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Hours and Directions

Vidalia Onion Pie

caramelized_onion_pie1 single crust pie dough, fully baked and cooled
3 cups sweet onions, sliced thin
½ cup sour cream
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
6 slices bacon, chopped
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.  Cook the onions i the bacon fat until browned, about 12 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Whisk the eggs, sour cream, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and one teaspoon chives in a large bowl, then add the reserved bacon and onions.  Pour into the prepared pie shell and bake until the filling is puffed and cracked around the edges and the center barely jiggles when the pie is shaken, 25-30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of chives.  Serve.  (This pie can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)  

From The Ladies of Hyde Hall – Anne Clarke Logan’s recipe collection.  

Holiday Roast Beef, Pan Gravy and Yorkshire Pudding

From The Ladies of Hyde Hall – Dorothy Rennard Benjamin Clarke’s Time (1934 to 1963)

 

Roast Beef

roast-beef-yorkshire-pudding2Remove from the refrigerator, at least ½ hour before preparing for cooking, a rib roast of beef.  Wash it with a damp cloth.  Trim off the excess fat and hard edges.  Season the roast with salt and pepper.  Its surface may be rubbed with a cut clove of garlic and it may be dredged with flour.  Place the roast fat side up in a pan in an oven preheated to 300 degrees.  If the roast is very lean, tie or skewer over it a piece of suet or salt pork.  Cook as directed below:

Rare = 18-20 minutes per pound
Medium = 22-25 minutes per pound
Well-done = 27-30 minutes per pound

A rolled roast will require 5-10 minutes longer to the pound.  Note that roast may be browned in a hot oven 500 degrees for 20 minutes before being cooked, uncovered and without basting.  If you wish to brown a roast after it is done, place it under a broiler for a few minutes.  Use the fat and drippings in the pan for making gravy.

“This is our family’s traditional holiday meal, got up in the old English tradition – roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.”  
Contributed by Mary T. Clarke

 

Gravy from Pan Drippings

The following recipe will produce 1 cupful of gravy: Remove the meat from the pan.  Place it where it will remain hot.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings.   Blend into them 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour, stirring with a wire whisk.  Add slowly until the gravy has the right consistency, cooking it slowly and stirring it constantly, about 1 cupful of hot milk or hot water and cream.  Season the gravy with salt, pepper, minced herbs, grated lemon rind, etc.  Strain the gravy, reheat it and serve it.

 

Yorkshire Pudding

⅞ cup flour
½ cup milk
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Sift the flour and salt in a bowl.  Make a well in the center into which the milk is poured.  Stir in the milk.  Beat the eggs until fluffy and add them into the batter.  Add water.  Beat the batter well until large bubbles rise to the surface.  Permit this to stand for 1 hour, then beat it again.

Have ready a hot oven-proof dish (about 10×10) containing about ¼ inch of hot beef drippings or melted butter.  Pour in the batter.  It should be about ⅜ inch high.  Bake the pudding in a hot 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake it 10-15 minutes longer.  

The pudding may be baked in hot muffin tins.  “It was customary to cook this old and delicious dish in the pan with the roast or under the roast, letting the drippings fall upon it.  As we now cook roast beef in a slow oven we must revise the cooking of Yorkshire pudding.  It is best to cook it separately in the hot oven it requires to puff it up and brown it quickly.”  

“Place the batter in a hot pan containing hot fat or drippings.  Cook it as directed and you will have a dish not unlike a popover.  Serve it from the dish in which it was cooked, cut into squares.  Substitute the pudding for the usual starch served with a main course – potatoes, rice, spaghetti, etc.”

Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke portrait by Charles Cromwell Ingham

Commissioned in 1835 from the artist Charles Cromwell Ingham, this portrait of Hyde Hall's first chatelaine, Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke (circa 1780 — 1850), is an idealized image of her as a young woman, arguably around the time she married George the Builder in 1814.
Commissioned in 1835 from the artist Charles Cromwell Ingham, this portrait of Hyde Hall’s first chatelaine, Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke (circa 1780 — 1850), is an idealized image of her as a young woman, arguably around the time she married George the Builder in 1814.

 

Commissioned in 1835 from the artist Charles Cromwell Ingham, this portrait of Hyde Hall’s first chatelaine, Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke (circa 1780 – 1850), is an idealized image of her as a young woman, arguably around the time she married George the Builder in 1814. (It belongs to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown.)

Daughter of one of George Washington’s aides and once described as “beautiful and reckless,” Ann married, in 1801, Richard Fenimore Cooper, an elder brother of the famous novelist; he died in 1813 when she was pregnant with their fifth child. Or was she? Gossips certainly believed Alfred Cooper Clarke, as that child was known, was actually the son of George Clarke of Hyde Hall, whom Ann married about a year after Alfred’s birth.

As Wayne Franklin, a biographer of James Fenimore Cooper has written, “Ann was carrying on more-or-less openly” with George Clarke during the final years of her first marriage. Clarke was married too, with a wife back in England, Elizabeth “Eliza” Rochfort (ca. 1768 – 1861), an Irish beauty whose mental condition had deteriorated profoundly by 1818. No divorce documents have ever been found dissolving the marriage of Eliza and George, and even George’s father back in England referred to her as his son’s wife and treated her accordingly.

Nevertheless, George Clarke and the widow Cooper married in Albany on 14 August 1814, with the “sanction of the House of Assembly and the American law.” Was it bigamy? Or merely a lucky legal loophole? The Clarkes had four children: George Hyde Clarke (born and died 1815); Anna Clarke (1817-1899); George Hyde Clarke (1822-1889); and Arthur Clarke (born and died 1826).

As letters in the Clarke family papers at Cornell University attest, George Clarke’s children by Eliza Rochfort considered their American half-siblings to be illegitimate interlopers.

Preserves and Jellies

 

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Gather fruit when it is dry.  Long boiling hardens fruit.  Pour boiling water over the sieves used, and wring out jelly-bags in hot water the moment you are to use them.  

Do not squeeze while straining through jelly-bags.  Let the pots and jars containing sweetmeats just made remain uncovered three days.

Lay brandy papers over the top, cover them tight, and seal them, or, what is best of all, soak a split bladder and tie it tight over them.  In drying, it will shrink so as to be perfectly air-tight.  Keep them in a dry, but not warm place.

A thick leathery mould helps to preserve fruit, but when mould appears in specks, the preserves must be scalded in a warm oven, or be set into hot water, which then must boil till the preserves are scalded.  Always keep watch of preserves which are not sealed, especially in warm and damp weather.  The only sure way to keep them without risk or care is to make them with enough sugar and seal them, or tie bladder covers over.

From The Ladies of Hyde Hall, Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke’s Time (1819-1842)

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