Try out war-time recipes at home

An advertisement for Bowick's egg substitute powder contained in one of the old recipe books David Swallow inherited from his late mother and grandparents.
An advertisement for Bowick's egg substitute powder contained in one of the old recipe books David Swallow inherited from his late mother and grandparents.
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Chef David Swallow shares two of his recipes that were popular in war-time Britain, with some post-war amendments to make them more tasty.

Marrow Cream

The war-time recipe ingredients for this recipe were much reduced due to the rationing of butter and sugar and used lemon essence as opposed to fresh lemons. At the end of World War 2, when imported fruit started to become more readily available, this recipe was re-invented using fresh lemons.

2lb marrow

2lb sugar

3 lemons – zest and juice

8oz butter or margarine

Peel and steam the marrow, then strain and mash. Place in heavy bottomed saucepan, add all other ingredients and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Fill sterilised jars and seal. Fill little tartlets as required.

Bread and Butter Pudding

“Bread – The Foundation Food for Energy and Vitality”, so the Ministry of Food said during the war when giving guidance on ‘How to Use Stale Bread’. The war-time version of this recipe used much reduced quantities of each ingredient, except bread, and the following recipe is the post-war version.

1 medium loaf of stale white bread

4oz sultanas

2 pints milk

Butter or margarine

6 eggs

Nutmeg

Grease a 2-pint glass casserole dish.

Slice the bread and spread with butter or margarine (no need to remove crusts).

Cut slices in half and lay on the bottom of the casserole and sprinkle the sultanas over. Lay a second layer of sliced bread on top, butter side uppermost. Beat eggs and add milk and sugar. Gently pour the liquid over the bread. Leave to stand and soak for at least two hours (this is important); occasionally press down with a fork and add more milk to cover as the bread will swell and absorb more milk while standing. This will allow the pudding to ‘soufflé’ up when cooking. Prior to cooking, grate fresh nutmeg liberally over the top with a sprinkle of Demerara sugar. Place in a moderate oven, approximately 180/1900 fan assisted or equivalent for approximately 45 minutes to one hour or until the top is golden brown. Serves with lashings of custard.