litmus test for good breeding was not so much one's ability to make a salad but the way one handled those pits. In any case, while we much prefer the pits removed, here is how to reconstruct the tartlets in an "archeologically correct" manner." - The Larder Invaded.

Original Recipe: Stew your cherries with sugar, in the proportion of a pound of cherries to half a pound of sugar, and stir in a little flour to thicken the syrup. Make a paste, as rich as you like, line your pie plates, fill with the fruit, and cover with a lid of the paste.

Adaptation: 2 lb. sweet cherries, unpitted; 1/3 cup red currant jelly; 2/3 cup granulated sugar; 2 T. raw cherry juice or water; 2 T. flour. Wash the fruit and remove the stems. Dissove the jelly and sugar in the water or raw cherry juice. Bring this to a hard boil, and continue to boil until it forms a syrup. Add 1 pound of fruit, stir, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Strain out the fruit and set aside to cool. Reheat the syrup, and repeat the process with the remaining 1 pound of cherries. Line 14 - 16 tartlet pans (tin patty pans) with short pie crust. The pans should measure approximately 31/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep. Prick the bottoms, crimp the edges and bake at 350 degrees for roughly 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisp. Remove the tartlet shells from the pans and cool on racks. Reduce the syrup in which the cherries were stewed with two tablespoons of flour and cook until thick, or add 2/3 cup of currant jelly and reduce to a glaze. Fit the cherries into the tartlet shells and add a few tablespoons of syrup or glaze to each. Let this cool, then pipe a decorative border of meringue around the outside edge of each tartlet. Make the meringue in the following manner: 2 egg whites; 2 T superfine sugar; 1 T Maraschino de Zara. Beat the white until stiff; then fold in the sugar and liqueur. After piping the meringue on the tartlets, brown it a bit in the oven (5 minutes at 350 degrees) or with a very hot salamander, a circular iron plate which is heated and placed over a pudding or other dish to brown it (the old method).